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Step children to go to private school?

Belinda33's picture

Hey guys, I know I am being reasonable here, but has anyone faced this issue and how did you manage to get your partner to see the point? It seems however I try to get the point across he just can’t grasp it!

I’m pregnant with our first and he recently made a comment that his first children will go to a private high school whilst ours will go public because we’re not as fussy, but that’s what BM wants because she wants to be a private school mum. I laughed and said “okay well if she is paying....” he interrupted and sarcastically said “no, I’ll be the one paying for it” (as if he has no choice!) 

I said that what we do for his first, we have to do for ours. So if we are in a financial position at the time to pay for his first, we will need to be in a position to do for our. And vice versa. He thinks I’ve now made it a competition about her vs me. Which is not true or fair. I said he cannot continue to put her wants first just to please her and that I will not be financially contributing (while she sits at home everyday as a stay at home mum) as I have done equally in this household that currently includes his “first kids” for him to then go and give to his kids what we may not be able to ours. Why do these guilty men turn it into something rediculous and yet not see their own actions and words as unfair? He is now accusing me of wanting to send MY kids to private later...I was clear - we make a decision on what we are prepared to do for ALL kids when the time comes and if we can’t afford it for ALL kids the. It’s up to her to pay for private if that’s what she wants for her kids. FML.

Winterglow's picture

He is now accusing me of wanting to send MY kids to private later...

Remind him that YOUR child is also HIS child (moron that he is). Good grief. 

I think you need to put the fear of dog into him so that he's more scared of upsetting you that upsetting bm. It seems fairly clear that he can't really afford the private school for all so he wants to have no expectations for your child. Well, HELL NO TO THAT!

What's in their CO about education, by the way? I shouldn't imagine he'd be on the hook for more than 50% (and maybe not even that).


Belinda33's picture

Hi, thanks for commenting. There is no CO. It’s just an agreement. LOL. On her terms. They currently pay 50/50 in public. When I spoke to the CSA they said the single payment each week is to cover everything and that if he chooses to contribute more that’s his choice. (Australia) I’m happy for him to pay more, because what’s a couple of hundred dollars a year.... but not if it’s different standards in schooling for his kids/our kids that will be thousands.

tog redux's picture

That's ... crazy.  Why does he feel he has no choice but to go along with BM? If she took it to court, would they order him to pay for it? 

Good for you for setting limits on that.

twoviewpoints's picture

These "first kids" are currently the ripe old age of 4 & 7. You have just discovered you are. pregnant .

High School is years away before any attend. Tell him to shove the newest idea of his up his *ss and sit on it for about another six years. Then you will review household finances and see what sots out. He'll have 3 1/2 kids to pay for, you just 1/2 a kid.]

\\I doubt he gets anymore bright ideas anytime soon. Oh, remind him he has plenty of new baby stuff to buy if he's worried about too much cash laying. around now with no use.

susanm's picture

I have to agree with this.  I completely get how easy it is to get caught up in the latest crazy that BM presents and your DH swallows like a hungry trout.  It is infuriating and makes you want to slap the skin off of his face.  I can only imagine what it is like while being pregnant!  But you are going to be dealing with more things in the here-and-now before it is time for them to go to high school than you even want to think about.  My best advice is to address what is in front of you and in the near future.  You have no idea what things will look like in 5 years.  Unless he does something stupid like starting to make deposits directly to the school on some sort of "lay-away program" or paying extra to BM that she supposedly is going to "put away for future tuition", let it go for now.  Congratulations on the baby! 

Belinda33's picture

I’m sorry but a few things here:

1) I don’t think it’s fair to hold a gun to plans they may or may not even have discussed when they were still together since their first child was a baby and they then split up. She chose to cheat and to leave, she chose to live a life that was no longer “what they planned” 

2) I am not intending on competition, I don’t even know how you read that when all I have said is what we do for one, we do for all. If this was about competition I would be requesting my children be in private and not give her the same. Nowhere have I said that. I have said the opposite. I am intending on offering and providing equal schooling for all of our children that we can afford at the time. He is flat out telling me that he will send his kids to private schools, and ours will just go through public. Somehow I am the one in competition here???

My intention is that we discuss these plans as a couple based on our situation, and then she do the same with her partner. I never said there is anything wrong with BM wanting what’s best for her children, but maybe she could consider getting a job to help pay? It’s simply unfair that what’s best for her children would put us out financially and we then can’t afford to put food on the table. Money is right atm and DH is on a minimum wage.  

You have taken everything out of context and made unfair assumptions. You’re not a SM, I get it. You have no idea and should probably just avoid commenting from now on.

tog redux's picture

CG is not a stepparent and she is really good at assumptions.  Don't let her get under your skin.

Petronella's picture

Good reply to CG! It's a shame we all have to keep doing this. I suggest that next time you post in the BLOGS area of the site, that way you can delete comments from CG and the other mean, unsympathetic people here. 

ESMOD's picture

I'm curious about a few things.  Is a private school education a real difference from the public school education in advantage or quality? Because it isn't always.. a podunk private church school in the sticks where BM lives (or inner city) might be a poorer option than a high performing public school in your area.  So.. private vs public is not always cut and dried.

I would think that your husband would want to treat all his children equitably.. that doesn't mean the same... that doesnt mean the same amount of money gets split to each.  Your child might end up with more benefits in other areas.. more extra curricular activities.. or maybe money would go towards higher education vs primary school?  

I think you need to be able to explain yourself more clearly to your husband.  You aren't competing with BM.. but you want your child with him to have the same advantages as a child with her.  I mean.. would you normally want or insist your child go to a private school?  if not.. perhaps your husband needs to commit to you that he will set aside similar financial outlay for a future savings so that your child has some other advantages?

And.. just because BM "wants" this.. doesn't mean she gets what she wants.  He may have not wanted her to cheat... that diddn't work right?


tog redux's picture

Around here, private schools (even pricey onces) can be worse than the best public schools.  SS went to private school for 3 years and had to repeat a grade when he transferred to public school because the private school wasn't as rigorous. (To be fair, he did transfer to one of the best public districts in the state). 

Belinda33's picture

Great points. The private and public schools where BM lives are both good options and quite good reputations. Good kids in the areas etc.

Where we live the public school is terrible, it’s has been for years - bad with drugs and low socioeconomic etc. we were looking to buy a bigger house as soon as we can afford it and I actually suggested that we try move to a place where there are better public schooling options just so we don’t have to send our children there. Even if his kids lived with us full time in the future (which god I hope not) I wouldn’t send his kids there either! Currently though they have great options where they are.

BM is just more concerned about her image. Always has been. She wants to be a stay at home soccer mum who has the best of everything. Her crowd of single mothers even brag to each other about all the extra things their lovely ex husbands pay for (all who are in very powerful well paying jobs) and in the past she has requested some ridiculous things such as a nanny because so and so’s ex does that and he giver her money extra money too for xyz and he pays for her car and her petrol so you should too. “He wants to take care of her still” she said. LOL. She doesn’t even work so god knows what she needs a nanny for. Thankfully he saw through this and out his foot down at the time. As far as I’m concerned BMs image is the last thing I’m worried about, for the sake of her kids and my own!

Gimlet's picture

Oh, gross.  She can get off her Lululemon wearing ass and get a job if she wants more.   I have no issue with couples making the decision to let one of them stay at home, but she should not expect her ex to support anything beyond the needs of the kids and frankly divorce changes things, or at least it should.  

shamds's picture

in private schools where the ratio is say 10 students to a teacher you can have where they have 70% of their students getting 70% or above on tertiary entrance exam subjects like english, maths and science but if its standard public where ratio is like 1 teacher to 30-40 students then its just like public school where teacher can’t do any dedicated and focussed teaching and tutoring to students.

one religious private school i know that has a ratio of 1 teacher to approx 10 students has about 80% of their students graduating at 80% and above on tertiary entrance exams for maths, science and english

BethAnne's picture

If it were me I would tell him that he needs to come up with a realistic financial plan as to how he is going to pay for private school for his kids and then you two can discuss if it is viable and how to also include your child (either by also sending them to private school or using an equivalent portion of money for some other type of educational expense). Demand that he look up how much the fees are each year, make sure he gets estimates on how much all the “extras” cost too - private school means expensive uniform, sports and music equipment and expensive field trips. He needs to get real figures on paper not just imaginay ones. Give him a deadline. If he misses the deadline start to separate your finances from his. If he manages to meet the deadline sit down and look over his plan together to see if it is one that is reasonable and that is satisfactory to you. You two can then negotiate from there when you have some facts. If you manage to come up with a good plan then set some short and medium term targets for him to reach so that he shows he is sticking to it. If his plan is still in fantasy world then I would try to get him to understand that and if he can’t then I would my separate finances from him. 

The whole point of this is to show him that a father earning minimum wage and a mother who does not work cannot (in general) expect to be able to afford to send their kids to private school. 

Ispofacto's picture

He shouldn't be paying 100% of the skids private education.  The skids have two parents and BM is one of them.


Gimlet's picture

Looks like some comments got deleted, so I'll post it again.

If BM expects her children to be sent to private school, BM needs to get a job and contribute.  

OP has every right to expect that her husband will treat their kids, which are also his, fairly.

Goodluck's picture

Oh belinda, belinda, belinda....I can tell that your intentions are pure. You sound like a very nice woman.

I give it a year or two after your baby is born. THEN all hell breaks loose. Lets hope your situation is nothing like you read on here.




Petronella's picture

And once in a while a blind pig finds an acorn.  Doesn't take away from CG's obvious hate for stepmothers and stepmothers' children, and her pedantic, tone-deaf writing style. Anytime I've ever seen her offer "sound" advice, it's been nothing but platitudes or obvious solutions that other people are already saying, and saying better. The vast majority of her "advice" is perverse and gaslighting and not science-based nor grounded in sound family psychology. 


tennisplyr's picture

The way that you feel is totally legitimate and I'd be equally mad (in fact, I am equally mad as DH send his kid's to extremely expensive colleges right now at a very real cost to me).  

Do you work and intend to keep working after you have the baby?  If so, set up a seperate acccount for your child and divert a portion of your paycheck to the account, and tell your lovely DH that he's made it very clear (based on your earlier posts) how little say you have over how he allocates "his" money and the same goes for how you allocate yours.   If you intend not to work, honestly, I'd prepare myself for a lifetime of resentment, because you are not going to be able to control your DH and make him do the right thing, which most of us think is to weigh decisions based on the best interests of all involved without giving priority to his first family.  In my marriage, my DH has continuously favored his first family, and it's been very challenging.  I am grateful I have a job, and I make sure I'm maxing my retirement savings and education savings for our baby with my income (I do this by setting up automatic contributions via my employer to (i) retirement; (ii) child's 529 college account; and (iii) joint checking account).  I also overwithold my taxes in case I need to file seperately in any given year due to DH underpaying taxes on his income in order to take care of his adult children at the expense of his wife and baby.  My DH is going to overspend on his adult children from his first marriage no matter what I say or do, and honestly, doing so has hurt him financially as he has a poor credit score and each month despite our high incomes our checking account goes down very low before paychecks hit.  I've just learned to live with the situation and take care of myself and my child, and let his creditors be the ones that hound him instead of me (I don't share any credit cards with him, and so far he hasn't ever let things get to the point where we'd miss a mortgage payment).  I also suggest having a seperate savings account for yourself in case things go bad.  Maybe your situation will be better than mine, but after a few years of this and therapy and asking for advice from someone I respect, I've just learned that my and my baby's financial security are all on me and there's not much more I can say or do to change my DH (other than leave, which is too hard right now). 

Also, don't structure your life in a way that you make career sacrafices to support his career, because in this case, his career doesn't benefit you the way it would a nuclear family.  Even if you make less money than him, in your position your career is more important to you than his career.  YMMV

Belinda33's picture

Hi, thanks for your post. Yes I will be going back to work to my current job which I have worked 15+ years to get to. I’m fairly high up (and earn more than him so we NEED my contribution) and I am not willing to sacrifice career and financial stability to stay at home while putting additional stress on him. In saying this, even i alone couldn’t afford to put his kids through private schooling so he and BM need to get realistic. We have talked about this and how even if I were to take a year or two off we probably can’t afford to cover our family, plus his first 2 and BM. But thankfully I don’t want to lose my position so am happy to go back to work early. I will take your advice and others here to keep my finances seperate (to an extent) I currently pay half of all household costs and will continue to do so but that is where I’m drawing the line now. It’s a shame it has to come to this but we must protect our own babies, especially in unfairness and favouritism. I feel for you as I can only imagine what this constant putting the “first family” first must feel like over so many years. I hope it doesn’t continue this way. 

ESMOD's picture

separate finances doesn't mean you dont' contribute financially to your household's expenses.. it does mean that you only pay an equitable share of those expenses.. and those are only to be joint obligations.. which would EXCLUDE things that are for the sole benefit of his kids from a prior relationship.... like private school.. or extra curriculars.. or child support etc..

Now.. joint expenses should be split in some reasonable manner.. if his kids are not there full time.. it may be equitable to split things between you.. especially once you have a child full time in the home when his two are only part time.  Sometimes people will also take into account relative income.. but in your case, I am not sure that you should be obligated to a larger share unless he moved into your relatively more expensive lifestyle. (It doesn't sound like your lifestyle was more than his though))

SteppedOut's picture

If you were to divorce, your husband could get half of your retirement and even half of the 529, while you get half of the bills. 

Unless you have a strong post nuptial agreement...

Panther1's picture

Isn't your BF just a partner at this time?  I tried to look up a few of your past blogs and coundn't find where you said that you and your BF have gotten married yet.

Anyhow, since this is so far off in the future (14 years) I don't think that I would be worried about this at this time.

Everyone's belief system is different.  I am a huge supporter of Public School Systems and would never want my child enrolled in a private school system bubble. 

Petronella's picture

How is their marital status relevant to OP's current post? They live together, they're having a child together. Her concerns regarding her child and her partner's resources being funnelled away from her child, are the same whether she's married to him or not. Should she get fed up and leave him, the child support calculation will be the same whether they were married or not. 

Panther1's picture

they do not have a legal binding contract of a marriage.  So at this time she can only suggest how he spends his money on his kids, and he may comply or not.  Gimlet referred to them as married so I was trying to clarify.

As I already mentioned, this is so far out into the future that it really shouldn't be a concern. 

Gimlet's picture

My bad, I didn't read closely enough.

P.S. Panther, I'm surprised you aren't all over his SAHM ex asking for more of his money for things like a nanny.

Petronella's picture

How would a legal marriage give the OP any more power to control how much of his earnings he spends on his older kids? 

tennisplyr's picture

Marriage would make things worse.  After marriage she'd be liable for half of any debt he incurs to take care of the SKIDS and exwife, which he's going to do to some extent regardless of what OP wants. 

OP, as the higher income earner with no other dependents is way better off avoiding legal marriage and figuring out a way to fairly split the financial cost of raising the child with her partner as well as all of the other work involved in raising a baby.    

Cogito Ergo Sum's picture

I think the OP said she was from Australia & if so, she's in a de-facto relationship, which is legally very similar (but not identical) to marriage. It's similar to common-law (I think it's called) in other Commonwealth countries - such as Canada? Maybe. For what it's worth!

Trying to Stepmom's picture

But if BM wants private school, BM should pay for it. Now, it your SO wants to contribute, that's one thing, but he shouldn't be footing the entire bill and then say "well, OUR kid won't be going to private school when it's time."

My SD is in private school and DH and I aren't happy with it but she'll be done at then end of this school year. When DH and BM got divorced it was in the CO that if SD was to continue with private school, that BM has to pay for it (she also has physical custody). DH just had to pay off his portion of the school debt from previous school year+. BM also conveniently "works" at the school, so they might be cutting her a deal. Whatever she can do to keep up her private school mom image too. Bad

fourbrats's picture

attended private school (per their dad) which we paid half of. The other kids all attended public school programs of some sort. The end result was basically the same lol! I wouldn't worry about it. Actually, our youngest is homeschooled and our first together is in a mix of alternative and technical because that was best for her. These are recent changes that work for our kids. 

In the end, the key is to pick the schooling option that is best for the child and not what is best for any parent or stepparent. I don't believe (from my own experience) that private school is necessarily better or giving a child more. My kids liked it, the other kids would have hated it. I only agreed to allow it to continue because my kids enjoyed their schooling. 

shamds's picture

A common issue in blended families is this idea of being fair and equality except it doesn’t exist and often the guilty dad or mummy goes far beyond to make up for the divorce and any subsequent kids just suck it up.

in my case my husband is asian, i am western and from a first world country. Hubbys ex and 3 kids with her are all from the same asian country. Their quality of education or life isn’t ever going to be the same as in my country.

but hubbys eldest 3 kids with ex were all sent to public primary and high school then went to university. Hubby has continued to pay a monthly allowance to his eldest 2 adults $1000 in their currency as an allowance as they lived on campus to pay for food and textbooks etc so they could focus solely on studies and not worry about working

in hubbys head he thought they would learn to be self sufficient and get better jobs, instead they are lazy, entitled, and expect hubby to pull strings for them, there is no motivation to do your best and succeed with your own achievements.

our 2 kids are dual citizens of my and hubbys country, they will school in my western country (provided free by the government) and they are eligible automatically for interest free loans to pursue a degree right to phd subject to their lifetime limits (approximately 80-100,000) depending on the course discipline you choose.

my kids will more than likely have better jobs, better incomes etc. there would never be a situation that i would accept hubbys 3 eldest kids going to private university fully funded by him and not providing that same advantage to our kids. Currently hubby pays a small out pf portion cost of ss university education (about 2000 a year from memory), even hubby providing this monthly allowance to skids as adults even when the eldest held a fulltime graduate job for 10 months now on the basis that she isn’t a permanent employee yet as it takes 1-3 years before she is off probation to me is absurd because if she screws up continually that means hubby is indefinitely going to pay an allowance at the expense of our young minor kids??

i told hubby if you wanna give this allowance then what happens to our 2 kids when they grow up and see the double standards?? The excuse “oh they’re kids of divorce” won’t cut it, the “oh they had a hard life growing up” won’t cut it and our kids will resent their elder siblings as manipulative sponges.

i get it if your hubby is wasting money at the expense of providing for your home and kids together. Plus Australia’s public  education system is better than what it is in USA. I remember seeing a documentary about 15 yrs ago how a high school graduate from USA had the intelligence of a 7yr old child being schooled in continental Europe.

in my situation when i am back at work once my kids are in full time school and i have finished my university studies, if i am in a position to send my kids to private school if it is proven to be better then sure i will but so far the scoring from my local public schools are not that much different from a top religious private school i used to attend.

i grew up with an asian parent and it was standard to have your asian parent drill into you teaching you maths and science till you cried, these were important subjects. There is no point sending your kids to private school if they aren’t  intellectually gifted (in Australia we have “Academic Talented Program ATP” or “Academic Excellence AE”) i think they’re called, if your kids will not have a good work/study ethic and not be sat down by their parents do do their homework well and study hard then you’ve simply flushed your hard earned money down the drain..