or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Another S/O... thoughts on "second families"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Another S/O... thoughts on "second families" - Page 2

post #21 of 31
I guess I fall into the camp of the bio father absolutely should not have had more children feeling.

He left, he refused to pay child support until the courts made him, he tried to use his position as a sgt in the local SO to get out of paying support. Eventually, he adopted his new wife's 4 children to reduce his child support obligation, and then paid for invitro for her to have another child. He cut the check for invitro at a time when he owed my household over 5K for ortho.

This man sees his son about once a month. He does not see his daughter anymore... her choice, too many heart breaks, let downs and disappointments. This man is not a father to his first two children (he raised two girls from 18 and 6 months till they were 10 and 12 (wife # 2), his is not a father to his first two bio children (wife # 3..me) what makes his current wife (# 4) think that he will not be doing the same to her?

My children were lucky in one sense... their bio is a cop, who wants to keep his job, so he does pay support. (1500 a month less since the adoption/birth of the other 5) And there do have a day to day daddy that loves them, and sacrifices his disposable income for their support.

Last year I was pretty bitter about the whole thing. Now I just thank my husband for being a better man, husband and father than my former spouse has ever been.
post #22 of 31
Wow, your ex sounds horrible.
Like a guy who has a lot of power and is used to getting his way all the time.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkj323 View Post
Since I'm new to this forum, I'll ask: Is it the intention that the single moms posting represent the CP side things? So that I as the SM understand how DH's ex might perceive a situation from her POV? If they have an ex who has moved into another relationship, they can offer how they dealt with it, managed their feelings and expectations, worked with the new partner. But if it's just to make a case that they as CPs have it harder than I do or that I better "know my place" as the SM, I can get that from living my day-to-day life with DH's ex in the picture.
What I've found as a biological mother in a four-parent family is that this forum gives me hope. It restores my faith that my sons stepmom is a basically good person and at some point, happy ever after is an option. Generally, this forum has been a positive force in my life, and I hope that as a CP, I've done the same service for those on the other side of the fence.

Fwiw, the birth of my ex's third son appears to have strengthened his commitment to his elder two. He's never going to be the parent to them that they deserve, but that's OK. They know how he is, and if they're happy with that then who am I to judge? Under UK laws, the birth of another child in the new household does decrease the amount of CS payable to all other children- the formula is something like 20% of the fathers income for one child, 25% for two, and 5% gets taken off for every child in his new household. I don't think it's fair (it's double the figure I think he should pay), but unfortunately I don't trust him enough to come to a voluntary arrangement leaving the government out of it all together.
There are things about the way he's living his life now (for instance, stepmum is a SAHM- one of the reasons we split was because he refused to work or claim benefits, therefore I was stuck with the task of providing for the family) that rankle deep with me, but generally I keep my mouth shut and don't say anything. It's none of my business, so I just watch tightlipped from a distance. I do wish he'd learn when to stop talking, though...

Boobybunny, I've been typing this post for the last two hours. You know I love you, right? I'm glad you're in a happier place about this.
post #24 of 31
There are responsible dads and moms, and there are nonresponsible ones. There are ones that try to live by their court orders and those that try to get out of them. I would never tell my ex's wife she shouldn't have children, though. Or that he shouldn't support them fairly/equally to the first family. Of course in our case, we are all too old to be talking pregancy again, but it would not be my business.
post #25 of 31
I agree that the posts should remain positive.

I also think that it would be very helpful if we actually read all the words in each others' posts, and avoided reading extra ones in, before responding. I've noticed that frequently, when I'm in conversation here, I'm responding to people who're upset about things that I hadn't said.

I don't recall anyone on this forum saying that men have no right to happiness after divorce or to second families. Of course they do. What I did say was that I don't think men (or women) should start new families if they can't uphold their obligations to the children of the first marriage. What I don't do is say, "Well, it's not your fault you're poor; go on, you deserve happiness with a second family," because in the end someone else gets stuck with the bill. Sometimes the mother, sometimes the kids, sometimes the taxpayers; I'm guessing it's usually all three.

As for the house/apartment thing, I am sure there are CPs who really do want the house for themselves and may even use it as a form of revenge if it means the NCP has to live with parents or in a little apartment. However, even counting the time before I was married, I actually saw that happen only once. That was a very successful stockbroker (the woman) who took pleasure in screwing the guy out of everything she was able to. She really reduced him to rubble. Scary lady. But the rest, no, on the whole they go through quite a bit in order to keep the children in the house. When they lose it, it's a major defeat. In my case, no, I don't want a house, which is why I didn't own one at 34, when I married. It's too big for me, and anyone can see I suck at taking care of lawns. I do live here for my daughter. When she goes, unless there's some pressing tax reason not to, I expect I will too. (Back to somewhere with trees, too. I've had enough prairie to last me a lifetime. It's beautiful and all, but...I miss trees.)

Apart from the fact that mortgage-or-not isn't generally a consideration in how states determine c/s: I think it's reasonable for an NCP to provide first for the child's home, and live in an apt if he can't afford more after paying c/s, regardless of who filed or the reasons for divorce. Apart from the benefits of having the space, constancy in schools, etc., most child psychologists urge that after something as difficult as divorce, the parents strive to avoid making the child move. Most of the time, moving to an apt also means going down the ladder neighborhoodwise, and if you're not well-off to start with, that can mean the kids are growing up in a less safe neigborhood with poorer schools. Back before most people got their apt listings from craigslist, I used to get semi-desperate calls from single mothers in our town's bad neighborhood, because mine would be one of the few listings with an affordable rent outside that neighborhood.

I'd readily live in an apt and help pay the mortgage if I were the NCP, for the same reason that mothers from poorer countries go abroad to work and send most of their wages home. I imagine most of you would do the same for your children.

(sigh) Much as I hate to admit it, I'm starting to think the sociobiologists are right.
post #26 of 31
I don't think I would live in an apartment to help pay the mortgage so that my ex spouse could have a nice house with my child. I would be more apt to try to get full custody so that the child could come and live in my house. These are fighting words, I'm sure, but I don't hold myself responsible for ex's choices.
post #27 of 31
Thread Starter 
What about in the case where the NCP did give up the home, but the CP chose to sell it and go live in an apartment in the worst school district anyway?

The CP doesn't always make the best housing decisions, even given the money and resources to do so.

So why should the child get a crummy living environment at both houses or one? The housing should be equal, provided by each parent, not one parent paying for the other... the NCP deserves to provide a nice home for the child just as much... especially in cases in equal or pretty near equal custody.
post #28 of 31
Generally I just assume that when any relationship ends the standard of living for both parties is impacted. How significant the impact is depends on many things, but primarily whether you worked at all/PT/FT during the marriage. If you were a SAHM now faced with having to go out and try to support a child without that second household income, that is going to be tougher. But it can be done. As a man you are now paying 20%+ (add in daycare + medical + extracurriculars and it can be more like 35-40%) of your income out to CS, so there's less left to live on.

I don't think that either party should end up living in a hovel, but they both might need to downsize. Children can adapt. It isn't cruelty or child endangerment to grow up in an apartment or to share a BR. I live in a nice suburban community that has plenty of safe apartment/townhome options in good school districts. It can't be the only place like that in the USA.

And personally, the last place I would want to live is the former marital residence. Part of my mentally starting over would be creating a new space for myself and my kids.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkj323 View Post
Children can adapt.
I think it pays to be very careful about how that's applied. It seems to me it's thrown around quite liberally in divorce talk, but there tends to be a sort of amnesia about the number of major life stressors children are asked to adapt to serially. Divorce, a move, new school, loss of friends, loss of neighborhood, shared custody, parental romances, parental remarriages, new siblings, more divorce, loss of parent in daily life due to relocation. All this can happen over the span of a few years. A battery like that would overwhelm most adults, and yet we decide that 8-year-olds will adapt. I'd say it's better to put yourself out to make sure that the number of major stressors to adapt to is very small; after all, the kids are supposed to be busy growing up, not busy adjusting psychologically to major curves we throw them. Personally, I had only one of them while still at home -- my parents separated for a while -- but that one event was like a bomb in a lake, even though I thought the separation was a good idea and they both behaved well, as far as I could make out.

I think most of this conversation is probably unnecessary if we agree that each parent is responsible for 50% of the child's actual costs, which includes housing costs attributable solely to the child. That leaves each parent responsible for his or her own housing costs, plus half of the child's. (Works the same for insurance. Xh and I each pay our own, plus 50% of dd's.)

If the mom, assuming mom's CP, can't or won't come up with her half for the kid and moves to a cheaper place, then the dad can do one of two things.

1. He can suck it up for the sake of the kid, acknowledge the mom is benefitting, and do the necessary to keep the kid in a good place; or

2. He can stick to the 50% formula, which leaves him paying less because the mom's moved somewhere cheaper, and use the extra money to buy nicer housing for himself and the child's visits.

If there's significant income/earning ability disparity at the start, with the dad earning much more than the mom, I'd suggest some sort of rehabilative period so the kid doesn't end up losing his home just because mom stayed home with him, or supported dad through grad school with some menial/flexible job. And obviously you'd have to tweak it if there was disability anywhere in the picture.
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
If the mom, assuming mom's CP, can't or won't come up with her half for the kid and moves to a cheaper place, then the dad can do one of two things.

1. He can suck it up for the sake of the kid, acknowledge the mom is benefitting, and do the necessary to keep the kid in a good place; or

2. He can stick to the 50% formula, which leaves him paying less because the mom's moved somewhere cheaper, and use the extra money to buy nicer housing for himself and the child's visits.
Or secret option number 3.

He can sue for full custody so that he knows that A) he can be sure his child/children will be in a residence he deems safe, healthy and secure and B) so he'll know that the money he makes will be going exclusively toward that end - without any filters or rearrangements. For the sake of the kid, of course.
post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
Or secret option number 3.

He can sue for full custody so that he knows that A) he can be sure his child/children will be in a residence he deems safe, healthy and secure and B) so he'll know that the money he makes will be going exclusively toward that end - without any filters or rearrangements. For the sake of the kid, of course.
Yeah, I thought about that. I didn't list it because in many states it's not a real option. In some states material circumstances can play in, but even so, the court's going to be reluctant to disrupt an established custodial situation on the basis of who's got a nicer house this year. Some states' courts have ruled explicitly that material circumstances are not to be considered in awarding custody, so long as both parents can actually provide some sort of home for the children. Even if the mom moves to a truly crummy apartment and Daddy's got a palace, unless she's moved the child there so that she can better support her meth habit or out of some other form of recklessness, Daddy's not going to move the judge.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Another S/O... thoughts on "second families"