A single mum’s letter to her ex has gone viral and it highlights an all too common issue…
“An open letter to the father who won’t pay child maintenance…..
Any child maintenance payments made by you to me do not pay for my holidays. I don’t use YOUR money to pay for my clothes, and your payments certainly don’t fund my minor prosecco addiction. Your hard-earned cash doesn’t help me pay my gym membership or go into my savings account. (Which doesn’t exist.)
So when you stalk my Instagram and Facebook and see me making the most of my child-free weekends with friends – rest assured I am funding this. In the words of Destiny’s Child, ‘The shoes on my feet, I bought em – I depend on me, if I want it.’
Let me spell this out for you – any money you pay to help with the raising of our children goes directly to our children. I’ve got two jobs to fund my own lifestyle and pay for our children. It’s a simple concept you don’t seem to be able to grasp.
So you’re barking up the wrong tree when you bitterly tell me I should maybe “go out less” when I challenge you over your child maintenance payments.
So, what should child maintenance payments cover?
I admit, it goes towards my mortgage – the house which puts a roof over our children’s heads for 11 nights in 14. Their home. It also helps with the associated costs of running that home. I hope you will agree, they need a home.
What are the consequences of you not contributing towards their home? Let me tell you, it could result in us needing to find a cheaper home, in a less desirable area, and without a doubt mean a change in school.
Your money helps to put clothes on their backs, it contributes towards the laundry powder used to wash said clothes. It pays towards their school uniform which is down to me to purchase, and the school trips which I fund.
The money pays towards their swimming lessons that I take them to, which you’ve never showed up to, because I want them to have that life skill, it pays for our son’s football coaching and matches. (He’s doing well by the way, you really should take the time to come and watch him – he would be amazed if you turned up.)
It helps pay for their birthday parties with their friends which your wife won’t let you attend because even after all this time she’s still jealous of you and I being in contact.
It also buys the birthday presents, and thank god I do, because on our daughter’s fifth birthday, despite having her for two hours after school, you didn’t give her yet one single present. Imagine if I’d done the same as you that day – she wouldn’t have got anything for her birthday.
Your money helps to keep our children in Clarks shoes, because their feet blister if I buy anything cheaper. It pays towards childcare, or did you think nursery was free when I used it one day a week so I could work? Do you think after-school clubs are free?
You should take a walk in my shoes one day and you will see your cash is key to providing the lifestyle our children deserve.
So, what Child Maintenance should you pay?
The law requires a non-resident parent to pay 12 per cent of your gross weekly income if you have one child and 16 per cent of your gross weekly income to the resident parent if you have two children. All I ask for is what this Government says non-resident parents should pay. Nothing more, nothing less. And realise it’s not my rules.
That’s it, 16 per cent. So it’s not going to leave you short is it? It’s not going to de-home you from your five bedroom house. I wish I could pay 16 per cent of what I earn and have it cover an all-inclusive rate for everything my children need and want – wow I’d be rich. You see I spend pretty much every penny I earn on our children.
I know that not paying, not paying on time, or not paying the correct amount is the very last bit of control you have over me. You must feel so powerful when you hold it back for five days, because you can and there’s nothing I can do about it. What man you are.
Unlike a credit card, you continue to choose to not properly pay for our children a) Because nobody knows and b) because the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) are so useless they aren’t even worth bothering with.
It’s too easy to hide with the CMS. Non-resident parents can either run their own business/become self employed and hide any dividends or, work cash in hand so they can keep it all.
You’re actually very cunning, because you do pay – to the penny – what the CMS order you to pay, so on paper you can “prove” you pay towards your children’s upbringing “properly.”
If I ever mention it you simply say “I pay what the CMS tell me to, end of.” You’ve got yourself covered – but you and I both know that’s not the full story.
The CMS order you an amount to pay based on the amount YOU have declared to them – but the small wage you pay yourself is not a true reflection of what you actually earn. You’re just so clever – exploiting a loophole to financially abuse our children.
I bet I receive a lot more money in maintenance than many other single parents, some would be grateful of what I receive, but why should our children have 16 per cent of a false income, made up by you, when they’re entitled to more?
I speak on behalf of all single parents when I say this simply isn’t good enough, the current UK system isn’t good enough. MPs need to wake up and do more to give the CMS better powers to financially investigate non-resident parents.
It’s a problem which affects thousands of single parent families, one many feel they can’t do anything about, but one I’m not prepared to let go. I am fighting this for our children, not for me.
You also refuse to talk to me about it or answer my letters about it. So if you’re wondering why I’ve resorted to this, that is why. If only you would treat me like a human being and actually have a conversation with me about our children’s needs. You’ve had plenty of requests, even via solicitors.
All I’m asking is that you properly declare your full earnings to the CMS, so the toothless organisation can inform you of the correct amount to contribute, and that when they do, you pay that amount on time. Not difficult.
The British Government gives our children more financial support then you do. Think about that for a moment.
No matter what happened between you and the woman you once loved enough to father two children with, you still have a financial responsibility towards your children. Just because you hate me, don’t make them suffer.
Dear father who won’t pay child support, you’re useless and I don’t know how you live with yourself. All I know is that I am trying to provide a life which is similar to what they would have had if you and I had not split up. It’s not their fault we couldn’t live together.
You failing to pay is just another parenting fail. It’s just as bad as failing to turn up to our son’s Christmas play after promising him you would be there. It’s on a par with refusing to take our son to his much-loved football on YOUR weekends, it’s just like making our daughter stop her dance class on the day you have her.
The list goes on.
I don’t expect you to do the right thing. You are a rubbish father. Luckily, they have me” – Single Mum Still Standing
On the Mums Advice Blog you will find our stories, some great recipes, a bit of fun, some bargains in our shopping section and all your stories from our facebook page. Comment and share, keep the discussion going. We discuss some serious issues and some light hearted ones, share some funny memes and some heartbreaking stories. If you have a story you would like to share email it to us firstname.lastname@example.org, if your story is published we'll send you a love to shop voucher. Don't forget you can now follow us on twitter and facebook. We do not pretend to be doctors, lawyers, financial consultants however we have been asked to state this page is for your information only. Its advice offered is purely for your guidance and does not replace any medical opinion or advice given. If you are unsure about anything suggested please make your own informed choice. We take no responsibility for any advice given.