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Post by Reborn-DeeMcK-Reborn on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 12:46 pm

I just want to know if there are many of you who are in the same boat as myself.

For the past 3 years now I have joint custody of my son. Me and his mum parted ways after the birth, she realised she was pregnant after we had just broke up and got back together to see how things would go. It wasn't a pleasant 9 months but I stuck around to help her as she had no family around.

After the birth we agreed to split the time with the kid. She has him Sunday evening to Thursday Morning, then I get him from Thursday Morning until Sunday Evening.

Here is were my anger lies.

Being the single dad, I get absolutely NO support from any government agency. I have to pay child support even though she earns more than me, she gets her house paid for and also gets full child benefit payments etc.

I on the other hand, have worked all my life so never needed to worry about additional money as I didn't need it.

Just before Xmas I damaged my shoulder and still have awful nerve damage from it. This took me out of work for around 4 month and I went from having my full wage down to receiving a pitiful £86.70 a week. Now heres the joke, ok I got some of my rent paid for me but still had to pay around £30 towards it. £7.50 a week had to be given to her for Child support. So the government expected me pay bills, heating, electric, buy food, clothes, plus my kids nursery costs £15 a week as well.

The whole system is a joke and if it hadn't have been for some "hidden" savings I would have been well and truly screwed and could have potentially been brought back to court for not being able to care for the lad.

To me it is disgusting and my heart goes out to guys who come off worse. The process needs to change because it is so outdated it is a joke.

Anyone dad who is unemployed basically are treated completely like dirt in most cases.

Has anyone else had to experience anything like this or have any stories. and whats your thoughts on the shambles that single dads face when dealing with the CSA etc.

I read online that a petition to change the current system has only been signed by around 12 members of parliament.  furious 
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Post by Stella on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 1:06 pm

I haven't experienced this, and to be honest, don't ever want to. Dads do seem to be treated like sperm donor's at times, don't they.

I hope everything works out.

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Post by Guest on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 1:25 pm

Doesn't your son qualify for any free Nursery places? Though children aged three got about 15 hours a week free. Might be worth looking into if you haven't. Might also demonstrate to the child's mother that you do have your son's best interests at heart.

I'd suggest searching out some online support groups... and I'd also suggest you avoid asking any of the shower of sh!t on this forum for advice (and I include myself in that group)

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Post by westisbest on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 1:39 pm

DAVE667 wrote:Doesn't your son qualify for any free Nursery places? Though children aged three got about 15 hours a week free. Might be worth looking into if you haven't. Might also demonstrate to the child's mother that you do have your son's best interests at heart.

I'd suggest searching out some online support groups... and I'd also suggest you avoid asking any of the shower of sh!t on this forum for advice (and I include myself in that group)
 
Some may be in the same boat as Reborn, so could offer him advice.
 
Good luck mate hope all works out.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 1:57 pm

regarding the child maintenance payments, could the mother have agreed to not take payments for the period you were off work? Also I know that dads on JSA only have to pay £5 a week whioch is only £2.50 less than what you were paying but when you are on welfare or a low income every little really does help.

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Post by Derbymanc on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 2:05 pm

While it might be a ballache to do, it might be worth trying to get Citizens advice looking at it as a discrimination case as your both doing exactly the same but one person is getting better treatment from the government.

As Dave said it might be better to find an online support group and try and get a few of you together to fight the system.

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Post by Guest on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 2:08 pm

westisbest wrote:
DAVE667 wrote:Doesn't your son qualify for any free Nursery places? Though children aged three got about 15 hours a week free. Might be worth looking into if you haven't. Might also demonstrate to the child's mother that you do have your son's best interests at heart.

I'd suggest searching out some online support groups... and I'd also suggest you avoid asking any of the shower of sh!t on this forum for advice (and I include myself in that group)
 
Some may be in the same boat as Reborn, so could offer him advice.
 
Good luck mate hope all works out.
I would trust this some of this lot to find their ar$e with a mirror, a torch and detailed instructions (took me four hours)

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Post by Reborn-DeeMcK-Reborn on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 2:09 pm

My kid got rejected by every free nursery we applied for. People on benefits get priority and me and his mum work.

Carl Frampton tweeted the other day that his kid got rejected from all the nurseries they picked as him and his missus work.

It's a shambles
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Post by Stella on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 2:11 pm

Me and my wife both work full time, and we get our free 15 hours. I presumed everyone was entitled to them?
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Post by Derbymanc on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 3:41 pm

Dunno if you've checked Reborn but some of the schools give you free full time school if you enrol your child full time for infant school.

And you should be entitled to our full 15 hours at any surestart place, (at least that's what we were told)

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Post by Reborn-DeeMcK-Reborn on Thu 10 Apr 2014, 5:51 pm

I had to sit in front of 3 snobs and pled for a place in my appeal and still got nowhere. Over here in NI there are more kids than free places.

He's nearly finished nursery anyway, the point was just about how if I ever lose my job and my money runs dry then I am not only screwed but my son is when he is with me. The gov hand the mums everything yet because the dad's years ago were seen as the bread winners, the laws have remained the same. The world has moved on and I just hate how fellas get treated when they try there best to provide.

I know benefits get a bad rap, but I have worked since I was 15 and I have every right to feel like I should have been supported when I was off sick. Instead I was expected to run a house, feed, clothe and care for a 3 year old for 4 days a week on £86.70. After the tax I have paid over the years to be told "no you aren't entitled to help as the mum receives this" is ridiculous.

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Post by GunsGerms on Fri 11 Apr 2014, 1:37 pm

Im am in the same boat as your good self except I only get 2 days a week which I hate. I miss my son the rest of the week. Thursday to Sunday would be nice. Thats a pretty good deal as I expect getting more days than the mum is uncommon. Though presumably that also means you have very little time to meet new people?


Last edited by GunsGerms on Fri 11 Apr 2014, 3:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest on Fri 11 Apr 2014, 2:58 pm

I find it bad enough working til 8 o'clock a few nights a week and I miss putting my daughter to bed. Can't imagine how hard it must be not to see her for four whole days.

You have my sympathies (if no actual useful advice)

Keep fighting though boys....

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Fri 11 Apr 2014, 6:28 pm

Reborn-DeeMcK-Reborn wrote:

I know benefits get a bad rap, but I have worked since I was 15 and I have every right to feel like I should have been supported when I was off sick. Instead I was expected to run a house, feed, clothe and care for a 3 year old for 4 days a week on £86.70. After the tax I have paid over the years to be told "no you aren't entitled to help as the mum receives this" is ridiculous.


it is really hard to live on benefits and have any kind of a normal life. Sorry to hear about your struggles and fingers crossed you wont be in that scenario again.

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Sat 12 Apr 2014, 4:18 am

I have every sympathy for you in your plight. It is a truly harrowing story.

However.......

Firstly, look on the bright side. It seems you and your ex are at least on good enough terms for her to not only agree to giving you an uncommonly long period of access to your son (not many would agree to Thursday to Sunday), but that she actually honours it (again, an uncommon situation). But I understand your grievance isn't about this, it's about the State support that you don't get.

If I can be Devil's Advocate for one moment, the issue here, it seems to me, is one of "one child, one support package"..... and as it is your ex-wife who claims this, then you are indeed left out in the cold. That is the fault of the State and it should change. You sound like a good man doing the best he can and I quite agree that your previous contributions via tax should count for something.

But all that talk butters no parsnips. What you need is some support so you can care for your son. Why don't you ask your ex-wife if she can help..? She seems like a reasonable woman. Surely she must see your plight and as the money would be to provide for your son while he is in your care, she wouldn't find your request unreasonable. Why not give it a try...? Don't let pride stand in the way.

As for one comment made in this thread about men being reduced to the level of sperm donors, well, it was about four years ago that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act was amended to remove the "Need For A Father" clause.

The clause was so called because it stated that children need a male-female parenting structure and it stood in the way of changing the law to allow lesbian couples like (I presume, from reading her post) Stella to obtain fertility treatment, or to adopt.

In my opinion, it was right and proper to empower same sex couples with the legal framework to become parents, but it did cause a subtle shift away from men in the cases of shared parenting. All of a sudden, there is, legally, "No need for a father" and some men's parenting groups argue that this has had a detrimental effect.

I don't mean to distract from the main point of the discussion, but it could be a relevant point when governments come to discuss state aid for divorced couples. Why should we pay benefits to the father..? they may ask. As far as they are concerned, legally, he's a redundant figure.

I hope it works out for you old chap. Go to your ex. Talk to her. Swallow your pride.... for your son.

Good luck.
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Post by PaulHv2 on Sat 12 Apr 2014, 10:31 am

Damien I'm in the same boat mate, my little girl is 5, 6 later this year, me and her mum split up when she was just a few months old. Since then I've paid her £105 every month, and have a similar access arrangement to you (pick her up from School on a Friday until Sunday).
 
However a couple of years ago my wife lost her job, and we got sod all because of what I was earning. When this happened I was left to pick up all the bills, and I don't think I've ever gone through a tougher time than that, I can honestly say it nearly broke our marriage.
 
While I agree with what TFL says, it could always, and quite easily, go the other way that if she feels you can't look after him she could go to CSA and all that good feeling between you both could dissapear, as it nearly did for me when this happened.
 
Sadly dads will never get the same as mums get as they are defined as a "part time carer", and that is to do with anything, for example we are currently trying to get a house with either the council or the local housing association (wife still isn't working full time, and we are currently living with the in-laws), we put down that my daughter stayed with us every weekend however they turned around and said that it wasn't a permenant arrangement and as such she couldn't be included on our application, forgive me for not wanting my 2 year old son to share a room with his 5 year old daughter, what happens when they get older? It will still be the same, while my ex-partner gets a 3 bedroom house paid for!
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Post by Ent on Sat 12 Apr 2014, 10:39 am

Why do you have to pay child support if you take her half the week and the mother is in receipt of the full benefits package for the child as primary carer?

Seems daft to me.

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Post by GunsGerms on Sat 12 Apr 2014, 5:13 pm

How do guys calculate how much they pay per month? I feel like I pay a lot. Also not sure how it works in the UK but the most frustrating thing for me was unless you are married in Ireland you aren't your childs legal guardian. Absolute disgrace IMO. It took me around three years to be recognised as a legal guardian of my own son.

That really is discrimination.

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Post by Ent on Sat 12 Apr 2014, 5:18 pm

In the UK if you werent married and the child was born before 2004 you were not the legal guardian.

I believe I am correct in saying that has changed now.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Sat 12 Apr 2014, 5:22 pm

Ent wrote:In the UK if you werent married and the child was born before 2004 you were not the legal guardian.

I believe I am correct in saying that has changed now.

I believe that if your name is on the birth certificate as the father that makes you the legal guardian or gives you parental responsibility which gioves you rights.

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Post by GunsGerms on Sat 12 Apr 2014, 5:30 pm

My name is on my sons birth cert. I'm from Ireland but for the first three years of his life I have had absolutely no rights over him. He could have left the country with his mum and there would have been nothing I could have done except take legal action through the courts which by that stage would have been too late.

In Ireland apart from going through the courts the only way for a father to become a guardian is for the mother to sign a notarised guardianship form attesting that the father has agreed to pay maintenance and has agreed to the proposed visitation rights. The mother has all the control and if they don't sign you get nothing. Therefore its more or less all on their terms.

Its a f.............  disgrace.

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Post by Ent on Sun 13 Apr 2014, 8:56 am

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
Ent wrote:In the UK if you werent married and the child was born before 2004 you were not the legal guardian.

I believe I am correct in saying that has changed now.

I believe that if your name is on the birth certificate as the father that makes you the legal guardian or gives you parental responsibility which gioves you rights.

It depends when the child was born and if the parents were married or not at the time.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 14 Apr 2014, 10:21 am

Only just noticed my post got deleted....... chin

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Post by Reborn-DeeMcK-Reborn on Wed 16 Apr 2014, 1:24 pm

Sorry guys, just getting round to getting back on this topic. Been off for a while. Thanks for the kind words.

In regards to the "swallow your pride".

There is more to my case than what was stated in the OP, I didn't want to get into a full rant but here goes haha.

Even though I had my joint custodsy order in place, after the first 7 months his mum tried the "do you think we could make another go of it" lark and I said nope. Then one Thursday when I called to her house to pick him up I rapped the door for a few minutes and no answer. Looked through the window and my heart nearly stopped.....all the furniture GONE.

Her phone disconnected etc.

Next day my soliticor rings to say that allegations of drugs, negligence etc have been made which was a complete joke I thought.

I rang the cops, social services, etc and was told nothing can be done as it was a civil matter. Then child maintence call to say they have been informed that the custody order has been scrapped so I have to pay nearly £200 a month.

When I told social services that I was worried about the state of her mind pulling a stunt like this and the effect it would have on the kid (because he used to squeal when he seen her and cling to me) they said, give us an address and we will go see her. Well thats all well and good except for the fact she legged it and didnt want me to know where she was.

So 3 months went by without me having a clue where he was or if he was ok and not one "agency" being willing to help. So I took matter into my own hands and did some digging. Found the address, but was told if I went to the address I would be arrested.....even though there was NO ORDER STOPPING ME FROM DOING SO.

So then came the court day and this is where I give full credit to the courts.

They brought us in on the first day, the judge told me to sit at the back and brought her to the front and he asked her why she did this.

She said she was concerned for the kids welfare and the judge said "well did you call social services to highlight these concerns?" She said "no" and no joking I actually felt sorry for her. The judge absolutely went through her like a bulldozer.

I was then told I didn't have to come back but she was made to go every friday and each week e made her write a statement on why she did all this (she had to do it on her own, in the court room without the help of her solicitor for around 4 weeks.

Then I was called back to be told that every one of her statements were different, i.e.: the first statement said I used to go out all night and be drunk looking after the kid, then the next statment said I didn't have stair gates in the house, then the next statement said my house was raided for drugs ( Shocked ) complete madness!. So the judge told her solictor to take her outside and make a decision, either agree to go back to the way it was (joint custody) or come back into the court and face him...(I was going for full custody because of all this). She opted not to see the judge again and we went back to as it was. The funny thing was, we went back into the courtroom to tell the judge our decision and sign a form. I walked right up to her and put my hand out and said, "we never talk about this again" in front of the judge. And he had a smirk on his face.

Since then I only ever talk to her for about 5 minutes a week when I pick him up and when he goes back.

My solicitor told me that she would have been advised never to try this again as her name has been well and truely smeared by doing this so I'm content with how things are now.

Sorry for the long winded tale, but thats the reason I wouldn't go anywhere near her to ask for "help"...she would probably try to use it against me.
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Post by GunsGerms on Wed 16 Apr 2014, 1:36 pm

Why did she do it?

Do you think the courts would have granted you joint custody if she didnt pull the stunt that she pulled?

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Post by Reborn-DeeMcK-Reborn on Wed 16 Apr 2014, 1:45 pm

She still stated after it was over that she "heard from somebody that I was going out every weekend etc"

Was balls mate. I offered p155 tests, blood tests. At that time I wasn't even smoking cigs let alone anything else.

I have my theory why it was done, but it was that big a kick in the stomach having to go through it, Id rather just forget the whole thing for the kids sake.

She had already agreed to joint custody so the judge told her, "just because you are the mother, you think you can just choose whats best?"

She wanted to go from joint custody, to me seeing my lad in a contact centre for an hour a week. The judge almost laughed when he told her how absurd that is.

If she hadn't of already agreed to it, I reckon I would have had it worse but because I had proved that I was more than responsible compared to some guys over here, he took my side immediately.

I worked for the BBC at the time and my boss wrote a letter for me stating that in the 6 years I had worked there I had never had a day off sick, never had any problems with the output of my work, hence rubbishing her point that I was taking drugs all the time, drinking etc, as this would be evident trying to do a job at the same time. The judge openly acknowledged to my solicitor that he was impressed that I got this letter.

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Post by GunsGerms on Wed 16 Apr 2014, 1:52 pm

Your situation was clearly really stressful and I can relate to it a lot to be honest.

May I ask, without meaning to be too nosy how the maintenance fee was agreed? I pay €700 per month and I have my son two days a week. I agreed to these terms partially because I felt they were fair enough but also because I figured it would be best for my son to have one main home rather than have to divide his completely between two locations. It really is something I thought long and hard about but am still at a loss as to whether I have got it right.

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Post by Reborn-DeeMcK-Reborn on Wed 16 Apr 2014, 1:59 pm

I agreed nothing with her mate, I left it to the CSA to calculate it.

I was working full time and they were taking £80 a month off me because he stays for 3 nights a week.

I am only working part time now so I only pay £30 a month now. Sickener for her. haha.

That sounds like a massive amount you're paying mate!!!!

They reduce the amount based on overnight stays, you say you have him for 2 days...is that just a few hours a day then?

The reason I went the CSA route was because I was giving her around £50 a week even though he was with me for 3 nights, but she continued to call to my door asking for more money and this caused more fights etc. I then just told her I was going to go through the CSA and let them decide what shes entitled too. Lets not forget, she earns MORE than me. Works part time and is a hairdresser (a very good one at that to her credit with lots of clients), plus gets the child benefit, child tax credits and her house paid for her. I get my part time wage, and part of my rent paid. I do have another "ahem" few quid that I get but thats just between us haha.
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Post by GunsGerms on Wed 16 Apr 2014, 2:08 pm

We both work so my son goes to a creche. The creche fee accounts for a lot of it to be honest.

He stays with me over night at least twice a week sometimes more. Its quite flexible. Last week he was with me four nights.

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Post by PaulHv2 on Thu 17 Apr 2014, 2:53 pm

I think you're being held to ransom their GG unless you're earning mega money, I pay £105 a month for my daughter who stays two nights a week.
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Post by Reborn-DeeMcK-Reborn on Fri 18 Apr 2014, 10:58 am

Agreed Hampo. 700 yoyos a month is a massive amount!!
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Fri 18 Apr 2014, 12:28 pm

Whilst I feel sorry for reborn being hammered for doing the right thing...Do think Society would benefit with more family planning...

Been with Jo 9 years before we had our first...Nearly half of that as Man and Wife....

Not suggesting that marriages don't go wrong...Heaven knows I've struggled with mine but do think people rush in...

As for reborn he'll be ok...You do the right thing and things have a habit of turning out ok...

Just hang in there....Always darkest till day dawneth..

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Fri 18 Apr 2014, 8:26 pm

That is indeed a very harrowing tale and all I can say from what you've written, is that it is a foolish person who thinks they can dream up events out of thin air, that can be easily debunked by the simplest of checks, and that they can change their story on multiple occasions in the erroneous belief that nobody will notice.

It's a foolish person who thinks that others are gullible enough to be taken in by sob stories, told by individuals with an agenda, at face value.

Good luck for the future.
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Sat 19 Apr 2014, 1:34 pm

Remember a guy at work splitting up with his Wife and agreeing to pay a tidy weekly sum....Badly advised by her friends she went to the CSA who ruled he was paying too much and cut it to half..

Gentleman that he was he paid the original sum anyway..

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Discrimination against Single Dads... Empty Re: Discrimination against Single Dads...

Post by The Fourth Lion on Sun 20 Apr 2014, 2:31 am

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Remember a guy at work splitting up with his Wife and agreeing to pay a tidy weekly sum....Badly advised by her friends she went to the CSA who ruled he was paying too much and cut it to half..

Gentleman that he was he paid the original sum anyway..


That suggests to me that the CSA is more objective and fair minded than a lot of people give it credit for.

The Fourth Lion
The Fourth Lion

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Join date : 2013-10-27
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Discrimination against Single Dads... Empty Re: Discrimination against Single Dads...

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