Children should be supported by both their parents financially and emotionally

March 3, 2012

This is a long story,and it’s such a shame for my daughter that this has happened. Its not about money for children its knowing that both their parents love and support them as best they can.

I know there are two sides to any story. My daughter has not seen her Dad and his family now for 17 months. My ex has accused my of brainwashing our daughter against him and using her as a weapon and cannot see this from our daughter’s point of view.

When my ex husband I split up we agreed to 50:50 shared care of our daughter who was 7. I know this isn’t always realistic but I believe children should be with both parents. As my daughter’s time would be split equally between us we agreed that we would both be equally responsible for her private school costs (this was about 30% more expensive than wrap around care, school dinners and after school clubs had she been at a state school but due to where we live there are no decent schools) holiday club costs and her extra curricular activites. Both myself and my ex worked full time so child care before and after school care and holiday club were a necessity and neither of us were entitled to any benefits. My ex husband requested that instead of us both paying these seperately he would pay me a monthly amount which was then formalised by court order.

Seven weeks after our divorce was finalised and him leaving the family home, he emailed me to say he was moving in to his new girlfriend’s home, who transpired to be his ex girl friend before we had met. He hadn’t had an affair but had contacted her on friends reunited after we had got divorced. My ex had only known his girlfriend for three weeks at this time and my daughter had only met her once so I did at this point request that my daughter reduce her time living with her Dad and for this to be built up slowly until she was comfortable with the arrangement. However, only a few weeks later my ex husband decided to rescind the shared care agreement and suggested that he should have our daughter on a limited basis to which I agreed to. Although I have to work away from home one week in every four he refused to have our daughter during this time as “I had made life difficult for him and his girlfriend”. This was because he orginally only wanted to see our daughter one night every other weekend which I thought was too little contact.

Then he started complaining about the money he agreed to pay for our daughter in accordance with the court order although this money continued to be used as intended fo school fees and extra curricular activties although was insufficient to pay fully for holiday cover as it had been intended we would both take our full holiday entitlement during school holidays.

Our daughter wanted to see her Dad more than the time he wanted to spend with her each week which was less than 24 hours. Despite numerous requests my ex husband would not increase the time she spent with him.

His girlfriend became pregnant. He told our daughter who was 8 at the time that they were having a baby and then a week later on the anniversary of the court order applied to the CSA. I was advised that I would receive no payment for my daughter as he had left his well paid job to work on his girlfriend’s market stall two days a week. I had no choice but to take my daughter out of the school she had been at for 7 years.

Six months later I did start to receive £5 a week despite my ex husband setting up what would appear to be a successful baby scanning company. The CSA were uninterested in any information I gave them , my ex received a cash lump sum from the divorce settlement together with a £35k sports car he bought just before we started to get divorced. We still have a property abroad which he can make the mortgage payments on and refuses to rent out.

I have been pushed from pillar to post with the CSA. They are rude, unhelpful and simply don’t care. I therefore asked the CSA to stop being involved and left it in the hands of my ex what to contribute to our daughter.

Shortly after I did this our daughter decided not to see her Dad anymore. Once the baby had been born our daughter had hardly seen him, he cancelled at every opportunity. Rather than trying to change her mind her Dad said fine and asked what he should do with her things and should he take them to a charity shop.

Her Dad did then send her a couple of giftcards for ToysRUs which she has no use for. A couple of weeks before her 10th birthday he sent her a letter saying that if she didn’t have proper contact he was putting the money he would have spent on giftcards and birthday and christmas presents into a bank account and he would divide it between her half sister and her new half sister due to be born! True to his word she didn’t get a present but he sent her a birthday card in with photos of him and the baby.

Words cannot describe how upset my daughter was to receive such a letter. I then reopened the case with the CSA and was surprised that to learn that I would now receive £40 on my ex husband’s disclosed salary although the CSA allowed him to go four months without paying anything. Had I not closed the case and then reopened it no doubt my ex husband would have been allowed to continue to pay £5 a week.

That small amount has made such a difference to my daughter’s life and it is a shame that her Dad should have to be made to support her financially and that is the only support he provides. The money again goes into her pocket money account and she uses it for all the nice things she enjoys to do being music and riding. That way she can see that her Dad is supporting her in what she enjoys to do.

My ex husband has two other daughters. He is in receipt of tax credits. He can afford to drive a new range rover, the weekly cost of petrol mostly likely more than he contributes towards our daughter.

He is legally able to pay himself and his girlfriend from the company what he wants and its his choice to do so.

Reading some of the stories on here upsets me, I would never reduce contact to obtain more CSA money and even if it had been me who had stopped the one night a week contact I would only receive £6 a week more.

Every single penny received from my ex husband is spent on our daughter.

I have also had chance to rearrange my finances so I could put my daughter back in her school, the cost of which alone is more than 15% of my net salary.Its tight but I choose to do this because I love my daughter and want the best for her.


  • karen bedford says:

    Sounds so familiar unfortunately, and can never get the media to cover our stories of how the system that they set up failed so badly for the children and parents who support their children so the ones who don’t can walk away from their responsibilities. They can play the system and allowed to.

    Please join the facebook groups child support agencies failings and other groups for advice and support.

    Lets hope one day, we will get heard from a tv production company who will put two fingers up at the governments who failed us with this – as they all have – and let us tell our stories about how we have all suffered, PWC & NRP alike as well as the children.

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