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Do older SKs know about CS

Thisisnotus's picture

Just curious if your older SKs know if your DH pays child support, especially if it’s a substantial amount?

my kids know that their dad does as he reminds them probably daily.  

My SKs do not know and apparently BM has spent the last 4 years (news to us) poor mouthing to her kids and saying they are poor because DH left them and started a new family and how they wouldn’t be in this situation if DH hadn’t left them.

he only divorced her....he pays a hefty CS, health insurance, 1/2 of whatever BM asks for usually. She stuck him with most of the debt...she kept the 3 houses  all with equity. He also has them 1/2 the time and spends money on them a lot. 1/4 of the time DHs mom buys them whatever.

I often thinks DH needs to tell the kids the truth.

BM basically took DH to the cleaners and he let her because he just wanted out, so if we dare buy anything new for ourselves or go on vacation she goes bat shit crazy. I assume this is coming from our upcoming family vacation. BM just got back from taking the kids on a week long vacation....

tog redux's picture

I don't have an issue with kids knowing about child support, as long as it's not used as a way to talk trash about the other parent, ie, "We can't buy anything nice because your mother makes me pay X amount of child support," or "We are poor because your father doesn't pay his child support".

But I don't see why kids shouldn't know that both parents support them financially, with one giving the other money to help pay for their needs.

STaround's picture

It is fine to tell kid about CS, but I also think it is wrong for a CS payor to imply that the CS is ONLY for kid's clothing, activities etc.  It may seem like a lot, especially to a kid, that CS payor is paying say $800 a month.  Kid may think, I should get a new Iphone, etc.   CS receiver should feel comforable saying it costs me say $500 a month to get an apartment or house in a good school district, and that is where most of it goes.  

MrsStepMom's picture

My SS knows because his BM BITCHES non stop that she cannot do whatever because of the massive $200 a month she pays. She also tells him that that is A LOT and it is paying my car payment (uh what bitch?? that barely feeds him). DH has explained to him numerous times that it is NOT a lot and she doesn't even pay on time so it is not even money we can rely on. It comes for a while, then not for months, rinse, repeat, since she cannot keep a job. She also has him convinced she cannot pay for things for him because "i have to take care of myself first". No bitch you take care of your kid first. I don't care if you don't eat, you feed  your kid first. People have done it for decades if need be. She also makes well into 6 figures.

I do not think SS SHOULD know but BM did that.

My best friends ex got 15k a month and would constantly tell her kids (who dad paid well above and beyond for activities, school, medical) that she cannot afford things because dad doesn't give her enough money. She had her daughter in tears because "since dad doesn't pay me you can't go to your private school anymore, her senior year) because she was supposed to pay that year as dad had paid prior. So dad pays anyway and BM had traumatized the child. I know they do not know the amount mom gets but she still pulls this BS. Truly ridiculous. Yes at that point she was paying the mortgage on the house, and it was a good amount (about 4k) but she had a paid off car, dad covered health insurance, etc. so how 15k couldn't cover that, who knows. Dad also paid all the debts from their marriage NOT her. I think that is pure trash personally. She went as far to send him a monthly spreadsheet of things he had to pay half for "body wash, $3, your half $1.50). So he has to pay for their "body wash" at his house and half of hers while she gets 15k a month? That woman was a terrorist. She was supposed to buy one kid a car as dad bought the first kids (not necessary but their arrangement) but refused saying she couldn't afford it so dad also bought her a car. At this point he was just pleased to make mom look stupid while he spoiled the kid. She is a great kid and deserved the car (honor role, full college scholorships, missionary trips, you name it).

shamds's picture

Ridiculous toiletries at her home? You would think since he has to provide it at his home and this isn’t being brought from home to home that you just don’t claim it...

reading some of the posts above it seems pretty consistent that these hcgubm pas seem to want to milk their exhusbands dry, keep the child support money to themselves to fund their high lifestyles while giving impression to their kids they’re poor as so they don’t have to pay anything or as minimal as possible for maintenance of their child for the essentials

MrsStepMom's picture

Ya she’s a fairly ridiculous person. The best was her showing up to our office for him to sign some paperwork full of Botox gone very wrong. She looked like a monster, truly. Good way to spend the money. 

Jcksjj's picture

I knew all about CS as a teen. My mom complains to this day about it (she got plenty and for a long time after they divorced was able to afford a big nice house only working 4 hours a day) and my youngest brother is now 24. She whined nonstop about it getting reduced when the older 2 of us turned 18. Also still cries about how she no longer gets tax credits for having kids....and then when I say well none of us live with you why would you she just whines more. Its extremely irritating. Her and her boyfriend make about 150k together, they aren't poor at all.

When I was pregnant with ODS I moved back in with her briefly while i was waiting and had applied for medical and financial assistance. Until he was born I had to count her income so when I asked about child support to fill out the application she gave me a sob story about how she hadnt received any in months so I put zero. Well social services has access to that info and when I went in he had been paying it for 4 or 5 months and had skipped I think 2 months before that ..he farmed so it had been the period where he had no income right before he got a bunch of income right before harvest. Poor money management maybe, but definitely not just the refusing to pay. The only thing I ever heard my dad say about it at all was when it was only my youngest brother left at home and she was upset he filed to get it reduced and all he said was he has no problem paying it just wants it to be a fair amount. 

The skids probably don't want to hear her whining about it anymore than I did and I'm sure it stresses them out. It could definitely end up backfiring on mom if shes trying to get sympathy. I dont think it's really appropriate to discuss it with them in that manner - factually would be okay.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Both SSs know, and OSS has known since he was fairly young because BM was badmouthing DH for not paying her enough CS to live.

When OSS asked DH why he didn't pay BM CS, he told OSS that he was paying BM's rent (DH was the co-signer of the lease because BM and her now-XH didn't have the credit), the utilities on the apartment, the car insurance on her truck, and sometimes her cell phone bill. He and OSS turned it into a math lesson where DH told OSS how much he was supposed to pay versus how much he paid, and OSS understood that DH gave BM way more money than he was COed.

FIL used to give the boys change every visit to put in their piggy banks. Apparently (this was all long before DH and I started dating), when DH dropped the kids off, OSS handed BM his bag of change and told her she needed it more than he did. Cue BM calling DH in a rage, and DH chewed her up one side and down the other for dragging the kids into their issues to begin with.

OSS still knows BM gets CS plus some because he has been around when DH has paid his half for things and other stuff. He knows I carry them on insurance because I have given BM insurance cards in front of them (she uses the kids as a buffer). So, he knows, but he may not know exact amount. YSS I just don't think cares.

Curious Georgetta's picture

question/concern. My 7 year old niece was told by her father's wife that she should not ask her father for xyz because he paid child support. My sister and the paternal grandparents were quite upset about the situation. My niece was confused; she had never been told that there was anything that she could not ask her father, and she had no idea or concept of child support.

Fortunately, my sister's ex quickly took control of and satisfactorily resolved that situation. 

However, kids really only need to know that both parents contribute to their support.In an intact family, most do not sit with kids and say mommy contributes this to your support and daddy contributes this to your support. Kids really only want to know that thier needs and wants are being met. 

My niece 's father explained to her that even though he and her mom were not married that nothing had changed between father and daughter. The requests that she made of him prior to the divorce were still the requests that she could and should make of him after the divorce. She was and would always be his daughter.

It is unfortunate when either parent chooses to burden their children with the  minutiae of their divorce details. 

My niece is fortunate because neither of her parents plan on having any other children and both parents make her well being and financial security their mutual and joint priority.




lieutenant_dad's picture

Why is your niece fortunate that she won't have siblings???

I agree kids shouldn't be burdened with the details of divorce, but I do think they need to understand that budgets are a real thing and likely differ household to household.

When the boys are with us, they live upper-middle class. When they are with BM, they are impoverished. That MASSIVE difference is extremely evident, and it can cause the kids to think that it's Dad's fault that Mom is poor.

In our case, it's BM's fault that BM is poor. Her XH didn't/couldn't work. BM didn't/"couldn't" work. DH paid CS, but being a vet post-recession made finding good employment difficult, especially when he was constantly (and I do mean CONSTANTLY) putting out BM's fires. When he finally did get through with school and got a job in his field, he quickly rose the ranks and got stable employment. But he paid for BM's lack of employment for many, many years (still kinda does).

His sons need to understand that DH isn't keeping money back from BM and that is why BM is poor. She gets $1,000/mo, which around here pays her full rent, utilities, and internet bill. The boys have health insurance through my employer. The boys have college savings accounts. DH pays for all their clothes minus quirky t-shirts she buys them. DH pays all their school trips. And DH provides them food, shelter, entertainment, etc when in his care.

Sometimes hard conversations take place because kids SEE the difference. Sometimes they take place because one parent uses it to alienate the kid from their other parent. Sometimes you have to tell a kid "sorry, it's not in the budget". Parents in intact homes have to say that from time-to-time, too.

There is a difference between burdening a kid with details about a divorce and informing them about the realities of their life and livelihood. No kid should feel stress about finances, or be lied to about how divorced parents have split their money. On the flip side, though, no parent should have to suffer alienation or their kid questioning the differences in lifestyle when a simple "this is how life works" conversation can happen.

Curious Georgetta's picture

In the sense that she will be spared all of the issues that seem to come up in an effort to merge and  blend families.

Her father is an only child, and both he and my sister agreed when married that they only wanted 1 child. He had a vasectomy .  They are both in agreement that they do not want the complications of introducing half -siblings into my niece 's life.

Fortunately for my niece , she has several cousins in her age range. So she does not seem to miss having siblings.



lieutenant_dad's picture

Hopefully, then, they continue with that agreement. But times change and new relationships bring about new dynamics - including the potential for stepsiblings and half siblings.

My DH has had a vasectomy. He has a reversal scheduled for next month. If that fails, we move on to other treatments, ending in adoption, if necessary.

It's naive to think that things will stay the same. It's totally possible that they will. But it's also totally possible that what your sister and XBIL agreed to will go out the window if they ever remarry.

Curious Georgetta's picture

His wife was aware of the vasectomy and his unwillingness to adopt..  I suppose that things could change but at this point, it does  not seem that either of them have changed their position regarding another  child.

Howrver, neither of them is so rigidly inflexible that they could not adapt to change. 

He has said that he would not have married someone who did not understand and accept his decision not to have another child.  My sister is in a relationship , but the man that she is dating has  a teenage daughter, and he too has no desire to have another child. They do not live together and he does not spend much time with my niece. 

You are right however in that  things, feelings, and circumstances can change.



Dovina's picture

Your sister is in a relationship with a man with a teenage daughter, who has no siblings. I sure hope that she is good with your sister, and has a healthy attitude towards her dad dating. From all your time on here I am sure you can pass on the red flags to her.  Wonder if she will become a member on here. Maybe you can direct her here and take a look at what so many GF and SM's go through.


Curious Georgetta's picture

To no involvement with each other's children.  They are in an adult  relationship that does not involve their kuds. They have no plans to marry, and they each have their own homes.

So far it seems to be working for them and neither her daughter not his daughter has been in any way impacted by the relationship.

Hopefully, things will continue to work well for them.  The in its early stages.

I think that they have an advantage in that neither seems to need more than the other can provide in terms of time and commitment. Both are financially secure and independent and both recognize that  their family and professional obligations  often impact  the amount of time that they can spend  together


Thisisnotus's picture

This could be the case here except BM is indeed NOT poor, so it’s a lie. She collects rent from 2 paid for homes and has her own home and a job making more money that DH plus hefty CD. She could sell the 2 and put almost 200k in her pocket or pay off the one she lives in....not really my business.

but why lie to the kids? We all live middle class comfortable lifestyles and nobody is going with out.

the issue here is that DH was supposed to spend the rest of his poor and unable to do anything ever since he divorced didn’t work out that way so she is pissed so she lies to make him look bad.

STaround's picture

It happens.   Half and step siblings are not the same.  Many time a mother puts her kids first.  Apparently the mantra on ST is that only first wives can be GU.  That is absurd to think that is true.  

lieutenant_dad's picture

Not the mantra I have seen on here, nor the mantra I live by.

CG is not a SP, and I was curious as to whether not having siblings being a "good thing" because CP thinks it's a bad thing to have kids after "the first family" or...well, just why it was a good thing since it seemed like her niece's lack of additional siblings was a good thing since her parents are now divorced.

And sibling relationships vary no matter if they are full, half, or step. I love my SBro like I do my own siblings, and I am closer to gis wife than my own sister. It's not that I don't love my sister, but my SIL and I are in the same stage of life with similar goals and outlooks.

It's only an issue if someone makes it an issue. Sure, there are SKs that want nothing to do with their newly-born half siblings. There are others, though, that DESPERATELY want to be close but their younger half-sib isn't interested (my XH, for example; his youngest older half sister wants a relationship with him like she does her other half brother, and she is lucky to get a phone call and visit every other year).

STaround's picture

So many on this board discourage DH from helping his older kids with college, even to the point of not wanting a decent kid to be able to live at home and go to local community college), it happens.  Some say, well 18 is an adult, they are on their own for college.  Others say, well stepkid doesn't deserve it.  Somehow I don't think they will take the same attitude when their kids are ready for college.  

Then there is the mantra here, all money should be combined and second spouse to die (which is usually the woman) gets to leave all joint money to HER kids.

There are many here who rationalize why more joint assets should go to their kids, not to the Dad's older kids. 

TwoOfUs's picture

I think it’s incredibly selfish when men with children marry childless women and plan to have no more children. They’re essentially dooming some childless woman to an existence of being childless without any of the benefits of being childfree.

Its an incredibly narcissistic and selfish expectation. Your niece is not fortunate. She has a self-absorbed man for a father and is actively being taught that the world revolves around her and what she wants. 

I predict a very solipsistic and unhappy life for the little dear. 

shamds's picture

the youngest who is in final year of high school, wanted to leave his current wife for an ex who recently divorced. His current wife married late and never had kids as she was so focussed on her career but was open to having kids. He wants to leave this wife for a much younger ex who is a divorcee with a child.

but heres the catch, he wants the younger woman saying he was a man with sexual needs he needed to be satisfied regularly and current wife was so tired after a busy day at work and often not in the mood. 

People at work had to ask my hubby to give him advice as he is a deputy ceo at their company and my husband have a large age gap. My husband said he was a lost cause and a dumbass and so selfish.

you don’t marry a younger unmarried woman and demand sex without kids. You are just using her for pleasure to satisfy your needs but you are not interested in satisfying her needs.

so whilst the couple may agree to those terms, the woman can always change her mind when the craving for kids becomes too much.

my hubby was happy to have kids with me, after hell with exwife and wasting 14/15 yrs being married to her and not able to state he experienced a real marriage relationship with her and the usual experiences when you’re expecting a baby, these are all things hubby has finally experienced being married to me. 

People need to stop this hype and idea 1st families are held to a higher regard than 2nd and 3 families like we are of lower standard and importance

Curious Georgetta's picture

To have a child that you do not want to have particularly as though it were a gift or peace offering that you are bestowing on another person. You are talking about a human life not an anniversary or birthday present.

He told his new wife prior to marriage about his vasectomy and his unwillingness to adopt. He was very open and she made an informed choice. Obviously, she wanted the man more than she wanted a child.

What is unfair, is the failure to disclose this information prior to getting married.


Curious Georgetta's picture

to have a father who is cognizant of what emotional, time, and financial capital that he had to invest. He realised that he had invested all that he has in this one child, and he is unwilling to do less for another child. He realizes that his parenting needs were fully met with this 1 child.

How often on this site do we hear women complaining about their husband's inability to support " all of the children that he has fathered,  or that the children from his prior relationship are being dumped on his new partner to care for while he does other things?

My niece 's has a father who in every meaningful sense is a full time, fully engaged father. 

She is indeed  more fortunate than many if not most of the children who we read about on this site.

lieutenant_dad's picture

This is an EXCELLENT reason not to have more kids. But how you framed it in your OP, you made it sound like "thank God my niece isn't going to have to deal with blended families because those are just absolutely horrible and all the focus should be on raising her". Which isn't exactly an empowering message to radiate on a SP website when you aren't a SP yourself.

TwoOfUs's picture

How much younger than your ex-BIL is his new wife? If she's younger...never married before, never had kids...then she likely didn't know what they take from your household before she married. The strain they put on your finances and your marriage.

Your ex-BIL did know these the divorced dude with the kid. I maintain that this is a profoundly selfish action. To get the benefit of a childless spouse while you yourself have children...there's only upside for you (more support and resources for your child or children) and only downside for your spouse (time and resources going out of your household for the benefit of someone else's kid while you don't get to have kids of your own.) 

Sure, she may have "agreed" to it, but that doesn't make it right or a good deal for her. Having never been married kids...I guarantee you that she didn't know what exactly she was "agreeing" to. Your ex-BIL has taken advantage of her lack of knowledge, her love, and her goodwill toward him in a truly horrible way. That is selfish and doesn't bode well for his marriage at all.  

We've already seen that she's unhappy with the amount of money going out of her household toward this kid. I guarantee you she will continue to grow in resentment and may not be your ex-BIL's wife for she begins to realize what a profoundly selfish person she's married. 

Meanwhile, numerous studies show that the majority of only children wish they had siblings and don't do as well in life as people with siblings they can rely on. Of course, I understand there are lots of reasons to have only one kid...but to act like you're doing it solely for the good of the kid is ludicrous. 

As you say: "His parenting needs have been met" by having this one daughter. And, apparently, that's all that matters to him. The wellbeing of his new wife and his daughter be long as his needs have been met. 

STaround's picture

And more so for second marriages.  As to money, I would hope anyone realizes that kids are a money drain.  What has surprised me is women on this board who did not bother to understand their DHs legal commitments.  IMHO, not so many guys have the money to support kids from two families.  Sure, Trump does, but not so many. 

Maybe kids do want siblings, but half siblings may not be the same.  Especially if wife resents the money being spent on older kid, and battles to reduce it. Look at the conflicts we see on this board.  Wife demands no money be spent in excess of CS.   Wife demands kid figure out college on her own. In an intact family, wife generally considers well fare of all kids.  

TwoOfUs's picture

Simple. Then divorced dudes with kids and financial commitments should marry women with children...or childless women who they intend to start a family with. Anything else is unfair and selfish...and the guy is a a**hole. 

Yes, of course everyone knows kids cost money. There's no way to know all the terrible, wasteful ways resources get sent to another household in a second marriage. As we see all the time on these boards. 


STaround's picture

At a minimum, women should make an effort to understand finances.  If guy earns a lot, he is likely spending a lot on his kids.  Maybe more thank someone who was brought up with less money would think is reasonable. 

Cover1W's picture

The SDs know, either from BM or DH. It's not a huge amount, but it's why most clothing and other needs are mostly purchased by BM. DH pays for other things related to school or our home, so it's in the end a pretty fair split.

He has told them he doesn't have the money for their college because BM took his retirement/college fund, then stuck him with the tax bill, which was for them. He said that BM has it, she and her family can help them, plus they need to think scholarship - which is totally in the realm of possibility as they are excellent students. 

And BM had to be told the Cover is in no way responsible financially for anything, including college about two years ago.

thinkthrice's picture

 they were PASed out when little and were told from day one that Chef is a deadbeat dad and didn't pay a cent.  I'm sure they still believe that to this day now that older two are in their twenties

shamds's picture

The 2 sd went with their mum. Bio mum according to sd23 pays for the basic expenses of sd14 and her school expenses and sd23 helps pay for things. Bio mum faked an imaginary leg can’t walk condition so eldest sd23 had to move out and care for sd then 12 while eldest sd was studying at uni when in reality youngest sd had to be given to their dad...

the reality is bio mum does not contribute anything. Hubby pays the amount courts set at $500 monthly, exwife takes a minimal portion of this and supposedly gives it to sd23 for sd14 expenses. Bio mum contributes nothing of her own money.

 exwife actually stole private savings money of hubbys  which courts dictated she had no right too so hubby fought hard to not let her take him to the cleaners. She got a lump sum amount payout. 

She lives this fantasy of wanting the benefits of married life where she is a sahm to my husband so no work and spend my husbands money when reality is they are divorced, both married to new partners and equally need to contribute to their own kids. Exwife hasn’t worked in 25 years, she never even bought a home with the money she stole out of hubbys private savings and even tried to get access to his pension fund, something she can’t get or is entitled to in the country they’re in.

she came from a poor uneducated family and showed off to her family how rich and upper class she was when married to my husband taking family of 5 star holidays with 1st class tickets on hubbys credit card (the family that threatened hubby multiple times for not giving her more money), now that she is divorced and her own family know about the money she stole before and during divorce and got from divorce court, they hate her to bits because she’s loaded as but plays the poor woman image married to her ex high school sweetheart who is a policeman and lives in police quarters. Her current husband bought a home in their town they grew up in... 

we suspect she wasted the money she stole on god knows what which is why she has convinced her 2 daughters to guilt hubby for more money and to support them indefinitely even well into adulthood after they have degrees and a fulltime job because they are incapable of being self sufficient courtesies of their mums pas, manipulation and narcissm.  My husband earns a 6 figure salary, in the 5.5 yrs i have known him we haven’t even come close to spending even 1/10th of the money she stole. Thats including our honeymoon to europe, our wedding and yearly holidays to overseas.

My husband has since the 2 sd re-initiated contact mid last year, when school is about to start messages eldest sd to see if she has everything youngest sd needs for school like stationaries and uniform, school shoes etc out of concern for them... he can’t help the psycho he stupidly married over 26 yrs ago but he still wants his conscience clear he did his part to raise his kids even if bio mum fails to step up... sadly the sd’s are too brainwashed by bio mum and the lies she planted that hubby pays peanuts for them but we apparently live a life of luxury. Yes hubby has a good salary but he’s always lived well under that and pumped alot into savings for retirement. Skids were raised in a simple home with no real luxuries apart from daily mcdonalds because it was too beneath exwife to cook for her kids as a sahm while she prioritised daily shopping sprees

i have asked my husband several times years ago like seriously how could you stay and remain married to this woman for 15 years before initiating divorce because the amount of crap she and her family pulled on hubby is mind boggling and hubby couldn’t confide in his family until the very end. They enjoyed the humour in the crap wife he had instead of trying to support him and give him advice. They were more worried about keeping up appearances...

at times it truly feels stepparents are the only sane normal positive examples for the ex’s and stepkids yet they’re too enmeshed, coddled, pissed off and jealous to stubbornly see it... we often get to a point where its like screw it, i need to save my sanity and disengage.!!!

TheEvilStepmomStrikesBack's picture

SS knows that DH provides money for his BM to help take care of him but he doesn’t know the amount. We always make sure that he goes back in exactly the clothes he comes in when he visits because she will send it to small cut up an old clothing.  This last weekend he came in size 2T underwear (he’s 11) and no socks. I always make sure to explain to him that we do not have enough money to support him at his moms house and here and then his mom gets money to make sure that he has everything he needs there. As it is. His dad can’t afford to buy him these things at the moment and I refuse to eat bad for him at the expense of my own child because his mom wants to go on vacations instead of be a responsible parent and buy clothing and school supplies

Goodluck's picture

Yes of course they should know---kids in Elem school should know ncp gives cp $xyz amount.

Why shouldnt kids know ncp gives cp money?








sunshinex's picture

BM doesn't pay child support and hasn't been ordered to because my husband was too proud. It's annoying, and quite honestly, I look forward to the day when she asks if her mother pays anything towards her, if she does. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

She likes does not give a thought to the funding source. Kids assume that supporting them is the job of their  parents. She could have lived in a home where mom was a SAHM and only dad worked.

Ultimately,kids only care about their needs,/wants being met.  Of course they need to understand the budgeting process. That is easily taught by using hypothetical figures; schools do it all of the time.

beebeel's picture

LOL!! No, the vast majority of schools do not teach financial literacy. Unfortunately, neither do many parents. Wealthy parents often don't bother to teach their kids because they never have to actually worry about budgets. Poor parents don't teach it because they likely never learned it themselves.

Learning to be financially literate takes a lot more than showing a kid a spreadsheet of made up numbers. Like anything complex worth learning, it needs to be taught very young by adding concepts as the child ages. 

Kids don't care about nutritional facts and meal planning, either. They only care if they have something to eat -- who cares where it came from, what's in it, or how to prepare it, right? So because kids aren't interested in sugar content, parents shouldnt teach them? Leave it to the schools? That's your logic? 

My skids were told about CS far too late in their lives. The failure of my dh to teach them this important concept has resulted in two young adults believing they can forgo educations and work part time. Hey! It worked for their bm! She has only worked part time their entire lives and somehow still afforded all the electronics and vacations their little hearts desired. 

Parents do a huge disservice to their children by having this puritanical view that it isn't decent to talk about money. Americans are drowning in household debt because too few parents teach their kids financial management. 

MrsStepMom's picture

Ya I have yet to see ANY school teach about how to handle finances. At most they do a quick blurb in a life class of some sort....IF the kid takes that.

Curious Georgetta's picture

among parents and children. Teaching children the relationship between expenses and available income and revenue does not require them to have any detail understanding of  CS.

My dad is a CPA. He taught us at a very early age the relationship between expenses, income/revenue. We were taught about the obligation to pay promptly your monthly expenses. We were taught all of that and we understood without ever seeing our parents ' income statements or balance sheets. The concepts are not complex. Kids can learn the concepts the same way that they learn history or biology.

However, every family should do what works for them.

Winterglow's picture

So, despite what you say, you do think a part of the family accounts should be taboo. The part about child support. Child support is simply a part of the family income and it is used for expenses that concern the child. What is so shameful about including it in the household accounts? 

Curious Georgetta's picture

of available resources. My kids understand budgeting and they have not clue one as to how much money either of us earn or contribute to anything, 

They know that we earn enough to cover their needs and most of their wants.  They know that there is always food on the table, a comfortable roof over their heads, gas in the cars, adequate clothing, and money for extras. They really do not need to know more about our personal circumstances.

When my daughter was age 9, she asked her dad "how much money do we have?" His answer was " we have enough to take care of you. " She was satisfied with that answer.

She would not need to know that x dollar amount comes from your mom's wages, x dollar amount comes from your dad's earnings, and x dollar amount comes from investment income. We can and do explain budgeting and responsible spending without necessarily divulging specifics about family income.



Winterglow's picture

Yes, but you live in an intact family and that is sooooo remote from step families. For you, telling a child who pays what comes down to nit-picking because it comes from a fairly single source and there is no animosity, competition, denial, etc. involved. You are not faced with the "mom says you pay nothing", "dad says you waste MY money" and worse. Being clear and above board can help avoid the conflict/confusion with the kids.

Monkeysee's picture

You don’t need to give a dollar amount to teach the kid that the NCP pays child support. My skids know DH pays CS, but they don’t know how much. They know it’s an amount that helps fund their fairly privileged life. That’s all they need to know. He started telling them about CS because they started spewing entitled crap about what they have & ‘deserve’, so DH started teaching them about money & how life really works. Until that point they thought their mommee paid for everything. Incorrect. They have a right to know that both parents fund their lives. 

Monkeysee's picture

This contradicts everything you’ve said previously on this thread that the kids don’t care who funds their lives & shouldn’t be told about CS. That’s total BS.

My SS’s are both under 10 and are fully aware their dad pays money each month to support them. They’re aware that they have the life the have because of both their parents financial support, not just their mommee. 

I have no idea what BM tells them about finances & frankly I don’t care, because any time either child starts spewing crap as ‘fact’ when it comes to money, they are fed the truth. Not a nasty version of the truth that belittles their mother, just the truth. 

They need to understand that life isn’t free, their wants & needs aren’t free, their houses aren’t free, the cars they’re driven around in aren’t free, and all the privileges they have aren’t free either. They also have the right to know that whether they see it or not, DH provides for them & it’s not all their mother, as much as she may lead them to believe that it is.

TwoOfUs's picture

Yes to all this. Especially the invisibility of the support.  

That's the thing that people who aren't and have never been in stepfamilies don't seem to be able to grasp. 

The NCP's contribution to the kid is largely invisible because it flows from (usually) his account to (usually) her account...and then she manages and actually purchases items for the kids. 

In intact families, when kids go out to eat or get new shoes for school...they naturally assume both parents are supporting them. To the extent that they even think about it. They may thank both parents. Suddenly, in a divorced family, the kids may naturally assume that the CP parent is the only parent providing...because that's the parent who pulls out the debit card and swipes. 

The NCPs contribution is minimized or even erased altogether. The NCP also has to maintain a home that will accommodate the kids...but doesn't get any help on the rent/mortgage or utilities. No help on the groceries. No contribution toward anything at their all goes one way. In our home, BM also claimed all 3 kids on taxes every year while we didn't get to claim any dependents. In effect, that was another 10K-plus that flowed from our household to hers...all invisible. 

So then NCPs are in a position where they're tempted to do even more for the kids to make their support more visible. Every swipe of BM's debit card is already subsidized by us...but we're doing extra fun things and providing more when skids are here...just to make it look like we're doing anything at all. 

This is also why we didn't want to "go half" on everything BM wanted us to "go half" on...including larger Christmas and Birthday presents that would be opened at her house. That's just another way for our contribution to be invisible...sure. She could tell the kid we split the cost of the present with her...but she's the one getting to watch them unwrap it on Christmas morning. She asked for this a lot and we always said we'd do our own thing. It's also why, as the kids got older and she asked us to pitch in for class trips, graduation stuff, etc...and asked us to just write her the check...we said we'd contribute but we were going to write the check to the school directly. That way, we could hand the check to the kid and say: "This is the deposit for your DC trip...take it to the office today." 

Things like this matter when you're NCP and your contribution often gets erased or credited to the BM. So...yeah. I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about CS and even discussing amounts. 

beebeel's picture

Money management is far more complex than adding and subtracting numbers on a balance sheet. It involves learning values, learning priorities, learning wants versus needs. If all it took were basic math skills, most people would be much more financially literate. If paying your bills on time was the only concept needed to learn, I should be swimming in loot by now.

In a blended family, the complexities are compounded because the "wants" are often in competition between the bioparents. 

Rags's picture

We shared regularly with SS what the SpermClan paid in CS. I thought it was important that SS understood that his SpermClan was complying with their court ordered CS obligation and that the were demonstrating that they at lease cared that much.

We also gave SS clarity on what it took to deliver the standard of living we provided as he was growing up so that he understood that they were full of shit when they were bitching and moaning about how the CS they paid was taking food out of the mouths of  his three  younger also out of wedlock Spermidiot spawned half sibs by to other baby mamas. 

The CS obligation began at $110/mo, increased a year later of $133/mo, increased to $385/mo 9 years later for the last 7 years of the CO.   

It is important that Skids understand the facts. Show them the total contribution breakdown spreadsheet for everything that you and DH have provided over the years.  When they play the "mom is poor" card the countless $thousands you and DH have provided should shut that crap down pronto.