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Finances for SK?

Dogmom1321's picture

I'm curious about how others handle finances with their SK. 

When DH and I first met, I'd like to think I contributed when appropriate. Clothes for birthday, toys on Christmas, if she ever "needed" anything, but Dad was in a pinch, I would grab it (school supplies, medicine, etc.) I honestly felt like I treated her very well. 

Fast forward 5 years, and now we have 50/50. SD10 gets (too nice) of gifts from my family. Patagonia jackets, small jewelry, etc. At first I didn't mind because DH and I (and definitely not BM) purchase expensive items. More recently, I have asked my mom to stop gifting such items unfortunately. As later I found out they were being sold on FB marketplace by BM. (Yes, I screenshotted for later in case we ever need it). 

DH and I tell SD to bring such items back to our house (or don't bring them to begin with). SD gets upset if she leaves things over there on our week. But it's an endless cycle. I have given up the fight of "What are you wearing on Fridays?" She has "left" nike sneakers, north face jackets, necklaces, a generic fitbit, and the list goes on. 

Instead, I just don't buy ANY of those items anymore. If SD needs shoes, then DH needs to take care of it. Along with clothes. I have cut out any unnecessary items like necklaces, earrings, etc. I just don't buy any of that anymore. 1. SD doesn't take care of her stuff anyway 2. BM is likely to sell it. 

If DH asks me to buy something (for ex. new lunchbox), I say okay, but then ask for his card. I'm sure as heck not going to be buying any of that stuff now! I think DH understands I don't want to be wasting money. 

What is your situation like? Do you help out financially? Is helping out *zero* money wise the norm? How do you handle the back and forth of SKs "stuff"? 

Survivingstephell's picture

Wow! Does he pay support? No shame and it's the best solution to leave everything you bought for SD at your house and send her back in what she came with.  SD is also old enough to point out that both of her parents are responsible for taking care of her and that means providing her what she needs at each house.  

Dogmom1321's picture

When I met him, he (sometimes) received CS from BM. This is when he had full custody though. Since it changed to 50/50, neither party pays/receives CS.

tog redux's picture

I was like you, I bought gifts for SS, some cheap clothes for him, something he needed, etc. It didn't add up to a lot because we were frugal and I liked finding stuff on the cheap.

We let him take clothes back and forth but it was not expensive stuff. Big stuff like video games, etc, stayed with us.

HowLongIsForever's picture

This is basically me, too.  I will buy things here and there like clothing or random bedroom decor type of stuff, most of the time with their dad's money,  sometimes my own.  I pitch in on one big Christmas present for each and to a lesser extent for birthdays.  That's about it, though.

Clothing is about the only thing that goes back and forth to be honest.  YSSs bike has started the back and forth since the bike at BMs is long overdue for an updated size.  I'm sure that will cease late summer/early fall when we are back to camp/school exchanges only.  They rarely take things between houses, though we don't have a problem with them doing so.  Based on the boys, I assume this is a requirement for her slum and so they just function as if it goes both ways.

BM has a habit of demanding HER things back to hand off to family (SSs are the youngest kids, by far, so not likely) yet she forgets that the clothing is supplied about 90% by this household, as are school supplies, 100% sports supplies, all Halloween costumes, etc., etc.  She's certainly not "losing money" by providing for her kids, just in her inability to sell what we have bought.

She's so tiring.

UpgradeWife's picture

I have never spent my money on SS and I'm glad. It would be a literal waste of money. I spend on my bios with my DH.

I told my mother to take SS off her will, too.

shamds's picture

Bio dad and bio mum.

in my case bio mum has not worked in 26.5 years, she relies solely on my husbands cs every month and even then hubby doesn’t know how much is actually given to eldest sd who bio mum palmed off sd14 to live with since 4 yrs ago.

even then bio mum has called my sil bragging how i love her kids like my own trying to force me to love them when she doesn’t care or love them one bit. They are a money making machine and she doesn’t see herself jointly responsible for them and uses religion to palm this responsibility solely onto my husband...

i do not buy anything for any of my skids and never will. For starters they have reiterated how we are not family and are strangers, tried to eradicate me and my kids with hubby from hubbys life so they don’t get to benefit from my connections or generosity 

Rags's picture

If the Skids are not living with BM and she is the CO'd CP receiving CS it is time for your SO to go for blood and cut BM off from all support.  Shift that support to his eldest who is caring for his youngest, or take custody and raise the youngest himself.

I cannot imagine anyone would continue to reward an X by paying them  to raise children that they are not in fact raising.  If i were DH, I would have the X under the hairy eyeball of a PI and I would be dragging her to court to address her breeding for dollars CS collection fraud.


Kes's picture

For a number of years, I used to get the SDs Xmas and birthday gifts, but I'd never contribute towards anything else, that was definitely DH's job.  After about 10 yrs of getting them gifts I stopped because I felt it wasn't appreciated, and neither of them ever got me even so much as a birthday card.  DH now gets them presents, and if I'm in a good mood I'll sign the card.  We lost count of the amount of underpants and socks DH bought that vanished into the black hole at NPD BMs, it was hundreds if not thousands.  

ladybug3's picture

DH and I share a bank account so I guess technically I do help out with stuff for SS but I never really thought about it. Anything we buy for him stays at our house. We learned the hard way that BM either doesn't care or doesn't notice and we lost all of the pajamas we bought for him as well as a pair of shoes. When DH asked for them back BM claimed she didn't have them. They weren't expensive so I doubt she sold them lol, but SS spends a lot of time with BM's family because of BM's work schedule, so one of them might have thrown them away out of spite. 

Rags's picture

This is exactly why so many in blended families separate anything they possibly can from benefiting the X.  Sadly that means that the Skids get the good stuff at one home and don't get the good stuff at the other.

But... that demonstrates the benefits of working hard, being responsible and caring for the things provided.  When kids see both sides, there is a definite opportunity for those on the responsible side to point out the benefits of being responsible.

ladybug3's picture

It's not that we don't want to benefit BM. We have bought groceries for her multiple times because she couldn't afford to. If we knew that SS was going without anything we would buy it for BM in a heartbeat. But he has plenty of clothes at BM's house so there's no reason why all of his pajamas ended up over there and never got returned. 

Rags's picture

The Catch 22.  Care for the Skid and cater to the X, or force the X to step up and provide with the risk the children will suffer.

There is no universal good answer.

This is why IMHO a financial capability element needs to apply in custody decisions.  One X should not be burdened with fully supporting two households for the kids while the other X sits on their butt doing nothing and sucking up resources that are intended for the support of the kids.

Unfortuneately it is not the responsible X that tends to make these decisions. It is flawed courts that choose who to victimize for the benefit of someone who often refuses to step up.

ladybug3's picture

I completely agree. Our court systems are so flawed and the way CS is calculated is beyond ridiculous.

DPW's picture

I find often stepparents contribute either directly or indirectly to the skids and it often leaves them resentful at one time or another in the stepworld journey. I always suggest keeping money separate and only doing what you want to do, regardless of BM's and DH's ability to afford for their children. Again, their children. They are responsible, not you. 

CLove's picture

It came about last night, that Munchkin SD14 had just found a skirt I had purchased for a halloween costume that went weith us to a rennaisance fair. 

I purchase a LOT for Munchkin SD14, always have. We keep our finances completely separated, always have. DH supports his child fully, buys food, makes meals. Occasionally I will step in and make a meal for her and I, or buy food that I know that she likes. But the onus is completely on him. I will buy bday presents, Christmass money. I bought her 5th grade graduation outfit. A photo from FB memories just popped up from that.

I have been on the fence about wills and assets as we bought a house in october and recently a boat, and we have several vehicles. I was considering setting up a trust, but right now am thinking Ill just will everything to my parents and brother, and be done with it, on the occasion that DH and I were BOTH to pass away together.

Rags's picture

My DW and I have never separated resources or our respective incomes. If either of us earn it, it is marital income. Not hard to do since we had little when we first married other than two apartments full of college furiniture and home goods, two 8yo vehicles and my newly printed Engineering degree. We have built what we have together.

As for financial support of my SS-27 (adopted by me at his request when he was 22), he is our joint heir and beneficiary upon the demise of both of us.  If one of us survives the other, the survivor is the sole heir and beneficiary. Since we have no other children, eventualy he gets it all.  We do have a caveate regarding when he gets it.  If he is not in compliane with the terms of inheritance it goes into trust until he either turns 40yo or completes a Bachelor's Degree  from an accredited university or college whichever occurs first.  His current plan is to remain in the USAF until he qualifies for full retirement after 20 years.  That will happen two years before he is eligeable to inherrit .. unless he finishes the last two years of undergrad studies.  He has an AS in Computer Science so he is making progress on our educational expectations of him as he performs in his progressively successful military career.  

Eventually he will be very financially comfortable.  Between his USAF retirement, a follow on private sector or government career with the investments and retirement benefits from second career and what should be a significant inherritance from his mom and I.  If everything goes to plan and even if it doesn't.