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Birth mom behavior

Posted by didi_2009 (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 29, 09 at 6:45

Husband and I have been married 8 yrs., he has 3 adult children and I have 2. Have had difficulties with BM in the past with very controlling behavior on her part, but it had settled down some as my SC have gotten older, moved out of town, etc. My 29 yo SD has a very dependent personality and tends to do what her mom or her bf(boyfriend) tell her, and is very afraid of conflict. She informed us this past summer that her mom wants her to get engaged and wants her and her bf to buy a house. She told us her mom said that "me and your dad will give you the down payment for a house as an engagement present". At the time her dad and I expressed surprise that her mother would tell her we would be giving her money for a house when it hadn't even been discussed with us. My SD expressed mild surprise too, but does not confront her mother about anything. BM has a financial background and believes she knows best about finances as well as what is best for her children. BM is strongly pushing for SD to buy a house before the end of the year. SD's bf does not like BM but is in agreement about the financial importance of buying a house before the end of the year, and now he is also pushing SD to start looking for houses.

I'm finding the more this comes up, the more stressed I feel. I have talked to husband about it and aired my conflicted feelings. We have always wanted to be able to help our children financially. However, 1)we didn't think through that we might have kids buying houses while we still have two kids (my kids) in college (my ex not paying for anything for multiple reasons), and 2) I'm really peeved about BM "deciding" we will help with down payment. We don't know what we can do yet financially, and if we can help, we would like to get some pleasure out of it. I am concerned that if we give the down payment as BM has decided we should do, we will simply be letting her know that telling us what to do works. This is not new behavior and not simply directed at us. BM tells all her kids what to do, but is most successful with telling SD what to do. SD does not set limits with her mother at all and tries to view it as simply her parents not getting along. In addition, while my husband is verbally in agreement with my reluctance to give SD money under the circumstances, my experience in the past has been that he often (but not always) backs down in the end. I do realize it might be very uncomfortable for him to not help SD with money down when BM and most likely bf's parents are also helping. I also feel somewhat guilty in that when we married my ex was paying child support and helping with other financial stuff for my kids, but it has fallen on the two of us to pay for my kid's college and most of their other expenses the past few years.

I'm looking for ideas on whether I should see what happens, let this go, push to not give SD the money so ex gets the message this type of behavior won't work (keep in mind there will also be a wedding to deal with), or disengage and accept my husband has to deal with it how he wants?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birth mom behavior

Can SD and her Bo truly afford and qualify to purchase as home? Obviously they have no down payment. Explore this issue first. It could possibly be that the whole situation is moot. Lenders are far more picky these days about qualifying buyers. A borrowed or gifted down payment is one red flag. If they can't actually qualify to buy a home then you do won't be gifting any funds.

Still, you need to tell the BM to stop speaking for you especially if DH is not a monetary contributor. In your family BM does NOT determine the finances. Tell her that.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I think there is a tax program to help with down payments that may expire at the end of this year.

I can see why mom is pushy if dad is going to help with his stepkids college. Why should he help if their own dad wont?


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Wally

I missed, where does it say DH is not a monetary contributor -- I only saw that the OPs X will not help with his own kids.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"She informed us this past summer that her mom wants her to get engaged and wants her and her bf to buy a house. She told us her mom said that "me and your dad will give you the down payment for a house as an engagement present"."

That's the red flag for me. MOM wants her to get engaged. MOM wants her to buy a house. FGS, this "child" is two years younger than I am.

Don't discuss with Bio-Mom. Tell daughter you'll be happy to help out when the time comes, in ways you find appropriate. Bio has no right to tell kiddo what you will or will not contribute. Leave it at that.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Didi, Did your DH put his 3 adult children thru college? I think its very nervy for Ex to offer a gift to SD without consulting you both, how does she know what you can afford? A gift should just be freely offered by you and DH, if you choose to do so, disregard her input altogether..I ll bet you re going to have a problem with the wedding contribution too, if ex already has it in her mind how much will be paid for by your DH...Put this in none of her business file, between your DH and SD only....


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Dotz, I agree, likely a problem -- and I am glad to see that DH at least sometimes backs down and supports his daughter. OP should work on getting her kids dads to pay for his share of their college. My guess is mom is guessing that the DH is paying at least part of his steps college and is trying to see that his kids do not take it on the chin.

And btw Wally, plenty of parents help with a down payment -- not necessarily a red flag.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

My theory is that it should be the DHs choice of what to contribute, not being told by someone else..Also if he didnt put the girl thru college, and he did put the other 2 thru, he may want to pay something towards the downpayment to make what he spends more equitable to all 3 kids...


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Dotz, it really doesnt matter what you and I think -- my guess is DH thinks he should do more for his kids -- depending on his relationship with the steps he may or may not regard them as his kids. My guess is there will be strife in household over this. My guess is also teh DH resents his stepkids dad not stepping up to the plate.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

It's not BM's place to put words in your DH's mouth. Period. She is not married to the man anymore and they do not sare finances so she was way out of line to speak for him.

If it is not in your financial capabilities I would just tell SD so. Sounds like SD is pretty level headed and I bet she would totally uunderstand. I would let DH talk to HER about this. I would be a little careful to start with if BM is PUSHING for marriage. If SD isn't trully ready and rather is being shoved by an obviously pushy mother it could wind up in divorce then the house will get split between SD and her Ex.

Ultimately it is DH's choice. I was watching The Perfect Dress on TV yesterday. It's a show were women go on the hunt for the perfect wedding dress. One girl went with her EXTREMELY waspy mother who made the comment that "She has to look in the divorce statement because she is pretty sure it says her EX would have to split the cost for the dress. Because of this the cow urged the daughter to get the most expensive dress they could find . I wouldn't agree to pay for ANYTHING like a wedding dress for precisely that reason. It's just one more chance for the jilted Ex to screw the guy. If confornted she would no doubt say it's his job as her father to drop 10 grand on a wedding dress and it's whats best for her. Yeah right.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Show me the $$$$$$$$

That's what it's all about. That's what it comes down to. Amazing.

When a person becomes a Step-PARENT they are agreeing to help raise the children as their own. That includes financially. When my DH dies, it goes to me and v.v. Because he knows I will financially care for his daughter as I would my own, and v.v. When I die, the money goes to his DD, and a small percentage to my DD. This is fair. She has her own family to give her a larger percentage. And v.v. But while we are alive the girls get EQUAL treatment. Regardless of who is paying for what. His DD goes to a very expensive private school. Her mother pays for that. My Ex and I don't think my DD needs that, and neither does my DH. The school down the street is perfectly fine and she loves it. When asked, she said she didn't want to leave her school. What is good for one (college, beauty school, summer camp, tutoring, music lessons) may not be good for the other.

So if my DH pays for a musical instrument for my DD he should make sure he does the same for his DD? I recently went on vacation and didn't buy my DD a gift because she was not at home, but my SD was and I got her something. Should I have not done that? Sometimes one kid gets and the other doesn't. WAKE UP to real life!!! We don't all get a medal because we're "special"!!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I have to giggle at kkny's ivory tower. In a perfect world we would all pay for our children's homes and THEIR educations. I guess I come from the shacks on the wrong side of the tracks... LOL!

Wallypog - I totally get what you meant. Sure, give the kids a down payment, but what happens in two years when "Billy" loses his job (and has no savings) and "Susie" is sick in bed from a rough pregnancy so there is no money to make a house payment! I think BM is pushing way too hard on the issue. My oh my, should these young people be livin' in sin anyways???? Hah, hah...

didi - BM needs to quit dictating, period.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

kkny, forget the money aspect of this (if you can). Do you honestly think it is up to the bio mom to get pushy & decide it time for DD to get engaged and buy a house? I can't begin to imagine a mom making this decision for any child! Now bring the money aspect back in - if the BD wants to and can afford to it is up to him - certainly not his X wife to make this decision.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Silver - "When a person becomes a Step-PARENT they are agreeing to help raise the children as their own. That includes financially" Maybe some -- but I dont think all. And this "she has her own family" -- what about the SMs own kids dads family -- where are they?? Why does the child has two families only apply to the dad's kids, not the SMs?

As to me forgetting about the money -- its amazing how many SMs (nto all) say -- forget about the money -- its 50/50, when that is to their benefit.

Saying the X needs to stop telling the child her dad should pay will not help OP any. As to how hard she can push her DH, only she can tell.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Thank you all for your replies. It felt very helpful for me to put this out there.

Just to clarify some things--

I strongly agree that the responsibility for my kids college should be handled by me and my ex. I don't want to spend time on this part of the issue as it could be a whole other post. Because of things that have happened in his life, my ex isn't worth taking to court because he doesn't own anything. But do we feel used-absolutely. I think it bothers me even more than my DH.

My SD does want to get married, although she is overwhelmed at the thought of getting a house. She is not a person who copes well with handling a lot of responsibility. Her bf is ultra responsible and he and BM want to get a house now because of the financial benefits. I don't think whether SD is emotionally ready is relevant to either bf or BM. Yes--red flags, but nothing I can do about that.

Both DH and I have a desire to help all of the kids. DH did put his kids through college, so there is no animosity there between S-kids and mine. The problem is not that we don't want to help, but we don't want to be told we have to help and the timing of when they will need this money is difficult in relation to other current expenses we have. I think BM just makes decisions as if I didn't exist because I fall outside her sphere of control. If you'll notice, BM has such an incredible need for control in her life, that she cannot consider the wants or needs of others as relevant. Outside of BM, everyone is very afraid of conflict. I don't particularly like conflict either, but I when I see a bad pattern forming with no end in sight, I will say to my DH that I think we need to do something about it. BTW, this is not the first time BM has decided DH should pay certain things and told us about it later. She also used to decide when S-kids would be coming to our house for holidays and my SD would call and tell us her mother said they were coming to our house.

The biggest problems for me are that BM has said to SD that she expects us to give this amount of money and if we do give it, we are helping to maintain this pattern of her making these kinds of decisions for us. Otherwise, I think the other big problem lies between me and DH. He gets emotionally tied in knots when he has to confront BM and I don't have much luck getting him to discuss the pros and cons of the problem before the problem hits. He also loves his kids dearly but has trouble initiating serious conversations with them without getting defensive. I get more stressed when I feel there is a potential problem looming that we can't discuss.

I've decided what I am going to do is ask DH if he is willing to see our marriage counselor with me for a few sessions to see if that can help us find a way to discuss this issue. While BM seems to create these problems, and SD serves as the messenger, I think the difficulty with finding a way to handle the problem lies between DH and myself. Sorry this is so long!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

KKNY:

"Silver - "When a person becomes a Step-PARENT they are agreeing to help raise the children as their own. That includes financially" Maybe some -- but I dont think all. And this "she has her own family" -- what about the SMs own kids dads family -- where are they?? Why does the child has two families only apply to the dad's kids, not the SMs?"

First, I think that anyone who marries into a family with children; unless specified at the beginning that they are not going to contribute to the upbringing of those children; have a responsibility, emotionally and financially. This is my idea of how it should work. Not how it always works. It's fine if you disagree.

Second: You ask why I referred to my SD as having "her own family" and you wonder why it only applies to the Dad's children and not the SM's children.

I wrote: "She has her own family to give her a larger percentage. And v.v."

This means we have set it up so that our spouse receives our estate upon death. Upon the death of our spouse, our bio-child receives the majority of the individual estates and our step-child receives a small percentage because the girls individually have their own families on the other side that they will also be potentially receiving funds from.

"Why does the child has two families only apply to the dad's kids, not the SMs?"

It doesn't. I think you are projecting.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Silver, my apologies, I read your comment too quickly re look to what family. Although I have read others here comment about SDs having moms family to look for.

As to how things should work -- I think the most important thing is people should talk about pre-marriage and not assume any default.


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re: KKNY

It's ok :)

And I agree. But if they don't talk, the kids should not suffer. If a person is getting into a relationship with kids, and does not specify up front that they will not be contributing to those children I think many parents would not remarry. Perhaps a good thing. But I personally am a package deal. Take me, take my daughter. And that doesn't mean you have to pay for her college, but it does mean treating her like you would your own. Anyone who would not do that or would not say that they would not do that up front is a poor specimen of human.

For some people the bio-parent is just not in the picture. At all. I'm lucky in that my dd's father and my sd's mother both contribute fairly to their children and their upbringing. But if my DH's exw did not, I would feel morally obligated to raise her as my own.

Marry a man, marry his children.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

My ex tried the same tactic for closing costs for my son's house. He said "If your mom contributes X$, I'll contribute X$ -- afterall, I gave her X$$ in the divorce settlement" Basically that was blackmail. He had no right to "give" away any money I have or dictate what and how much I would contribute towards anything. It's the same thing here....IF the dad wants to contribute to a downpayment, by all means, go ahead, but it should not be conditioned up what the biomom dictates. This needs to be communicated to the daughter AND to the biomom.

I just have a question -- how can anyone marry a man w/kids or v.v. and NOT expect to pay or contribute to the cost of SC in one form or another? If my DH pays for braces for my SD, it's coming out of his salary -- therefore coming out of our spendable income. If I pay for my daughter's soccer camp, it's coming out of my salary, again OUR spendable income. It's all one pot is it not?


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RE: Birth mom behavior

what silversword said. :-)


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Sunny "it's all one pot"

I agree. It is. One way or another, it's all the same pot. But I think bio-moms often feel their kids get the short end of the stick once the dad remarries. Then his 100.00 salary is no longer 50.00 for him and 50.00 for the kid, but is 33.33 for him, 33.33 for the SM and 33.33 for the kid. The more people in a family, the rate of $pp goes down exponentially.

So, if you pay for the braces of some other kid, your kid is gypped out of that amount that could have been spent to better their life. Understandable.

I know I get bitter when my ex whines about how he has no money and then I hear about how the whole time dd is with him they are out to dinner and when she's not I hear he's out with friends. Ummm.... dude... if you have money to buy your girlfriend a drink I don't want to talk with you about the $ for ballet class being expensive. Sorry.

We all have priorities. Some men spend all the expendable income on their cars, some women on their clothes, etc. The kids in divorces often get more income lavished on them because it is court ordered. There's no stick to judge by. Each relationship is different.

I tend to think of it as we just do the best we can for our kids. I include my SD as one of my own. DH does the same. We tend to value happiness over money. Kids don't have to have a myriad of social activities to turn out ok. They don't need to have college paid for by their parents. There are so many things they don't need that parents scratch eyes and pull hair over.

Children did not ask to be born. They did not have anything to do with it. Children are not asked usually if they are ok with parental relationships after their bio-parents break up. We are responsible for the children around us to the best of our abilities. That means a glass of water and a band-aid to the kid down the street, a hand and reassurance to the kid lost in the supermarket, a ride home and a couch for the friend of your child, the spare bedroom and some advice for nieces and nephews and full family support as you would for your own child for your Skids (under the age of 18 when marrying their parent).

I think what is important is food, shelter, love, security. Honestly, that is all parents "owe" their kids. Everything else is just bonus.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"I think what is important is food, shelter, love, security. Honestly, that is all parents "owe" their kids. Everything else is just bonus."

Here here. And in some cases where divorce is concerened the "bonuses" into shear extravagance.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Sunny and Silver,

In some families, its one pot, in others its not. Its amazing , there was one SM here who said, well its all one pot except for the house I inherited. Give me a break.

Its a balancing act. Maybe some people don't regard parents paying for college as a necessity -- but the better question is it appropriate in the circumstances? I view it is as necessity -- not an extravagance.

I get the feeling that on this board there are a dispropotinate number of SMs married to men with custody and/or who earn more than their DHs. I do not think that is representative of the average. To make general statements as to what is a extravagent, it depends.


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More replies

Well I can tell you this...

I f Layla needed braces and it came down between the girls taking dance or tee ball or Layla getting braces...Layla would have her braces. Not because she is mine and I view her as more important but because jacked up teeth are a bigger problem than boredom.

Sometimes when the family isn't rolling in money it comes down to what is the most important rather than whether or not all kids are spent on equally.

For the record, Extravagance IMHO would be a 10,000 dollar wedding gown for sure.

ALso, what if one child busts his/her ass off in school and gets a partial or full scholarship but the others party and barely scrap by. Should the parents/step parents be expected to pay for all their school costs? I personally don't think so. I would be more likely to help the kid with partial scholarship pay for the remainder since that child put forth effort.

I was reading a parenting magazine today and there was a poll question in that asked :"Will you be going on a family vacation this summer?"

20% said yes, like always 25% said yes, but cheaper and 55% said No, we can't afford it.
Most parents in todays economy can not put all of their kids through school or give them money for a down payment on a house anyway. Americans can't even take family vacations anymore!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Doodle, your situation -- DH not earning much, and you more, is not the statistical norm. In situations where the parents enter a second marriage later in life, with older children, not all the children will or should be treated the same.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I quit going to the chiropractor so SD can go to counseling... we just can't afford both. It really should not matter who is making more. (Coincidentally, I make as much as DH, sometimes more, but I also have very little premarital debt, he has lots so his income goes toward paying that) but we do have one pot and we function as a family in deciding what's more important. Medical care for his daughter comes before college for my son. College for my son comes before a vacation for his daughter. and yes, if I inherit a house, a business, or anything else.. it IS separate. That's why the laws typically don't consider inheritances in community property.. even if it's a first marriage. Why would a second or third marriage be different?

In this economy, I don't think there is a statistical norm any longer. Families are fortunate if they have one income and really fortunate if they have two. Bickering over entitlements is silly when as doodle says, most people can't afford to give lavish weddings or home down payments as gifts, and helping with college is only going to get tougher.

The best gift a parent can give their child is the skills to take care of themselves and that includes putting themselves through school if needed.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Ima, I don't begrudge you considering any inherited property your own. But then don't say everything should goes in the one pot. As to what is more common -- census numbers still say men earn more on average.

Right now unemployment is around 10%. Most people who want a job have one.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"Most people who want a job have one."

I'm inclined to agree with this. The wife of another party store owner just got her Master's in business. She was working full time and putting herself through college when her employer closed down & she was out of work. She just took a job as a housekeeper for a hotel chain. Not many people will 'take what they can get' while looking for a job that will pay what they need to survive. When I took over our family party business at the end of last year, we decided to hire a couple of guys to help with deliveries. We ended up with my kids working here as needed and hired one guy that really wants to work. I can't count how many applicants came in demanding to make $XX an hour because that is what they think they are worth or that's what they made at their last job, etc. We pay $10-12 DOE for our drivers and when delivering to big weddings, they usually get tipped, my son got a $30 tip last weekend. But, it's a job and if people WANT to work, they will take it and when they can get a job making $25-30 an hour (as some applicants wanted), there will be no hurt feelings on my side. But $10-12 an hour is better than nothing or having a huge gap on your resume. But, apparently others don't think so. I tend to think those are the same people that went to college so they would never have to do 'manual' labor. I don't know if you think 10% is the national average or just in your area, but there are 3 businesses left in the strip mall next to my business. There are more vacant buildings popping up every day. Major employers like Mervyns, Circuit City and I heard Gottschalk's are gone, with more closing all the time. Times are getting tough and they are gonna get tougher before they get better.


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RE: The Economy

and while I'm on the topic of our lousy economy, my business as a process server is hanging on but may not be around much longer. It's mostly because attorney's are hurting and the cost of lawsuits is usually open ended, not many people can afford to go after those that owe them money... and when they do, I am finding more vacant or abandoned homes than occupied. People are leaving in droves and several of the posh gated communities are more like ghost towns, yards are unkept, it's pretty bad. That is Northern CA, I can't speak for the rest of the country but a year or two ago, things were flourishing here.. now it's dreary.

In any case, nobody has the right to tell an adult child that their other parent is going to pay for anything, unless they have a court order. It's one thing for a child to ask dad to help, but to have mom say dad will help without asking or speaking to dad about it... I don't care if there is a step mom, step dad or nobody else involved, it's just WRONG!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I am sorry to hear about your process server business. I suspect it may also be that attorneys are not going after people who dont have much in the way of identifiable assets and cant or cant be forced to pay. At least reputable attorneys -- not without discussing with client first.

I think it is hard to say who should say what, unless you know the entire picture. When dad says, upon seperating, that child will be treated the same as if no divorce, then reamarries, then new step kids need some help, it is a slope. Downward for biokids.


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kkny

That's a generalization. BM moved in with BF who owns his own business. BF's exW complains about BM overstepping by taking her DD shopping for clothes.. yet BM hasn't bought SD anything since she's been here. She improved her living situation by moving in with a BF that works and was spending her money (child support for her older daughter) on BF's kids when BF's kids have two parents that work and don't need what BM bought them. I would think if BM made a choice that led to a better living standard for her, she should share that with her kids... not on BF's kids. But it was clearly HER choice to make. My kids are grown. I have little debt. Any enrichment SD gets in her living standard is because I offer it, not because her mom now lives with BF. Of course, her philosophy is that DH makes more than her and he has my income to boot, why should she pay for anything? When SD wants something, she openly tells her 'go ask your dad'. She has done that twice in my presence and I know it probably happens more often. It puts the other parent on the spot to say no and they become the bad guy. It isn't right. It isn't right when the couple is still married and one makes the other be the bad guy. It's about manipulation and control.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Ima, it wasnt a generalization, it was an example. That's why it starts off with "When" -- as in referring to a situaiton. I said one has to know the entire picture.


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school clothes example

"Downward for biokids."

That's the generalization. It can be downward for EVERYONE, including existing kids. Dad or Mom that have kids in a 2nd family... those are also bio kids and the kids from the 1st family will have less, just as the kids from the 2nd family will have less because the older kids were there first. If the answer is to not have more kids... what about families that have 5, 6 or 7 kids? With every child, resources are stretched. That's just the way it is. When people are losing jobs or the economy takes a dive, resources are stretched and sacrifices need to be made. It really has nothing to do with bio vs. step.

Yes, the whole picture makes a difference because some people choose to not work, others lose their jobs, some take what they can get, others refuse to lower their standards. It's about priorities and the best any parent can do when the other parent refuses to make the children a priority, is do their part. Offering something that may or may not be there from the other parent is the wrong thing to do. I can imagine how well it would go over if I (oh wait, DH because I'm just a SM) decided to unilaterally tell SD that her mom is going to buy her school clothes this year and he'll buy her backpack & supplies. She's working, she SHOULD buy her school clothes, she sure isn't paying her support as she should. But it would still be wrong because it puts BM in the position to say no and look like the bad guy that doesn't want to buy her daughter clothes.... or BM can always take SD clothes shopping and make DH the bad guy by telling SD how daddy doesn't want to buy your clothes so he's making me do it... He didn't even ask if I had enough money, that meanie but I'll do it because I LOVE YOU... (implying he doesn't?) Either way, it puts the child in the middle and the child will feel bad. If mom & dad discuss it and come to an agreement, then the agreement can be presented to the child from both parents and the child feels good about both parents being the good guys. There doesn't have to be a bad guy when the parents put the child first.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Ima, the use of the word "when" is a literary method, telling the reader that an example follows. I never said all. That's why I said one has to look at the entire picture. In some situations it does have to do with bio v. step. When SM is there to look after her kids, mom has to look after her kids long distance. And when an intact family has more kids, both mom and dad are there to decide how to divide resources.


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so what's your point?

The issue is that mom told the child that dad will pay for a down payment without discussing it with dad. Your main argument seems to be that since stepkids are in college, you assume dad is paying for their college. Not all the facts are known, so how can you assume what should or shouldn't happen? Before anyone can comment with an informed opinion, they would need to know:

* Did mom & dad have a pre-existing agreement or any prior discussions regarding helping grown kids with down payment?
* Is dad spending his resources on his stepkids college? Did he help with his kids' college?
* Is dad financially able to help with a down payment on a house?
* Does dad feel obligated or want to gift a down payment?

Helping a grown child with a down payment is not the same as helping children through college. But, that isn't even the issue of this thread as far as I can see. The issue seems to be that BM unilaterally decided to tell the child dad will do this without discussing it with dad.

How would you like your ex to tell your daughter you will buy her a new car on her birthday without asking you? How would you like your ex to tell your daughter you are going to do anything, without even discussing it with you? THAT is the wrong thing to do and it places the child in an uncomfortable position. It places the parent in a position of doing what the ex said they would or looking like the bad guy for saying no. If mom wants dad to help pay for a house or wedding or anything else, she can call dad herself, discuss it with him and then tell their child what was decided. If the situation were that mom said I'll pay half your down payment but did not say dad will pay the other half... but the daughter went to dad and asked him to pay the other half, that's a totally different scenario. We are not talking about a small child here, but a grown one and mom has NO business speaking for dad, whether she feels he can afford it or whether she feels he is spending his money on his stepkids... so her child is entitled first. That's up to dad to decide, not mom. If she's got a teenager that needs braces... absolutely her business. If she's got a child going into college, it gets a bit murky because not all states require parents to help with college unless they have a prior agreement.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Even if Dad had said child would be trated the same after divorce, who is to say that Dad would have happily forked over a house deposit even had there been no divorce?
As Ima says, no one can make financial decisions for another. For BM to tell her daughter that Dad would pay half of the deposit without discussing it with him and getting his assent was just wrong, and would have been even if they were still married.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

The question may come down to dad funding his kids down payment vs. helping with SMs kids college. I am not aware of any state that requires a stepparent to help with stepkids college -- absent an adoption or an unusual situation. I think it is hard to distinguish mom pushing for her kids and mom controlling. SM is there every day to lobby for her kids. When some SMs talk about "controlling BMs" -- I have to wonder does that mean the mom is pushing for more resources from dad to be allocated to her kids. Its only natural for dad to want to be more accomodating to the woman he is currently married to and living with. The more SMs try to limit dad talking to mom, the greater liklihood of some going with pushier tactics.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

But we don't know if dad was ever planning on helping his kids out with a down payment or not. So it's not fair to assume that "because he's paying for the stepkids to go to college, bio-child is not getting a down payment." The two are not necessarily related. Dad could have loads of money in the bank and maybe STILL wasn't planning on funding a down payment for a house.

And that is a moot point, anyway.

The *real* issue of this thread is that BM spoke for her ex-husband, and that is not okay, married or divorced.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

The original post said that OP and her DH always wanted to be able to help their kids -- but HER's kids tuition was a concern. As to child not being appreciative just becuase mom suggested it, that seems like a red herring to me. When parents are no longer married, mom may have to stick up for her kids -- SM is there every day to pick the right time to discuss, bring up more often etc. In many cases, unless mom is pushy -- stephchildren will end up with more.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"I think it is hard to distinguish mom pushing for her kids and mom controlling."

It's not so hard to distinguish.

Mom Pushing: Calls dad and says "hey, how about giving half a deposit for DD, I am & you should too. She's our DD and I feel if you are going to help put your SK's through college, you should help DD get a house." and make any other arguments to dad to 'push' for his help.

Mom Controlling: Simply tells DD her dad will pay without checking to see if he's willing or able.

So, if a BM thinks SM doesn't like BM talking to dad.. yeah SM's limit contact... us controlling B's we are, even if that were true... If anyone thinks THAT 'pushier' tactic is going to work, good luck with that.

Mom sticking up for kids is appropriate when kids are minors. When they are grown, they can stand up for themselves when they want help paying for a wedding or house. A person that is about to make a lifelong commitment to someone (marriage) and also wants to make a long term commitment (buying a house) should be capable of asking her parent for help herself.

A BM that thinks she's 'sticking up' for her grown child is also the same kind of parent that worries about what dad puts in his will. It may be her business when their child is a minor but when the children are grown up (and have families of their own), that can be changed and it's none of her business.

I think in the end, when an ex-wife is so annoying/controlling/demanding, etc., even in the name of their children... it ends up having a negative impact for the child because some men retreat and limit contact with their own children because it's attached to dealing with an annoying/controlling/demanding ex. And many men do not like to deal with conflict... so they give in or they cut away. (and if you choose to blame SM for it... go ahead and delude yourself)


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Most men already limit their contact with their kids as a result of the divorce -- they no longer live with them. Many see new stepchildren more than they see their own kids. Of course it is a mom's business to worry about her adult children.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"Most men already limit their contact with their kids as a result of the divorce"

Most of the men I know in divorce/split situations fought for as much time with their children as possible.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

KKNY, Divorce limits BOTH parents contact with kids (as opposed to staying married) so all I can say to that is DUH!!!

If a mom worries about her kids seeing dad enough... I guess they should make it easier than to make it harder by being demanding.

My son is an adult. He's 23, married with a child & is in the Army. Of course I worry about him, but it is NOT my place to call his father (or anyone else for that matter) to micromanage their relationship. If his dad wants to see him, if his dad wants to do things for him, that's between THEM. I have NOTHING to do with it. My business is MY relationship with him. It is certainly NOT my place to tell him his dad will do things for him, just because I am willing to.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

LH, but it is still less time than in intact marriage. If some moms dont have the stomach to make certain dad pays his share of their kids expenses -- doesnt make it right. As to when a child is to be responsible for all his/her own expenses, every family different.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

KKNY..."In some families, its one pot, in others its not. Its amazing , there was one SM here who said, well its all one pot except for the house I inherited. Give me a break."

I don't agree with you. My DH and I both have property that is "mine and mine alone". If something, heaven forbid, should happen that would necessitate selling those properties for the common good, we have agreed to do that (which one would depend on market, etc). But we both know that those properties will go straight down the line to our birth children.

I agree that in some there is one pot, in some there are two. But that should be made clear from the get-go.

Ima..."Mom sticking up for kids is appropriate when kids are minors. When they are grown, they can stand up for themselves when they want help paying for a wedding or house. A person that is about to make a lifelong commitment to someone (marriage) and also wants to make a long term commitment (buying a house) should be capable of asking her parent for help herself. "

Love "The *real* issue of this thread is that BM spoke for her ex-husband, and that is not okay, married or divorced."

AMEN!!!! Why is Bio-Mom even getting involved? The daughter is 29???!!! This is above and beyond controlling involvement.

KKNY, I agree with you that sometimes the children of the father do not get treated the same as the children of the mother when two people get together (and V.V.). There is often a more controlling person in a relationship that ensures/demands their kid gets more. I'm so glad that is not my situation. Any person who does not treat my child as an equal child-citizen of the home is not a person I want around their development.

The point, as Love said, was the bio-mom speaking for the bio-dad and committing him to financial contributions he did not willingly offer. That's wrong. I don't care if it's my sister telling my mom that I'll go in on half of her cruise next year or a co-worker telling our boss that I'm chipping in half for his Christmas present. A person with integrity does not do that.

My guess is the Bio-mom is still trying to punish the dad, and the way she does that is through her doing things that are "just for the good of our daughter". It's sickening. I think it is reasonable to worry if there will be enough money to go around for all the kids.

A list of priorities, not in order, assuming both children were under 18 when parents re-married:

1. Medical/dental for both children.
2. Education for both children.
3. Higher education for both children
4. Travel for both (spring break, etc.)
5. Weddings/celebrations
6. Contributions towards large purchases like homes.

If a child needs braces, the other may not get spring break. If a child has not gone to college, the older child may just have to save a few more years before getting help with a down payment on a house.

Yes, IT IS NOT FAIR. But guess what? Life isn't fair. When the parents divorced, the kids experienced the unfairness of life. As long as the parents attempt to treat each child respectfully and equally, no one should feel slighted for long, unless they are being fed propaganda by the parent not living with them.

SD's mother wants us to take out a loan to help pay for her elementary education. We won't do it. Sorry. Perhaps if the bio parents were together they could have done that for her. It is a pity. But we do not see the benefit to taking out a loan for 5th grade. Perhaps if she were a super-genius, but if she were, she'd probably get scholarships. So SD gets fed the whole "your dad won't pay for your school, your dad doesn't care" B.S.


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Silver

Silver, I am not disagreeing with you that there is no reason both parties cant treat assets as mine -- just dont go around saying one pot method best then. and if one person has more assets and the other a lot more income, may not be fair.

You are certainly entitled to your opinin -- but I dont see a stepparent marrying someone with 17YO and then beeing expected to pay for the kids college --


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are you kidding me?

The "child" in OP is 29. I think everyone here will agree that unless there is some sort of developmental delay or similar issue with the 'childs' mental ability, she is old enough to be responsible for all of her own expenses.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"but I dont see a stepparent marrying someone with 17YO and then beeing expected to pay for the kids college"

My son was 16 when I married DH. Because of DH's income, my son did not qualify for financial aid in his first year of college, which he would have if it were only based on my income alone. DH was not 'expected' to pay for my son's college but my son was impacted by my marrying DH. Sometimes finances are tight because I'm helping my son pay for college (and in a way, so is DH because it's in one pot) and money I spend toward college affects the whole household... that doesn't mean BM has a right to say ANYTHING about it. If we buy her daughter's clothes at Wal Mart instead of Macy's because we are paying for my son's college... tough. If we don't throw her daughter a birthday party because money is tight... tough. If we don't go on vacation... tough. BM has NO say in what we do in our house.

Now, if her daughter's medical needs are being neglected or she is in anyway being 'abused', then yeah... she not only has a right to say something, she has an obligation.


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KKNY and lobbying

KKNY - If the BM felt that she needed to lobby for her adult daughter as you stated, then she should lobby the correct way. She should contact her DD's dad and ask him if he can help with the down payment.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Gerina, somehow the "correct way" is always what helps the stepmom's kids. Yes it might be better if mom had asked Dad, but I can understand mom wanting to see that her kids are taken care of.

Ima, you dont have one pot -- you have said anything you will inherit is yours.


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one pot!

kkny, can you please explain to the world... how is mom taking care of kids when she offers up dad to pay for something that he didn't agree to? How is mom going to 'make' him pay up if he doesn't have it? How is mom going to 'make' him pay up if he doesn't want to? How is mom going to do anything if dad says, sorry honey but I can't help with that? It just gives mom an opportunity to tell her DD what a bum her dad is because he's helping his stepkids and not her. It's called emotional blackmail and it only hurts the daughter because she is supposed to love both parents and be loved by both parents... and not just on BM's terms.

Yes, we have one pot. Our incomes go to pay OUR bills. (well, his debt is a major portion of the bills and if we split them up, he probably would not be able to cover all his stuff) but our income & expenses have nothing to do with any inheritances we may get. He is in line to inherit much better than me.. it will be his separately. His daughter will benefit from that as well. I may inherit what has been in our family for three generations and it will not go outside our family. Inheritances do not go into the communal pot, but our incomes do.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"Bio-mom is still trying to punish the dad"

DING DING DING!!! WE HAVE A WINNER! The way this BM handled the situation could be nothing more than a bitter Ex trying to cause strife for the Ex husband. That or she is THE MOST unthoughtful person in all the world. Either way she was wrong.

"Gerina, somehow the "correct way" is always what helps the stepmom's kids. Yes it might be better if mom had asked Dad, but I can understand mom wanting to see that her kids are taken care of."

KKNY- The only thing this BM did was set herself up for a potential foot in mouth situation. She "volunteered" dad for a MAJOR financial obligation with out even speaking to him. I wouldn't even do that to J and we are married! This woman is no longer married to this man so she is way way way out of line putting words in his mouth. I don't care if the kid was 16 and needed a car, you consult on things like this. There is no way to defend it....she was wrong and was being a controling B*TCH.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

IMA , if my DH says to Mom Honey I cant help with that, I m filing..LOLOLOL


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I dont see anyone trying to punish her X -- sounds like she has moved on. Maybe if SM would get her X to help pay for HER kids college it would help with money. Its not always easy to get dads to pay, it shouldnt be on stepdad. Fortunately it sounds like this dad does eventually see the light. So many SMS seem to think it is easier to give a free pass to their kids dad, and then there are consequences.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I meant dad saying that to daughter... remember, BM didn't even ASK him.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

KK, I didn't say one pot is best. I said it ends up being that way one way or another in most situations. I also said it's fine if there are two pots, as long as that is clear in the beginning. Paying for college for a 17yo is fine, if you know you will be doing it when you go into the relationship. If your DH makes 100,000.00 per year and has to pay for his son's college, you can bet you won't be going on many vacations. That's eventually-will-be-same-pot mentality.

People who have "moved on" do not volunteer other people to pay for things without asking them first. Prior to enrolling my DD in classes I call her father and tell him what they are for, and ask him to pay for half. It's the respectful, adult thing to do. If my ex-h said no, I would not, under any circumstance, tell her that "daddy won't pay so you can't go". I would tell her "we" couldn't afford it. Now, DH's ex-w, she has no compunction about telling SD that "daddy won't pay so you can't go". Which is a set-up because she told SD she could go BEFORE talking to DH. That's wrong. It's childish. You can only promise what you yourself can offer/provide.

Hey, Ima, do you want a cake? KKNY will bake you one!!!

That just doesn't work, on any level.

"...somehow the "correct way" is always what helps the stepmom's kids. Yes it might be better if mom had asked Dad, but I can understand mom wanting to see that her kids are taken care of."

Using "always" doesn't work. It's not true. And "might be better" doesn't work either. It 100% would be better. I too can understand a mother wanting to see that her kids are taken care of. But a down payment on a house has NOTHING to do with "taking care" of an adult child. For goodness sake, the kid will be just fine without a house. If this were medical help I can maybe, just a little, see your point.

This woman/child is two years younger than I am. I have a hard time stomaching this conversation at all. If my mother told me my father and her would give me the money for anything superficial, like a house, and I found out she didn't ask my dad first I would be humiliated beyond belief. Talk about manipulative and conniving. What a piece of work.

It's MY house/car/trip to Italy. It's up to each parent, individually, to decide if and when and how much they will contribute to that project (unless specified in the divorce decree). If it's nothing, FINE. At 29 years old?????!!!!! Hello???!!! Where is the voice of logic and reason?


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Silver,

Moving on -- I guess to me that doesnt mean doing one's best to see that Dad does what he intended for his kids. If you mean by moving on, providing for kids without dads help, I have to disagree.

The problem with your utopian world is that when the kids live with mom, SMs kids may end up coming first -- especially when SM wont expect her x to help with his own kids.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Every situation is different . Its not one pot for all. I keep my finances completely separate from my husband because he doesn 't handle his finances as good as i do. Period.
And i will not have the money i worked hard for to be spent if i do not agree with. This is where alot of fighting occurs in marriage and i did not want to open that gate for problems. He does whatever with his money and i do what i want with mine. The bills get paid first, the food, the rent or mortgage. And if anything is left over, we do what we want.
God forbid if i wanted to save some money for a rainy day and he goes and spends it on his kids because of his guilt? do you think that is appropriate?
And no, inheritance is NOT part of one part, Hate to break it to all. Its inheritance and it stays where is stays. Thank God for the european laws which strictly forbids the passes of money or lands for that matter unless its blood ties. Not even my husband can get my lands. It can only fall to my children. Even if i adopted or had custody of his kids and wanted to give it to them, i would never be able to.
Either way.
1. She's 29 years old and should NOT be pushed by anyone to do anything. Even if mommy says so. Control freak....
2. BM decided to volunteer dad? WTF? on so many levels...WTF? If anyone volunteered me for anything without my consent i would let them have it! whether it be money , time or just plain doing something. No one on this planet has the right to make a decision without that persons consent. Its called respect. Dotn overstep the boundaries. Can someone say control freak.
That being said. I think its up to dad to decide when and how much to give and ot tell bm to muzzle it.
agree with you silver!


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Organic

Organic, I actually agree with you on seperate pots and inheritance going to kids. In the US, you need a prenup for that to happen, but in many second marriages with kids, you see that.

The problem with dad deciding is that SM is there every day to plead her case. Her kids are there every day. Good for the mom for trying to level the playing field.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Moving on generally means accepting you no longer have a say in what the other person does, but you worry about yourself and what you can do.

When you are dealing with young children and a parent that fails to pay their support... then yes, do what you have to do to make them pay! You don't tell your 10 year old that the other parent is going to buy their sporting equipment... you call the other parent or you call child support services to collect what is owed.

But, that is a far cry from telling a nearly middle aged daughter her dad is going half with a down payment on a house. How can you compare that? How do you defend that? Don't you have any self respect kkny? You really sound ridiculous trying to justify something that is just wrong, no matter what the circumstances.... whether there are step parents, regardless of the relationship.. no matter what... one person does not have a right to offer something from someone else and to defend those actions makes you sound... well, I won't name call but give it up. She was WRONG!


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Ima

29 is nearly middle aged ??? Now you've really hurt my feelings.

Go back and read OP's post. Both her and DH would like to be able to help their kids -- many parents of adults do -- but her kids tuition, which she is getting no help from her X looms large.

Moving on never means not caring about your kids, at least in my book.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

kkny, did you read the bio dad already put his children through college? Did you read the bio mom has told daughter what her bio dad will contribute? Did you read it has taken any joy of gifting his children when bio mom tells the grown children in advance of what he is to do? You still seem to think it is just fine for an Ex wife to direct her Ex what and when he should spend on the grown children.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Maybe it's true.. birds of a feather...

kkny's told everyone how her DD will inherit dad's house, how dad will pay for college, and perhaps I'm mistaken but something about a car when she gets her license??? (back when she was being driven by her au pair)

Maybe kkny can relate with the BM in OP's post better than anyone here. I don't attribute it to her just because she's a BM, it's more of a character flaw because if a SM said so & so is going to give you this or that, without asking so & so... it would still be WRONG!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

kkny seems to have issues with parents EVER expecting their children to stand on their own feet. Her statements so far have all implied that parents must assist their children financially for their whole lives and can never make their own decisions about how to spend their money because of course, it should natually be given to the kids to fund their next project, whether it be college, a wedding, a house, or whatever.
What a crock. Parents do not OWE a child a deposit on a house. I would bet that few of the posters here were given a house deposit by their parents, I know we certainly weren't. If the parent wishes to give a deposit, how nice, but it's not obligatory. If they instead choose to put their step children through college, spend two months in Paris or endow a dog shelter it's THEIR BUSINESS and no one else can dicate to them how they will spend their discretionary income. It doesn't mean they hate their children, or that they favour their stepchildren. If it means anything, it's probably more like, the kids are adults now and they are able to look after themselves.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

kkny its not the SM business to decide how much money her sd is going to get. Its up to dad. Now if her money is mixed with his....then we are opening a can of worms. Then i would say its also her money he she also plays a role in deciding how much sd will get.
But my main issue here is not about helping sd.....we all get presents at our wedding from our dad. Its traditional in my culture. Its the fact that BM decided something for another individual and its not HER place to do so.Period. She doesn't know his finances. what ifdad is like my husband? Doens't save a penny, only thinks about today and blows whatever he has???? Then what? If sm 's money is with dh's...and hers overrides his...for example She puts 90 $ and he puts 10$...then 90% of the cash is hers and it wotn matter what bm wants..if she wants to level the playing field...whatever , its none of her business...the only business kkny that bm has here is to focus on the cahs amount she herself will put for her daughter. Her EX husband cash is not her business..
this is not about leveling the playing field or who spends more time wiht dh on a daily basis. THIs is about MONey. This is about how much to put if any. Its about money decisions and gifts. Its not her business to open her mouth , regardless if its her daughter, about someone else's money.
I told my own father to stick it when it came to my money. Its not his business....so why would it be the business of an ex to say where it will go? Because she is a mother? dont care....its not her money, its not her business. Its not her Decision to make.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Organic, SM is concerned about how much money her DH gives his D becuase she is counting on him to pay for her kids college. She and her X should be paying. Why is it that everyone expects adult kids to stand on their own but OK for SMs to depend on DHs -- oh yes, the one pot theory.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"Why is it that everyone expects adult kids to stand on their own but OK for SMs to depend on DHs -- oh yes, the one pot theory."

I SO feel sorry for your child kkny... if that's your philosophy!

and if you are reading the same thing as everyone else, it sure was comprehended WAY different. What I saw is:

* "She informed us this past summer that her mom wants her to get engaged and wants her and her bf to buy a house. She told us her mom said that "me and your dad will give you the down payment for a house as an engagement present"."

BM decided something for someone else.... even if they were married, it's something they should discuss first. No wonder the marriage didn't last! Marriage is a partnership.

* "BM has a financial background and believes she knows best about finances as well as what is best for her children. BM is strongly pushing for SD to buy a house before the end of the year."

While it may be best for her daughter in the long run.. maybe, it still should be a decision between the daughter and her future husband. Mom is making decisions for the daughter too.... what if they are not ready to be homeowners? Oh yeah.... BM will tell them what to do! Why let them stand on their own two feet when Mom is there to control, err I mean help out!

* "SD's bf does not like BM but is in agreement about the financial importance of buying a house before the end of the year, and now he is also pushing SD to start looking for houses."

This is a red flag to me for SD! He doesn't like BM but he's willing to take her help to buy a house? Would he feel the same if HE were expected to come up with the down without her parent's help? Are HIS parent's helping? Why should it fall on just her parents? I'd be a little suspicious of a guy that sides with someone he doesn't like when there's money involved. (also, does he know that if BM helps buy their house, she will feel entitled to say things about their house... like she's a silent partner.. only she won't be so silent. I see LOTS of issues there) and strings attached!

* "We have always wanted to be able to help our children financially. However, 1)we didn't think through that we might have kids buying houses while we still have two kids (my kids) in college (my ex not paying for anything for multiple reasons), and 2) I'm really peeved about BM "deciding" we will help with down payment."

Look how many time OP uses WE. They are in a marriage and it is a "we" decision. Major expenditures are a 'we' decision.. plain and simple, even if finances are separate. If DH and I had separate bank accounts and he goes out and buys a boat without discussing it with me.. even with his own separate money, it may cause problems. Just as it may cause problems for me to go buy a cruise without telling him.... when you share expenses and a life, you have to at least discuss what you are doing. I may not have a vote on how he spends his money but as a matter of respect, he should discuss it with me... his wife. and vice versa. If it's going to affect me financially... I have an absolute right to have a vote.

* "We don't know what we can do yet financially, and if we can help, we would like to get some pleasure out of it. I am concerned that if we give the down payment as BM has decided we should do, we will simply be letting her know that telling us what to do works. This is not new behavior and not simply directed at us."

I agree. It takes any gift giving pleasure away when the ex or anyone else is 'telling' you to do it. The likely reason BM does this now.. it has worked in the past. and here OP says.. it's not just directed at DH... she does this with others. As I said, it's a 'character flaw'. It has nothing to do with her being a BM... and lobbying for her kids. She's a control freak!

* "I also feel somewhat guilty in that when we married my ex was paying child support and helping with other financial stuff for my kids, but it has fallen on the two of us to pay for my kid's college and most of their other expenses the past few years."

The financial picture has changed because as typical in many states, college is not an obligation like child support and unfortunately, it falls on the custodial parent to help (or the parent that feels the moral obligation to help the children). It's not even OP's obligation to pay for her children's college expenses... but, college is important to some. or is college only important for dad's kids? If the kids belong to a SM, they don't need college? or if SM can't get their dad to help with college, then they shouldn't go? What are the rules here?


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RE: Birth mom behavior

If you read OPs post, OP thinks that the SDs BF's parents will also be chipping in.

I did read where OP says we -- doesnt really describe whats going on.

I think college should be an obligation of both bio parents. To whomever who said that when a step married into a famly with a 17YO, the step should be obligated to help pay -- my response is OK, but dont expect friction. IMHO, coming into a marriage with a 17YO and expecting new spouse to pay for that child's college is marriying for money.

In every state I know of, college can be addressed at time of divorce, and should be.


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KKNY - it's about respect and boundaries

KKNY-

There was a post a couple of months ago where we had a SM complaining about a SD bringing in a cat without full permission. About one month before that my DH told his DD, "yes", that should could have a dog. I was not consulted and I came home to a surprise of some strange dog barking at me. The last week in May, DH informed me that we would watch other DD's dog for five days during the 7/4 weekend - again he didn't bother checking with me first. One of my relatives has a huge family gathering for the 4th, at their home in the country, and they invited us last fall (DH forgot). We had to decline because of the dog. Recently we ended up in counseling after these and other things. The counselor said he cannot continue to make decisions that affect the entire household by himself if he wants to remain married because it is a partnership. He said he hadn't thought about it because it was always just him and his kids, but got it.

He has a short memory because yesterday his DD's cell phone plan expired and she thought it would be cheaper for her to go on our friends and family plan. (The phone plan we have is actually mine and was mine before we married. I had two cell phones and gave him one of mine numbers and he dumped his phone because was a cheaper option.) It wasn't until DH and SD were almost at the phone store when he remembered what the counselor said about decisions that also affect me or the household in general. As he's driving (hands free state) he has her call me. She said that DH told her call me to tell me that they were going to put her on my phone plan. What could I say? I was put on the spot. I doubt I would have said "no" to either of the dog things, and I wouldn't have objected to the phone either (but I would like to tell SD my rules re: my plan) but that's not the point. The point is that DH, in these cases, made decisions on my behalf and informed me after the fact. It pizzes me off.

I don't like people making decisions for me, the woman who got stuck with the cat felt the same way. These are petty issues compared to an EX spending and committing thousands of dollars that don't belong to her. In addition to crossing that big boundary, she is also depriving this family the joy making a gift to this kid.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I do not think that mom should be telling SD that dad will contribute if he doesn't even say anything about it.

What i am a bit suspicious is why dad is expected to pay for his stepchildren education while he shouldn't be helping his own children. It is bioparents responsibility to help wiht college, if they could of course.

If their own father doesn't help why is DH expected to pay?


IF OP would say, we are unemployed and have no money and are disabled, so my DH cannot help anyone, i would understand, but saying that he canot help his child because he has to support mine, sounds selfish.

i see this situation is not only about pushy BM (and she does sound pushy) but also about SM being upset over her husband helping his own child isntead of helping her children. sounds awfully wrong on every level.

If I would marry right now, and DD still has a year of college left, I would never even dream to ask anyone to pay for her education. My X got married last year when DD had two years of college left, he would not dream to ask his new wife, "hey open up your wallet and pay DD's college". Ridicilous concept. And yes sounds like marrying for money.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

FD, yes, my X and I saved from the time DD was born for college. It is our responsiblity. Expecting spouse to pay for stepkids college is not petty.

What this teaches young girls is to marry for money. I dont like that.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"What this teaches young girls is to marry for money. I dont like that. "

Are you for real????

why should they marry for money ... when daddy will support them no matter what because BM makes promises on dad's dime and its ok ....

the "kid" is 29 not 19 not 9

don't you think she should have a couple bucks saved by now since mom and dad have paid her way for 29 years???????

BM should not be handing out dad's money with out consulting him ..... what if he had invested with madoff and now there is no money to be found anywhere.

You are wrong kkny .... this is not about a kid needing a downpayment on a house vs sc's education ... this is about a controlling ex-wife. end of discussion.

ex do not get to control ex's money anymore.

we are not all as rich as you and have every thing planned out .... money falling out of our pockets ...

I know you still like to control what your ex does ... but ask your sister the stepmother if her stepchildrens BM would even dare tell her husband how to spend his money. And what her reaction would be.... OH I know we should all live up to her standards when it comes to being a SM but I'd bet your daughters inheritance she isn't dealing with a controlling ex wife who can't seem to find her own happiness unless making every one else around her miserable.


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solution :)

Dad gives the money for the house

but tells his DD your mom told me she would foot the bill for your wedding ... no budget have fun shopping.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I didnt see anything that said that the SD had not been responsible. I did see that OP said that she and her DH would like to be able to help out kids, but that her kids tuition was an issue.

As FD said, mom is pushy, BUT the other reg flag that cant be ignored is the SM needing dad to pay her kids tuition.

My sister is not expecting her DH to pay HER expenses, whether we are tlaking about housing, retirement,etc. Maybe that is why she has as far as I can tell a relatively less stress full step relationship -- that she doesnt expect her dh to fund her responsibilites.

I absolutely agree money doesnt grow on trees. Which is why when SM wants dad to pay for her kids college it isnt just an ego thing, it is, in most families, an amount of money which can not easily be replaced.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

so her child should go with out an education so his kid can have a house?


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"so her child should go with out an education so his kid can have a house?"

of course not. one does not exclude the other. her child's/children's mom and dad should pay for education. if a stepdad has money, he could also help.

but his financial priority, after paying for household expenses, lies wiht his own children first. he of course should pay for things his family needs first, meaning him and his wife and their house. after those bills are paid between him and her, what he has extra, he could spend on hsi children and she on her children.

Of course if there is still money left they should spend on each other children.

but her children should not become his priority just because he married SM. what SM says: he should not be helping his daughter because he has to pay for my children, whose father is not helping. this sounds like marrying him for selfish reasons, like financing your children's education. doesn't look too good.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

FD... do you really want to sound as ridiculous as kkny? They are talking about a 29 year old 'child'! and a down payment on a house.. not braces! Give me a freakin' break!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Ima, if all you can come up with is personal attacks, maybe you should think again.

Yes, we all know how old the SD is. She is undoubtedly younger than the SM who apparently either has failed to make arrangements for her own kids college or just thinks it best if their SD pays.


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kkny

Now that's interpreted as a personal attack? Is that a personal attack on you or FD? Give me a break... I say you sound ridiculous because that's my opinion. I didn't call you an idiot! THAT would be a personal attack.

It's my opinion that FD begins to sound as ridiculous as I think you sound when she says "but his financial priority, after paying for household expenses, lies wiht his own children first." Which I would agree with if his children were actually (minor)'children'.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

So is your corallary to this that if a divorced mother can not finance her kids college, she should go looking for hubby#2 to pay for her kids college???? And are SMs kids minors? I seem to recall a lot of posts that kids are owed college by their own biological dads?


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Wow, you guys have been busy.

I think Pseudo said it in a nutshell....

"Dad gives the money for the house but tells his DD your mom told me she would foot the bill for your wedding ... no budget have fun shopping."

KKNY, it seems like you deliberately misunderstand me.

1. I never said S-Parents should be obligated to pay for college for anyone, whether the child is 7 or 17 when the parents marry. I don't think parents are obligated to pay for college for their children either. I paid my own way, and graduated summa cum laude. Yes, I have debts, but I will pay them willingly. I also own a home. That my parents did not give me a down payment for. And I am 31. I don't expect "daddy" to supplement my lifestyle. If you ask me, a BM acting in that way is setting a little girl up for daddy issues.

2. I don't think there should be "one pot" for every family. It's on an individual basis. But in reality it comes down to being that way anyway.

The question is, does a person feel that they are marrying just their spouse, or they are marrying a family? My SD is MY CHILD and I will do what I can to ensure she has a good life. This does not mean a down payment on a house, or college, or anything in particular above and beyond the general contracts of parenthood: education, food, shelter, love. It does mean that I will do my best to provide for her the things I think she really wants and needs. I think the same way about my daughter.

I think parents are far too coddling these days. Kids need to learn to provide for themselves. And that their parents are not made of money. And ESPECIALLY not that "DAD/MOM OWES ME". I don't owe my kids or any other kid jack-sh!t beyond basic necessities and I tell them that, not in so many words of course. That may sound heartless, or cruel, or un-motherly, but those who meet her say she is one of the most well-behaved, appreciative, happy kids they know.

I married a man with a child. That child is now my responsibility as much as my own child is. I am a StepMother. I do not push my childs agenda over that of my StepDaughter. Our children know that they have bio-parents and stepparents and that they have lots of people who love them. We make sure we do not over-step our boundaries and "replace" their bio-parents but that they are comfortable in their place in the family.

KKNY, your assumptions about Stepmothers is inherently skewed. As a stepmother, I take offense. I could say really nasty things about bio mothers overprotecting, putting horrible things in their daughters heads about how their father owes them something (probably because the bio-mom was so selfish and greedy and the dad finally got tired of her bs and divorced her and gave her everything in the divorce and she's still after him for money even though she has another sucker on the line paying for everything and turning their daughter into a spoiled brat who doesn't understand why daddy won't shell out $200.00 for a pair of jeans she just has to have because her priorities are all wrong and..... and... and...

But I know all bio moms aren't like that. Because I am one. And I don't treat my ex-husband like that because I don't interfere with his relationship with his daughter because I want it to be HEALTHY and really, even in families where the parents stay together, the childs relationship should be with each parent as an individual anyway... not only with them as a couple.

*rant over*


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Silver, many couples do not have a one pot for money. I dont know why you say that it comes down to that anyway. Perhaps more so in my age group than yours (but my group more likely to have kids in or post college). I think when people get married they have an obligation to treat any steps politely etc, but do not have the same obligation to pay for college.

I think bio parents have a responsiblity to provide for their kids education. Whether they are married or not. It seems that on this board things bounce back and forth between kids dont deserve to have college paid for them, or if they do, dad should provide for any of his stepkids.

I do not think parents have an obligation to help with a down payment, although among my friends, neighbors and business associates, it would not be uncommon. It doesnt make kids entitled. We dont know OP's DH's financial siutaiton, other than she said they would both like to help their kids, but her kids tuition is an issue.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

KKNY, I know many couples don't have one pot. I have my own pot, my husband has his own pot, and we have a joint pot. In my pot is my family property, my salary and my child support from ex-h. In his pot is his salary, and his family property.

The reason I say it comes down to that anyway is because it usually does. Unless every nickle is accounted for, we are generally combining funds at every turn. Who pays for dinner? Who pays for new tires? Who pays for new clothes? Who pays for all the little things that make up a life? Is it equal, is it fair, did you pay more for clothes than I paid for the movies... unless the couple has a spreadsheet and marks down every time a head of lettuce is purchased...It's (basically) one pot!

The issues arise when one spouse is taking advantage. OP may be taking advantage, we don't know. She could have paid $$$ for hubby's medical bills. Is that her responsibility as a wife more than her child's tuition is his responsibility as a stepfather?? We aren't the ones to judge. That's their complicated family dynamic. The question is how they feel about it. Do they think each person is contributing equally.

The OP's point is whether or not we think it's ok for BM to volunteer BF to pay for half the down payment. I say no way, no how. Someone who is detached from their spouse does not do this. She is not "caring" for her daughter's well being, she's sabotaguing the relationship between father and daughter because she is in the way, calling the shots, being a big-shot.

I think it's great that you and your friends have an unspoken rule to pay for down-payments. I must say I have a much more varied friend base. Everyone does it based on their ability, on the child, on the circumstance. I have extremely wealthy friends who have made their children work their way through school, and the children have thanked them for it. I have middle-class friends who have mortgaged their homes to pay for their childrens college, and the kids pay them back with mediocre grades.

I don't think a child should expect college, or a down-payment. That sets them up for an entitled attitude. If my girls work hard I will help them accomplish what they want, whether it is a home, or a higher education, or to adopt a child. But I will not promise them anything beyond the basics. That's how I parent. Not how my friends parent. Not how the neighbors parent. I think it's awfully assumptive and ridiculous to clique up about parenting. Each child is different, with different goals and needs. Some kids SHOULDN'T go to college.

Helping with a down payment doesn't make the kids entitled, encouraging them to EXPECT it from their parents as their due ENCOURAGES entitlement.

The bio-dad owes this adult/child nothing unless he himself has promised it, and then it is up to him to gift it. How rude to tell a person that they will receive a gift from another person without discussing it with that person, or allowing that person to be present when the giftee is told.

How rude.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I dont think it is the dinners, tires or clothes that causes strife. I think it is more likely the college tuitions, etc.

I dont think there is any indication that the BM hasnt "detached" from her X. To me it sounds more like the mom is trying to protect her kid's best interest. And if she has any inkling that Dad has so much extra $$ he can pay for his stepkids college, that is only going to exacerbate any friction.

Personally I do think parents owe it to help biokids through college. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.


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Silver

I dont think it is the dinners, tires or clothes that causes strife. I think it is more likely the college tuitions, etc.

I dont think there is any indication that the BM hasnt "detached" from her X. To me it sounds more like the mom is trying to protect her kid's best interest. And if she has any inkling that Dad has so much extra $$ he can pay for his stepkids college, that is only going to exacerbate any friction.

Personally I do think parents owe it to help biokids through college. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"I dont think it is the dinners, tires or clothes that causes strife."

Really? Let's just go with you don't think... because I assure you that happens quite often. Dad spends too much money on beer, mom on clothes. I'd wager those kinds of disagreements are actually much much much more common than disagreements about college because they have the chance to happen so often. College is pretty much a one time arguement.

If mom were trying to protect her kid's best interest, she would have gone to dad to iron out all the wrinkles prior to offering something that wasn't hers.

A parent's money is just that, their money. I will agree to disagree with you on this one. Parents don't owe their kids a college education. Parents owe their kids one thing as far as education is concerned; to do their best to ensure their child will be able to pursue the lifestyle that child wants. That means encouraging good enough grades for a scholorship, helping to find internships at local mechanic shops, etc. That doesn't mean footing the bill. Unless that is what was promised.

But every family is different. Who are we to say who should be paying for what?


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RE: Birth mom behavior

It may be possible in some states to get scholarships based on grades alone, to state schools, but not in all (and I expect those days are soon to be over in any event).

OP did say that they had wanted to help kids, absent problem with her kids tuition, and not being able to get help from the kids own dad.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

semantics. if someone wants to go to college, they will go regardless of parental input.

To answer the original question: I think the dad needs to tell the mom that he'd appreciate her coming to him before making statements about what he will and will not do. I ask my DH about paying for things, and we're MARRIED. It's respect. And he can do it in a non-confrontational way. It sounds like he'll buckle anyway, since that's his pattern. I get the feeling this is a long historical pattern the two of them play out.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Silver -- of course it is easier for you to talk to someone you are married to. Duhh. When parents are divorced, mom cant wait for the right time, bring up many times, etc. That can be the problem the mom is facing -- its the easy way out for Dad to keep the woman he is married to happy.

Many parents give their adult children substantial gifts, either during life or at death. There seems to be a long line of thought by SMs here that adults kids deserve nothing. Which in the case of SMs who survive their DHs (and statistically women live longer), results in SM and her kids getting all. Dads kids shouldnt have to depend on SM. I applaud moms who do their best ot see that their kids dont take a back seat to the SMs kids.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I just recalled previous discussions on this forum how children need to pay for their own college and cost of living. I even remember some people saying that children do better in college if they pay for it themselves (not the case by the way) and that no one is obligated to pay for their children education.

So people aren't obligated to pay for their own children but this guy is obligated to pay for stepkids' education? what happened with famous logic that kids should pay for it themselves, or it only works in a certain context-when those kids aren't SM's biokids.


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could it be?

could it be that mom and dad decided long time ago that they will help adult kid with the house? maybe it was discussed while they were still married or maybe when they were getting divorced and now when they are divorced mom, doesn't think it needs to be changed.

maybe what she said was: I and your dad will help you wiht the house the way it was discussed previously.

Mom really doesn't have to consider that dad has to pay for other children's education.


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Ima

"They are talking about a 29 year old 'child'! and a down payment on a house.. not braces! Give me a freakin' break!"

If a dad has extra money after paying household bills it is up to him how he wants to help adult children, 29 or 50. If he neglects his bills and his wife, then it is of course wrong to give money to kids, but if we are talking about somehting he can afford then why not helping his daughter? Because SM's children need money? Don't they have parents?


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Didi would have to clear up two points.
1. Do you have your finances put together in one pot. Because if didi and her Dh do have it all together. ITs her say how much if any will go to Sd. Its her money as well and she will be part of the decision making if they're money is together.
2. Did didi help the sd and other stepkids with paying of college? If she did, then yah, i would expect my dh to do the same with my kids when it was their time. Its only fair since she dished out the cash. And if she did, Then where was BM at the time for the college cash?
Now. Lets say, their money is not in one pot. That SM didn't help one cent to the skids when it came for schooling. THen i would have to say its not SM business to expect help from her Dh concerning the college money of her kids. Its up to her and her ex husband to provide that.
So didi. Can you please clarify those two points????
Bottom line regardless if didi clears these points or not...BM has no business..ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS in volunteering her ex husband cash for her daughter. ITs his cash , not hers, his decision , not hers. I found her to be a controlling pompous *SS for even saying that to an adult 29 year old woman that me and dad will put the downpayment for you guys. And sure...her fiancee agrees even though he doesn't like BM???? WTF? Sorry....sounds to me fiancee is agreeign cause ya sure, its free cash! and SD is in the middle of it and being told what to do..SHe's an adult and should tell her bm to stick her nose out of it and to stop controlling things.
If it were my Sd and my money was in the same pot, i'ld be damned if bm is gonna tell us what to do with it and if i've decided i wanted that money to go to my kids especially if i saved the cash and i helped iwth SK in the past...nope it ain't going for a downpaying. This is the stinky thing about joining it in one pot people. I strongly suggest people with blended family keep the cash separate. That is JMO.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Organic, it doesnt sound to me that the SDs bf if veiwing this as free cash. OP says she suspects that the BF's family is chipping in too.

Organic -- you and I dont know what understanding was with the mom and dad as to helping kids.

FD, give up -- many here apparently think that the dad should pay for his stepkids college.

Kids should look to their bioparents for college expenses. Other relatives, incluidng grandparents may also chip in. As to those that are counting on stepparents -- at best that will casue friction in a family, at worse, if mom and Hubby #2 split, I am not aware of any state that will make former stepdad help pay for college.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"If a dad has extra money after paying household bills it is up to him how he wants to help adult children, 29 or 50."

You're ABSOLUTELY right!

If dad has extra money after paying household bills.. he can do what HE wants with his money... and if HE chooses to help pay his stepkids college... that's HIS choice. His ex wife does not have a right to decide for him that he should pay for a down payment or anything else.. just because he is choosing to help pay for his stepkids college.

It's his money, his choice. PERIOD!


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kkny

I don't necessarily agree he should help his stepkids... I think his ex wife does NOT have the right to offer something that isn't hers.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

" it is up to him how he wants to help adult children, 29 or 50."

I agree also its up to HIM not his ex wife to say how he spends his money

glad we can agree on something :)


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Its not how we veiw it -- its how OPs DH does. My guess is, as she said, he wants to help his kids, but that the OPs kids tuition is an issue. OP and her kids will be reminding him of that regularly. So the mom should be sticking up for her kids.

My guess is even though OP says it is bothering her more than her DH that her kids father wont pay -- OPs DH is just silent, and wants to avoid a discussion. But my guess is he doesnt think is fair.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

we are yet to know what dad chooses to do.

what we know from the post is that SM wants dad to support her college age kids.

and Bm wants dad to contribute to his adult daughter. or at least that what SD said, we don't know what BM really said.

It is possible dad will choose to support SM's kids because it is easier to have confrontation with adult kids or exwives than wiht current spouse.


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Fine Dreams

Exactly, FD. Which is why Xwife may step up reminders of what dad had said he would do. Xwife may be concerned that credit for first time home buyers (worth up to 8000, I think) is set to expire at end of year. Which togethor with parents chip in, current low real estate prices, may be a great opportunity for SD to get started.

So dad is conflicted between helping SD and paying for stepkids college. Financial assistnace to steps may be part of why second marriages have higher divorce rate than first. The SMs will blame it on interfering xwives and greedy kids -- but never looking at themselves -- they are just poor unfortuante woman whose X wont help out.

If OP werent married, she would likely be telling her kids that absent scholarships they could only go to community college, or looking for a second job herself, of a number of options. Its not easy. IMHO saving for college starts at an early age.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"and Bm wants dad to contribute to his adult daughter. or at least that what SD said, we don't know what BM really said."

and I believe the consensus is that mom should have called dad, not told SD anything about what dad will or won't do. If mom had called dad and SM was here to complain that dad was paying for the house instead of her kids' college.. or if dad said no because he's paying for SK's college, there might be a different response. Bottom line, mom should have called dad.


"It is possible dad will choose to support SM's kids because it is easier to have confrontation with adult kids or exwives than wiht current spouse."

Anything is possible. Dad may not mind helping his daughter with a down payment. He may be saving his money for his retirement. He may not have any money, maybe he lost it in the stock market. and guys don't usually like confrontation period, so yeah he may find it easier to keep peace in his home... but that doesn't negate the fact that his ex wife does not have a right to speak for him or anyone else.

It's one thing to be supportive of your adult child, but another to push kids to do things... like get married, have kids or buy a house. Those are things that should be done when a person feels ready to do them and if the daughter feels ready, her mom should be supportive... not telling her time is running out or it's something she should do soon, etc. Lots of parents push because they want grandkids, etc. but how does that parent feel when the marriage fails because they weren't ready for marriage or when they lose the house because they weren't ready to be homeowners... or they aren't very good parents because they weren't ready or didn't really WANT to be parents?

BM in OP's situation... given what was said that she said to her daughter... is pushing for the daughter to make life altering decisions, in addition to offering up dad's money without consulting dad. IF it's true what she said, she's a controlling person and what she did was wrong on more than one level. It has nothing to do with what dad wants to do with his money...


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Everybody agrees that mom should call dad first, not discussing it without consulting with him (maybe she already consulted, who knows).

SM should also call her children's father and ask for college help and not expect her new husband to do that.

Both moms advocate for their chidlren. But at least BM advocates for dad helping his own child.

We do not know what mom said, she is not posting here, but we know what SM said: DH still has to support her college kids. And she in fact feels guilty about it, well she knows it is not right.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Bottom line on this topic is
1. BM IS OUT OF LINE FOR
A. TALKING ABOUT THE SUBJECT TO HER ADULT DAUGHTER
B. TALKING ABOUT MONEY THAT IS NOT HERS TO DECIDE TO WITH
C. VOLUNTEERING SAID MONEY THAT IS NOT HERS OR ANY OF HER BUSINESS .
2. The money is TOGETHER with DH and said SM on this matter., then SM HAS THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT SHE PLEASES WITH THAT MONEY AND HAS A SAY IN WHERE IT WILL GO. IF its together.
If the money is solely saved by the father in this, its HIS business what he will do with it.
He may decide to ditch both his exwifes demands and his current wifes demands as well.
No one is entitled to money for education or a house. NO ONE!
Bottom line. ITS NOT BM'S BUSINESS TO VOLUNTEER OR TALK ABOUT ANYONES MONEY BUT HER OWN. SHE SHOULD STUFF HER MOUTH ANDSAY, I'LL GIVE YOU MONEY FOR THE DOWNPAYMENT. ITS UP TO YOUR FATHER WHAT GIFT HE WILL GIVE YOU.
BUt noooooooooooo, being a control freak that she is, she say 'oh both father and i will do the downpayment' HELLOOOOOO people.
ITS NOT HER MONEY.
Eveyrone here just focuses right away on SM's wishes but totally disregards how BM here has completely stepped out of line.
And anyone who defends bm's actions by saying she's protecting her daughter is soooooo full of it. This is such a control issue, evne over her own daughter , its so blatanntly obvious.
So please stop with the BS on this topic and get a grip some people. Its not her right or business to speak to her daughter in such a pushy manner and make a decisionon a downpayment of a house wiht someone else money but her own. To top it off, sd doesn't seem to want to buy a house yet and i dont care how good BM is wiht finances, she should not coerce her child into buying if said child wants nothing part of it.
Anyways....DIDI? where are you? What has happended?
THis blog is getting very long and i've yet ot see any response from you.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Organic - you ignore -- if dad and sm have not combined money, or if they are on the surface combined, yet most is from dad, he will likely have have some feelings that are less than positive about funding the stepmom's kids college and then not helping his kid with a house.

The stepmom brigade can trumpet loud and clear that mom should not have input, but that wont change dads feelings or SMs guilt.

Bottem line -- if you marry for money you will earn every penny. I didnt raise my DD to marry for money -- thats Dads SO that lives by that credo. Yes, her dad and I agreed as to funding of college, cars, etc and if he earns enough he should provide extras. If I have to prod him, thats life. Supporting SM in luxury or her kids is evidence that he can through some $$ to his own child.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

No kkny , i was the first to state about the combined money issue at hand if you didn't read my posts. I also stated that if the money is solely dads then its up to dad to do what he wants. WHICH MEANS ITS NOT BM'S BUSINES OR SM'S BUSINESS..ITS HIS MONEY.
ANd you have overlooked the main issue on this post. The fact that bm told her sd...or that is what sd is saying...so we dont even know if that is a fact..that her mom said 'dad and i will do a downpayment'
Who said anything here about sm guilt or dad's feelings?> The original post clearly states that Sd said what Bm said to her and its obvious SM wants her dh to fork up some cash for college funds. Now, that being said. didi has not provided us with some detail here. WHy would she expect her dh to dish out cash for her kids. I agree with you on one thing kkny, that its up to her and her ex husband to provide for her kids for college. Not up to her current dh. BUt with the way didi wrote it, there is something behind her expectation. Ie, the money is joined, her money and her dh, maybe she provided cahs for his kids college. So its a vicer versa deal with them.
Bottom line here. Kkny , This bm spoke about money that is not hers and not hers to do with as she pleases. Its not her business what her ex husband does with his cash. PERIOD.
I have not ignored any circumstance like you have stated above whatsoever.
I am a fair person and clearly stated that if the money is not combined, its not sm's business or bm business to demand anything from said hubby. Its up to sm and her ex hubby to provide for her kids.
So dont make me look like an evil stepmom..oh forgot..i'm also a BM and a stepchild. Dont forget that. I've seen many facets to these stepissues. In the end, if you are a good human being, who is fair, sharing loving and honest, not vindictive , not controlling and honestly cares about eveyrone around you, not one would have these issues in stepfamilies...oh but i forgot...we are all human...and many are idiots out there along with the smart intelligent ones.
BM in this case was out of line. You can't blatantly defend her can you???? You honestly want me to sit back and read people defend this bm for butting her big fat nose into her daughters business and top it off talk about money that is not hers???? Are you for real?
Who said anyone married for money here kkny. Your exhusband has that issue and its obvious you have a money issue. I'm just talking about what is fair and what is reality. The reality here is that this bm is talkingabout cash that is not hers and not her business to say that to her daughter whats so ever.
Cause if i was in that situation and my sd said that in front of me, i would quickly and swiftly tell her that its not her mother right or business to say anything about where your dad's money will go. Especially if my money is combined. Your damn right i will have a say where it goes and i would be the first one in line to tell BM to stick it where the sun dont shine.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"I am a fair person and clearly stated that if the money is not combined, its not sm's business or bm business to demand anything from said hubby. Its up to sm and her ex hubby to provide for her kids. "

I dont know how you define "combine" -- but my guess is many SMs define as I put my paycheck in teh pot, DH puts his (even if lots bigger), and thats one pot. My guess -- dad knows better, and thats why he gives in when mom wants more for her kdis.


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Organic

"I am a fair person and clearly stated that if the money is not combined, its not sm's business or bm business to demand anything from said hubby. Its up to sm and her ex hubby to provide for her kids. "

I dont know how you define "combine" -- but my guess is many SMs define as I put my paycheck in the pot, DH puts his (even if lots bigger), and thats one pot. My guess -- dad knows better, and thats why he gives in when mom wants more for her kdis.


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Organic

Please dont acuse me of being fixated on money -- I am not the one who married a guy who expects him to pay for my kids tuition.

I am expecting OP to come back and say oh yes we share, one pot etc. But that she has taken so long -- my guess is the pot is filled with mostly her DHs money.

Somehow, when mom is sticking up for kids, it is about control, etc and dad has the right to decide where his money goes. How much of this is a mask for SM wants money for her or her kids??? Please dont acuse me of being the mercnary one.


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KKNY Guesses a lot...

** My guess is mom is guessing that the DH is paying at least part of his steps college and is trying to see that his kids do not take it on the chin.

** Dotz, it really doesnt matter what you and I think -- my guess is DH thinks he should do more for his kids -- depending on his relationship with the steps he may or may not regard them as his kids. My guess is there will be strife in household over this. My guess is also teh DH resents his stepkids dad not stepping up to the plate.

**Its not how we veiw it -- its how OPs DH does. My guess is, as she said, he wants to help his kids, but that the OPs kids tuition is an issue. OP and her kids will be reminding him of that regularly. So the mom should be sticking up for her kids.

My guess is even though OP says it is bothering her more than her DH that her kids father wont pay -- OPs DH is just silent, and wants to avoid a discussion. But my guess is he doesnt think is fair.

**I dont know how you define "combine" -- but my guess is many SMs define as I put my paycheck in teh pot, DH puts his (even if lots bigger), and thats one pot. My guess -- dad knows better, and thats why he gives in when mom wants more for her kdis.

** my guess is the pot is filled with mostly her DHs money.

For someone that has taken a position.. you sure guess about a lot! You assume so many facts not given... dad makes more money.. the pot has mostly dad's money.. that dad is afraid to upset his wife... WHAT A BUNCH OF BULL CR@P!

It's funny that I thought about this happening in MY situation. SD is 10. My son is 20, my daughter 19. Let's say in 10 years time, SD is in college.. living with us and my son or daughter is 29-30 and want to buy a house. So, what you are saying is that if SD needs help with college, and her mom.. who is now 36, 46 by then and has never held a real job and probably won't be able to take care of herself, let alone help pay for SD to go to college.. and if DH hasn't paid off all his debt or if he loses his job and can't pay for SD's college... that it's tough sh!t for SD. No college honey! Meanwhile, I can use MY money to fund a down payment for my kids.. oh yeah, and I can tell my son that his dad will pay the other half of his down payment. I don't need to check with him or his wife... forget that he has three kids with her. Who cares if he has it or not? Who cares if he wants to contribute or not? Our son is HIS son and it's HIS responsibility to pay what I think he should. I'm only standing up for my kid... who cares how it affects him or anyone else!!!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

What we DO know is that OP says she feels guilty. Why would she feel guilty if she were pulling her own weight? I think you are ignoring the obvious.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Dang! I feel guilty that SD needs counseling and neither of her parents can afford it right now... so I quit going to the chiropractor so she can get the counseling she needs because her mom is putting her through hell, just because she doesn't want to pay the $216 in child support... let alone helping out with her counseling! So, really I shouldn't feel bad for her. I shouldn't care, it's not MY problem, right? I should go get my back adjusted so I am not in pain and let her parents worry about her and if they can't afford it, too bad little girl... should've gotten luckier in the parent lottery! It's not MY fault your mom doesn't care how much everything she's doing is hurting you... I guess I shouldn't care either. After all, she's not even my kid.

Guilty? I guess my husband may feel guilty because he lost his health insurance so now we have to pay the full cost of her counseling. He might even feel guilty that he can't get through to her mother and express to the mom how much their daughter is suffering, mom doesn't want to hear it. He may even feel guilty that I ache and have trouble sleeping sometimes because I am working two jobs, one is pretty physical and I have a bad back... but I do it because I want our life to be better. I do it because we have his daughter to support because her mother refuses to.

We (DH & I) can sit around all day and point fingers at who's right or who's wrong, but how does that help? Yes, he was wrong to accumulate a lot of debt. Yes, his ex should pay her fair share of raising SD. No, I shouldn't have to work two jobs so we can live comfortably. My kids should have gotten the support they were entitled to growing up and I should have had help. There are so many should have, could have or would have's and the bottom line is that we do what we do and the goal is for everyone to have a good life. We prioritize and in my opinion, a 12 year old that needs braces is more important than a 20 year old that wants/needs a car, a 19 year old that needs help with college is more important than a 29 year old that wants a house. A 10 year old that needs counseling is more important than a 40 year old that needs a back adjustment, regardless of relationship or who should be paying for it. If that were the case, my SD would never have new clothes, she would not get a birthday party, and a lot of other extra things that are provided that her parent's can't afford right now.

Yeah, her dad feels guilty but her mom sure doesn't. Either way, it's MY choice to do what I want with MY money and I would very much resent any of the fathers of my kids to call me up and tell me that I need to be spending my money on anything other than what I choose to spend it on. I sure would be downright angry if they went behind my back and told one of my kids that I was gonna buy them anything... without asking me first, just because they don't think I should be paying for things SD needs because she has two parents. It's nobody's business but MINE.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"I also feel somewhat guilty in that when we married my ex was paying child support and helping with other financial stuff for my kids, but it has fallen on the two of us to pay for my kid's college and most of their other expenses the past few years. "

I think it is pretty clear what OP feel guilty about. And I feel for her -- she's not in a great situation. Ima, this isn't your situation -- no one is asking SM to pay for SDs things.

You have raised kids without much hlep from their biofathers. I am certain that hasnt been easy. But just becuase you did it doesnt make it right. Every child has two parents. If you advise every SM that her DH should do as little as possible, my guess is there will be conflict. A man that will help with his Stepkids college will do more than he has to for his own kids. My guess is OP realizes all this.


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kkny

I don't think my situation is much different than OP's.. only reversed. DH would be in SM's shoes... basically needs my help with raising SD because SD's BM is basically useless. My kids are grown.. just as OP's DH's kids are grown. and while no one asked me to pay for SD's things, where do you get that OP has asked her husband to pay for anything for her kids? They live together and she relies on his income the way my husband relies on mine. If one of my adult kids came along and wanted me to fund something significant, it would take away from our life as we have become accustom to living... it would affect him and his daughter, just as it would affect OP and her kids.

It's not all that different at all. My SD has two parents too. Should I wash my hands because it's MY money and sock it away to give to my kids? Well, if that's what I want to do, then I should! If I want to donate it all to the SPCA, then I can do that too. Nobody has a right to tell me what to do with MY money. That is the point! and that is the issue that you have been avoiding all along by deflecting to what you think dad should do or what you guess SM wants him to do, etc. You are ignoring the obvious that BM was wrong to tell her kid that dad will do this or that, when she didn't even discuss it with dad.


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Ima --

How do you know the OP Stepchild's mother is useless?? It sounds like she is chipping in? I didnt ignore the obvious -- that the mom is pushy -- but your ignoring the other part of this. We can all deal with pushy people -- I suspect the OPs DH has problems dealing because he's getting pulled on all sides --


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I didn't say OP's stepchild's mother is useless.. I said MY SD's mother is useless. OP says her ex does not help.

About her child's father, she said

"I strongly agree that the responsibility for my kids college should be handled by me and my ex. I don't want to spend time on this part of the issue as it could be a whole other post. Because of things that have happened in his life, my ex isn't worth taking to court because he doesn't own anything. But do we feel used-absolutely. I think it bothers me even more than my DH."


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"Silver -- of course it is easier for you to talk to someone you are married to. Duhh. "

Well, now that's mature...


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"yet most is from dad"

Yet again KKNY, you don't know this. It isn't uncommon as you think for the woman to make more money these days.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Doodle, I agree many women make more money these days, but according to the census bureau, men usually make more. And again, that OP feels guilty about the money situation -- why would she feel guilty if she earned more -- by the amount of her kids college expenses??


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More KKNY

I feel guilty that I can't put the girls in Ballet KKNY. I make the most money in our family. You can be the bread winner and still have guilt about the financial situation....I am living proof.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I think there's a gross disparity here. Stepmothers are expected to treat stepkids as their own, not play favorites, drive them around to their activities (since everyone knows it's the female who does these things while the male is making the paycheck). But Stepmoms should never expect that the finances should go to pay for them or their bio-kids at all. Because money is more valuable than time, energy and effort.

I think there is a value judgment going on here and I don't like it. Because assumptions are made that the male in the family must be making more the female must be taking advantage. What about the females who juggle work, children, house and activities? Even though the male may be making more, does that mean he contributes more to the household? This takes me right back to the '50's where "womens work" is undervalued and underappreciated.

I personally work very hard, and am not taking advantage of my husband's paycheck at all. I did not marry him so he could take care of me or my daughter financially. We both feel that the children in our lives are the children in our family. I tell people I have two daughters, one of my womb and one of my heart.

Perhaps the males are taking advantage of the females... they get additional children that they are not responsible for and therefore do not have to expend energy on discipline but can just enjoy the childhood. They don't have to take responsibility for paying for activities or driving them to activities. They don't have to be on any emergency paperwork. They don't have to pay for higher education or down payments or anything "further". Yet they have a chauffeur, chef, personal trainer, nurse, babysitter, maid etc... for themselves and their child(ren).

I feel guilty that I can't do more with my daughter because I work so many hours. I feel guilty that I can't do a lot of things for her and with her. I feel guilty that I can't fly my SD out more often, or go to see her more often. I feel guilty about a lot of things.

I'm guessing the OP feels guilty because her children are taking more financially than the other children are at this point in time. That can shift, and I'm sure it will. What about when the s-kids have babies? Then there will be gifts galore, and help, and all sorts of things that the other kids in college won't get. Is that fair? Should SM not babysit her step-grandkids because she should be working harder to pay for the college of her kids?

There is a very exacting rule that I'm sensing here, and it makes me uncomfortable.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

It is useless to bring our own situations for comparisson, of course we all do it and it is tempting, but it is useless (and i am guilty of it too). We can only judge by this particular situation and this particular post. What is hapenning in our own families is not that relevant.

if other women raised their children without father's help, it doesn't mean that everyone should be doing it or if some people cannot help adult children, it doesn't mean everyone shouldn't.

We do not know who makes more but we do know that SM wants DH to help her kids wiht college and feels guilty about it, she worries if he will help his daughter wiht the house, then her kids will get less for college. It all sounds very bad, it is OK for her to feel this way and vent here.

i mean i wish somebody does XYZ for me LOL i wish i don't have huge graduate loan to pay back, i wish i had a sugar daddy LOL (no i really don't) or anyone to pay for me, but it is a bit strange to assume we all have to have what we want.

SM can take parent loan and help kids wiht college if dad refuses. rather strange to expect stepdad to do it. nice if he can. but expecting? parent loan is available for her any time.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"What is hapenning in our own families is not that relevant."

It is relevant if it forms our opinions on what we write in response to someone else's post. Otherwise, nobody should ever post anything here... don't ask for advice or opinions on your problems because nobody else here is in the exact same situation so it's not relevant? Is that what you mean?

GW will have to shut down!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

No I think what FD means is that every family is different. And to apply rules that work for some step families may be unfair when transported to others -- especially with variables such as how old kids were when parents were married, how much parents earn, etc.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Silversword, I agree a lot with your last post but I see it from a different spin. There is no doubt it is not easy being a SM.

But take a look at most of these posts, I'm not talking the usual disclaimers here. But posts like this one. This is not just about BM's being controlling, it is SM's too. If this SM did not have the expectation that her childrens education should be paid by Stepdad, I doubt this issue would even be a minor problem. No, it is not right that BM said that to SD, but we really have *no* idea the context of how it was said, whether the terms were already agreed upon. We just have no idea.

Where I grew up, paying for your childs college and downpayments with houses and stuff is the norm. I can definitely see any divorced couple I know having a discussion with the child and saying we will help you blah blah blah. I know there are many on this board that come from a different train of thought that college should be paid by the child or whatever, but it is funny to me the vast difference when it comes to stepmoms child lol.

We DO know that this Stepmom expects her new husband to pay her childrens education and this is somehow tangled with Dad helping his daughter with a downpayment for a house. And no, I'm not saying BM has a right to discuss with SD without Dad, but when I weigh the two SM expecting her child/childrens college paid by Stepdad and BM telling SD Dad will also help, BM's doesn't come out nearly as controlling as this SM's.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"No I think what FD means is that every family is different. And to apply rules that work for some step families may be unfair when transported to others -- especially with variables such as how old kids were when parents were married, how much parents earn, etc."

While that may be true... your opinion seems to be based on assumptions based on your experiences... BM has custody ~ not always true. BM wants what's best for kids ~ not always true. Men make more money than women ~ not always true. Parent should pay for college ~ not always true. If dad doesn't see his kids as much as he should, it's because SM is controlling him ~ not always true. I don't always see you applying variables to your advice or opinions.

We DO NOT know that she expects her new husband to pay for her children's education nivea. We DO know that her children are in college and he helps pay for it and if he has to pay a down payment on a house for his child, then it will affect OP's children that are already in college. She is understandably worried about that.. just as she may worry about him being able to pay their regular bills if they were barely making it, etc. We don't know what their arrangement is but we do know she has a 'concern'. That's hardly saying that she expects him to pay for her child's education. She didn't say "No way, that's not happening!", but they would like to help with it, but it comes unexpectedly while her kids are in college and she did say it also takes the joy out of giving to be told to do it. The issue here is that the ex wife told their child something without discussing it with dad. Even if they discussed it 10 years ago when they were married.. or 29 years ago when their daughter was born... circumstances have changed. They are no longer married and nobody can decide for another what the other person will do! It would be a different story altogether if BM called Dad and said, remember when DD was a baby we agreed to pay her down payment... and push from that angle. But to unilaterally decide that he will do it and tell her so.. now at least 8 years after they've been divorced is so utterly beyond wrong.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Ima, OP said "but it has fallen on the two of us to pay for my kid's college and most of their other expenses the past few years. " - I dont see how that can be intretped other than Dad will be or has been paying for his stepkids college. Only a contorted interpretation gets you any other place.

Where I live it is not uncommon for parents to help with college and down payments (as OP suspects her SDs BF's parents will) - similiar to Nivea. I suspect a correlation betwen paying for college and down payments.

I think SM expecting dad to help with her kids college is either indicative that dad has a lot of money or that SHE is overreaching.


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OK for SM to be dependent on man, but not mom

Its incredible on another thread how Ima dumps on women for being dependent on a man -- and yet here it is OK for SM to get dad to pay for HER kids college. And whether she "expects" it or not, HE IS PAYING. This is about as dependent on a man as it gets, and he is not even their dad. I guess it is ok to be dependent on a man for help with kids when he is your current husband, but not when he is your child's father.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"I think SM expecting dad to help with her kids college is either indicative that dad has a lot of money or that SHE is overreaching."

My DH does not make a lot of money.. at least not more than I do. We are not well off but I do expect that my son will be able to go to college and if it takes contributing by my DH, then yes I do expect him to sacrifice and/or contribute because in our situation, if my husband were not in the picture, my son would qualify for financial aid but since my husband's income disqualifies him, then it should not fall on me to pay more because of my husband's income. We do not know OP's entire situation or her arrangement with her DH. Going after a bio father to pay for college or weddings or down payments on house or car is not something that can be done legally in many states. In CA, a father is not obligated for anything unless there is a written agreement. Morally, yes dad's should help... as should mom's. Legally, not much can be done.

For the most part, my husband & I pool our money. We decide how to spend it.. vacations, vehicles, major purchases, etc. When one of the kids needs something, we don't say "well, it's your kid so you need to figure out how to pay it". We might do that if we had separate finances and only put our share of bill money into the bill account, but we don't. We rely on each other's income to meet our living standard that WE have grown accustom to and anything.. braces for his daughter, counseling for his daughter, a court battle brought on by his ex, college for my son, my daughter's car breaking down or needing tires, or any of the other things that happen in life... we are a team and we worry about solving the current problems by prioritizing the problems, not prioritizing who's kid deserves such & such.

I asked my husband about this thread... he told me he would be livid if his ex told their daughter that he was going to do anything for her or buy her anything.. he says if he is going to do something, he'll decide and he'll tell her. LOL, he says that would be like telling his daughter that her mom is going to pick her up instead of grandma... he can't make her do it and it will only hurt his daughter when BM says no I'm not.

and no, it's not really okay to be dependent on someone else financially... but realistically when you share finances or living expenses, you get accustom to a standard of living that you might not be able to have if you were alone. My husband could live without my income, I could live without his.. but our standard would go down on both sides.. his would go down more since he has much more debt than I do.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Ima, IMHO it is the bioparents responsiblity to provide for college for their kids, whether they are married or not. At the time of divorce, college should be on the table. In can be couched in objective terms, such as B average in HS, public in-state college. It is outrageous when parents dont deal with this. Especially parents who themselves went to college.

Yes, negotiating divorce, etc. is not easy. But ignoring college to get everything you want is, imho, the same as using CS for a face lift. You are ignoring your child's needs and putting yourself first.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"Husband and I have been married 8 yrs., he has 3 adult children and I have 2." and "My 29 yo SD.."

If the OP and her DH have been married for 8 years, and her SD is 29, if we do the math, the OP,who is also the StepMom of her DH's 3 biokids, has also helped to put her DH's biokids thru college and is not married to her DH because he is a "meal-ticket" for her and her kids. (29 years old - 8 years that DH and SM have been married = SD was 21 years old when they got married, that's college age, right?!...:)

The OP is asking why the BM has the right to "wants (SD) to get engaged and wants her and her bf to buy a house. (SD) told us her mom said that "me and your dad will give you the down payment for a house as an engagement present". The issue is with BM trying to control the DH and the SM's financial contribution. If BM wants to contribute, no one is stopping her. If DH and SM want to contribute, and it sounds like they DO, but on THEIR terms, that's up to them. It's a control/manipulation/abuse issue, not a "SM/OP has married for money, bad bad SM!!" issue.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

In some parts of Canada stepparents are financially responsible for their stepchildren.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"If the OP and her DH have been married for 8 years, and her SD is 29, if we do the math, the OP,who is also the StepMom of her DH's 3 biokids, has also helped to put her DH's biokids thru college"

we do not know that. she never told us that she paid for his kids education. we do not even know if they went to college. Plus if SD was 21 and they just got married you canot possibly say she paid for SD's college.


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silvers

silverswood, there is a big difference between being responsible for food on the table for minor stepkids or medical care and the other is expect to pay college tuition. Even biological parents cannot be legally forced to pay tuiton, how do you make stepparent to pay tuition?

We had threads after threads arguing that there is no such thing as having to pay for kids education and kids turn 18 they pretty much on their own. And there were only few of us who said that parents do have moral obligation to help. Now all of a sudden it is reversed. the only difference was that we were talking about dad's kids before and now it is SM's kids. Rules don't apply here.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

FD, OP (didi) did say her DH put his colleges through college. Not we, he.

Did SM marry for money? Partially. I doubt even she can decide. Woman meets man, man sees beuatiful woman, woman sees man drving nice car, takes her out to nice restaruants. He says to himself how pretty and nice she is; she says how nice and gracious he is. End of day -- is he marrrying her for her looks, and she for his money -- in part? Whose to say. But regardless, they are now married. Do I think OP expected her DH to shoulder her kids college?, no she expected her X to. But either she had no backup plan orher backup plan was for DH to pay. When we talk about stepkids being responsile, I think SMs have to be responsible too -- or recognize they will create more friction.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Kkny, you are right about that, I thought I saw somewhere that his kids had been to college. Fine dreams, I knew I had seen it somewhere!!

"Both DH and I have a desire to help all of the kids. DH did put his kids through college, so there is no animosity there between S-kids and mine. The problem is not that we don't want to help, but we don't want to be told we have to help and the timing of when they will need this money is difficult in relation to other current expenses we have."

Maybe we could better understand the OP's points and her upset feelings over this situation if we step back and stop pointing fingers (ie.stating that the OP partially married for money, etc...) We don't know this, it's not a fact. BM's and SM's are PEOPLE, human beings. Let's put it into perspective, and try to flip the dilemma around. Instead of it being the BM who is saying to SD "me and your dad will give you the down payment for a house as an engagement present", let's replace the name "BM" with "SM". If SM tells SD to tell BM that DH (SD's Dad) and BM will give the downpayment for a house as an engagement present, how does that make people feel?...


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Shannon, I don't see why it is Dad's responibiltiy to provide college or a downpayment for kids that aren't his. Apparently the SMs think dad should pay for stepkids. Thats life -- different people regard things differently. I think SMs are only kidding themselves that this wont create strife.

My poll of friends and family think unless the stepkids have been living with dad since around age 2, that would be unusual, and most of the men I know say that they might pay, but be resentful and be silent but regard it a cost of keeping the peace. One of my neighbors did pay some for SD, but only at a public school, while his kids went to private school, and then name private universities. The mom said she didnt understand how schools worked -- I guess she didnt learn that much working the beauty counter at Bloomies. But at least he paid for the first two years for SD. They are now divorced, so he is no longer paying.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Kkny, I asked you to turn it around and look at it from another perspective. If the SM made the "Decision" that the BM and the DH were to pay for the SD's downpayment as an engagement gift, is that ok? You are asking the SM to make a downpayment for a kid who is not hers, what's the difference. It sounds very sexist to me. What if the BM could not afford the downpayment on the house for her daughter? Is it ok to make decisions for someone else with no discussion? Is it respectful?

And about the DH paying for his Skids' college education, We pay for one of my SD's college tuition and books and I make more money than my DH. Their BM pays nothing. Should I feel resentful and angry, because I don't. I feel we should help SD, because she is a kid and she needs help, so we do. :)


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Whose kid

Its not about gender, its about whose kid it is. I beleive Bioparents should be responsible. If you chose to pay for a stepchild, your choice. I would not critize you for not paying. Here it appears that Dad will make the decision, and it is SM bemoaning that he gives in to what mom/kids want.

It is interesting how on many other threads SMs bemoan how irresponsible moms are, yet when they have not planned on how to pay for their kids college, and rely on dh, it is just too bad.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"silverswood, there is a big difference between being responsible for food on the table for minor stepkids or medical care and the other is expect to pay college tuition."

I didn't say anything about forcing anyone to pay for college. That's not what this post is about. I've said time and again that I do not believe parents are obligated to pay for their children's college education.

I spoke with my husband last night about this and he agreed, but we are in total agreement about paying for our children's needs as they arise. We are preparing them for college, but are not promising them anything. Both children. I will work to help put his daughter through, and vice versa. Out of all of my friends NONE of us married the "bloomies girl" because she had a nice rack or the "pool boy" because of his modeling experience. We all married adults with whom we had an intellectual, emotional and physical attraction and who came from a similar background. Anyone who is mentally stunted to marry a person so "beneath their station" who could possibly be "marrying for money" deserves to lose every dime that "leech" sucks off of them. But the children in the situation should not have to suffer just because the Porsche driver has a woodie for Miss Aging Beauty Queen. I think Canada has the right idea. Just because your pants are doing the thinking doesn't mean you shouldn't have to consider how many other lives you are impacting.

In some provinces of Canada there are laws on the books regarding the responsibilities of stepparents. Depending on each unique situation (who is contributing to the child, how long the child has been in the home with the stepparent, etc) Stepparents are often required to pay CHILD SUPPORT for their stepchildren until age 18 or longer if the child is in school. Simply because people choose mates who have children and they don't consider that they are taking on a responsibility. It is time for the children to be taken care of. Period.

KKNY:

"Did SM marry for money? Partially. I doubt even she can decide. Woman meets man, man sees beuatiful woman, woman sees man drving nice car, takes her out to nice restaruants. He says to himself how pretty and nice she is; she says how nice and gracious he is."

"The mom said she didnt understand how schools worked -- I guess she didnt learn that much working the beauty counter at Bloomies"

I think you're showing the shallow end of your pool.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Silver -- you say "Anyone who is mentally stunted to marry a person so "beneath their station" who could possibly be "marrying for money" deserves to lose every dime that "leech" sucks off of them. But the children in the situation should not have to suffer just because the Porsche driver has a woodie for Miss Aging Beauty Queen. I think Canada has the right idea. Just because your pants are doing the thinking doesn't mean you shouldn't have to consider how many other lives you are impacting."

I am confused. You say children shouldnt suffer -- are you referring to kids from first marriage, moms kids, dads kids or what.

As to what Canada requires, please provide a cite. My understanding of Canadian law (which yes is different in every province) is limted rules on stepparents and for stepparents to have parental responsiblitey both bioparents have to sign on, as does step. Please educate me. Point me to statute etc.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Shannon2356 said:

"Kkny, I asked you to turn it around and look at it from another perspective. If the SM made the "Decision" that the BM and the DH were to pay for the SD's downpayment as an engagement gift, is that ok? What if the BM could not afford the downpayment on the house for her daughter? Is it ok to make decisions for someone else with no discussion? Is it respectful?
And about the DH paying for his Skids' college education, We pay for one of my SD's college tuition and books and I make more money than my DH. Their BM pays nothing. Should I feel resentful and angry, because I don't. I feel we should help SD, because she is a kid and she needs help, so we do. :)"

(I removed the part about the SM paying a downpayment for the SD, since you didn't seem to undestand what I meant.)

Kkny replied:

"Its not about gender, its about whose kid it is. I beleive Bioparents should be responsible. If you chose to pay for a stepchild, your choice. I would not critize you for not paying. Here it appears that Dad will make the decision, and it is SM bemoaning that he gives in to what mom/kids want.
It is interesting how on many other threads SMs bemoan how irresponsible moms are, yet when they have not planned on how to pay for their kids college, and rely on dh, it is just too bad."

I am reposting this because you did not answer my question about being respectful or about "if the tables were turned". If you were the BM and the SM told YOU that YOU are expected to pay such and such with your Ex, would you feel respected? It's not really about the BM or the SM or the DH, but about the RESPECT that needs to be shown to one another. My DH says to mention that as a father, he would not tolerate his ex telling him what to pay for. It is a discussion to have, but he said that he would not tolerate being TOLD by anyone "THIS is what YOU are doing because I HAVE DECIDED that this is what we are going to do".

Also, you stated that "Here it appears that Dad will make the decision, and it is SM bemoaning that he gives in to what mom/kids want." The OP actually says that SD gives in to BM and hates conflict. Maybe SD wants a house but maybe SD doesn't want BM and DH (BD) to give a downpayment. We don't KNOW for sure. I think you are making it about personal experiences here and I think we should try to make it about that people need to respect one another. If the SM had made a one-sided decision, people on this forum would also criticize her. I find that most people here are not prejudiced towards BM's or SM's, but are pretty fair and open-minded... :D


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sharon

sharon, the fact that they have been to college doesn't mean SM paid for it. SD was 21, which is pretty much close to be out of college and some people graduate at 21 by the way and we do not know age of other kids. My X remarried when DD was close to 21 and she still had some college left, of course her SM cooks dinners when DD visits and such but my X would not ask her to pay DD's college tuition.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"Did SM marry for money? Partially. I doubt even she can decide. Woman meets man, man sees beuatiful woman, woman sees man drving nice car, takes her out to nice restaruants. He says to himself how pretty and nice she is; she says how nice and gracious he is. End of day -- is he marrrying her for her looks, and she for his money -- in part?"

WOW kkny! You know their dating history and reasoning behind why they married each other too! "Whose to say." Indeed! You don't know the circumstances but you assume to know what was in either of their minds when they dated or married! HAHAHAHA Unbelievable! (and you tell me how every family is different... variables need to be considered?) But I guess... since you like to guess so much... that all boy meets girl situations are the same. Looks & Money! Seems to be what is important in YOUR world kkny! Well, guess what? Not everyone is so obsessed with looks & money!

FD: My son is in college. One of MY requirements for him is he needs to work part time and help pay some of his own expenses. WE (my DH & I) pay his living expenses. My DH helps him with transportation costs, books, and in his first year, paid part of his tuition. I say WE because if I write the check, it means I have less money to put in the joint account so DH makes up the difference. If DH writes the check, I make up the difference or WE can write it from our joint account but regardless of who writes the check, it affects our household income. When it's SD's turn to go to college, we will do the same. We certainly are NOT relying on her mother to help... we can't even rely on her to pay her child support or help with anything else. SD won't be denied an education because her mom is a lazy deadbeat. We may decide not to pay for college if SD is a terrible student and is not college material. We hope she does go and I work extra with her to find ways to make her enjoy learning and to be a better student. It's an uphill battle because she really seems to want to be like her mom... just want to have fun. Her mom is certainly not concerned about her kids' education, let alone worried about sending them to college. But, regardless it doesn't matter if it's dad's kid or my (SM) kid. Not all families look at it the way kkny would like them to... because as I said before, there are lots of things SD gets because I, her step parent, provide them for her. Her father can't and her mother won't. We don't know if OP's DH helps her children because he has to... or because he WANTS to. It just bolster's kkny's position to assume SM is forcing him because she feels guilty. She also says it bothers her more than it bother's her husband that her ex doesn't help anymore. That leads me to believe her husband may feel like I do. Younger kids need help more than older ones. or college is more important than buying a house... and may not be considering who's child, but rather looking at the situation from his own angle. He put his kids through college... maybe he feels no responsibility to shell out more money. She's college educated and maybe working with a fiance and I can see where he might want her to do it on her own. I look at my 23 year old son differently than my 20 year old or my 19 year old. The oldest is now married, he has a child and is in the military. If he called and asked me for money while I'm helping my 20 year old with college, I would think he needs to figure it out on his own. He is an adult & making adult decisions, it's time to cut the apron strings and let him be 'grown up'. He & his wife need to save up for their down payment. My SD is 10. We will be supporting her for at least the next 8-10 years & my kids are grown. The ones living at home, going to school will get help but as they get older, they are expected to make their own way in the world while DH and I continue to support SD.

and kkny, if it creates strife now that my husband and I are helping my son through college... will it create strife when my SD goes to college? I am spending more on the attorney to fight the custody battle her mom started than we are spending on my son's college. Fortunately, the attorney is allowing me to work off the bill... but imagine how much work I am doing to cover $300 an hour. One email to our attorney was billed $75 for her to read it & write back. Of course... maybe I should be resentful of it? If what you are saying is a step dad that is paying for college for kids that are not his (SM's kids) only does so to keep peace with SM... and he will resent it? I am a step mom paying for things for a child not mine... should I resent it? I work my ass off to pay the attorney bill and each month, the bill goes up.. never down. The only resentment I can muster is that BM had no business taking DH to court... she just doesn't want to pay her support. But, I am not going to resent doing what I feel is the right thing... just that it was not necessary. You can't assume to know what will cause strife or who will resent what... just because your circle of friends say so.

and I just have to say, this comment says a lot about the kind of person YOU are: "The mom said she didnt understand how schools worked -- I guess she didnt learn that much working the beauty counter at Bloomies." Unbelievable!!! Well, not really I guess!


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Here's one cite. I got it from googling "canada laws on step parents". It's the first link that came up. Surely you can google more if you truly want to be educated.

Canadian Law

Here's another one:

Family Law Child Support

"In British Columbia, unmarried step-parents are financially responsible for their step-children if they contributed to the children's support for at least one year. Next door in Alberta, unmarried step-parents have no financial obligations to their step-children."

KKNY:
"I am confused. You say children shouldnt suffer -- are you referring to kids from first marriage, moms kids, dads kids or what."

What kind of ridiculous question is that?

Well, obviously the SM's kids should play second fiddle, after all their mother is just in it for the new man's money and heaven forbid they should get any of it.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

I don't think anyone made any decisions. BM supposedly said that me, mom and dad, will help with the downpayment, maybe it was decided years ago that they would help wiht the house. maybe she said "we might help", "we will help as we promised years ago etc". Who knows. If dad doesn't want or can't help he won't help. But SMs' kids college shouldn't be the reason (unless again she put his kids through college, which is unlikely). i don't necessarilly think people should help grown kids wiht buying houses, but I disagree with the reasoning.


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Shannon/IMa

Ima, I had a ton of question marks indicating lack of knowlege as to why marriage. If you think I should have added more, sorry.

Shannon, if Xs SO said I should pay for something, I would laugh at her. My X and I discuss any interpretations of agreements. If she that to DD I suspect DD would laugh at her. And my point is that if Dad is going to pay for stuff for Moms kids, in this, OP's example, yes his kids will suffer -- as per OP.

I have seen stuff on the web all over re Canada.


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RE: KKNY behavior

"I have seen stuff on the web all over re Canada."

Then why the heck did you ask me to provide a cite? Did you just want to see me jump through your little hoop?

"As to what Canada requires, please provide a cite. My understanding of Canadian law (which yes is different in every province) is limted rules on stepparents and for stepparents to have parental responsiblitey both bioparents have to sign on, as does step. Please educate me. Point me to statute etc."


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Ima, Shannon, thank you. Shannon, I understood your "SM paying a downpayment for the SD" comment perfectly. It was precisely what I was trying to say but failed. Regardless of how it is put, there is always going to be the preconception that the daddy is paying for everything, so the SM and her kids should just get in line after the "real" family.

I think Ima that you and I have similar approaches, and you showing how it goes into one pot even though there are seperate pots is a great example. Plus, as you said, you have paid tons of money for things that are s-kid related that have nothing to do with college because you are a family and there are things that need to be done to keep the family healthy and intact.

KKNY, you're right. Maybe this is a generational gap thing. Because now, in this younger generation we are not marrying for status and money and being selfish and greedy. We are creating actual relationships based on love and trust and caring. We have degrees, we make as much or more than our husbands. We did not marry some man who is not attracted to us intellectually because we're social climbing bimbos. There is no need for separation of desires because we can be both intelligent and pretty. We have married men who want to care for the children in their lives, not just those they personally created. Men who not only marry their wife, but the children in his life are included in the commitment. That's what is happening in the current generation.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Excuse me, I have a masters and a professional qualification and came into my marriage with as much money as X. Unlike his current SO.

I have never SM should get in line. I said she take responsiblity for her own kids -- but apparently SMs think only the kids should take resposnbilty.

As to your current DH taking responsiblity for your kids, come back in 10 years.


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RE: Birth mom behavior

Kkny said:
"Shannon, if Xs SO said I should pay for something, I would laugh at her. My X and I discuss any interpretations of agreements. If she that to DD I suspect DD would laugh at her."

I didn't ask you if you or your DD would LAUGH, I asked if you thought it was RESPECTFUL to make these decisions without discussing them first. If you recall, you said: "My X and I discuss any interpretations of agreements" You DISCUSS them, oh wow, that's great, that was my point, thanks!! And if laughing at her is the way that you interract with your DD's SM,your ex's DW, I guess that says a LOT...


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RE: Birth mom behavior

"Excuse me, I have a masters and a professional qualification"

Thank you for clarifying this. I would have NEVER guessed in a million years.


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RE: reiteration

" but apparently SMs think only the kids should take resposnbilty."

What?

"As to your current DH taking responsiblity for your kids, come back in 10 years."

KKNY, he has set up trust accounts for my dd and she is in his will, as HIS DAUGHTER IS IN MINE. We have agreed to jointly take responsibility for the children we brought into this world and discussed it prior to marrying. Our salaries and inheritances are just about equal and we would be able to provide for our single bio-children just about the same were we not together. Thanks for your gloom prophesy though. It's comic relief.


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