Support of His Children

Diane - posted on 01/26/2014 ( 13 moms have responded )

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is there some formula that can be used to calculate how much I should pay towards household finances, when my fiance and i are living together and he has joint custody with his ex wife? We currently are splitting things in half and I feel this is unfair. His children are with us every other weekend, one day a week every week, half of christmas and spring break, and two weeks over the summer.

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Rose - posted on 01/28/2014

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the best thing you can do is go through the court system to figure that out , trust me that's the best thing you can do. the court will do the calculations that way its fair for both parties. Trust me I'm going through the same thing right now with my husband , hes been paying his daughter mother an arm and a leg for almost 9 years.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/28/2014

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May I suggest...Don't get married.

You are way too caught up on who should pay what, that you think you're paying "more" than he is for shared items.

Are you going to be man & wife, or roommates? Because its sounding more like a convenient roommate situation, rather than two adults discussing things and coming to decisions like...well, mature adults.

Do both of you a favor. Call it off now.

Jodi - posted on 01/27/2014

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Why does he have to answer to you about the money he pays to her? Most people just pay an amount in child support, period. If he doesn't have a set amount of child support, then he needs to get that happening.

In all honesty, Diane, I think there are so many unresolved issues here, that I wouldn't be planning on buying a house with this man. I wouldn't even plan on marrying him at this point. Resolve the issues first. Money is the number one reason for marriage break ups. Second marriages have an even higher chance of break up than first marriages. With what you have described here, your relationship is already in trouble. I think you need to resolve those issues before committing any further.

Diane - posted on 01/27/2014

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He feels that if we have a joint account ANY money that goes into it will be used for his children as needed. I disagree. I know I asked this before but why should I pay anything for his kids when he refuses to show me monies that he paid to her? Other things that they have signed in their agreement are not in force, because she doesnt want to do what was agreed upon and he doesnt want a fight with her. Planning to purchase a home with him in the near future, but guess what? He has nothing for a down payment. Its coming out of my pocket, if it happens. He has nothing to put down and still owns a home with his ex that are planning to sell ( according to their divorce agreement) ( i could be wrong on this, who knows anymore) they Do I still pay for his kids???

Jodi - posted on 01/27/2014

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Counselling shouldn't be about him vs. her. It should be about resolving differences. If he won't arrange a counsellor, you find one, make an appointment and let him know.

Unfortunately, when you decide to marry someone with children who are still young and dependent on their parents, the agreement can change at any time. You basically have to accept that there is even the possibility that the children will end up with you full-time. It isn't wrong to want to keep the peace with her. It also isn't wrong of him to take the kids more often than is in the agreement because she needs him to - he gets to see his kids more that way, so I can't see how it is a negative, although I guess from your perspective it is. Why is it not possible?

His commitment to his children will always be a greater commitment than his commitment to you.

At what point do you have input into their extra activities? You don't. Ever. That is between their father and their mother. Sure, if their father asks your opinion about it, then yes, that's when you get input. However, you don't get to say no.

Should you be paying for these additional activities? No. If your husband is expecting you to pay half of these extracurricular things, or half of his child support, etc as part of your "household finances" then that is NOT acceptable in any way. His children are not your financial responsibility, they are his. As I said earlier, a slightly higher utility bill, and extra food, you may want to ask for a little extra from him for groceries on those weeks, but paying for activities, child support, clothes, anything additional to just general household expenses, if your finances are not joint, is not your responsibility.

Diane - posted on 01/27/2014

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I suggested counseling and told him to find someone for us to go to. I told him to find someone because I didnt want him feeling like if I picked someone if anything came up, they would be favoring me. I am going to therapy for myself right now and have been taking antidepressants as well, for myself, to get me through things I have a real hard time with that he will not change. When 2 people sign an agreement (divorce visitation schedule), and a third party is brought into that agreement( Me) , shouldnt that agreement be stuck too? So many times he has changed the agreement because his ex had things to do and couldnt keep the kids. His reasoning for agreeing to change things is to keep peace with her. Is that wrong, or right to do? I told him that its not possible. I feel like if his commitment now is to me that he should not care if she gets upset with him for not wanting to take the kids when he is not scheduled to. Seems like he wants to keep us both happyI feel like it is unfair to me because when I went into this relationship I knew when the kids would be with us. I have cooked for them, cleaned up after them, done their laundry, sewed for them, bought them clothes, attended school functions and have helped with homework. Thats another issue that I am sure to face. At what point, being their stepmom do I have any input into what extra activities do? The older one is involved in acting classes, $500.00 a semester, 5 days a week and an hour drive there and back from our home. Should I pay for that? I agree, counseling, but sometimes I think walking away is easier.

Jodi - posted on 01/27/2014

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This seems to be about more than money. You do seem a little resentful of the kids' behaviour. Have you sat down with your husband and discussed any of this and tried to talk to him about setting some ground rules?

With regard to the money, as I said, utilities would hardly be a massive amount with the every other weekend plus a few weeks during the year.

I think I'd be extremely concerned about your relationship if he is freaking out about you losing your alimony and not being able to pay your "share" of the bills.You are supposed to be entering a partnership where you support one another through thick and thin. It is not sounding to me like a particularly equal relationship. You really need to sit down and discuss all of this before you make the commitment to marry - have you considered pre-marital counselling to try and sort out these concerns?

Diane - posted on 01/27/2014

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Jodi - I have had my children. I was home with them for 20 years. I may sound like I am nit picking, but when he refuses to get receipts from his ex (which she was required to do in their agreement and show me what he pays her monthly) why should I dish out money for his kids when they are here with us? He makes 3 times what I am making. I am receiving alimony which will end soon, and he is freaking out that I will not have enough money to help cover the bills. You mention FAMILY. His kids never had a real family, something that I am trying to offer them, however their mother has them involved in so many activities there is no time for family. HIs ex has been MIA for many years, part of their divorce. Always tending to the needs of herself and others before her kids. He was the primary caregiver for his children while she did the running around. He worked nights from 6 pm to 6 am. Coming home at 6 am, getting the kids up and ready for school, taking them to the bus, coming home to sleep, picking them up from the bus, getting them started on homework and making them dinner, then going back to work at 6 pm. At 6 pm she was responsible for them. Her responsibility
was letting them do what they want as long as they dont bother her. I see what they learned, sitting on the computer and watching TV, because they have carried those things here with them. Where is family in that. And you mention the utilities being higher when they are here. YUP, TV's, lights, and computers on all night long add up. More than one of each. Im tired of sounding like a broken record to them, (turn out the lights, is the TV off, did you clean up you dishes, is the homework done) etc., etc. He thinks I am too hard on them, i feel like I am trying to teach them responsibility. His kids are 14 and 8.His 14 year old does not even get his own cereal in the am, he has his father turn on the shower for him, Really??? His 8 yr old will not go upstairs by herself and if he is not holding her hand in the bathroom all hell breaks loose. Shouldnt they know these things by now? I tell them one thing and they go behind my back and ask dad. Dad unkowingly, knowing they already asked me, say yes. Imagine the issues we've had with that. Im willing to listen.....................advice perhaps?

Jodi - posted on 01/26/2014

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OK, so you are marrying a man who already has children and are not planning on having any yourself.

As I said, I don't understand this need to nit pick over all the expenses when you are planning on spending your life with someone. Having his children every other weekend and half of the school holidays is not exactly going to increase your every day household expenses by a lot. Yeah, maybe the power bills may increase marginally during those periods, and yep, there will be a higher food cost. Maybe a little more transport. But I'm not seeing anything major. You seem to be just splitting hairs. If anything, the biggest concern would be the food bill - just ask if he can pitch in a little extra to the groceries during the times you have the kids.

But what do I know. My husband and I, despite the complications of blended families, etc, just suck it up and support each other financially as required with our joint finances. Nit picking over whose kids stay with us the most is just asking for trouble really, so I wouldn't even bother going there. I like having the kids here, I like having our family together (yes, his kids are MY family, my son is HIS family, and they are ALL family to our daughter), why would I nit-pick over the cost of having them all here?

Diane - posted on 01/26/2014

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He feels that I should pay half towards utilities and groceries.I think this is unfair. He wants a joint account with enough money to cover the bills.(Hence, split in half) He wants a separate acct to cover his child support, and other things he was ordered to pay for towards his children, and then any leftover money, in a seperate account too with his name only on it and I keep my own accountas well. He has no problem not getting paid receipts. . I have yet to see what he has paid his ex for. She was ordered to produce paid receipts. and she has not given him any. He has no problem not getting receipts from her. Yes, planning on getting married. When we moved in I put ALL the money towards, first month rent, last mo rent, sec and PET Deposit. His pet. He paid me back..... in time. We are looking to purchase a home, again, me putting down the down payment and closing costs, again he agreed, in writing, to pay me back half, but this became a battle.

Michelle - posted on 01/26/2014

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Are you saying you should pay as much because he has his children there?
Are you sure you want to get married? Most couples will have a joint account and the money becomes both of yours, not his and hers. They certainly don't keep tabs on who is paying what, as long as the bills are paid.
I think you need to sit down and have a chat with your fiance and come to an agreement but I think because his children are there a few days it should make a difference. You have much bigger things to worry about than a few dollars.

Jodi - posted on 01/26/2014

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Wow. If you are planning on getting married, why are you planning on being so picky with who pays for what? I just don't get that. If you end up having a baby, and have to stay home with said child for a bit, is he still going to expect you to pay your share?

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