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do any of you have this living situation and is it fair to the kids?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
DH and I were talking about his childhood the other day and were talking about his living situation at his Dad's and it sounded kind of unfair to me. His mom and dad divorced when he was 10 and his sister was 7. Dad was having an affair and immediately moved in with the woman who became his stepmom. She had two daughters who were 7 and 3. DH and his sister spent every weekend at their house. Each of DH's stepsisters had their own bedroom at their house and DH and his sister had basically no space of their own there. They slept on the couch and the living room floor when they visited, had absolutely no personal space there to store anything - not a drawer or a cabinet or anything. They brought everything back and forth with them each weekend. Is this a typical situation? Kids having no room or no space of their own at the non-custodial parent's house while stepsiblings have their own rooms?
DH now is not at all close with his dad or stepsisters (we don't even have their phone numbers, one of them we see semi-regularly, the other we've seen once in 3 years, DH does not in anyway consider them his sisters) and I am wondering if this had anything to do with the unequal treatment of the kids at his dad's house growing up.
post #2 of 36
Well, in our house, dsd has her own room, toys, etc. (she is with us every other weekend plus one overnight every week). Dd also has her own room. We are hoping for one more, but dd and the new baby would probably share a room because of the large age gap (dsd is 6 years older than dd) while dsd keeps her own room. I think that situation with your dh is what gives NCPs a bad name, and no I do not think it is right/fair. I can udnerstand if the kids are only visiting for a couple weeks over the summer, but in an every weekend situation, the kids deserve to have a bed, even if the room is being shared.
post #3 of 36
That sounds like it really stunk for the kids! I wonder how your dh felt he was treated by his dad?

Hugs to him!
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
Is this a typical situation? Kids having no room or no space of their own at the non-custodial parent's house while stepsiblings have their own rooms?
I do not think that's typical. We live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom tiny mobile home. My husband's son gets the second bedroom. He has a bed, including a headboard his dad built for him, a dresser, a toy cart with sliding drawers, a bookshelf, a laundry basket, his own clothes... all are there all the time.

Our daughters share our bedroom with us. The four of us are quite cramped in our tiny bedroom. The girls' toys are in the living room and the extras are stored in a box in my stepson's bedroom.
post #5 of 36
DSD has her own room here.

DH and I don't have children together (yet), nor do I have any children of my own.
post #6 of 36
Nope, your situation doesn't sound fair.

I can understand a difficulty with providing a child with an immediate bedroom, but what you describe sounds bad.

DSD did not have her own bedroom for a while. She did have a room when her dad moved back in with grandparents right after divorce, and then not for a couple of years when he was renting his own place with roommates. So they co-slept for a long while. In fact, the three of us co-slept on the floor for months! Fond memories. She was about 9-10.

We moved to our current place no more than 6 years ago, and she's had her own room ever since.

I can understand the difficulty with rearranging rooms for the kids who already live there, and finding the right balance and space considering the fact that the weekend is not a full-time thing. BUT! If I were a parent/stepparent in that situation, I would insist for us to move to a new house that would accommodate the needs of our family, and provide your DH and his sister with a place to call their own when they are there.

I'm curious as well to see how your DH interacts with his dad and stepmom these days.
post #7 of 36
Definitely not normal or fair.... in fact in some states the other parent can deny overnight visits if the child does not have their own room.

For us DSD has to have her own room or ex can deny us overnights.

She has her own dresser full of clothes, tons of toys etc too.

Though, currently, DSD really wants to bunk with her lil' sis when she is old enough... so we shall see how relations are with ex at that time...
post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Nope, your situation doesn't sound fair.

I can understand a difficulty with providing a child with an immediate bedroom, but what you describe sounds bad.

DSD did not have her own bedroom for a while. She did have a room when her dad moved back in with grandparents right after divorce, and then not for a couple of years when he was renting his own place with roommates. So they co-slept for a long while. In fact, the three of us co-slept on the floor for months! Fond memories. She was about 9-10.

We moved to our current place no more than 6 years ago, and she's had her own room ever since.

I can understand the difficulty with rearranging rooms for the kids who already live there, and finding the right balance and space considering the fact that the weekend is not a full-time thing. BUT! If I were a parent/stepparent in that situation, I would insist for us to move to a new house that would accommodate the needs of our family, and provide your DH and his sister with a place to call their own when they are there.

I'm curious as well to see how your DH interacts with his dad and stepmom these days.
Yeah I agree it is beyond weird. It was like this until he turned 18 and went to college, so 8 years for him and 11 years for his sister. They took tons of vacations in this time, owned two timeshares, a boat that his dad used in fishing tournaments all the time, newer cars replaced every few years, etc. So the money was there, it was just not where they chose to spend it. I get that he has the "boy" excuse since all the other kids were girls. I don't get why one of the stepsisters didn't get bunkbeds for DH's sister to use while they were there, and perhaps he gets a dresser in the living room or something. He describes weekends there as not about Dad spending time with them, but just weekends aka Dad watches football on tv, etc.
Our relationship with them now is very superficial. Once we get past the small talk there is really nothing there. He really has no relationship with his Dad at all, it is sad. There is also lots of political posturing and diplomacy that goes on with things that go unsaid. And stepmom's DD are most favored. IE DH's dad paid for stepdaughters college but not for DH and his sis. When older stepsister got married DH's Dad bought younger stepsister a plane ticket to go to the wedding but not DH's sister who was in much worse financial straits. When I asked Stepmom what she was doing for Mother's Day this weekend (because we would be in the area and would like to see them) her response was "J & J (her bio DDs) plan Mother's Day not me". : Ummm, well that is real helpful considering we don't really talk to them.
post #9 of 36
my dsd isn't even allowed to come to our house yet, I actually haven't even met her (see previous posts for explanation) and she has her own room and toys at our house...
post #10 of 36
Sometimes, kids don't have their own rooms for whatever reason, and that's fine--there are lots of MDC families with big family bedrooms, or whose children all share and then have a separate playroom/homeschool study/etc., or who all live in a small apartment/house and make due with the space they have.

But a place to keep your things--a closet or dresser or ??? --is a must. It's impossible to feel at home otherwise. And really, the disparity your husband and his sister endured really is unfair.

And, wow, JSMa, that's really something the court will order in your state? I don't think the court would order a separate bedroom here--it may order that the sleeping arrangements be appropriate (no room-sharing with members of the opposite sex or with non-related people, for instance) or that a separate sleeping space (be it a crib in the parent's room, a fold-out couch, or a bedroom) be provided...but they would never say same-sex, close-in-age siblings and stepsiblings couldn't share. Here, courts are usually really loathe to dictate living arrangements.
post #11 of 36
No, not fair. My boys see their dad like every 3 months or so (for school vacations, usually at least a week at a time), so when their dad only had a 1 bedroom, it was cramped and they didn't live sleeping on the couch, BUT, they weren't having to give up anything because of step siblings or half siblings, it was just my boys, their dad and his girlfriend. Because my ex will have the boys almost the whole summer this year, he and his fiance actually moved to a two bedroom so the boys could have a room all their own. They wont leave clothes there because they are here more and it is easy just to pack up their clothes and bring them back, but my ex wanted the kids to have their own space. The boys hate having to share a bedroom with each other (they don't at my house, but my youngest does share with his step brother at my house), but they can deal with that a lot better then the couch.

I think if it were a very infrequent thing, it wouldn't be as big of a deal as every weekend or even every other weekend.
post #12 of 36
Well, just to offer a different perspective... my parents split when I was 13. My siblings were 11 and 9. Neither of my parents have dated or remarried, so no additional siblings to speak of, but my dad only had a one-room apartment and thus we slept on the couches and floors and had no space of our own in his home. I can't remember being bothered by it at all. Perhaps if there had been other children with their own space it might have been an issue, but for us, or at least me, it wasn't.
post #13 of 36
Oh, I can't imagine. I know my father never kept a dedicated space for me when I wasn't there, but the week before I arrived, they rearranged and made space for me, space that was my own, with a dresser and posters that I had chosen, a stereo that had been purchased second hand, books they thought I'd like, and a roll of tape so that I could tape up pictures of all my friends, etc. I had to share a room with my sister or brother, but that's nothing compared to sleeping on the couch, especially for that many years. I can't even imagine how hurtful that could be to a child.
post #14 of 36
I can imagine situations where it would be impossible to give a child space. When my DH was first on his own, he was in a tiny apartment, I mean tiny! There was a kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom--that's it, and in the bedroom, room for a TV and a bed and a chest of drawers--that's it! The kids took turns sleeping on the floor and with him. He could not afford anything better. Once they got comfortable with me, I basically gave them my study and they all stayed in my apartment. They were much happier in a place where they could stretch out a bit, even though they had to share a room. Kids do need their stuff with them--just like we do!
post #15 of 36
Reading this thread, I realized that I never had a space of my own at my dad's house (the NCP). I wonder if that subconsciously contributed to my decision to stop visits with him after just a few years. I had lots of reasons at the time and that was not one of them, but looking back on it, it probably added to the feeling of being an unwelcome visitor.

DSD has always had a space of some sort with us, even before she lived here half-time. Right now she shares a room with DS, but plenty of siblings share rooms.

JSMa - could you skirt the rule as long as you kept a seperate room for your DSD, but had bunkbeds in DD's room? That way they could sleep together, but you would still be technically following the rule. It says you have to have the room, not that she has to sleep there, right?
post #16 of 36
my mum and dad divorced when i was 10.. he went to live with his mistress who had a daughter living with her and 2 sons that stayed with their dad, and they had a baby together... when i stayed over i shared with her daughter who was only 2 years older than me and her boys stayed in the other room.. when i moved in i got the other room, which i shared with the baby and her boys stayed with their sister, we nmoved to a new house and her daughter moved out, in the new house i shared with my sister and her boys got their own room.

when i went to visit my mum i slept on the floor, which was bad because she used me as her baby sitter and i woke up alot when she had brought a man home with her and into the living room!

i did feel like she didnt really want me and i still do but thats the reason social services (cps?) took me and sent me to live with my dad anyway.
post #17 of 36
Pink, that's a pretty good idea. lol

It's more of a CYA thing... because if ex wanted to make trouble she could. I know of a few people in this area that lost overnight visits because their apartment was too small and their ex wanted to create drama.
post #18 of 36
my son (an my daughter before she moved there) have the same situation. He has no space for his stuff, and sleeps on the floor in his stepbrother's room. He is not even allowed to play with their toys unless he brings something to share with them every time, and yet he has no place to keep anything there either.
post #19 of 36
My DD doesn't have a room or a bed at her dad's. He is in a shared flat and only his room is under his control (to make it safe for her) so when she stays he puts her own specially purchased bedding onto his bed and she sleeps in there - HE sleeps in the spare room, which is in no way safe for a curious toddler. She does have a couple of drawers for clothes and masses of books and toys there though, and at the end of his bd is a row of bikes, trikes and scooters he's gotten for her.

I think it's the spirit of the situation that matters. DD knows she is loved and welcomed at her home-with-dada even if she doesn't have her very own room as she does here (she's with us 6 nights a week, he visits her here almost daily, he's bathing her upstairs right now as i type!). There is a big difference between "this is the small/modest place you are wanted and welcome to be" and "this is our place, where you sleep is your problem".
post #20 of 36
Quote:
He is not even allowed to play with their toys unless he brings something to share with them every time, and yet he has no place to keep anything there either.
Seriously? That is just wrong. :

My husband's family is kind of complicated, because both his parents were widowed and came together kinda like the Brady Bunch (Shh... don't tell MIL I said that.) and then had him. Also, one of my BIL's is divorced and his ex had a child with her second husband and my in-laws consider her their grandchild. In fact, this girl and her father (who is now divorced from her mother) sat with us in the family section at my FIL's funeral. My MIL is very adamant there are no 'steps' or 'halves' in her family.
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