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Who foot the bills for step kids?

how2step's picture

Meaning their meals, activities, etc. if both of their bio parents are alive, well, involved and working good jobs? Should the step parents still be helping financially? I dont mind paying for their meals occasionally but I dont think I should be footing the bill nearly every time when we go out to eat. I also dont think I should be footing the bill when we go trampolining, to movies, roller skating, etc. What about bio dad. Whats his responsibility in this?

lieutenant_dad's picture

A SP has no responsibility to pay for anything. They may CHOOSE to pay for things, but it is never their responsibility to do it.

As far as what a BP should pay for, the simple answer is everything. The split on that is dependent on income, custody time, and special circumstances (e.g. child with special needs). Whoever has the child at that time is responsible for paying for the child, whether it's with their own money or CS. Whoever is COed to pay for things should pay for those things, too.

SteppedOut's picture

My guess is your girlfriend thinks YOU should pay for things. You do not "have" to do anything you do not want to. It makes it a little tricky if you ask her to go out to eat and she has her children though. Is she inviting you to go places and then expects you to pay?

Does your girlfriend work?


SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Not me.

DH and Biowh0re are responsible for stepdemon. Never me.

MrsStepMom's picture

I mean this is obvious right? You shouldn’t spend a cent. Ever. Also, don’t marry someone with kids. 

CLove's picture

DH pays all for stepkid. Sometimes I will buy groceries for dinner/lunch fixins for all of us, or I will buy sundries for munchkin or something special. But thats my choice. If we go out and she is with us, HE pays. No question. My idea/invite I pay. No question.

You the step parent are not obligated to pay for kiddos.

tog redux's picture

DH paid for SS-related stuff.  If we all went out to dinner, it might go on our joint card, which was fine with me, I don't begrudge taking SS out to dinner now and then - but anything specifically for him, he'd pay for.

Thumper's picture

Sir, here is how you can answer this question. "WHO FOOT the bills for your step kids".

Look on the court order that your wife has. Just ask her for it...

At the top there will be two names, BIO mom and BIO dads.

They are the ones to pay for your step children,

If your name is on the court order, then you pay.

I'll wait for your answer on who's name is on your wife custody order.


In the mean time IF you want to take them to the movies OR if you want to go play miniature golf, you can a gift. BUT if your wife wants to go to the movies or take the kids to play miniature golf...SHE PAYS.

If your footing the bills, you are being used. That is what some women do...they shop around for a dude who will be suckered into it. DON'T BE nieve from this day forward, ok?

Go check that court order. IF she cant find it ask her,,,whos name is on it? Her name, YOUR NAME and bio dads name...???? lololol



Curious Georgetta's picture

 You do not live with this lady. You are are neither husband.not step father.

Given the fact that no date has been set for a weeding , and at best you seem decidedly ambivalent about marrying her, it is probably inaccurate to refer to yourself as her fiance.

Everything that your write expresses your dissatisfaction with this relationship. It sounds as though you have a corpse that you are unwilling to pronounce as dead.

I suspect that you be unwilling to give up the occasional but unsatisfying  sex, but you can do better. 

It is also cruel and misleading for either or both of you to suggest to her children that you are their step father.

You are the man who is dating their mother , and the one that she expects to assume certain financial responsibilities for her children.

Even if you cannot be honest with her, please be honest with yourself.

sunshinex's picture

My husband and I are married and I make about 80% of our combined income. We share finances but technically speaking, I guess I pay for SD more than anyone else does. But we're married and I'm ok with it. When we were dating for 5+ years before marrying, we kept our money separate. He often worked 2-3 jobs to support his daughter and I worked my one well-paid job. I often had extra money and he never did. But the fact that he never, ever asked me for anything, even when he was struggling, is a HUGE part of why I was okay with sharing finances when we married. In fact, I'm the one that suggested it. 

If he struggled to care for his child/pay for her food and activities when we were dating and even hinted at me paying, I would've been out of there. I wasn't looking to pay for someone else's choices. Just as I wouldn't expect someone to pay for mine. That's how I've always dated though. I got into a good career really young so I wasn't about to be used for that. 

Lndsy747's picture

I've always made more than SO and have paid for plenty of activities as well as clothes and school supplies one year when both parents didn't have extra cash but it was never expected that I do it. I've always had the stance that it's not my responsibility to pay any of her expenses but I was willing to help out and offered to many times.

ndc's picture

I'll join the chorus of those who are saying that the bio parents should pay their kid's expenses, and the stepparent has no obligation whatsoever.  Anything a stepparent pays for a stepchild should be because they WANT to, not because they are expected or pressured to do so.  I buy things for my SO's two kids, but I do it because I want to, and because I enjoy shopping for clothes and the like for them.  My SO has no expectation at all that I will spend my money on them, and when we all go out, he pays.  

FlyBoyJ's picture

Don't be suckered like I was!  BF paid minimal alimony and child support until my SDs were 18,  Of course, even not being married (we didn't get married until the SDs were over 18) I was expected to make up the difference between the laughably low amount BF paid and ACTUAL living expenses.  Who was expected to pay for cell phones, car insurance, meals and oh yeah COLLEGE....apparently me!  I was/am such a FOOL!  Now I have SD24 and SD20 who BF quit supporting the day they turned 18 (as he should IMO) but DW seems to think that kids are to be supported FOREVER and by marrying her I signed up to support them.....I DIDN'T.  Run and run fast!!!

justmakingthebest's picture

This is a loaded question.... there are a large amount of varibles at play. DH and I aren't in our 1st rodeo and have always and probably always will have seperate finances. We are both totally ok with that since we were both royally screwed in the past.

For example:

I pay almost 2X what DH pays towards our rent. I also cover groceries, elec., gas, water, trash. DH pays for TV and Cell phones. 

We each have 2 kids. - My bios and OSS live with us full time, but my bios go to their dad in the summer. YSS is supposed to spend summer with us. 

DH usually pays the majority of things when we go out to eat (1-2 month, I cook the rest of the time), he will pay for snacks at the movies for all the kids, I usually am the one to order tickets online. He will pay for lazer tag or go carts if we do something like that....

We share costs and we do what we can afford. Since I pay more of the "at home" stuff he pays for more of the "go out" stuff. Does that make sense? 

You have to do what works for your family and where you are comfortable. I always ask before we do something and am forthcoming if it is something that I just can't swing that week. If DH still wants to do it, he pays. I should also state that DH makes about 2X what I make. However, he also is stuck paying massive legal fees in our fight with BM for YSS. 

flmomma08's picture

You can pay for things you CHOOSE to pay for, like if you want to take the kids out for ice cream or to a movie. It is not your RESPONSIBILITY to pay for anything though. I certainly wouldn't pay for SD's necessities, but I do pay when I CHOOSE to take her somewhere or pick up an outfit or something for her. You are never obligated to do any of that though. The main reason I do pay for some things is when I take both SD and BD out somewhere. I think it's petty to ask DH for money for SD but not for BD (if we are talking ice cream, not a large expense). As far as large or everyday expenses, that's all on the bio parents. You're off the hook.

secret's picture

Dh gives me money weekly to run the household. That includes basics that everyone uses or affects, like groceries, bills, mortgage, insurance, general hygiene things like toothbrushes and bath products ... it does not account for individual needs like clothing or taste preference.

If my kids need clothes that's on me, and on dh for ss.  Same for school stuff or extras.

I was covering everything myself before he moved in with ss... so the money gives me is mostly discretionary for me because really only utilities and groceries went up since they moved in...pretty much everything else is fixed amounts.

Christmas and other gift giving opportunities we split about 60/40... we don't really talk money for those things... I buy what I want and so does he. It just works out to about 60/40 split 60 being me.

If there are things needed for which funds are short for dh, he asks if I'd mind covering it, he'll pay me back.. and he always does. Example is he wanted to get a new bike for ss birthday coming up in June... and while Yes, he can pay for it on his own there was one on sale now and he only had about 75% cost saved so I covered the rest, he'll pay me back on Thursday when he gets paid. No biggie. Other way around too...if I ask him to pick dog food up on the way from work (30$) it comes out of "our" money usually so I'll give him the cash when he gets home. 

When we go out just the 2 of us we pay 50/50 ish... we don't really keep track... when we go out with all the kids, he'll put $ on the bill but not usually half. If it's 100$ he'll put in 40. I don't ask, it's just something he does.

Since I "control the money", he defers a lot to me in the "should we get this?" sense... 

When we DID talk about money, our understanding is that whatever is left from the cash he gives me weekly is put in "our" savings... because I have a separate account for "our" money.

If I see a good deal on something for ss and I want to get It, I get It, period. If I see something I know dh was looking at, I'll ask him if he wants me to pick it up for him... those are the things he pays me back for without being asked.