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secondplace's picture

SD is a train wreck. She is a nice girl, but hasn't really grown up, although she is 19, turning 20 this summer. She has mental health issues as well (suicide attempt in March of last year).

Last year over the 2016-2017 school year, she re-enrolled in high school even though she had already graduated. She said she just wasn't ready for college yet. Her mother told her, either go to school or get a job. So, she found a "loophole" (her words). She enrolled in one class, and didn't even go to that half the time. Since she wasn't a full time student and was over the age of 18, DH was not obligated to pay child support. He did anyway.

Now, this year, she enrolled in community college for the 2017-2018 school year. She started taking a program, but wasn't really liking it. The teachers went on strike and she lost several weeks, but there was a plan to reduce Christmas hours etc. to make up some of the time. She found another "loophole" when they offered tuition refunds due to the strike and dropped out of college. She has applied for a September program at the same college (different program) and has been accepted.

What to do, what to do? Should DH stop paying child support until she returns to school in September? My fear is that because BM lives paycheck to paycheck, she will tell SD19 to move in with us.

Should we (he) leave well enough alone?


BethAnne's picture

1. What is your husband legally obligated to do?
2. What does he want to do?

secondplace's picture

Basically, the agreement states that he must continue to pay if she is over 18 and in full time studies up to the age of 23.

I haven't discussed it with him yet. Nobody even told him she dropped out of college. He found out from a mutual friend when we got together with them. It has since been confirmed with SD. He feels it was kept from him so we would continue to pay support.

BethAnne's picture

If it were me I would encourage stopping direct payment to BM (consulting with a lawyer to check the correct way to do this). If he felt that he should be providing financial support still then I would suggest a small allowance direct to sd that she can choose how she spends and he isn’t obligated to continue if he doesn’t want to in the future. Sd can give some of her allowance to her mother for her board if she chooses. I would also make suggestions that he help and encourage sd to find some paid work or meaningful training.

Aniki's picture

Why does your DH continue to pay CS?? If he wants to help SD, he could pay for some things (like tuition).

BM can TELL SD to move in with you, but you and your DH do not have to let it happen. Is your DH leaning towards SD living with you??

secondplace's picture

I'm sure he would love to have her live with us. I already told him it would probably be the death knell for our relationship if she ever moved in. She is a scatterbrain and very lazy and messy.

And, tuition is already covered. BM and DH had some savings and SD took out a student loan as well.

Aniki's picture

Perhaps you and your DH can come up with an agreement IF she comes to live with you. A set of rules and stipulations.

secondplace's picture

Yeah, Aniki, we could do that.

But, I'm far more rigid when it comes to having the house clean and things put away in their place. He would agree with me at the beginning, but would eventually get tired of me reminding her to pick up after herself etc.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I would have "tossed her to the wolves." Let her know if she's not either working or in school full-time, she can't stay. A bit of tough love to force her into reality. She's finding "loopholes" because Mommy and Daddy keep letting her use them and not giving her responsibility.

secondplace's picture

I know he would want to let her move in, but it's also not 100% that BM would kick her out if the support stopped.

So, my question was more or less directed to the other stepmom's - would they encourage their DH to stop paying support, knowing that they may have their SD end up living with them?

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I'm a stepmom Smile No worries. I think it depends on her behavior when she visits your household. If you think she'd follow a set of rules, then yes I would. DH shouldn't be paying BM to keep SD past a certain age if she's not working to get out. He may end up paying CS forever if that's the case.

Part of why I was so receptive to both Skids coming to stay full time was because they're more or less well-behaved for us, so since I knew they'd follow rules, AND are respectful I didn't have an issue with it. However if she's not going to obey, I say still encourage him to stop, but you don't actually have to let her live with you. Your home, your rules.

Merry's picture

Of course he's not obligated to pay child support. If he wants to help SD financially, he can do that with her directly. BM could charge her reasonable rent, for example, and she'd not be out of line to do that.

SD has to find something to do. If she's not ready for college, then get a job. She has to enter the world of adulthood. If she's immature now, ok, all the more reason to forge ahead so she gains experience and confidence.

A bit of hope... my own DD was a mess when she entered college right out of high school. She wasn't ready. Not mature enough. Not a great student. Not much discipline. Drama drama drama drama. Eventually she enrolled at the community college. Some of the same -- in and out of various programs. Finally had enough credits to get a general studies degree with a few more required classes. Sigh. What the hell would she do with THAT kind of degree? Well, she sure proved me wrong. She ended up loving one of her classes and has since worked her ass off to get a bachelor's degree while working two part time jobs, and she's applying to grad schools. Sometimes the spark is in funny places. But you have to look!

secondplace's picture

Thanks Merry. That sounds encouraging. Right now, it seems like she's going to be a lost soul, never finishing anything she starts and never finding long term satisfaction in anything.

Merry's picture

I was one worried Mama. Now I'm a very proud Mama!

I hope your SD finds her way and learns something from the journey.

Oh, and counseling helped my DD tremendously. She knew she was flailing and didn't know what to do, and nothing I said or her Dad said to her was right (because what do we know). So the third party guidance worked.

WalkOnBy's picture

How does one re-enroll in high school if one has already graduated?

Here's my off the cuff take - this girl has been coddled all of her life. She is perfectly capable of going to school or working full time, but she doesn't want to and BM lets her get away with this shit.

He needs to do what the order says - if she's not in school full time, then nope, no CS. Paying CS for an adult is stupid.

I would never encourage my husband to not pay CS when he was obligated to do so, and I sure as hell WOULD encourage him to stop paying when he isn't obligated to.

Finally, no one can move into your house without your consent. BM can say whatever the hell she wants, but YOU decide who moves in.

secondplace's picture

To answer your question WOB - in Ontario you can re-enroll the following year as long as you haven't exceeded a certain number of credits. Many students do that here to get better marks so they can get accepted into the college or university of their choice. We call that a victory lap. That isn't the case in this situation. She just didn't feel ready for college yet and her mother told her she had to work or go to school.

And I agree with you about the Child Support. But, DH knows their standard of living will go down if he lowers the support to cover just SD17.

How do you tell your husband that you don't want his kid moving in without starting WWIII?

WalkOnBy's picture

It's difficult, for sure. In my case, it was telling my husband that I wanted ASS out as soon as he graduated from high school.

Our fantastic therapist, Jeannette, helped us navigate it and more importantly, helped my husband see that it was necessary for the well being of our household.

As for me? I told him what I was willing to live with (ASS living in the house until HS graduation) and what I wasn't (ASS staying in the house past that point). I never made it an "ASS or WOB" choice. I told him what I would do in each situation.

In your case, BM did the right thing by telling her kid what SHE was willing to live with, and that involved SD working or going to school if she wanted to remain in BM's house. Your husband should adopt this way of thinking, too.

And, who CARES if their standard of living goes down? SD is a high school graduate and is capable of working or going to school. Just because SD doesn't LIKE either of those choices doesn't mean that your husband has to pick up that slack.

advice.only2's picture

My personal take he needs to stop being held hostage by his daughter just because she is mentally ill. He is handicapping her worse than she is herself.

Secondly CS needs to stop and he needs to man up and accept that his ADULT daughter does not need to come live with him so that he can continue to enable her.

I think you need to show your SO some tough love and let him know that him continuing to pay CS is just his cop out to soothe his guilty Disney Dad heart and it needs to stop.

thebrokenrecordmachine's picture

hey second place, im in ontario too and yes the college strike thing was a disaster...if it were me, i would stop paying and restart in september...and as someone mentioned in a response a few spaces above...having a skid live with you- will seriously darken your door i am living this myself- hopefully for not too much longer.
Also- dont want to hijack your post but i have a sd 20 (supposed mental health issues that meant being a grade 10 student at 20)this year too but she has not graduated highschool, was working parttime and has been attending highschool in and out...suddenly when bm kicks ss out; SD suddenly enrolls in highschool full time as an adult student(to keep cs rolling) you know if you are obliged to pay cs for an almost 20 year old who is still in highschool?- what about a GED- not too much literature on this- we are going to court soon...

CLove's picture

Child support is for CHILDREN, right? She is an adult, sort of, and she either gets a job full time, or school full time, or parttime on both. There needs to be no "loopholing around", and repercussions for decisions. Let her work a parttime/fulltime job at minimum wage, or whatever, doing crappy work somewhere. That will incentivize kidling to go to school so she can work somewhere fun and fulfilling - or at least a cut above minimum wage. That way BM has someone other than your DH to support her.

See how that works?

In all seriousness, Winona SD18, almost 19 - she barely graduated high school, and worked a weekend job while going to summer classes. Apparently she wants to go to college, and is claiming that she is in junior college full time. I don't believe her as she is a sociopathic liar, but its not really our problem. BM is claiming her as a dependent, so its her problem right now. I did try to counsel her about not letting her job dictate her life, but its her decision. We pay no child support at all, but if we did, I would cut that off very quickly. Unless you are rolling in so much money and it doesn't really matter.

Acratopotes's picture

humm.. DH should simply stop CS payments at the court, she's not a full time student thus it's not needed anymore, BM is right... get a job.

secondly, it's your house as well, what if SD wants to move in with you, simply say NO, you are an adult, find a job and accommodation...