New to the forum but could do with some advice. I’m a father of 4 - all ages under 9. I’ve been separated now for 22 months. I live in rented accommodation, whilst my ex wife continues to live in the family home.
I pay half the mortgage - £590 and £400 in maintenance. Yes it’s less than the CSA recommendation but that’s all I can afford. I also have been half the childcare costs, which on a typical month is £390 but usually more. That totals £1380 per month.
I have the children overnight every other weekend. I also take the children to school at normal school hours and collect them from school every Monday and Tuesday and give them their tea before going back to mum. I do the same Thursday evening when I collect them from care club. If I need to put the children into care club Monday or Tuesday because of work then I have to pay for it. The ex will not contribute. She works Monday- Thursday as a teacher. I’m a Sales Manager who has a home office. I don’t have any family support.
I’m desperate to get divorced and already petitioned on grounds of adultery - as a technicality as she now has a partner. They met after we separated but don’t live together. She is not responding to any solicitors letters and clearly is happy to keep the status quo. I have a partner for just over 12 months and she wants me to move in with her but I can’t until I am divorced. I’m now petitioning on grounds of unreasonable behaviour.
My current financial situation is dire. Whilst I earn £48K per year my take home pay is £2364 (after pension, company car tax, student loan and child care voucher contributions). My base outgoings are now £2870 - £506 more than my monthly income. Within the next 3 months I will begin defaulting on payments. I have a loan and my credit debt is increasing rapidly.
I’ve repeatedly mentioned my financial situation to my ex since June but does not acknowledge it. The only thing she did say back in July was she was looking to take on the mortgage herself but refused to offer me any equity in the home - around £20K to me which I would have used to pay debts. But since then there has been no sign of her taking on the mortgage.
My ex claims tax credits, inc the child care element. I’m not entitled to claim as the children live with you full time. After doing some research I understand I am not entitled to pay half the childcare costs. Is this correct?
Clearly I need to stop the financial rot and need some advice to get my ex to engage in the legal process. Ultimately, I just wants what’s fair.
Sorry to hear about your current situation this seems more complex than my break up because it as divorce and there's a home you have equity in which needs to be used to stop the rot of debt asap what ever happens this needs to be in divorce settlement.
In terms of the children I think it's better you do every other weekend and then request to have the kids during the week if you can get on with your ex and make that happen this will prevent child care costs because in my opinion once your seperated you should only be paying child support.
-Simplify your contact to every other weekend and request extra contact when free
-Focus on settlement detailing sale of home when kids are 18 and getting growing equidy in your account or early sale if possible to sort debt out asap
-Stop your pension for a bit I use NEST and done mine online to save £100 pm just for a little while
-Or just give up on your home and pay child support harsh but you need to make drastic action like your hair is on fire
Thanks to all of you for your feedback and advice. Very useful indeed.
There is no court hearing or anything formal of that nature yet because my ex simply will not engage in the process. My solicitor has written to my wife twice now requesting to start engaging in the process and begin financial disclosure but she has no responded. I have now petitioned for divorce on grounds of unreasonable behaviour.
You are right in that whilst paying over half for the childcare and maintainence, the house and mortgage payments need sorting too. I suspect a reason why she will not engage in the legal process is there is every chance the family home will have to sold as she cannot afford the mortgage repayments on her won. Whilst she does have a partner, there is no sign of them living together, which may be due to the impact this will have on her tax credit payments she recieves. I'm not pushing for the sale of the family home, if she can take on the mortgage then great. But equally I cannot be expected to continue to pay half the mortgage whilst getting into debt in the process. Something must give.
@ Danbruno1105 - useful tip regarding stopping my pension contributions for a while to take the pressure off. I currently contribute £200 per month so that will help.
Since my original post, I have written to my wife giving 4 weeks notice that I stop paying my half in childcare costs because she claims tax credits for these and ultimately ensure I do not face bankrupcy, which by my calculations is within 3-4 months. Paying £1380 in child maintainence, childcare costs and mortgage contributions is over and beyond what I'm required to contribute.
It might be worth contacting
- they are a debt management charity and it's best to contact them early as they may be able to help you stay out of debt, rather than helping you manage debt later down the line.