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Shouldn't child support cover dental and eye exams?

Malobot's picture

Stepmom to SD11. She hasn't been to a dentist or eye exam since I've known her these past 4 years. DH and I pay BM $600 for child support. BM is refusing to take her to exams either because I don't have a "real job" (I'm a SAHM to 2 babies), she can't afford it bc she's bad with money, or not taking her on principle because the insurance is covered by DH and she would have to provide his card to the exams and she's embarressed. 

Meanwhile, DH works 60+ hours a week, I don't have immediate access to a babysitter for her half sisters, and her BM doesn't have any more children. How and why does this responsibility fall on me? I'm very angry, but also just want to get this over with bc she will just keep on pushing and pushing and I am just tired of talking about it and being angry about it. Is there a law that says she is supposed to take her?

Lately, my thoughts change from angry to satisfied. If my stepdaughters BM is comfortable and happy with having her daughter being taken care of by me, then ... well, then so be it. 

My SD and I have a pretty good relationship. I love her and would do anything to take care of her. I don't understand why the BM can't do it? We pay her to take care of her!

I don't know what to do.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Her father contributes his court mandated share towards her support.

I agree that it should be one of her parents taking her to these appointments, but if her father asked you to go on his stead and you agreed, your anger should be angry with yourself or your spouse.

Child support does not necessarily cover the expenses of which you soeak, and 600 would not necessarily be intended to cover either .

In any case, you are not the parent and as such , you can tell your husband that you do not wish to be the one taking his daughter to these appointments.


tankh21's picture

It depends on your state I think. My DH has to pay CS plus medical insurance. If the skid's were on BM's medical insurance then my DH would have to pay the psycho CS plus the cost of skids medical insurance.

ESMOD's picture

First, your DH pays CS to his EX.. you don't.  You said you are a SAHM.. so.. technically not bringing in cash right?

Second,  I'm assuming that the deal with your DH is that he brings home the bacon and you are the homemaker.  He naturally assumes that means the lions share of raising and carign for the kids in the home. and that includes the SD.  You should not be upset with BM about the fact that you are watching the child.. as THAT favor is being done for your husband.. not her.

Now about the dental and vision appointments.  It may partially depend upon what his CO says... most specifically lay out financial responsibility for not only the insurance.. but also uncovered costs/copays etc..

Does your husband carry vision and dental on the girl?  I would assume so since you have two other kids and it is smart to have coverage like this.  Certainly if he can afford to let you stay home with the kids.. he should be able to afford to cover the kids fully with these plans.  If so, usually the basic cleanings/checkups are 100% covered by most plans. 

I have a feeling that it isn't so much money as taking time from work that might be the driver for BM not taking her.  I can totally understand her thinking that you taking the girl makes sense because you not having to attend work.. means you don't miss pay by taking time off.  But even so.. it may be that she doesn't have the money to take and pay for any work or glasses.  Ultimately, the girl's father is just as responsible (ethically) to make sure his child is taken care of. 

You say you love the girl.. so I would change your perspective of doing these things "for BM".. to doing these things because they "benefit SD.. and are a help for DH">

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

No, it doesn’t de facto include SD. Does it include some kid down the street, too?

OP is morally, legally and biologically obligated to do for her real (bio and adopted) kids unless she agrees otherwise without guilt trips and coercion AND it totally IS for BM and DH.

 I’m sure my DH would love it if someone took over taking his feral, stinking prior spawn to all his appointments but nope, sorry not sorry. It’s on him to make his lazy, crazy and stupid ex do for their kid which is clearly impossible.


ESMOD's picture

It may not "defacto" cover SD.. but SD is not just some rando kid from down the block.. it is her husband's child.  If HE expects that she will provide care and do things for his daughter as part of the agreement and deal with her being a SAHM?  Then.. yep.. that is a deal she made with him.. he financially covers it all.. she takes care of ALL the kids.

And.. it is NOT for BM.. what she does for that child is done instead of her DH doing it...period.

justmakingthebest's picture

Could not agree more. If you are a SAHM you are responsible for taking care of the kids. SD is her husbands kid. She can set up all the kids to be seen the same day and knock it out. No extra babysitters needed. You juggle kids, it's what you do a a SAH-parent. Just deal with it and make sure that she has had to proper care. Otherwise, get a job so that you have an excuse to not take care of her.

Malobot's picture

That's kinda been my attitude lately is that I really just want to get my SD taken care of since her mom and my DH have really dropped the ball. I know, for sure, she will need glasses. I'm really worried about her teeth bc she doesn't have the best hygiene when she's coming back from her moms. 

I can't bring our babies to the appointment as convenient as that would be. We have DD1 and a very willful DD2 1/2. Impossible to take them anywhere together without causing a tornado. I'm going to have to ask my parents or a neighbor to watch the babies while I take SD to her appt. Which again makes me angry,  bc the BM has a very engaged mother and fiance. I don't know why they can't be more involved as much as MY family is. 

On another note, I can't work because the kind of money that I would bring in would cover daycare and not much else. I would be working for a babysitter. I tried it for a while, it didn't make sense.

Goodluck's picture


SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Not your kid, not your responsibility. You can’t care more than Biowh0re or your husband.

what kind of a “mother” doesn’t care about her only child’s dental health? Biowh0re over here works and never does any of that stuff for stepbrat. My DH does everything. He chose to breed with crazy, lazy and stupid as did your DH.

Make sure you take your babies to the dentist starting at age 1 and no juice or milk at bedtime. 

All you can do is be a good mom to your real kids, unfortunately.

ndc's picture

Not necessarily. Many COs provide for medical (or a percentage of medical) on top of CS.  And both parents are capable of taking the child to appointments. It's obviously not YOUR responsibility, but you can choose to do it as a favor to your DH because he's working 60+ hours a week to support your family and presumably doesn't have time. Don't think of it as doing a favor for BM or even SD - it's for your husband.   4 years is a long time to go without a dental checkup, so it's totally understandable and appropriate that your DH would take responsibility to get it done, regardless of what's fair or how much CS is paid.  I have taken SD6 to dental appointments as a favor to SO because the appointment times were during his work hours and BM couldn't make it at the appointment time. It wasn't a big deal, and I took the younger one with me so I didn't need to get a sitter.


Survivingstephell's picture

The reasons you listed that BM has used are lame.  If BM and your DH were living together, it would happen one way or another.  She is just using you as an excuse to not parent you own child.  DH is supporting working to support two homes. Kudos to him for working so hard for his family.  I was in the same boat as your for years.  Its tough but there are solutions and BM isn't trying hard enough to find them.  

 BM can't manage money?  Not your problem.  Embarrassed because she doesn't carry the insurance??  That is the lamest excuse of all!  She can schedule the appointment and you or DH could go in separately  from BM and give all the information for insurance so she doesn't have to do anything.  I think she is just being difficult and wants to cause you problems.  I have to wonder what else she does to cause drama in your home.  I wouldn't put it past her to use this as a way to disparage DH to SD as not caring enough.  SD is old enough to understand that without DH working to support the two homes, SD wouldn't have much.  Perhaps I'm jaded after my experience but this just makes me remember all the games my BM played with these types of games.  All played to ruin the relationship between DH and his kids.  

DH and BM are responsible for medical issues.  Unless the proper permissions are put in place you have no power to do much for SD.  DH tried to have me stand in for him a few times and I got shot down.  In the long run it was much better to let them parent.  Save yourself from the drama and let it go.  You can't care more then the parents and it really is up to them to figure it out.  If you need to get the info to the doctors for DH do it.  But that's about as much as I would do.  If nothing else then to make sure the billing is correct at the office.  

BM is being ridiculous .  IMO

tog redux's picture

The taking them to the appointments absolutely does NOT fall on you.

Paying for them might, if the CO says it does.  Or if he pays for the insurance, then all of that should be covered.  Why in the world would BM be "embarrassed" to show them DH's insurance card?

Anyway, no, not your job. But it's partly your husband's job to ensure that it happens, one way or the other (the other part is BM's job).  So he needs to work it out with BM and you can be involved or not.

Rags's picture

It isn't that BM can't do it. It is that you do it for her and she knows you will.

So, start baring BM failed parent ass and force her to do it.  Quit being BM's beck and call baby sitter on her time with her daughter.

Your DH works 60 hours per week.  He is supporting his family including his prior relationship progeny.  Time for BM to step up. IMHO of course.  She is the CP and it is her responsibility to obtain medical, vision and dental care for her child. {Particularly whe you and DH provide the insurance that pays for that care. Unless the Skid is with dad when there is an emergency.

And  yes, unless otherwise stipulated in the CO, CS represents 100% of the NCPs responsibility to support their prior relationship child(ren).  You and DH need to be knee deep in the Custody/Visitation/Support CO to know it inside out, upside down and backwards.  Keep a copy of it handy and rolled up to beat the snot out of BM with, figuratively of course.

The CO is the best tool to manage the toxic blended family opposition with.

Good luck.

Goodluck's picture

This what Rags wrote; "

It isn't that BM can't do it. It is that you do it for her and she knows you will.

So, start baring BM failed parent ass and force her to do it.  Quit being BM's beck and call baby sitter on her time with her daughter."


IWhen child is in moms care and child takes is MOMS duty to take her child for treatment.

Stop doing it.

Have dh pull out his court order and review the part for medical.

IF it remains silent about out of pocket , and it very well may, it would be a smart idea to file modification to have it court ordered in specifics.

You may want to see if BM Is on gvt assistance too.

Oh welcome to SP ...hope your first 6hrs here were not too hard.



Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

In SO's case no. Child support covers the day to day expense of raising kids. While I certainly think it's unfair and way more than it should be there is a clear difference between it and medial expenses. In our case the order clearly states that BOTH parents are responsible for out of pocket cost which is split evenly.

As for caring for the children both parents are responsible for ensuring the childrens' medical needs are met. In our case BM handles most of the standard visits becuase she is the one who is off work to do it and they see doctors in her town which is an hour away. However over the summer SO does take them for normal visits and if at all possible BOTH of go.

No you don't have to be responsible but sometimes as stepparents we do things for our partners. I will fill in to complete his parental roles but that is an agreement between us. If I have an issue with it then I need to speak to him.