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Question
Posted by: emma | 2012/03/01

is anger clouding my opinion here?

I have an ex husband who contributes very little towards his two sons (age 12 &  11). Because I left him, I have accepted to pay the lion share of their costs, from guilt mostly and because I believe that he probably can''t do much better. He has since married (to a very nice person) and is taking an overseas trip with his wife and my two boys. I am delighted as he never does much with them. He has, however, asked them to contribute financially (symbolically) towards the trip by using their pocket money (3.5 months saving each). Here are my frustrations: Since I pay 95% of their charges, am I justified in feeling that I am contributing to their trip? Also, what is his purpose to do this - if he is trying to teach them a lesson about money, given they live with me (we live in different countries, &  I fly them to visit him in SA 3 times a year), surely this is my job? My children have all that they need but are not spoilt ie they get very little pocket money and I dont buy them anything (besides food &  clothes) extra unless its their birthday. If it is not to teach them a lesson, what could be his purpose? I feel my ex is out of line - do I just go with it and support his cause or should I say something, and if so, what? Frustrated!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Go to the Maintenance COurt and ensure that your ex is compelled to make a fair contribution to the raising of his children. Don't allow your children's needs and your own finances to be strained by inappropriate guilt. If he can afford an overseas trip, he can surely afford to pay more in maintenance.
He has no business expecting his children to contribute towards the costs of the overseas trip he plans - it'd be fair to suggest they might take some of their pocked money with them if there is anything special they'd like to buy for themselves, perhaps. But not to support the basic costs. Sounds like he's trying to make an obscure and muffled financial point, in an unworthy way. If you fly the children, at your expense, to meet with him, without expecting them to pay from their limited pocket money, why can't he act similarly ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: emma | 2012/03/01

THANK YOU!! Sometimes I feel like I am crazy. Your answer really helped me. I wish I knew what a fair contribution to the raising of two children is - if I did I would go to the court. I have spoken to lawyers in the past, but it''s never clear and I feel they just want me onboard to fill their pockets. Again, thanks for listening, and for a very sane answer :)

Reply to emma
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/03/01

Go to the Maintenance COurt and ensure that your ex is compelled to make a fair contribution to the raising of his children. Don't allow your children's needs and your own finances to be strained by inappropriate guilt. If he can afford an overseas trip, he can surely afford to pay more in maintenance.
He has no business expecting his children to contribute towards the costs of the overseas trip he plans - it'd be fair to suggest they might take some of their pocked money with them if there is anything special they'd like to buy for themselves, perhaps. But not to support the basic costs. Sounds like he's trying to make an obscure and muffled financial point, in an unworthy way. If you fly the children, at your expense, to meet with him, without expecting them to pay from their limited pocket money, why can't he act similarly ?

Reply to cybershrink

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