A financially stressed wife has asked her husband to stop paying so much child support to his ex, prompting him to claim she’s encouraging him to be a ‘bad father’.

The 37-year-old mum of one, who shares a four-year-old daughter with her husband, says his financial contributions to his six-year-old son from a previous relationship are sending them broke.

“He and his ex have an arrangement where in addition to the £350 he pays as legal child maintenance, he also pays for a number of other things on top,” the woman explained on reddit. “School uniforms, school trips, the lion’s share of Christmas and birthday presents, but also things like contributions towards petrol for the school run, food shopping, utilities for the power his son’s Xbox uses etc. The list his ex supplies every month is honestly endless.

“Often he’s paying two or more times his legal contribution in a month. This is on top of his son staying with us approximately every other weekend where of course we pay for everything because he’s in our home.”

The woman explains her 38-year-old husband earns £45,000 a year, and she works part time due to child care costs, so their combined income is £65,000. While she admits some people may think it’s a decent income, she says it doesn’t stretch far enough. “After our own bills, mortgage, childcare and looking after our daughter, car payments and saving for an emergency fund etc, to then also pay £700+ a month to his ex. It leaves us stressing about money a lot.”

‘He said I’m encouraging him to be a bad father’

The situation came to a head, when she raised the issue with her husband.

“We had an argument last night about money where he was worrying about us affording Christmas on top of the gas bill crisis going on at the moment, and I basically told him if he stopped paying everything his ex asked for we would be in a better position for savings. That he didn’t need to pay for every single cost associated with his son and that his ex should shoulder more of the costs. (She also has a partner who she lives with and I feel like my husband is funding them as much as he is his son)

“He said I’m encouraging him to be a bad father, that I would certainly shut up if I was in his exes position i.e. he left me and didn’t pay up. I said if I was in his ex’s position I wouldn’t use his child as a pawn to rinse him for extra money all the time when he has another child to provide for too. This escalated until he ended up sleeping in the spare room and hasn’t spoken to me yet this morning aside from briefly in front of our daughter at breakfast.”

While she admits she doesn’t know her partner’s ex’s income, she assumes their combined income must be, ‘at least be about the same as ours given the job he does and her part time job.’

The worried mum says her family may now have to downsize because they can barely break even every month and has no emergency savings.

Do you think she’s right asking for her husband to reduce the extra amount he’s giving on top of his child support payments? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • I think they should discuss it more and then make decisions. Stopping payment will not help…it will cause lots of conflict and stress.


  • I think there needs to be a clearer communication about what extras are paid for on top of the legal requirement. What is the ex-partner paying for? Is it even etc?


  • It always astounds me how unreasonable so many people are. Surely they can discuss this without causing all out war with each other. If not, maybe they need to look at their communication methods. Things will happen in their relationship where they need to hear each other and be able to work it out. They need to learn skills to be able to resolve this.


  • I agree that he needs to contribute to his son’s upbringing but what he is paying as extra is over the top. There is no way his ex should be demanding he pay for shopping, electricity and most of the gifts that she chooses. Especially now that she has a new partner and she is probably telling her son that his Dad doesn’t pay for anything. I can’t see him changing his mind but I hope it all works out in the end.


  • There needs to be a balance but I can imagine it’s going to cause some serious friction.


  • This is so hard. I mean, its great that your husband is being a wonderful father and honouring his commitment, but is making life with his live in family difficult. I really don’t know what is right and what is wrong on this one.


  • This is a tricky one and I don’t know if there’s any right answer. Every family situation is different.


  • Please don’t abuse me but I would like to see Australian Stories on here …this story is talking in pounds so what country is it from ..England?

    And back to the story ..it’s a hard one …feel financial lawyers etc need to be called in but that just adds to the money problems.

    • My thoughts too. Would love to see Al Australian content on this site


  • Perhaps she should make a comparative list of what they need to spend on their daughter. I mean, electricity for x box does seem extreme.


  • This is a hard one and I don’t really know how to comment???


  • It’s a hard situation to be in but as long as he’s contributing to both children equally that’s the most important thing.


  • I feel sorry for you as it’s very hard to get involved with someone who has a child or children from a previous relationship and yes he loves his child and wants to do the right thing but he’s is being very unfair to you and his child you have between you. I’m afraid his ex has the best of both worlds and is manipulating him into paying all the extras as well as child support if he is not careful he will loose you and his child you have and I would tell him that and see what he thinks as it is heading that way from my ex for our son who was very sporty and played sport all the time when one finished he was doing another so constantly taking him buying uniforms for it shoes etc and so I took him to the court for child support as he was paying nothing and he was on a reasonable wage and was living with a woman and three kids and she worked and they tried to say they have expenses I was renting and they were buying a house. The judge asked are those three children yours and your wife works full time and you and he said yes and the judge said and your son lives with your ex wife yes and he said then you have to support your son not those that their father should be paying child support for. Well that hit him fair and square and the look on both their faces was to die for took the wind out of their sails, and I was trying to get help with all his sport gear and the running around and the judge said well you have to pay for your son and looked at me and said he wouldn’t allow for the sport and gave the support order of $100 a month, I wasn’t happy that a week it sort of worked out so my advise is that your husband needs to wake up start to be fairer to you bugger that he is making you suffer and go without or having to cutdown lay it out on the table and don’t back down he has you and your child that comes first that he goes to the court and if it comes to it and he lets the judge know she works the boyfriends wage has nothing to do with him as it’s not his child. That he only pays the child support money and he buys his own present for the child and he starts looking after his commitments with your or he will loose you and his child. You have to shock him as he loves his child from you and his other child but he is paying too much to his ex as if it went to court her wage would come into it and he probably wouldn’t be paying what he does it would be less, so don’t put up with it and set things right now.


  • I thinknits awesome to find a dad that wants to pay more, to actually support his child. I know so many dads that are ordered to.pay $30 a month and often don’t pay that! I can see how it would be financially stressful for the new partner tho


  • It’s not something you can judge as you don’t know both sizes of the story, you also don’t know how involved the dad is in the child’s life.


  • I agree with other comments – maybe he is over compensating as he is feeling guilty. tough situation to be in – hope it all works out.


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