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International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Relationships break-up, that’s a fact! Whether you are married or unmarried, some of us are prepared to face challenges together and some of us are unable to face those challenges in that relationship.

So a marriage breaks-up and professional person like a doctor or lawyer leaves his wife for his mistress. Traditionally, this is stereotypical and rather unsurprising in our culture today. From a statistical perspective, it places the family break up in the ‘normal’ category as generally one in three marriages end in divorce. So there is nothing unusual or new about the scenario. But divorce is messy, especially when there are children involved.

This brings the rather messy issue of sorting out finances. Who pays for what in relation to the children; who cares for the children; how are they supported? It often lands up with an agency like the Child Support Agency in the UK to determine the amount of money one partner should provide the other partner. And this is when it gets nasty…additionally, an agency like the child support agency has no governance to ensure money is paid if one partner moves country with the kids.

I should consider myself lucky, the professional I was married to has kindly provided me with £10 a day for his daughter. Imagine, the difficulty he must face in paying that money over, I mean he is a highly qualified; highly skilled and exceptionally well-paid professional working in industry. And I do count myself lucky as a middle income earning teacher in Paris. But to be fair to him, he also pays my son 10 pounds a day to get through Uni. My son, has to pay his University fees and accommodation, thank goodness, the United Kingdom banks are supportive of students and have thrown money at him to pay for these items.

10 pounds converts to 12.40 euros and is in total 4526 euros per annum, granted he is paying that twice, 9052 euros for two kids. Now imagine, you are chief operating officer in a large firm, imagine what your salary would be? Definitely in excess of 100 000 pounds, and yes, there is tax to be considered and your living expenses but what about your children and their quality of life?

Will 12.40 euros cover?

School fees? Most definitely not! The orthodontist? Most definitely not! The clothing? Well, if we saved the 12.40 for 10 days, we would be able to buy the winter coat. What about food, well yes, definitely, it covers food for the day and I mean morning, lunch and dinner! But the little extra treats…or the shower gel, body moisturizer etc…that would be pushing it. But it excludes the extra-curricular activities that all children should be exposed to, as for birthday parties, one birthday present these days is on average 15 euros, and due to the nature of my daughter’s school, she has recently received some wonderful birthday presents like lady Gaga’s perfume which must be in the 30 euros (at least) range.

It does sound like I am ungrateful, on the contrary I am truly grateful, especially when my daughter negotiated 20 euros pocket money a month out of me last week.

And lets look at it from his point of view, he should not have to cover all the costs, I mean he has a new bride to take care of…whilst I am only bringing up our daughter now that our son has left Paris. He has his rent to pay, as do I, his electricity as do I, his council tax as do I, his tax as do I, he needs to clothe himself as do I and I could go on…

But my income is pehaps a third or at least a quarter of his and I am essentially paying for our daughter’s school fees, her rent, her electricity, her clothes, her friend’s birthday presents and her orthodontics.

Granted he may argue that by moving to Paris, I have ruined his relationship with his children or he may argue that my desire to improve my and my children’s lives has had a negative impact on him or I am sure that he can eloquently argue and disprove the points above but judgement is not based on what I have written but on facts and the fact is:

20 pounds in child support -paid. I am grateful as at one point I never received any!

Those parents out there, you know in your hearts children are wonderful and brilliant but the cost of parenting and parenting well…well it is not just about money but what you put into a relationship that counts.

I count my blessing daily! I wonder what he counts?