Financial Support for Teenager?

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

I am a step-mother to a 19-year old who lives with his mother full-time. Before he turned 18 he visited us every other weekend (according to the child custody agreement). He plans to go to college in the fall (paid for by his grandfather) and asked us for financial help with his car insurance. We wrote out an agreement outlining our expectations which included things such as being a full-time student and seeing us two times per month and certain holidays. He agreed that it was reasonable and signed it.

It has been over one month since he's been to our home. School starts next week and we haven't seen any documentation of him being registered. When we brought this up to him via text (the only way he seems to communicate), he has said he's been 'too busy' to call or stop by. If he is 'too busy' now (only working 10 hours a week) he will obviously use that excuse once school starts.

My instinct is to say that since he has broken the agreement we are not paying for your insurance. Financial support to an adult is not an expectation but a gift or privilege. To understand that he is to contribute and not just take. However, I am worried that if we do not pay for his insurance he will drive uninsured, possibly get pulled over, and have legal consequences.

Are we expecting too much from him too soon? I also worry that he would use us not paying for his insurance as an excuse to cut ties with us.

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UPDATE: Just to clarify. We only asked that we see him two times a month (2 days of his choosing....maybe an hour or two at a time). He is also planning to attend school locally while living at his Moms.

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Jodi - posted on 08/16/2016

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Psychological manipulation.........not ok. You should not be holding things over your children or step children conditional on how often they see you.

ETA: Actually, now that I've had a think about it....this is right up there with "well I don't get to see my kid so I'm not paying child support". Kids are human. They are not available for rent. Even when they are adults. Your adult step child is NOT rented property. There are certain things you need to do to support your children, whether you get to see them or not, because YOU bring them into this world. They don't ask to be here.,

I know you aren't reading this because you deleted your account.....but please don't fuck up your partner's relationship with his son because you are a tight ass who has an issue paying a monthly insurance bill.

Michelle - posted on 08/15/2016

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I have always said that I would financially help my children while they are in school. Putting a clause on the help is a bit controlling though.
Do you want him to study further and get a degree? Then don't put conditions on the financial help that he needs. You want him to be able to put all his efforts into studying, not working to pay for what you had promised.
You may surprised that he will visit you when you don't have the agreement in place.

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Elaine - posted on 08/18/2016

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This is a tough situation. I hear a lot of hurt! I think that needs to be addressed. It can hurt a relationship when money is connected to visits and time spent together. We do not want to "force" our kids/step kids to love us. We hope it is something they just do because they love us, but teenage boys are much more self-focused and often display behavior that appears to make family seem insignificant. Their teenage brains are thinking very differently than our expectations! However, it is understandable that you are feeling like a "checkbook" and not a parent who is loved or respected; I am assuming his father shares your view. It might make sense to have his dad reach out to him and suggest a get together. Perhaps that needs to be just the two of them, you and your husband would know best. If his dad and mom can communicate, you can find out about school. Your step son should know he is loved and that you both want a relationship with him. He can be told that spending time with his family is important to both of you. Honestly, we can all make excuses that sound reasonable about why we can't be with family BUT we all know that if it is important, we always find a way to make it work. A conversation that is honest may open up the door to a closer relationship for everyone or reveal what may be going on for your stepson and his reluctance to visit. Please understand that I am not suggesting he is justified in not visiting, it is sad no matter what. However, it will at least give you and your husband some insight and then you both can decide the best way to handle it. As far as paying for the insurance, only you and your husband have the history and details of your step son's financial situation to make that decision. I hope there is healing and a better relationship for all of you.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/16/2016

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tO DELETED ACCOUNT:

I don't believe that parents would continue to write checks for someone they never see is what you say...

But you're only t he step. and you really cant force someone to visit!

Hopefully the boy and his father have a good relationship, despite your interferance.

BTW, my daddy still gives me financial assistance if I need it. I see him MAYBE once a month, although I talk to him often...and he's an investor in our hom e business, all without me being mandated to visit. It depends on the relationship I guess...

My father had a wife like you. She didn't last long, thank goodness.

Dove - posted on 08/16/2016

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LOL You are really under no obligations to help support an adult child, but to MAKE him come see you in order to get money... is sick and manipulative. Perhaps look at the reasons he wants nothing to do w/ the two of you and work on that instead of trying to 'buy' him to see you....

And for the record... I had as little as possible to do w/ my mom from 16-25 years of age... and she still sent me money for birthday and Christmas and 'just because' (I never asked her for money... she just did it cuz she loves me and wanted to). 15 years later and now she is one of the most important people in my life... because 'I' decided I wanted to have a relationship w/ her.... not because she tried to buy me. If she had tried to do that I would likely still have nothing to do w/ her because I don't take kindly to manipulators... which is what you are to him right now.

[deleted account]

I appreciate everyone's posts and input and have had a little time to think it through. I have to say I disagree. What we are asking for involvement in his life (on a very limited basis). If he doesn't want to do that it is his choice. We are not a bank. It is not a parents obligation to pay for an adults education, expenses, etc. They are no longer children they are adults.
I know a written agreement may seem cold, but it was done after numerous lies and manipulation on his part. I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't even planning to go to school. And while I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for now I do expect to see the registration documents to prove it.
We have seen him a total of 7 times this past year; 2 of which were to throw him a party (birthday and graduation) and 2 for court because of his tickets. That is not acceptable. He didn't even bother coming over or calling for fathers day which I consider completely out of line. I doubt there are many parents that would just continue to write checks for a child they see only once every couple of months and if they do I think they are foolish.

Jodi - posted on 08/16/2016

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With regard to your update.....I realise you only asked him to visit you twice a month, but it still should not be a condition of the financial assistance. And even if he is living with his mum and attending school locally, he is still a student. And if he is a full time student, regardless of where he is attending, the RIGHT thing to do would still be to have financial support for that from both parents - not sure why that burden should be entirely on his mother.

Dove - posted on 08/15/2016

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I would never use the relationship w/ my children as a condition to any financial assistance.

Ev - posted on 08/15/2016

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{{It has been over one month since he's been to our home. School starts next week and we haven't seen any documentation of him being registered. When we brought this up to him via text (the only way he seems to communicate), he has said he's been 'too busy' to call or stop by. If he is 'too busy' now (only working 10 hours a week) he will obviously use that excuse once school starts.}}
*****Maybe he is busy. Just because he works only 10 hours a week does not mean he is not doing other things to get ready to go to school or active in other pursuits. If all you get is a text that is better than most parents get from their teens.
{{My instinct is to say that since he has broken the agreement we are not paying for your insurance. Financial support to an adult is not an expectation but a gift or privilege. To understand that he is to contribute and not just take. However, I am worried that if we do not pay for his insurance he will drive uninsured, possibly get pulled over, and have legal consequences. Are we expecting too much from him too soon? I also worry that he would use us not paying for his insurance as an excuse to cut ties with us.}}
Yes, you are expecting too much out of him. When a kid goes off to school a full time student it is hard to pull a job and pay for other needs such as toiletries and food. Just the bare essentials. I always was sending my daughter extra funds, food, toiletries, and so on. She did not have a car either and came home with friends on some weekends and holidays as she was 250 miles away. She did do work study via the college so she did have a job but they worked that into her schedule so she could still study. I supported her through 3 years of college before she got married going into the junior/senior year of college. She did get jobs or took on the housework while I worked and took care of her brother when he was here at the house with us.
Instead of making such demands of him, talk to him and ask if he has enrolled for school. If grandfather has paid for tuition already I doubt the kid is not going to just not go to school. And why would he use the not getting car insurance paid for as an excuse not to see you? He is 19 years old! He is spreading his wings. It has absolutely nothing to do with being with you and dad.

Jodi - posted on 08/15/2016

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Did he say he was not enrolled in college?

I would say that actually, if he is a full time student, financial support IS expected to a degree - you can't expect him to fully support himself while at full time school. I also am not in agreement that it should link to him visiting you X number of days a week - that's controlling.

If, however, he does not attend college, then yep, time for him to stand on his own two feet.

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