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Arguments and the money issues – What about the kids

Tags: arguments, money issue, separation, children in the middle, child maitenance, child support
Content Types: Tips and Advice
Categories: After Separation

When couples separate one of the main things they will argue about is maintenance, how much, what is a fair amount, what it covers and how it gets paid. Also old arguments from when you were together may come up again just in different ways.

However agreeing child maintenance is all about putting children’s needs above all else. With both sides ensuring they understand their responsibilities and take appropriate action to provide financially for their children.

The Child Maintenance Options service provides practical information and support to help parents choose the child maintenance arrangement which best suits their particular circumstances.

But money is not just practical it is highly emotional. Most couples find when they split up they are financially worse off at least in the short term especially if they can’t resolve maintenance issues.

If you are worried about where the money is coming from and managing on less you are likely to be feeling stressed. And if you can’t agree maintenance issues between you its likely that you will be arguing more not only with your ex-partner- but also with your children.

Even if the arguments are mainly with your ex, try to keep your differences away from your children. Children however old will often think it’s their fault that everything costs more and that you can’t agree. Rows which are about maintenance or just general money worries are really hard to conceal from the children anyway.

If you can’t stop the arguments you can manage the fall out better

BE AWARE!  How children react to their parents arguing:

  • Copy cats: Children may react by arguing with each other or arguing with you to get your attention, especially if it stops you arguing.
  • Behaving badly: When your child acts up it can be a clever way of distracting you from your quarrel.
  • Keeping out of the way: That may be just what you want, but a child who is quiet and withdraws may actually be frightened and worried, but feel unable to tell anyone.
  • Parents little helpers: Children can be very supportive when their mums and dads are under pressure, offering cuddles and cups of tea. It’s easy to think they are fine - and they may be. But their concern could be a sign they are afraid that their parents can’t cope or that it’s their fault their mum and dad are unhappy and fighting.


  • Explain - But don’t burden them. Just say it’s a tough time and you are stressed. 
  • Reassure - Tell them it’s not their fault, you love them and you are sorting it.
  • Try to argue better! - Children learn how to manage conflict in their own lives by watching how it is managed by the adults around them.
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