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Should it be the step parents job to step up and support the skids financially?

newwtostepguy's picture

Is it the step parents responsibility to step up financially and support the skids financially when their two bio parents are alive, well, working good jobs and are involved in the skids lives? I feel like it is one thing to volunteerarily help out and pay for some of the kids things (meals, activities, clothes, etc) but it is another for the step parent to be expected to step up and financially support these kids when they have two bio parents who are both working good jobs and are very capable of doing so.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

No. It's not. That child is in no way your responsiblity. You make like them, you may do things for them, but you are not required to do so as the parent is.

I would sit down and talk to your wife about it. You should in no way be forced to pay for them involuntarily.

I had that talk before I got married. College, cars, lawyer fees, vacations, for the step come directly from an account that my wife keeps for that, that comes from her paycheck. We equally contribute to bills and the mortgage. We equally contribute to our own new daughter's college fund, etc.

It can get complicated, but you can certainly tell if you're suffering financially due to the step.


STaround's picture

Agree with Juststressed, this is a convesation that needs to be had before marrige, but woudl hadd retirement funding too.  

ITB2012's picture

But they are many times, you know, cause it's "our money" if a step parent's money is needed, but it's "my money" if you don't want money spent on a child.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

It is very complicated on that end, a lot of it is a judgement call.

"Oh, we're sending step to a private university" - That'd be a dealbreaker, because I know that my wife's paycheck alone couldn't pay for it.

"Oh, I'm buying step a new comforter set" - I usually just reciprocate the purchase for myself or my daughter and move on. My wife and I make similar money.

What makes it more complicated, is that you also expect the child's other biological parent to pitch in too.

STaround's picture

But then, SP should not expect spouse to pay more than 1/2 of housing (or approriate share), etc.   

lieutenant_dad's picture

Nope, not at all obligated.

I CHOOSE to help DH because he has also chosen to help me. But we recently went through a spell where I was going to pull my money from the "our money" pot because he wasn't discussing with me, or allowing me any say, in how "our money" was spent. His argument was that he helped subsidize paying off my student loans faster. My retort was that we talked about our budget and agreed paying off all our debt was a high priority. That becomes hard to do when he doesn't talk to BM about expensive things she claims are needed RIGHT THIS SECOND for the kids that she has known weeks or months about and DH just rolls over and gives it to her because "what else is he supposed to do?". So, if I want a change in the budget of our mutual funds, I have to seek permission. If he wants to change it and it's "for the kids"? Apparently I get no say. That's fine, then no access to my money and help. Funny how that begrudgingly changed his tune.

Having kids doesn't make one person in the partnership the team captain. It just means they have different responsibilities to/in the team. If they want their kids to have better things and nicer experiences, then they, as the parent, need to work for it and not expect someone else to make up the shortfall. At the same time, the SP shouldn't force their BP partner to live a monetary lifestyle of someone without kids. That is going to cause resentment on all sides - from the BP who can't keep up, and the SP who feels like they are having to subsidize their partner so they can keep up.

In short, no relationship should leave someone worse off financially than when they went into it. If only one person is benefiting as the other's detriment, that's a problem.

Siemprematahari's picture

Not obligated at all.

If you choose to volunteer your money to support them that's on you but under no circumstances are you obligated to support step kids financially. The child has two working biological parents your money is just a bonus in my opinion.

ESMOD's picture

No.. of course it is not a step parent's responsibility to financially support their stepchild.  That doesn't mean you "can't" spend money on the child.. but their bio parents should be financially supporting them..

Is your GF trying to tellyou that you are obligated?  if so.. that is another tick mark in the "con" side of the balance sheet for her as a life partner.


Now, I guess there can be extenuating circumstances.. like:

You have a job and make a ton of money and own a home worth a million dollars.  She works as a waitress and her EX is in prison and incapable of sending money.  So.. you want her to move in.. with her kid.  Obviously on her waitress salary, she can't possibly afford to pay her share and her son's share of the household bills for a million dollar home right?  in that case, perhaps there is a more equitable amount she contributes instead... more in line with what she might be spending otherwise if not living with you. In that case.. yeah.. you are to an extent subsidizing your stepchild... but not in a "you owe him" way.


ndc's picture

In the situation you've described?  Of course not.  If both bio parents are alive, well, involved and working good jobs, why would your financial assistance be needed?  Unless you're insisting on a lifestyle that the bio parents can't keep up with, which I doubt is the case.

Now, if the SP's spouse came upon temporary hard times (for example, a job loss), I could see the SP as part of the team stepping up to subsidize the skids for some period of time.  I would draw the line at helping the BP pay CS in most situations, though.

flmomma08's picture

Absolutely not. Whatever I do/buy for SD is because I choose to, not because I feel obligated to. This is one of the reasons DH and I have separate finances, so "our money" is never paying for her - its always his money paying.

Aniki's picture

I'm guessing that your girlfriend is speaking to you again. Frankly, I suspect that she EXPECTS you to pick up her and baby daddy's financial slack. Tell her NO.

WarMachine13's picture


Cover1W's picture


SteppedOut's picture


The only answer needed. The rest is fluff. 

caitlinj's picture

She’s a user. It is not your responsibility to pay for those kids. If one parent was deceased that would be a different story. She’s looking for someone to use to pick up bio dads slack and make up for her spending and her indulging herself and her kids with things she and they do not need. She has lack of impulse control when it comes to money plus spoils her kids. Not your problem. Those are not your kids.

tog redux's picture

I've never paid anything toward's my SS's care.  I paid DH's child support for a few months when he lost his job, but only so that he wouldn't get in trouble in any way.  Otherwise, nope. 

TheBrightSide's picture

I can afford it so absolutely I'll pay for EVERYTHING.  The bio parents can sit back and relax, I got this.

juuuuuusst kidding

secret's picture

Things that are needed for the house... like new sheets... are on a need basis, not a want basis. Everyone has 2 sets... one flannel, one simple... a comforter, and a pillow. You want extra? Birthdays of other gift giving ops. Clothes, we are each responsible for our own kids'. Same with school supplies. Same with room decorations.

Furniture...they each have a bed and a dresser. Anything else is side of the road...thrift store...whatever. you want, you buy.

Bathroom products are part of household budget... you want the special hair stuff, you buy.

When my kids were a bit younger I had them in activities... if he wanted his in an activity, he can pay.

College etc... I put money aside for my kids' education. Dh hasn't. Not my problem. I put money in accounts for my kids each pay... he put 25$ in the one I set up for his kid. I used to put the same amount in his than in my 3... but I stopped. Not my problem. While my kids have a couple thousand in each of theirs... ss only has about 200 $ in his. Not my problem.

We don't share money.

Dh gives me money weekly for his contribution... and I handle the finances. All in all it works out that he pays about 1/3 Of expenses... to me that's fair since him and ss are 1/3... me and my 3 are 2/3. Whatever is left over from the money he gives me is spent on us... dinner out or whatever... while I have a decent nest egg in my savings, he does not... not my problem.

Cbarton12's picture


SD is not my financial responsibility. I regularly buy her clothes, shoes, toys because I WANT to but not under y obligation. The bio parents have the responsibility to financially support their child. 


GrabitAndGo's picture

Since you're not married to your girlfriend, and you're not living together, I'm going to assume this is some hypothetical question you've thrown out there for sake of grins and giggles.  

WarMachine13's picture

Why are you still with this chick? No other women around?? You must have negative self-esteem to keep clinging to this shitty relationship. Sheesh.

somethingwicked's picture


And who told you that lie? 

Did your GF whisper it in your ear~pillow talk  following hot n' heavy post coital relations?

Don't be shamed, coerced, pusywhipped ,bamboozled, blackmailed,threatened, teased or brow beaten into  funding the skids  when the bios are more than physically and or financially able.

Why are you still in this "relationship"?


sunshinex's picture

I financially support my stepkid. My husband makes 3x less than I do and BM has always been a deadbeat. BUT we are married, have a son together, and SD refers to me as "mom" because BM is fairly non-existant and only sees her daughter in the summer. Plus, my husband was always fine doing it on his own, but when we married, I'm the one who suggested we work together on everything - including SD. If he pushed it on me or was always trying to get me to pay for things, it'd be a big no. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

support their own children. The obligation to support someone else's child does not convey with a marriage license or entry into a relationship. How can you respect a woman who expects you to support her child/children. That is the absolute responsibility of the 2 people who  created those lives.

Think long and hard before you have a child with a woman who is unwilling or incapable of supporting her own children. Know that she won't care anymore about your child than she cares about her current children. 

A girl friend or wife should be a  partner not a dependent.

Raise your standards not your wallet.

raindrop's picture

Yes, you’ve entered this relationship knowing that your future SKID is a package deal, and by default, he/she is your responsibility, too. If the bios are not stepping up to the plate, then it’s up to you; afterall, you are the step PARENT.  Set that example, help them grow those wings and succeed in this thing called life. You were put in his/her life for a reason. 






Totally joking ^^^.   Nope. Keep your money. It’s all on the bios. If the bios cannot provide, oh well. 

shellpell's picture

Hahaha, my blood pressure was rising as I read this, then I read the last bit. I was fully expecting you to throw in “and you need to love them like your own” too.

Rags's picture

The fact is that kids benefit from Sparent income when in the SParent's home.  But should the SParent be expected to support the Skid... Nope.  SParent financial participation in Skid support is entirely the choice of the SParent.

For me, my bride and I are equity life partners, we make our life togehter, we are both successful professionals and we both work to provide for the life we share.  SS benefited from this when he was a minor and as our only child he will benefit from it when his mom and I are gone.  I happily and gladly have raised him as my own. He is my son. But.. I would not have been happy if my participation had been expected. I certainly took extreme exception to the SpermClan expectation that my income should be considered in lowering their CS obligation for my SS.

I happily supported my SS, but it was my choice and my choice alone.  No SParent should be expected to support Skids except by their own choice.

IMHO of course.