Almost daily diary!

Monday, February 13, 2012

It never rains...

Meeting a friend for lunch last week, she launched into her current list of problems. I really didn't mind, I've done it myself to her several times and sometimes it's reassuring to know someone else has more problems than you!

When she drew breath she apologised and asked how my line up of current woes were. 'Oh I'm fine' I trill triumphantly ' all well my end'! I should have known, I guess I did know as I said it, one should never invite trouble.

So that weekend, just as I was relaxing into a happy state of Saturday-night-ness, I checked my emails and there it was, the trouble I had invited. A cheery email from Ex. We've been divorced a year this month, it stated happily, so (this bit was matter of fact and with no preamble) I'm going to dock your maintenance to the bare minimum allowed by law. Those weren't the exact words, but that was the intention. I froze. We manage now, just. Sleep was hard to come by that night.

Initially I am angry, I am in rant mode here, it is not 'my' maintenance it is money to support the children, he pays nothing to support me, and I would not want him too. However, I do expect him to support his children, especially as he has recently come into an inheritance.

Then I am shocked. How can he do this? So I do my sums. Luckily I can meet the mortgage and regular standing orders, but there's not much left over, not enough at all. Bugger!

So we have a family conference, 3 heads are better than 1 and I want the children to understand I am doing all I can but there is a limit. They rise to the occasion admirably, they even suggest not having a TV, just for a nano second! In the end we realise there's not much more we can shave off our domestic needs, the food bill has already been shaved substantially.

I email Ex telling him that if he chooses not to support his children through me then he needs to support them directly. I list all the things that I have been paying for that I can no longer pay for and ask him to continue to support them by paying these bills instead; guitar lessons, dyslexic tutor, school trips... This was over a week ago. I am still waiting for him to acknowledge the email and agree payments. Nothing so far. I am edgy, I'm not sure if I can fill in the gaps, actually, I'm pretty sure I can't.

Today I picked up my ageing car from its MOT. £362 later I can drive it legally. The credit card flexes well.

I am hunkering down, waiting for the third thing. I know I'm not alone here, times are hard. What's your current solution?


Rob-bear said...

Well, the third thing could be an errant Bear from the colonies showing up on your doorstep. Not so much fearsome as peculiar, thus harder to handle.

The note from your ex is frankly inexcusable. You're absolutely right; the money is for looking after his children (and yours too, of course, but he needs to pay his share).

The £362 is a bit steep. Even for a car. The government must be short of cash. (Bear suspects some mismanagement, but what does a Bear from the colonies know.)

Wish I could help. I could sit and hold your paw — I mean hand. Otherwise all I can offer is a wish for blessings and Bear hugs in the midst of all the "stuff."

Maggie May said...

I'm a bit speechless. How can any man who is supposed to love his children do this?
Lets just hope that he will meet his responsibilities when he has had time to think things through.
Maybe the children could put some pressure on him about their outside school activities?
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Furtheron said...

Rob a bank.... or do it legally apply to be CEO of RBS

Life is not easy for most people at the moment - I'm very lucky I have a good job but I'm earning half what I was earning 2 years ago after a redundancy and a move into the public sector - I did just get a pay rise... back dated to when I started... it was ... £150 but better than nothing.

One thing - I have just got a new tax code that is way way better than my old one. They chased me but when I talked to them there was stuff I wasn't claiming I could and it was painless to get done - might be an avenue worth trying.

Lastly - it is not easy I know in these situations. My brother is under pressure to provide for his youngest son - but he is now working part time, his mother sold the old family home and given the public information must have made a 6 figure profit on that house.. oh btw my brother paid all the mortgage payments on that through their entire marriage but signed it over as "the family home".

I would simply point out which of the things you've listed you cannot keep up for the kids you are going to cut in which order then do it. I know it'll be hard but sounds like you have great kids that will understand. A bit of pressure from them may resolve things faster

Anonymous said...

The bear minimum is 20% of his take home pay (as you have 2 children). I knew nothing about this sort of thing till last summer. My ex-wife decided after 6 years of my paying an amount we agreed on originally when we split up, to go via the CSA. The figure they came back with was £4 less than I was already paying. It depends what he offers you, but I have to say that involving the CSA changes the dynamics of everything. For instance; I used to buy my daughter extras each month, take her shopping and buy clothes out of my own money. I stopped doing this now, and the only person who has lost out is... my daughter.

Lucia said...

That is cute and funny. Next time he asks for your mom to sick she could sing him the soft kitty song! It's from the TV series The Big Bang Theory, when Sheldon doesn't feel well his mom would sing Soft Kitty to him! "Soft Kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur, happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr" sweet dreams!

Suburbia said...

Hi Bear, are you travelling over here soon? The money for the car mostly went to the garage rather than the Gov.
('by the way I've just given it -the car- a wash and a good talking to! )

Furtheron, thanks for that. I feel for your brother. Similar situ in as much as my Ex has just inherited from his mothe but at the same time has decided not to finance the children. It wouldn't be so bad if I knew he needed the money or would use it for them, but then he never was keen to spend money on them even when we were all together.

Dicky, yep, he's gone to CSA website and found that he can get away with paying a lot less. It's calculated on how many nights he has them as well as income and he has made sure he's just over the threshold! As I have said above, if he spends the money he's saving on the kids then that's ok but seeing as he's not exactly hard up it seems he is just doing it because he can.

Luca, I think that comment is for the post below!

Lucia said...

Yes I think so. I mixed my comments up! :(

Suburbia said...

I really don't mind though! Thanks for taking the trouble to comment :-)

Working Mum said...

I think you were right to involve your children here. They are old enough to understand the economics of this situation and probably old enought to realise what is really going on. I'm not sure that their applying pressure would have any effect on your ex, judging by what you say in your comments, but they will at least understand that it is not your fault that they may have to go without. A sad situation though.

Rose said...

I hope Husband decides to reconsider; this sounds very spiteful to me. I think you're right to ask him to pay for the specific bills for the children; that way, maybe he'll realize he's only hurting his children with his selfishness.