Hi all just new to the forum and wouldn’t mind getting some views on my situation and how I move forward.
I have been separated 6 years divorced for three.
I have three children and an agreement for alternate weekends and a day during the week.
My marriage broke down when I had some health issues and I was medically retired from work.
Due to being unable to work I am presently in receipt of ESA and PIP, including low rate mobility.
Over time the kids have started spending more time with me and at present it is around 50/50 split, this has just developed over time with the kids wanting to spend more time with me and my ex having to travel for her work as well as extended periods during school holidays.
At the time of our divorce I did not contest anything and so my ex retained the family home etc, I did not wish to cause the kids any more distress that a move could cause and to be honest at that time I just did not have the energy to fight.
Needless to say I am surviving on very little with all money going to the periods the kids are with me and have been selling items to survive, but I am reaching the point that nothing is left., I also purchase clothing, school items etc to the point I leave myself with next to nothing for the periods when the kids are with their mother.
As my ex’s work commitments have increased and the kids stay with me more I have suggested that some child benefit could be put in my name as this would overall be beneficial for all, this was refused.
I have also begrudgingly asked if I she could assist given my position, this was also refused, after which she actually told the kids that ‘your dad does not want to see you unless I pay him to do so’. This led to a huge argument with the kids phoning me and asking if I could pick them up as they did not wish to stay with their mother anymore.
My Ex is currently receiving a six figure wage while I am living on nothing, sleeping on my living room floor for the last 5 years to allow the kids to have the two bedrooms. This is painful as I have bad arthritis, but it is the only way that I am able to have the kids stay.
If I bring up that I am not able to take the kids at anytime, I am told that the kids can stay at her mothers, a situation she knows I will not accept due to this being totally inappropriate. My ex’s brother and sister reside there, a brother who is involved in drink and drugs, a sister with mental health issues and an elderly, frail mother. This house is in a constant state of argument, shouting and mayhem and my ex knows I will always take the kids rather than let them stay there.
My ex also refuses to take part in any transportation of the kids between us and without speaking to me assisted my oldest (14) in getting a summer job close to her mothers, meaning I have either to cause my daughter to lose her job or driver her some 17 miles each way to and from her job so 68 miles for each shift .
Sorry, my brain is just fried, my reality is that I am in debt, I have sold all I can and just don't know what to do. I started writing this and it just seems to be going on and on, so I will stop now.
sounds like a very tough situation. you sound like a very good dad, taking on your kids even though you have a lot of health and money issues 🙂 if she was to ever contact child maintenance and try get to you pay for stuff, they would make you pay £7 a week, as your unable to work and claim benefits. if your ex is not willing to take your oldest daughter to her summer job, is she able to take a train, and you can drop/pick up from the station?
I would stop paying for school uniform etc - maintenance is supposed to cover this. Also, if she threatens that your kids will go to stay in an unsuitable and unsafe environment, then you would be duty bound to report that to children's services - would your ex really want that to happen?
Thanks so much for the reply.
I know that I have stop paying for a lot of stuff, they are my kids and I want to do all I can and it is very hard not to, but the reality is I don’t have the money for it anymore. As to involving children’s services, I have now e-mailed making it very clear that this is what I will have to do if the children are left in an unsafe environment.
I now wait for what I am sure will be an interesting response!
Hi and thanks for responding.
If we went down the maintenance route I would most definitely be better off as I pay far more than that at present. As to my daughter catching the train- the fare would be very close to what she earns and the job is in a cafe/ice cream place and she has to work in the evening sometimes, in what is a costal holiday town that I wouldn’t be happy for her to be walking across to get a train in the evening.