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Stepkids want their own car

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

I've been reading here for a long time, but have never posted until now. I have two teenage stepkids; DH has 60/40 custody and has been extremely high conflict with BM since their divorce 6 years ago. I gave BM the benefit of the doubt early on because divorces are hard on everyone, but have seen her do/say some horrible things to her children, not to mention the rest of us (false claims, stalking, etc). I do not trust her and have zero contact with her, but if I see her at the kids sporting events, am respectful for the kids sake. Here's the main reason for the post:

The oldest (DSD) drives and last year BM bought DSD a new car, which DSD is free to use as long as she's at BM house. DH was against a new driver having her own, brand new luxury car, but DH was not consulted and BM claimed she could do as she pleased at her own home. DH didn't like it, but couldn't argue or stop it so he let it go. During visitation with DH, DSD is not permitted to use her car; it has to stay at BM's house. DSD is frustrated with this arrangement, but DH allows DSD to use his car if it's available since we also have my car.  So far it's actually been fine - we have worked out driving for all the kids and their activities just as we did prior to DSD learning to drive.

This year, BM offered to let DSD use the car during DH visiting time, but there were some significant stipulations. Given her letigous nature, I am highly uncomfortable having this car at my house at all. Here's a rundown of the rules, some of which seem reasonable while others seem.... excessive. My comments are in brackets:

  • No one other than DSD and DSS may ride or sit in the vehicle unless advanced written approval is granted by BM. [I can see why BM wants to know who is riding in the car, but this suggests that DH and I would allow her to go off with unsafe or unfavorable friends, of which she does not have any.]
  • DH, HowBoutScottyDont, and their joint children are explicitly prohibited from riding or sitting in the vehicle. [DH and I never planned on using the car, nor would we have our young children in it since they are in car seats in our own cars.]
  • Emergency situations are not a reason for violoating the above two rules. [This is odd...]
  • DSD may only use the car to transport herself and DSS to school, sports, and between their parents homes. Any other uses of the car, such as social gatherings, require advanced written permission from BM.
  • DSD may not use the car to go to the grocery store for her father as part of her chores. She must use DH car for that purpose.
  • All expenses incurred during DH visitation must be paid by DH.[Not sure what these expenses are... just gas?]
  • The car must be parked in the garage at all times when not in use. [We don't have room in our garage for this.]
  • The car must be refueled, washed and vacuumed inside before DSD and DSS return to BM's home. DH must incur the expense for these professional cleanings. [Really? I get the refueling, but professional cleaning?]
  • DH must pay a percentage of the car insurance equal to the amount of time DSD and DSS are with DH and using the vehicle.
  • Any damages incurred not covered by insurance that occur during DH visitation must be payed for by DH.
  • If these terms are not followed to the letter, the car will no longer be available for DSD to use during visitation with her father.
  • To ensure compliance, frequent, random checks will be made by BM or someone in her family. [Creeeppyyyy]

So basically, before we received this list of rules, DH was planning on offering to refill the tank before the kids returned to BMs house on Sunday evenings. Neither of us ever expected to drive or be driven in the car, although the the note about us not being in it in the case of an emergency seems odd.  Beyond that, he felt that usage of the car was really between DSD and BM to include agreements for upkeep and maintenance. Of course, any rules we already had at our home would still apply - curfew, no drinking and driving (DSD should not be drinking at all but we have caught her in the past), limiting the number of kids in the car per state guidelines, etc.  Once we saw this list, it seems to me that this is going to open DH up to litigation - i.e. if there is a scratch on the car, BM will claim it occured during his visitation, and therefore he must pay for repair. BM has spent about $350k in legal fees to include their divorce, so she and her lawyer are well-acquainted.

Thoughts?

justmakingthebest's picture

Yeah... with that list I would tell BM the car MUST stay at her house and that neither you or DH will be in any way responsible for it. That list is crazy town.

I get the limiting kids, not wanting you guys to drive it... maybe even having gas put back in if you guys live a good distance apart. Other than that... nope all the other rules are nuts. If you need SD to run to the store for you, she can't drive the car that she has been given? LOL - SD is babysitting and you guys are at work, each in your own car. She can't rush the little one to an ER? Her car has to be in the garage? Crap... my car doesn't even get garage space, DH has too many tools. Drive by's to see the car?? Nope, just Nope.

ybarra357's picture

BM can take this car and shove it...Don't allow yourself to be held hostage by her, she's using this for CONTROL. 

Gimlet's picture

Nope, Christine can stay at BM's house. 

ESMOD's picture

Kid should be paying for her own insurance.. DH is not obligated to pay squat.

Honestly.. too many strings attached and rules that your DH will not have control over and it's a hard NO on allowing BM and her cronies carte blanc to come over and spy on your home.

Sorry SD.. you will borrow dad's car on a case by case basis.

 

 

SteppedOut's picture

This wouldn't even require a half a thought. Car stays at BM's.

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Thanks for the feedback. DH and I are both in agreement that the car will not be coming to our house. Way too much of a risk.

Next issue...  DH thinks that he should now buy another car that the kids could use while they are with us. DSD is furious with him for "not being able to compromise" with BM. DSD has a history of being entitled despite being a good kid at heart, and she's refusing to take the bus to school (the bus stops literally outside our house). DH is actually considering this car, because ultimately, he's afraid of DSD rejecting him.  This nearly caused a fight between DH and I last night. I told him I thought it was irresponsible and uncessary to get another car. We really can't afford it, and it would sit unused more than half the month. Yet we would have to insure and maintain this car.

I expect Ill be back here with updates....

Frustrated4ever's picture

We bought a third car - which is just that ----- a third car that is titled in my name.   BM pays a use fee to us but as far as I am concerned, that car will return to me when DS goes to college.  It is not worth having BM's car in our driveway.  Sounds like you deal with the same type of psycho.

Cover1W's picture

"not able to compromise" does not mean accept directives that include so many terms that it's impossible to follow.  I think SD needs a lesson in what compromise actually means.

I'd take SD step by step through that list and explain what each line means.

And nope, car not coming over if 'rules' aren't grounded in the real world.

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Forgot to add... I told DH there is no reason why both kids can't utilize the bus. We picked this house because its along the bus route. He said that he couldn't bear to make his daughter ride the bus, because she might get teased for it. 

....Can I tell him she'll more likely get teased for acting like a pretentious snob?!

justmakingthebest's picture

Yes, tell him that!!

As for the car. SD should be furious with BM for having insane rules. Buying SD a car for your house is just as crazy as BM's rules.... Unless you can find an awesome 1990's wood paneled minivan. Then I would approve!! LMAO

For real though, maybe DH can respond with something like I will agree to the following and the following only conditions:

  1. SD will be the only one to drive the car
  2. SD and SS will be the only ones to ride in the car. - No friends, no family, no one else.
  3. SD is responsible for maintaining the car
  4. SD is responsible for the gas and insurance for the car

disrestep's picture

Yes, of course tell your DH that. There is no reason why they cannot use the bus. If they don't want to, well they can get a ride with some friends or walk. 

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Talked again with DH last night. He agrees they can both take the bus, and that this whole thing got out of hand. It's not like we're asking them to walk 10 miles in the rain uphill to get to the bus stop. It's about 50 ft max from our front door.

If DSD gets a ride from our neighbor (who we know and trust...good kid), we both agreed that would also be fine, but she has to get picked up by the time DSS is picked up by the bus just in case the neighbor is late or flakes.

susanm's picture

So when is your house going on the market?  Since you bought it because it is on the bus route and now his daughter is too good to ride the bus, I guess it is pointless to live there.  Better get to work sprucing up the place, DH.  Lots of projects to do.  Which realtor would you like to use?  Same one as before?  LOL

Rags's picture

This is nothing but a poorly veiled attempt by BM to gain access and a level of control in your home.

There is no answer to this other than ... HELL  NO!!!!  And that HELL NO applies to every thing on BMs ridiculous list.  The car does not come on visitation with DSD, DH pays no associated bills, there will be no space in the garage, there will be no limits put on that car if for some reason it shows up at your and DH's home and if BM or any one of her family members shows up for a random audit of the car... they will be shot on site as home invaders.

I could have soooooo much fun with this.  Write  up a response that will light BM's hair on fire and cause her to stroke out.

 

No one other than DSD and DSS may ride or sit in the vehicle unless advanced written approval is granted by BM.

- Thanks so much for providing this car for us to use for our lawn projects and for supplementing our fleet.  DSD will be using it to supplement her income as an Uber and Lyft driver when visiting her dad as she must have a job to pay for the grocery runs she makes while here.  We will be invoicing  you for any repairs required on this vehicle.  Thanks again.

DH, HowBoutScottyDont, and their joint children are explicitly prohibited from riding or sitting in the vehicle.

- We have very much enjoyed riding in the vehicle after going to our Tough Muder competitions on the weekends.  See attached bills for the cleaning of the vehicle as we can't have a dirty muddy vehicle parked on the street outside of our  home irritating our neighbors.

Emergency situations are not a reason for violating the above two rules.

- This vehicle sure came in handy when we stopped to render aid at a church bus accident and had to transport several people with sucking chest wounds and arterial lacerations to the hospital.  Enclosed please find the bill for the BioHazard clean up of the vehicle and the leaking blood that got on the curb in front of our house when we parked it on the street after we returned home from the accident.

DSD may only use the car to transport herself and DSS to school, sports, and between their parents homes. Any other uses of the car, such as social gatherings, require advanced written permission from BM.

- DSD took a bunch of her friends to a rave last weekend and they had a great time partying in the car.  DSD got an MIP, DWI and some as to be determined drug violation and the car was impounded due to being a suspected drug transport vehicle.  Attached is an invoice for the impound fees and for DSD's bail.  As they were all drinking excessively and puked all over the inside of the car we cannot attest to any smells that may be inside once you get it out of impound.  Or if you prefer we will go pick her up from jail and get the car out of impound once we receive a certified check from you as we do  not trust that you will step up to your financial responsibilities associated with this vehicle and the impact it has had on our daughter.

DSD may not use the car to go to the grocery store for her father as part of her chores. She must use DH car for that purpose.

- DSD has volunteered to deliver meals for Meals on Wheels and for the local food bank.  The car is working out great for this charitable works.  We are benefiting greatly from the charitable donations tax breaks due to the car's use for large volume grocery shopping and delivery.  The gas bills are attached to the accompanying invoice.  Your car... your costs.

All expenses incurred during DH visitation must be paid by DH.

- This one is just stupid.  Of course visitation expenses are paid by DH when the Skids are with him.  However, the Custody/Visitation/Support order does not cover the visits made by the car.  Those costs are on BM. 

The car must be parked in the garage at all times when not in use.

- BM, attached are three contractor bids for the construction of our new garage required to house the car when the car is here with DSD.  Thanks so much for your generous offer to construct our new garage.  However, since our new garage includes a game room, visitors/MIL apartment and will be housing our motorcycle and sports car collection your car will have to park under the tree on the curb. But don't worry.  We have mostly been able to get the flock of crows that roost in that tree every night to move on for at least one or two nights a week so it should not be too hard for you to scrub the bird shit off of the car when it arrives back at your place. Thanks again for the new garage.

The car must be refueled, washed and vacuumed inside before DSD and DSS return to BM's home. DH must incur the expense for these professional cleanings.

- We will be happy to have our concierge car care service pick up, refuel and clean the vehicle ... once we receive your credit card number to bill this service to.  Or... just send cash and we will have it done.  Thanks so much for your kind gesture of getting DSD this car.  Very cool.

DH must pay a percentage of the car insurance equal to the amount of time DSD and DSS are with DH and using the vehicle.

- Once we receive your credit card information we would be happy to procure an independent new driver policy for DSD to drive  your car.   However, I suggest that you maintain coverage until we have confirmed receipt of your credit card information and have a binder in place for the coverage  you seek.  However, we are curious as to why  you have been dropped by your own insurance company regarding coverage of this vehicle?  Have  you had a serious financial set back that would jeopardize your ability to care for the children when they are with you?  We are awaiting the report from our Private Investigator to determine if we will be seeking a change in custody due to a potential inability for you to adequately care for them while in your possession.

Any damages incurred not covered by insurance that occur during DH visitation must be payed for by DH.

- BM, you do realize that it is not legal for you have a car in use that is not covered by insurance.  Until you can provide proof that the vehicle is adequately insured I have  had it booted by the PD and it will soon be impounded for lack of insurance while being parked on public streets.  I suggest you get your house in order before you lose this car.

If these terms are not followed to the letter, the car will no longer be available for DSD to use during visitation with her father.

- Your car, you deal with it and do not make the mistake of failing to deliver my children in compliance with the CO.   Next time ... try being proactive in discussing decisions regarding OUR children. Until then... that car is a blast to drive on the country dirt roads and catch some air in.

To ensure compliance, frequent, random checks will be made by BM or someone in her family.

- We have recently acquired a brace of Belgian Shepard security dogs.  If you or anyone in your extended family sets foot on our property you will find out what it is like to be ALPO.  And if  you get past the dogs ... we would be happy to introduce you to Mr Smith and Mr Wesson which is who we engage to deal with home invaders.

Thanks BM and have  great day.. buh-bye.

 

TexasPickles's picture

Brilliant! I love this.