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What is his angle?

Daisymazy2's picture

My youngest BS is 21.  He has high functioning autism.  His dad and I divorced when he was 4 years old.  His dad paid child support for a couple of years. We agreed oto 50/50 no child support a few years after the divorce. 

My son was held back one year in school.  When he was in the eleventh grade, BD started pushing him to come live with me full time.  I saw the text messages that he sent to my son and he was strongly pushing him to live with me.  He moved in with me and finished school. He was 18 years old at the time so there was no child support.  He went to a vocational school right out of high school.  He learned how to budget his money and experienced some on the job training.

He was away from home for almost 2 years at vocational school.  I paid for his food and supplies while he attended,  I drove two hours at least once a month or so to see him.  His father never sent him money or come to see him.  He would call him  from time to time.

He would come home for a couple of months at a time and then go back to vocational school.  He even got his drivers license while he was there. BD rarely saw him during the time he was home. Since living with me, his BD hasn't really seen him that much.  An occassional holiday or fishing trip, but never  anything longer than a day or two.  Of course, he was 18 years old and didn't need regular visits with BD. I didn't get involved with their visits, I let the two of them work it out.

My BS now has a job.  He has been working for almost a month now.  His BD has been asking him to come see him EVERY weekend since he has this job.  He tells him that he needs him to help clean up his garage and clean up his boat. He always has some type of chore for him to do.   I don't mind my child helping his father at all.  BS doesn't seemed to mind either.  BS has been working almost 50 hours a week since he got this job.  It is a BIG change for him because he has only had to deal with school 6 hours a day.  I reminded BS that he did need to rest some during his time off and just to let BD know that he is working close to 50 hours a week so that he would understand if BS is too tired.

BS told me that BD wants to help him manage his money now that he is working.  BS pays me for his health insurance, car  insurance, cell phone and his groceries (his lunch for work and any junk food/drinks). He saves the rest.  He doesn't want to spend a dime. he is saving up for a car. I do plan to give BS money back to help with his car, he just doesn't know that yet.  BS said that BD wanted to see how much he had in his account.  BS didn't show his account informtion because he couldn't get the banking app to work on his phone.

BS has stated that BD wants him to come live with him now.  He lives about 30 miles away.  DS works less than 5 miles from my house.  BS doesn't want to live with him so no worries on that.  It is just too far to drive for work.  

I am not sure what BD is doing or what he is planning but I am seeing red flags.  Does anyone else see those too?  I have been dealing with a crazy BM for years but didn't think I had to worry about BD.


lieutenant_dad's picture

When your DS was costing BD money, he was happy to abdicate responsibility. Now that DS has the ability to share costs, BD wantd his income.

Red flags are waving high. Make sure DS knows that he needs to keep his bank info PRIVATE from anyone because not everyone, family included, have his best interests at heart.

Evil3's picture

Yes, I'm seeing red flags too. It sounds like he wants some free labour and maybe to benefit from your DS' regular paycheques.

tog redux's picture

It seems like a stretch that his father plans to embezzle from his own son. While he may have been disinterested in younger years, you aren't saying that he has a criminal history of theft, or that you have any reason to suspect him of wanting to steal his son's money.  Maybe he truly is interested in helping him manage his money. No need to make your son suspicious of his own father. He's 21, let him sort this out on his own. Keep your thoughts to yourself.


ITB2012's picture

...he'd tell you to tell your BS the truth about his father's "help" over the years. Remind him that his dad pushed him away. Talk about how you managed without BDs financial help. I think Rag's term would be to "bare his a$$."

I agree with everything Want2 wrote.

Personally, I'd warn BS. This sounds extremely fishy.

ITB2012's picture

that she's not gonna keep her son from seeing his father. She sees that he could be taken advantage of by someone. Whether that someone is his own father or a third-party, it's not alienation to warn her son about this situation.

tog redux's picture

"He's never been there for you, he's never supported you, he didn't give you any money when you were in school, I did everything for you, and watch out, he might be trying to steal your money," is 100% parental alienation.  That's what you basically suggested he do.

Now, if she just said, "You know, BS, it's wise to be careful about showing anyone your banking information,"  - that would be fine.

What does the fact that he never paid for anything have to do with it? The OP never sought child support either.

STaround's picture

Likely to take advantage. I think it is fine to gently point out one-sided relationships.   Many people are taken advantage of by friends and family, it is important to make certain son understands that. 

I think his pushing the son off on mom is relevant. 

tog redux's picture

How is he "pushing him off on mom"? Lots of divorced fathers are less involved than the mothers, many mothers even prefer that. He kept a relationship with his son and sees him regularly.  None of that says to me that he's going to steal from him.  Just because he has him help around his house? Lots of fathers and sons bond over fixing/building things.

If OP didn't go after child support, that's really on her.

The young man loves his father, why try to destroy that?

fakemommy's picture

Gosh I so agree. My cousins' stepdad was the same, and I dislike the talk of "sperm clan" so much. BM's family is sooo different from mine, we would never live the way they do, but they are still skids' family, and I'd never imagine speaking about them that way, even when skids are adults.

tog redux's picture

Thank you! It's the kid's bio family and half of his DNA.  It just shows where the real problem is - the anger of the person still calling them the SpermClan 20 years later. 

Daisymazy2's picture

Since my BS has autism, it is hard for him to understand when someone is trying to take advantage of him.  He worships the ground his BD walks on.  I will have to try to talk to him in a way that he will understand but doesn't accuse his father of anything.  My BS would never believe that his BD would do anything to hurt him in any way.  

I am still not sure exactly what he is planning with DS and his money.  From experience with dealing with BD, I have found out to always expect the unexpected.  I would hope that he wouldn't try to take DS's money but I still have to think that maybe he would.  

Trust me, there have been times I have had to bite my tongue to keep from saying everything I wanted to say to him about his BD especially over the past couple of weeks.  I will not say anything I will keep my mouth shut.  I am a firm believer that eventually he will  come to find out on his own.

I think this is a good opportunity to teach DS that not everyone needs to see his banking information and that he doesn't need to take money out of his account for anyone.  I just have to find a way to discuss it with him.

My name is also on his checking account. I opened the account for him when he was in vocational school so I could just transfer money from my account to his and let him use his debit card for purchases.  I was going to have it removed or open another account for him but I think I will keep my name on it for a little bit longer.

futurobrillante99's picture

I also have a son (DS23) with high functioning Autism, although he's a little less high functioning than your son. His father, my XH1, is not a bad person, but he's a frugal person and didn't seem to have any trouble collecting rent from our son while he was working. However, the good part is that rent needed to be paid because DS23 has applied for SSI and needs to show he has expenses. XH1 also placed the lion's share of the rent in an account in his own name in case DS23 needed something.

XH1 liked having DS23 around to take care of the dog, do chores and help pay the cable bill (the small part of the rent that XH1 kept).

DS23 lives with me now. I also charge him rent and recently used it to replace the fence in my yard. However, DS23 stands to inherit my house when I die, so any improvements I make will directly benefit him.

fakemommy's picture

I think this is a good plan. I don't know that BD has bad intentions, but maybe he knows DS pays you for xyz, and thinks he could be like a roommate who helps alieviate his own bills. BD doesn't know that you are saving that money for DS, so it is probably them same difference to him. I also wonder whether BD is thinking about SS for DS.

GreenerPastures's picture

I think you are on the right track. Use it as a teaching oppurtunity. I'm not sure how much your son's autism affects his life but you may be able to have him add yourself to his account. Worse omes to worst you might need to declare that he is unfit to handle his own money which would route all his money to you and you could then give him back anything he needs/wants. But I think id only do that if it looked like BD was going to drain the account

Daisymazy2's picture

I opened the checking account for him when he was away at school and linked to my checking account to send him money.  I had to put my name on his checking account to link his money.  I was going to remove my name or open a new account for him once he got settled in this job.  For now, I am going to keep my name on the account.  

DS is still learning how to use his debit card and can't seemed to remember his pin number.  We have been working really hard on that but I may back off for awhile until  I see what is becoming of all this.

If he just mentioned the helping with his money, I would not be so worried. It is everything else along with the helping with money that makes me feel BD may have other plans.

WTF...REALLY's picture

 I really think his dad wants his money.  Can you open a savings account with your son and your name on it and transfer most of his money into that savings account? And then make it not accessible via a phone app. 

 And is there a school near you that specializes in autistic kids that can help you have a conversation with him regarding people trying to use him for physical labor and taking money? Any parent would never overwork their child when they’re working 50 hours a week. Everything your ex-husband is doing is suspicious. 

Monkeysee's picture

Does BD ever want to spend time with your BS that doesn't involve cleaning his garage/house/boat etc?  Or is it all labour intensive work masked as quality time?

I wouldn't be overly concerned with BD wanting to help BS manage his money if he wasn't also suddenly wanting BS to live with him & asking for all this help around his house.  Especially considering he didn't seem interested in spending time with his son when it wasn't directly benefiting him.

Using this as an opportunity to teach your BS to keep his banking info private & to develop boundaries with people is the best way forward.  You don't need to delve into the past or make it about BD not being there for him whilst he was in school etc, just focus on BS protecting himself from people who may try to take advantage, even where family is concerned.  It's not unthinkable that a parent would take advantage like this, though I do hope that's not what's happening.  There are too many red flags to ignore though.

Daisymazy2's picture

spends time with DS that doesn't include physical labor.  Maybe once a year, he will take DS fishing or to see a movie.


tog redux's picture

Others on here may think that's wrong, but that's really between BS and his dad.

OP, I appreciate that you value BS's relationship with his father and aren't trying to ruin it just because he may not have been Father of The Year.  You are right that BS needs to figure out on his own who his father is and what he can expect from him.

susanm's picture

Sadly it is not uncommon for parents to use their children's money for their own purposes.  Identification theft is common too.  It would not hurt to run his credit report to be safe.  People often take out credit cards using the child's social security number.  I kmow it is crappy to point out and hopefully that is not even close to what is happening but I felt like I should mention it.  Sad

Daisymazy2's picture

I haven't checked his in awhile .  Good Idea.

STaround's picture

You may also want to put freeze on his credit.   It is a pain in the neck to  "unfreeze" but it will protect DS from dad using his SS number. 

Siemprematahari's picture

I get why you think your X may have an angle here. Those two years that your son was in vocational school BD contributed nothing, probably never asked if you needed anything for him and finances were never a concern. Now that your son is working 50 hours a week he has this sudden interest in his finances and how much he has in his account? Why? He didn't seem to care how he was doing before he was working so why now? That would be my concern. Also where BD lives and where your son works is a great distance....why recommend him living with him? It seems a bit odd to me and this is a great opportunity to teach him about keeping sensitive information like finances to himself, especially since you are on his account.