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BM refuses to help SS with bank account

strugglingSM's picture

SS will be 17 in a couple of months. He's been working for six months. Apparently, in all that time, BM has refused to help him get a bank account. Apparently, she requires that he give his check to her and she cashes it and then gives him the money. His employer would like to do direct deposit, so SS has texted DH asking if he can help him get a bank account. My first instinct is that DH should not get involved, but really, what could BM say, "how dare you help SS get a bank account!" They have joint legal custody, so she wouldn't have an argument there. DH plans to take SS to the bank sometime this weekend so he can get an account...and I'm sure there will be some blowout over it. What argument could she make for an almost 17 year old not being allowed to have a bank account and manage his own money? 


CajunMom's picture

For the most part, he cannot have an independent account until he is 18. I did a Google search and it's pretty much the same as when my kids were young. The teen will need an adult on the account until they turn 18. So, one of his parents MUST be with him AND on the account. My suggestion is to call your local bank where the account would be opened and get their specifics. There's this new thing called "teen checking" I'm seeing in my search and that may have different specifics. 

As for as your DH helping him, it's his kid. He has joint legal custody so the BM cannot stop him and no judge would ever look down on your DH for helping his kid. The bank needs ONE BM can go pound sand. 

strugglingSM's picture

Yes, DH was going to be the parent on the account. What I can't figure out is why BM won't do it. She would still technically have control of the account as a "trustee" or whatever the parent is called, but then wouldn't have to go through the process of SS signing over his check to her whenever he gets paid...esp since his employer has requested to do direct deposit rather than a paper check. Now, if DH takes him, DH will be in charge of the account and BM won't be able to see anything.

CajunMom's picture

Get your DH to show him how to read his statements. Then, if his crazy mom accuses DH of stealing, all her son has to do is tell her she's wrong. 

CajunMom's picture

Too lazy to get to the bank? Doesn't want any liability of the account?? You could spend hours trying to rationalize her thinking and never get the answer.

I think it's smart of your SS to want his own account as it will start building his credit score. And with your DH being his guardian on the account, he can teach him proper money skills. One thing I did for my kids when they started driving...I added them as authorized users on my credit card. Not widely known, but it gives the child a credit score when they turn 18 and if you don't pay your bill, it does NOT impact them. Only positive impacts as an authorized user (at least when I did it). Both kids had credit scores in the high 700s at 18. I used that time to educate them on money issues, loans, savings, etc. Today, both are adults and both have done well with money. 

Good for your SS for taking such positive moves in his young life.

MissK03's picture

I don't think this is totally accurate skids have had their own accounts just don't have a "credit" portion on their debt cards. My parents had nothing to do with my bank account that I opened when I was 16 and started working. 

CajunMom's picture

It's why I told her to call her local bank for specifics. Things have changed since my kids were teens. 

strugglingSM's picture

Many of the banks near us (including the one we use, which has the closest branch to SS's house) require a parent if the account holder is under 18. It seems antiquated, but maybe it's tied to FDIC insurance? 

StepUltimate's picture

Me & STBXH (=so close to final, will post a blog when the divorce IS final!) had the CS money direct deposited into a checking/savings account in STBXH's name & former SSnow23's name; when he turned 18 we were able to remove STBXH's name so it was just in former SS23's name. 

CLove's picture

sounds like one of two things:

1. Control issues

2. If she gets SS a child account, she will need to use her account or social (I think) so If anything happens, it has her bank account attached. We found this out when SD23 Feral Forger used her "child account" Husband had gotten her to cash forged checks. They indicated they were going to lock his account because it was attached to the child account.

strugglingSM's picture

That is a good thing to be aware of. I'll remind DH that he has to be on top of SS if the account is in any way attached to his account. 

Shieldmaiden's picture

Funny, but I was the one who helped SD19 get a bank account. I did this because BM had opened her an account but then took her money to "pay rent". So, unless SD wanted her mom stealing her last $10 from babysitting, she had to ask DH and I. DH hates banks, so he asked if I would do it. Recently I removed my name from her account since she turned 18. She was 17 when I helped her open the account.

Survivingstephell's picture

I don't really understand the complaint.  It's way better for the kid to have his dad do the bank account then his unreliable mother.  Unless the skid is a total pita, I'd be glad for the kid to have an account and help him get one.  So many dads are left in the dust.  

strugglingSM's picture

It's not a complaint...more of a wondering as to why BM is so resistant. Also, she's terrible with money, but is a CPA, so should be able to see the value of a child having their own account.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Has she been skimming money from his check? That was my first thought. She wants him to keep giving her his check because she is somehow making money by doing it that way.

strugglingSM's picture

That's what I asked DH ("is she taking a cut?"). She used to cash DH's check and give him an "allowance" when they were married. He wasn't allowed to access the bank account himself (or had very limited access). 

She's a partner in a firm, so I estimate she makes at least $300k and shouldn't need money from her teen son. She likes to gamble, but she can't be gambling everything away. 

JRI's picture

Is she too lazy to go?

strugglingSM's picture

She could be just lazy, but according to SS he has been asking her for months to go with him. I suspect its more of a control thing because now he has to go through her to get any money. 

floralsm's picture

It's good your DH is sorting it out for SS. I have stopped trying to figure out the logistics of BMs under developed brain. Its not worth the stress. DH has a bank account for all 3 of his kids (including our DD2) and puts like $10 a month in there at the moment or something. BM has no idea and we keep it that way until the skids are old enough to manage it for themselves. 

Flustered's picture

 I went off to college at 17 in the dark ages, and I had to have a checking account to write checks to purchase things. Back then they didn't give credit cards to kids at the college. All of the money in  it was money that I had from working. )Perhaps because my family had all worked in the bank. I had no trouble getting it. I also had a job at the college. I do not know how it works now/I do know that they have lots of savings accounts for kids under 18.) 

I feel bad for kids who are under the thumb of a BM like this - a young man who is the son of my BD's husband/ Technically, he's my SGK / same issue. His BM is just like the woman being posted about. He goes to college. His address of record is with his mother(, even though there's a bed and a room at the home of my BD and her husband.) My SIL got his BS a new checking account so that he would not have to deal with the mother giving him grief over his paycheck. It's all a control thing/keep them kids as long as you can. 

strugglingSM's picture

I started working at 16 and had a checking account with a debit card at that time. I don't remember if my parents came to the bank with me to set that up. I also had a savings account that was a "trustee" account that my grandmother set up for me when I was born, but that was with a different bank. 

thinkthrice's picture

I believe a kid could start a bank account on their own at age 16 (age of work permit) here in NYS.  Maybe things have changed due to identity fraud?

Another vote for BM trying to control, infantilize SS and possibly skim money for herself. 

Harry's picture

He must talk to BM. About how much money he SS will be getting each week ( per day) How much money SS must save each week. And what other things this money will be used for.  buying a car, car insurance ,gas, repairs.   
At this age kids get expensive.  He will need a car soon. Who going to pay, DH ,BM, split.... SS has to pay most of his insurance. 
don't know how much SS is making.

strugglingSM's picture

BM already gave him a car and pays for his insurance and gas. I'm not sure how much he's making, but he got a job on his own. BM would probably prefer he didn't have one, so she could maintain control over him. Other SS does not have a job, but BM also gave him a car, pays for his insurance and gas and gives him spending money. 

Before they got their licenses, BM wanted DH to pay for a car, but DH suggested they get a job first and save money. We are not in a financial position to buy cars for two kids who don't need them. Their school is less than a mile from their home and there are several places they could work that are within walking distance, as well. They have friends who started working at 15 to save up for cars and they easily could have done the same, but BM promised them both cars long before they could drive. 

I don't know how much SS is making and he mostly uses his income for spending money, I believe. He currently has a girlfriend (which is another bone of contention with BM). 

TheAccidentalSM's picture

In the UK here. 

This was my experience:  BM wasn't bothered with helping YSS get a bank account. We found out when he was 18 and because he was legally an adult it was a disaster. 

He needed to prove who he was by showing 2 pieces of photo id or 1 photo id and one bill like a phone bill (not mobile) or electricity, etc.  He didn't have 2 pieces of photo id and couldn't get a drivers licence due to a medical condition so this wasn't an option.  And because he didn't have a bank account, we couldn't put him as the bill payer on any bills.  If he'd been a minor, his parent could have vouched for him or the school could have done a letter.  If he'd been under the care of social services, they would have helped.  But YSS was stuck and no one would let him open an account.

DH happened to mention the problem in passing to his mom and she said that she'd opened an account for each of the SSs when they were babies.  She had the details for the account and saved the day.

Cover1W's picture

Neither parent was interested or cared about getting bank accounts for the SDs even though they had ample cash hoarded away in their rooms. I pushed DH to get accounts for them and teach them how to use it. HA! It was one of my last truly engaged actions.

OSD was POd her mother's information was not on the account (yes is was during the hard core PASing phase) and YSD was crying. I was the big meanie for forcing them of course.

Then nothing happens with the accounts. The SDs hadn't brought any of their $ with them and DH didn't put any in. The debit cards were never activated. No online accounts were looked at. Eventually the credit union just closed them due to lack of use. 

YSD asked about how to use a bank account a year or so later and I said, "Ask your dad." She still doesn't have an account to this day.

TheAccidentalSM's picture

At least in our case YSS wanted the account and used it.  Poor you.

But why wouldn't they want a bank account?  I can nearly get my head around the stories of skids not wanting to learn to drive but who doesn't want to have an account?  

Cover1W's picture

One who wants no adult responsibility and parents who cater to her.

She's in for a shock when she goes to college.

Rags's picture

BM is an idiot. And in all probability, stealing from her own son.

Good on DH for getting his kid an account.  SS should go immediately to his employer and have his pay direct deposited to cut BM out of the loop. We got SS-30 an account in his name and my DW's when he was in his mid teens to give us the ability to get him emergency money when was traveling to SpermLand on visitaiton then remove all money from the account when his flight landed in SpermLand.  Before the account, SpermGrandHag would take his cash or force him to pay for gas, restaurant bills when she and the three younger spermidiot spawned half sibs by to other baby mamas plus the aunts kids, etc.... So, we quite enjoyed the raging banshee calls from SpermGrandHag when she was stranded at a restaurant or a gas pump with all of her GKs  unable to pay the bill when SS's bank card had no money to access.  Her perspective was that SS's travel money was hers to do with what she wished since they were paying CS 12mos a year and he was with them for 1.75 months.

Not how it works Hag. Not at all.


DW and SS still have that account. It lets us get him money if necessary. Though it never has been necessary since he joined the USAF.  Though we di put money it it occassionally for gifts. His primary Christmas present this past Dec was a washer and dryer.  We just deposited the money in his account.

ESMOD's picture

It could be for a variety of reasons.. he may owe her money.. so her cashing it allows her to take the loan repayment out?  Or.. she could have bad credit and not be eligable/able to be the adult signer.  Or.. she could be worried about him being irresponsible with it and it hurting her credit? Or she could be a controling ahole?

strugglingSM's picture

I think it's the last one. DH told me that SS has been having conflict with BM because she doesn't like his girlfriend (I think she doesn't like that he has a girlfriend). Some of the things he mentioned don't seem like real issues. This is a way for her to maintain control. He doesn't owe her money and she freely gives money to his brother (also almost 17) who refuses to get a job. Her credit is maybe not great, but likely good enough and she's a partner in a professional services firm that has been growing rapidly, so I figure she makes at least $300k a year. If she wants him to learn to be responsible, there's only one way to do it, require him to be responsible. Her giving him some of his money each week is not teaching responsibility.

strugglingSM's picture

DH took SS to the bank this weekend to get a bank account. SS told the banker that BM was marking him sign his checks over to her...the banker told SS that it's technically illegal to do that. Now we wait to see if BM will lose her mind on DH since SS can now have freedom (from her anyway, DH can now see all of SS's transactions and told SS that he needs to be responsible because DH can see what he's up to).