I would appreciate suggestions on how to navigate this one ...
My STBX pays nothing at all towards looking after our 16 y/o son who lives with me (he pays the mortgage on the FMH). Even with our outgoings cut back to the Absolute minimum I still do not have enough money each month. So there are no new clothes, shoes etc. Son has small job which pays for haircuts etc. dont know what will happen in the future and trying not to think about it ATM. STBX is very slow getting form E completed so no financial settlement in sight yet. He claims extreme poverty as the reason he can''t pay anything towards sons day to day expenses, whilst his new partner''s son goes to private school and stbx pays all their joint living expenses in their new home. Anyway, STBX has now offered to take children on holiday! I''m livid at his double standards. But what do I say to son? If I say I''m ok with him going, it feels as though I''m condoning dads behaviour. And if I say I''m not happy with him going then I look like a mean spirited person. STBX won''t communicate with me at all so I can''t even try to point out how galling the situation is. He won''t help to pay for necessities but will do a holiday.
Does anyone have any thoughts on how to deal with this? I''m feeling particularly low and hopeless ATM and not best placed to see a sensible way to respond. So any suggestions gratefully received. Alice
How are you doing the financial settlement - through mediation, solicitors, through the courts? If you are not doing this through the courts, then you could threaten to file a financial application against him through the courts. It is very expensive to do it this way (if you instruct solicitors/barristers) but the courts do set a timetable and expect documentation to be filed by certain deadlines. It can help the process go much quicker. The courts can make all kinds of orders, in particular spousal maintenance in your favour. If I was you I would definitely see a solicitor asap. I know you are feeling hopeless right now but you have more rights than you realise.
There is an argument that paying the mortgage and thus keeping a roof over your son''s and your head is a contribution to day to day living.
You can gain very little by refusing to let your son go, its doubtful your son with thank you. And if you do refuse is it more or less likely that he will pay more ? or are you just going to make the situation worse ?
The holiday is for your son''s benefit, not yours or your ex''s do you think it is right to use this to score points ?
Alice, reading through your past posts it seems that your stbx pays about half his wage each month in mortgage? This is way above what any child maintenance would be. I know it''s hard but that is a big chunk of his income. Therefore he is paying for your son.
Unless you have a good reason then I would let your son go on holiday. Please do not use him for point scoring against your stbx.
I think this is exactly the sort of reply that i didnt want to hear but what i need to hear!
I''m not refusing or agreeing, my son is 16 so I''ve said he should decide for himself. But I know he''ll pick up on my feelings and this will influence him. I think you are right that there is no benefit to my son if I''m against the idea. It wont change our financial situation. So why do I feel so bitter about this? And how on earth do I try to appear neutral about the holiday when we are so beyond broke and if I''m honest I am bitter about what dad is offering when I can''t even afford a trip to the cinema?
I have a similar situation here (though no payment at all, no mortgage, nothing, and I have no income). It is galling that when they see dad they get meals in restaurants, while at home they have (as with PG Tips) seen me reduced to tears seeing food we cannot afford go in the bin if they don''t eat it. Yes, no holiday, no cinema, no shoes.... And then you feel that x has all the fun stuff and treats, and you are excluded and would dearly love a holiday yourself. I get it.
And if you let the children go, it feels as though you are condoning the behaviour. I get it.
But better to let your son have a holiday than not. If he wants to go. It''s better than nothing, and it is time with his dad. If he wants it. And you should, even if it sticks in the throat, encourage it, because even if you think your x doesn''t deserve the relationship, your son does. Yes, you may wish that your x would give a small proportion of the holiday money to you for daily necessities. But he won''t.
Yes, you need to be strong and selfless a bit more. Sorry.
Thankyou for your replies, they have given me a different perspective on the situation.
I can see that however much I dislike him taking son on holiday, that son not going won''t mean that STBX will start paying for necessities (too many double negatives there!). So I can say that to son genuinely and honestly, and leave son to decide if he wants to go. I think it was that honest view that I wanted but just couldn''t find.
I still feel that we are marching to the beat of STBXs drum,. Taking control of things? Looks like a no on this one as well .... And the mortgage on the FMH is less than a quarter of his overall monthly salary ; there is still a good amount that he has as disposable income every month. It''s a mystery to me where it goes, perhaps the same place as the other tens of thousands of pounds of debt that "we" accumulated during the last few years ...