Paying "keep" if you're a non resident child

(77 Posts)
theredhen Fri 14-Jun-13 17:22:54

What do people do once step children are out at work but only live with you part of the time?

We have two resident children who I want to pay some keep to us when they start work. However we also have non resident children, the eldest being 17 years old who still abides by the contact rota as she always has done with no sign of any change. I fully expect her to adhere to it if and when she starts a full time job. I also am sure that her mum will expect keep to be paid at hers. Not sure what she would do about her daughter who lives with us.

So, what to do? Should we charge her a pro rata rate? That seems the fairest option to me. I think not asking for keep will just send her the message that she's a "visitor" and not part of the family.

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Jun-13 18:11:27

I think if it's an "adult" child working and earning money then charging keep is fine, and very normal. So probably yes, a pro rata rate. When you say her daughter do you mean DSD's daughter?!

Petal02 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:17:44

I agree with Allnew. Everything in life costs money!

But Redhen, I have a nasty feeling you're going to be roasted alive for daring to ask this question. I'd go and hide in a cupboard if I were you .... !!

SoupDragon Fri 14-Jun-13 18:24:18

The problem is, you are then effectively charging her to visit her father. Also, if she is paying keep elsewhere it will either get complicated or she'll be paying twice.

popperdoodles Fri 14-Jun-13 18:29:22

Does she have her own space at your house? You cannot charge her to visit her dad so I think it all depends on how much she treats your home as her own.

aamia Fri 14-Jun-13 18:33:05

Pro rata rate at each house if she has own bedroom? If no own bedroom, perhaps a weekly food contribution?

Petal02 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:33:26

Ah, I knew the "you're charging her to visit her dad" accusation would come up .....

But even if she visits for, say, 3 nights per week, then she's still eating food, using bath/ shower and generally incurring household costs, which is why a pro rata charge seems fair.

tapdancingelephant Fri 14-Jun-13 18:38:31

Paying keep at her dad's would be charging her to see him? eh?

Is paying keep at her mum's charging her to see her mum?

How is it ok in one situation but not in the other, if the homes are supposed to be equal, and both parents viewed as equal parents?

<that said, we don't charge adult, working, stepchildren keep. But then neither does their mother, as far as we know>

SoupDragon Fri 14-Jun-13 18:39:58

She lives with her mother and visits her father. Is that so hard to understand?

SoupDragon Fri 14-Jun-13 18:41:02

Obviously alternative views which do not agree with the step parents is not allowed.

SoupDragon Fri 14-Jun-13 18:41:46

Here's a suggestion: if you don't want opinions, don't ask for them.

Petal02 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:42:31

Tapdancingelephant - good point. If its classed as paying to see Dad, then why isn't it classed as paying to see Mum?

The good old 'step' double standards are alive and well tonight! Must be the weather!

tapdancingelephant Fri 14-Jun-13 18:45:51

<I don't know what the contact rota is>

But if, for eg, the dsd is with her mum 4 days a week and 'visits' her dad 3 days a week, I think that to split the homes into 'real' home, and 'visiting' home is a bit far fetched, tbh.

Surely it all depends on how the families (including the children) view the set up? If all see it as the children having 2 homes, rather than living at one, and visiting the other, then surely the same/similar rules of living could easily be applied?

This is nothing to do with alternative views not being tolerated. More to do with the dad's house automatically being relegated to a place that the dsd 'visits' rather than a second home (I may have missed a lot of back story, and maybe that is the case, but without knowing it to be so, it is a rather irritating assumption to make)

Petal02 Fri 14-Jun-13 18:49:22

I think it just boils down to simple economics: if you stay in a hotel for 2/3 nights per week, then it costs. Not as much as staying there 7 nights per week admittedly, but nevertheless it still costs.

Surely all working adults should pay towards their living costs, even if their parents have split up?

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Jun-13 18:49:34

"She lives with her mother and visits her father. Is that so hard to understand"

Yet on a thousand other SP threads, I've seen SM's demonised for treating their DSC as "visitors". On the we must say its their home, but yet were demonised for treating as such when actually, apparently, they're visitors

purpleroses Fri 14-Jun-13 18:50:59

I think the only way it could possibly work would be if your DP and his ex agreed between them that she should contribute X amount per week towards food, etc and then split it between them according to how many nights she spends in each place. But from what you say, that's not likely.

It's reasonable in principle that she should contribute p/t costs towards a p/t home but in practice I can't see how you could get it to work. Nevermind whether people on this forum say "you're charging her to visit her dad" - she's going to see it that way herself.

You could try expecting her to contribute more for one offs though - eg if you're getting a takeaway one night, or renting a film, she could pay her share. And I'd certainly expect an adult working child to pay for an alcohol they drink (or put into a house kitty).

Does also depend on your own financial situation though I think - there's a stronger case for expecting them to contribute if you would be struggling otherwise, or if you're about to lose child benefit etc which previously paid for their keep. But your DP isn't as presumably he didn't get the benefits - he's actually going to be saving money once any child maintanence stops being paid to his ex for the eldest DC.

Do you think she'll really go on with the rota that much longer? I guess with having younger siblings the older ones do just kind of fall in with the same routines as everyone else unless they have reason not to. My DSD (almost 16) still comes with the others - though she's likely to go to university when she's 18 so I don't think the issue of paying keep will arise for us for a few years.

allnewtaketwo Fri 14-Jun-13 18:51:39

"Here's a suggestion: if you don't want opinions, don't ask for them."

Where, exactly, did the OP say she didn't want opinions. I can only see the first post at 17.22. Can you see a post I've missed soup dragon? Or do you actually think we're all the same person?

runningonwillpower Fri 14-Jun-13 18:51:42

Could this not be worked out between the child's natural parents? They could agree a fair weekly rate and pro-rata it. It definitely would not be fair if the step-daughter ended up paying an excessive rate because the two households could not agree.

PS As the situation has not yet arisen, is it worth 'borrowing the trouble'? She may go to university in which case the issue will be about father's contributions rather than hers.

Petal02 Fri 14-Jun-13 19:28:34

I can 't see many separated parents being able to agree on an amount and/or splitting it between them - but if we were ever in the position of wanting keep, I'd suggest a "token gesture" amount on principle, to get DSS into the mindset of paying living costs.

theredhen Fri 14-Jun-13 19:35:05

It's an interesting situation. Dsd has her own room and all her own possessions here.

The people who are saying that it seems like she is being charged to see her dad,do you think it matters how the time is split? What happens if its 50/50?

Is it right to expect the resident parent to reduce the keep if they live with another parent for some of the time?

What happens if the kids who live with us get charged keep by their other parents? Should we not then charge them keep?

There are so many different dynamics in a blended family.

brdgrl Fri 14-Jun-13 20:09:02

We will charge DSD for 'keep' once university starts in the autumn (she is living at home for a year).

Can't see why it should be any different if the young adult is only there 'part time'. However, I'd only apply it once she was 18 - and then with the clear understanding that she is free not to live at home if she doesn't want to.

I assume the contact rota becomes null at 18? So then DSD could (and in many families would be expected to) be self-supporting and living independently? What if she decided that rather than pay keep, she'd give up her room at your house, and live at her mum's? Would that be acceptable? I wouldn't be able to say "you have no choice but to pay us keep" - but equally, I'd have no trouble saying "look, you are 18, you're out in the workforce, it's time for you to start supporting yourself a bit; if you want to live here, you will have to contribute financially."

I think the problem is going to be logistical, not 'moral', IYSWIM.

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 14-Jun-13 20:37:36

An interesting dilemma!

I have to admit, had my dad charged me keep, I probably would have stopped going, unless mum reduced the rate she charged accordingly. But my dad didn't live with a partner or other children which I.guess makes a difference.

purely hypothetical also, as neither parent charged me keep due to me being in full time education until I fell pg and moved out

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 14-Jun-13 20:40:32

Also I only ever stayed at my dads 1-2 nights a month, if that so I guess not.enough that it mattered.

theredhen Fri 14-Jun-13 20:46:12

That's the thing isn't it? If we charge dsd2 keep but not dsd1 is that fair because she spends a few more nights here?

When dsd1 is here for days or weeks on end, obviously eating, heating her room, showering, inviting friends back and all the other normal stuff, will dsd2 feel like she's paying for her sister who's getting a free ride?

However their mum could charge dsd1 a really large amount of keep and not charge dsd2 a penny.

Their mum won't communicate with us at all so dp has had to follow the parallel parenting route rather than co parenting with his ex. So it's not like he can talk to her about it.

Areyoumadorisitme Fri 14-Jun-13 20:48:21

Tricky as of course if you don't charge dsc rent then your natural dc will wonder why dsc get to stay for free but they have to pay rent themselves. Doesn't seem fair does it?

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 14-Jun-13 20:52:06

At 17 isn't she, the elder children together possibly, old enough to sit down and have a family debate to work out what is fairest to all?

IneedAyoniNickname Fri 14-Jun-13 20:53:10

Would dsd1 tell you what her mum charges her/them, then go from there? Make it so overall they pay out the same amount?

So say her mum charges dsd1 £100, and dsd2 :£50, then you charge the other way around so that both girls effectively pay the same amount but with more going to the home they mainly live in, iyswim?

catsmother Fri 14-Jun-13 21:30:25

If you're of the mindset that you charge adult working kids keep then I think it'd be very unfair not to charge a "part time" child who, nonetheless, maintained their own room in your home, accessed all the facilities, and partook of all the usual meals/snacks/drinks while they were there.

I wouldn't necessarily charge each adult child the exact sum - but I would charge them each the same percentage of their take home pay - and then pro-rata that for the kids who weren't there full time. I'm not sure why this should be considered such a terrible thing - as others have said, "part time" kids are either part of the family or they're not, and if they are, then they should be included in all aspects of family life, including the less desirable, less interesting, less fun stuff - like starting to take responsibility for yourself at both places you see as home.

I don't think this is something for the parents to discuss and/or negotiate between them either - not when the "child" is now an adult. It's the adult child themselves who should be negotiating with each parent - and of course each respective parent may have different ideas about what they think's appropriate - it doesn't have to be the same in each household (e.g. some would want a percentage, some would want a set specific sum, some would want regular chores performed in lieu of keep and so on). Any decent parent - whether they're the "main" household or not shouldn't see anything wrong in principle with the pro-rata idea (assuming they want to charge keep at all) - so the adult child shouldn't lose out or have to pay double or anything. I'd think a "main" parent who insisted on a full week's keep despite their child spending 2-3 days and nights elsewhere every week would be very wrong.

Finally, I think it's important for all the adult children, however many days they live in a household, to feel that they're each making a fair and equal contribution to the running of that home. Given the potential disparity in income, that doesn't have to mean they all pay £75 a week for example, but if they all pay the same % of take home, pro-rataed if necessary, then there can't be any dispute. If "part time" kids aren't asked to contribute I can imagine that that'd cause a huge amount of resentment and ill feeling from "full time" kids - they might well take the view that if their step siblings are allowed, say, 3 days for "free" that they should also be granted the same privilege.

purpleroses Fri 14-Jun-13 21:44:40

I think it depends a bit on what you want her to do. Charging keep is one way often used of giving the DC a bit of a kick to go on and move out.

On the other hand, if you/DP would rather she stays at home and/or keeps coming to stay regularly then charging her to do so would seem counterproductive. The difference with charging keep in a two home scenario is that the DC is very likely to choose to spend less time in the home that doesn't charge them to be there. And may also read in it that they're not welcome at the home that charges them. If you've got a situation (like I think you have from previous posts) of two parents still battling out to "win" the DCs and make them live with them - then I can't see your DP wanting to go down the route of charging any of his DCs to live with him.

I also wonder a bit whether you might lose a bit of the authority you have as the adults of the house if they did pay keep. I find it hard enough as it is to feel I'm in authority over teenage DSC - think I'd find it even harder if they were feeling it was some kind of house share. Personally it's not a battle I think I'd choose to fight - at least until I thought DP and I were both wanting the DCs to leave home.

purpleroses Fri 14-Jun-13 21:45:29

Should read less time in the home that does charge them

babyhmummy01 Fri 14-Jun-13 22:54:08

I suppose you could broach the subject and the fairest thing would be a pro rata but as someone else says it might be worth trying and having a discussion with her mum too so that it is all fair iyswim. I read your post above but there has to be some way - mediation maybe?

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Jun-13 23:36:59

* I think not asking for keep will just send her the message that she's a "visitor" and not part of the family.*

I don't think this is a step-issue, but another manifestation of a frequently held debate on MN about when you stop 'l

NotaDisneyMum Fri 14-Jun-13 23:44:04

When you stop living at home!

If your DSD was living anywhere other than at her Mums, (in a flat share or with a DP, for instance), how would you feel about her spending 3 nights a week with you, with free access to your cupboards, laundry facilities etc?

NatashaBee Fri 14-Jun-13 23:47:36

I'm truly stuck on this one... Really can't work out what's fair. Could you ask her to buy food and cook a meal on one or two of the nights she's visiting, rather than charging 'keep'?

Fraxinus Fri 14-Jun-13 23:58:02

Cats mother is talking a lot of sense. Has this 17 year old got a job yet? If so, well done her! If not, wait and see what kind of a pittance she brings in before deciding how much to charge her.

brdgrl Sat 15-Jun-13 00:25:38

I'm not sure about the percentage of wages thing, that doesn't sit quite right with me. I'd be more inclined to look at what their expenses would be if they didn't have the option of living at home, and then try to significantly undercut that. If OP's daughter lived three days a week in rented accomodation, what would she expect to pay in the most basic room and board?

I'd also wonder how to take into account money from other sources - benefits, or student grants, or (as in my DSD's case) inheritance - whiel remaining 'fair' to the kids who only have earned wages?

If one kid in a household is working full-time or over-time, and another one is dragging his/her feet over working more than a few hours a week - why should they both pay the same percentage?

Sure, it can be very very tough to find work, and I'd personally be content with knowing my kids were looking for work (read a great article about living with young adults where he made the point that a young adult living at home who doesn't have a job, should be treating getting a job, as his job). And I'd be very sensitive to the idea that a young person who chooses a less lucrative but just as valuable career should not suffer for that. But there needs to coexist some other mechanism to ensure that a kid who just chooses not to work or look for work isn't then taking the piss by working a four-hour shift and handing over a tenner each week, while his or her sibling works harder, longer hours, and hands over a hundred pounds...

I don't mean to sound like a Daily Mail reader! On the contrary, I think that society and families should operate on more socialist principles - each according to his means, each according to his needs - but that has to go hand-in-hand with a sense of community which means that everyone is doing their best to contribute, and some natural consequences for choices made.

brdgrl Sat 15-Jun-13 00:29:04

...Coming from the position of having three children in our household, who will each have very different resources and different attitudes towards the point where I can't imagine how to attain anything like "fairness".

Justfornowitwilldo Sat 15-Jun-13 00:30:31

'We will charge DSD for 'keep' once university starts in the autumn (she is living at home for a year).'

You're going to charge a student keep????

brdgrl Sat 15-Jun-13 00:39:41


deleted203 Sat 15-Jun-13 00:43:15

Resident kids pay keep. Non residents who come to see Dad at weekend don't. I would only charge full timers rent grin.

Justfornowitwilldo Sat 15-Jun-13 00:52:07

Wow. Just, wow. You're charging a student keep. The government assesses the parental income of students because it expects parents to contribute to their support and you're charging one?

brdgrl Sat 15-Jun-13 00:59:16

We've already contributed fantastically to an education fund for her. smile

In addition to a substantial private income she receives, intended for her care and education, she will get a full student maintenance grant. She also has been provided with, as I mentioned, a reasonably substantial education fund, paid into by myself and another family member.

As a result, her monthly ‘income’ for the years she is at university will actually be higher than mine and DH’s monthly incomes, and she wants to live at home (for one year only) rather than in halls of residence or rented accommodation. We rent, and plan to move to a smaller home when she is no longer living here; we can't afford to stay in this house and provide for her without a contribution, and she can well afford to make a contribution (still far less than for basic accommodation elsewhere, and for more amenities), without working at all.

brdgrl Sat 15-Jun-13 01:00:40

I know, she is very lucky. DH and I had nothing like this kind of funding available to us as students. She'll be able to do all sorts of things many people never get the opportunity to do.

Fraxinus Sat 15-Jun-13 01:19:33

Different worlds. I work with teenagers. Low end of the market. Desperate to get a four hour shift.

So, op, which world do you live in?

Justfornowitwilldo Sat 15-Jun-13 01:25:57

So she receives the full maintenance grant because you're on a lower income but you've contributed to an education fund for her? Interesting. I would never charge a student keep full stop, but she's your DSD not mine.

Justfornowitwilldo Sat 15-Jun-13 01:31:14

For the OP, if she's in full time work and you plan to charge the others then I suppose you'll need to charge her, but that may well be met with a response that she'll stop visiting and you're charging her to see her dad, which essentially, you will be. I don't know how you can make it 'fair'. If she is only there eg every other weekend it would seem very harsh to insist on her paying but if she's there half the time your other DC might find it unfair that she doesn't pay.

brdgrl Sat 15-Jun-13 01:37:41

So she receives the full maintenance grant because you're on a lower income but you've contributed to an education fund for her?

Yes, that's right, justfornow. What is your issue with that? Do you understand that people's circumstances change? Our family's have, considerably, but my DSCs are well-protected and provided for. I personally think that is a very good thing.

Sorry, OP, I don't want to hijack your thread. I also don't want to post any more specifics about my family finances, but if you have questions, just, feel free to message me.

Justfornowitwilldo Sat 15-Jun-13 02:08:09

Not at all, it's just fairly unusual for a student to have a trust fund and a full maintenance grant. I wasn't aware that they would remain eligible if they had independent income. It's something I'll look into setting up myself.

Petal02 Sat 15-Jun-13 09:03:10

But back to the original point of the thread, I still think that all young adults who are earning, should make a contribution towards the household costs, regardless of whether they live with a parent(s) on a full or part time basis.

Chandras Sat 15-Jun-13 09:17:18

I dont think it's charging for visiting the non resident parent, at the end of the day that is not an odd social visit but living in part time, and I do really think it is morally wrong not to ask income earning young adults to start contributing (Providing for them no matter what cripples them for a future independant life, I see plenty of young adults at work still expecting mummy and daddy to foot the bill no matter what).

I would expect that if they are adults and working they should pay, or at least show up with some food (for the whole family) and take on other household responsibilities regularly.

They are adults, not children anymore. They shouldn't descend on either house to be provided for as when they were dependent children.

brdgrl Sat 15-Jun-13 09:18:49

I agree, petal, and I think also that young adults who are not earning should be trying, and should if they cannot contribute financially because of their earning level, could contribute in other ways.

I do think that there is a variation on the 'vote with one's feet' dilemma here, though...if one parent household is willing to have the young adult living there without paying, the other parent household will find it difficult to implement. Similarly, if the first household demands a disproportionate amount from the young adult, then it becomes really impossible and punishing to the young adult to have to pay again.

It is very easy for me to see what makes sense, but harder to see how to get there, OP. What about the idea of non-financial contributions?

theredhen Sat 15-Jun-13 09:31:31

I think I'm liking the idea of dsd1 buying and cooking a meal when she's here.

It would teach her that in our home she has responsibilities too without physically taking money from her.

It would also soften the blow for our resident children.

The downside is that she might start going out a lot more on the day she is supposed to be cooking!

Thinking about charging keep pro rata in each house. What happens if the young adult has an extra night one week in one parents house, it could get silly with trying to work things out.

I would like to put the keep away for the resident children and give it back to them when they leave home but obviously we won't be able to do that for dsd1 if we ask her to buy and cook a meal once a week.

bamboostalks Sat 15-Jun-13 09:51:19

What a nonsense and how petty. Paying to maintain a relationship with a parent. Just see if she even gets a job and how things pan out. She may meet a boyfriend, move in with friends, go travelling etc. Why look for dramas? My dsd visits us frequently and has even stayed and you know we don't look to take money off her for that. Weird behaviour.

theredhen Sat 15-Jun-13 09:59:50

Bamboo my dsd doesn't "visit", she has two homes. smile She also has a full sibling and a step sibling who live with us. How is working out what is fair looking for a drama?

allnewtaketwo Sat 15-Jun-13 10:22:54

The young adult choosing to stay over at dads though is not a necessary ingredient in "maintaining a relationship with the parent".

If your adult, say from 18 onwards, chooses to maintain 2 homes, then surely it is obvious that in doing so, there is a doubling up of accommodation costs to accommodate that choice. If, for example, someone wants to maintain 2 separate homes as an adult (say a flat in one town, and a flat in another) then this incurs costs. Adults, even young ones (and especially those earning full time) have choices. As an adult, choosing to live (even part time) with a parent is a choice. And staying over x nights a week isn't necessary to maintain a relationship.

Petal02 Sat 15-Jun-13 11:17:34

staying over with a parent x nights per week is not essential to maintain a relationship

Absolutely Allnew. An adult does not need to 'overnight' with a parent(s) to maintain a relationship, heaven forbid! If a young adult is away at Uni, in the forces (dare I mention the forces again?), working abroad, or in fact doing anything which means they don't live with their parent(s), then of course they can still maintain a positive relationship!

I'm very close to my parents, but haven't lived with them since I was 19.

purpleroses Sat 15-Jun-13 12:08:20

My parents made it clear that they would charge me keep if I returned to live with them when I finished university (I had vague plans to save up some money and go travelling). I doubt they would have charged me as much as I actually ended up paying by renting myself a bedsit instead, but the message I took from what they said was very clearly that they didn't really want me there. I think I'd only charge keep to a DC or DSC if that was a message I wanted to give them.

Petal02 Sat 15-Jun-13 12:18:55

I suppose it depends how the message is delivered. My parents made it clear that once I started earning, a contribution was expected towards household costs, but I didn't feel unwelcome or pushed out, just that earning equated to paying my way.

brdgrl Sat 15-Jun-13 14:32:07

I suppose it depends how the message is delivered.

Yes, I know my view on this is very much shaped by the way I was raised, and my parents always expected, and made it quite natural for us to expect, that after 18 we would be expected to be self-supporting./ They did help us out, with gifts and with loans, after we were 18, but these were just that - gifts and loans - not parental obligation, IYSWIM.

We were a poor family. My mum worked two jobs while I was a teenager. I worked too, from 16, and all the way through university. The idea my mum would go out and get a third job, or that the family should struggle more than they already were, so that I could be 18 or 19 or 20 and live at home for free - that just wouldn't have occurred to any of us.

I felt loved and supported by my parents. Honestly, I find the other side of this as bizarre as can be.

Petal02 Sat 15-Jun-13 15:04:11

Excellent post Brdgrl. But unfortunately there seems to be a whole generation of young adults who wouldn't flinch if mum had to take 2/3/4 jobs just to keep them in the style they'd become accustomed to.

And whilst plenty of young adults from together families are guilty of this, the offspring of Disney parents are probably going to be even more prone to it. They've been conditioned that everything goes their way, otherwise they cease visiting til the situation is remedied to their liking.

glasscompletelybroken Sat 15-Jun-13 15:31:16

When I left school and started work at 16 I paid my parents a percentage of my wages - as did my older sister. I earnt less then she did and it was a fair way of deciding what we paid as it meant we were both contributing but both had a reasonable amount of money left for ourselves.

When my own children left school and started work I used the same system. I didn't spring it on them - it was something we had talked about as a family and they knew from young teens that this would be the case. They grew up understanding that everyone has to make a contribution. I think this is the key whether you are talking about step- kids or your own. It needs to be something that is discussed as a family so that everyone is aware of what will be expected.

I also think it does depend a lot on how much time the step-child is staying with the NRP. if it is just eow then I don't think I would bother asking for a contribution. But anything approaching 50% of the time then I would.

They are not kids at this age but young adults and they need to learn about financial and family responsibility.

Fraxinus Sat 15-Jun-13 19:19:07

Petal 2. While I don't really disagree with you, I might phrase it differently....

Unfortunately many parents have brought their children up to expect a lifestyle that their parents cannot really afford, and that they are unlikely to be able to maintain independently when they first reach adulthood.

catsmother Sat 15-Jun-13 20:37:01

I too paid keep to my parents when I started work at 17 - and had been brought up to expect to do this. It wasn't a big deal - or something I resented - just a fact of life in my family. Both my parents themselves had paid their mothers keep as well - they both lost their dads at a relatively young age ..... so everybody contributing what they could was seen as natural. In addition, I personally felt that making a contribution actually afforded me a greater amount of "power" - for want of a better word - and freedom, as paying meant I was recognised as an adult and therefore given the privileges that went along with that such as staying out late as although I always told them what I was doing out of courtesy there was no possibility of them objecting as they might have done before I started work.

I certainly never felt that my parents asking for keep indicated that they didn't want me there - not at all. My parents noticeably struggled when I was growing up and as me and later my sister started contributing - as well as buying our own clothes, entertaining ourselves, transporting ourselves and so on - it meant the financial pressure on my parents eased somewhat and they were finally able to start making a few home improvements, treating themselves etc. I didn't resent that, because I knew that if I lived elsewhere it would have cost me a great deal more.

I ended up leaving home at 19 but when my relationship broke down a few years later my parents offered me a place to stay - and again, the keep requirement was, IMO, not something they suggested to put me off going back there, but something I was only too happy to pay as I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to move back at what was a low living rate so to speak while I saved enough to get back on my feet again, and, a couple of years later, move into my own flat.

I think I would have felt very embarrassed even if my parents had suggested that I pay no keep - because I knew full well they'd have then been subsidising me. I guess however that if you've grown up in a "wealthy" family and have never wanted for much then perhaps you do take things like that for granted and see nothing wrong in allowing your parents to subsidise you even though you're a working adult. Again, personally, even I was well off I think I'd charge keep just so kids get into the mindset that life usually isn't a free ride and to prepare them for most people's reality of having to pay bills, budget, be sensible with money etc. ...... I know some better off parents do just that for those reasons, but save the money as a surprise fund, e.g. for a deposit, for the future.

I know there isn't a one size fits all solution for this issue ..... but whatever you personally feel is the right thing to do, I do think it imperative that all the children - both "part" and "full" time are treated the same so far as keep is concerned. I agree that maintaining 2 homes e.g. by having a dedicated room in both places, and with regular overnight stays, does not make you a visitor. To me, you become a "visitor" once you're living independently, i.e. not with either parent ..... because then, it's very unlikely you'd keep a room specifically for yourself at either parent's house, and although you might stay with them occasionally if you've moved quite a distance away, it'd be rare that you did so on a regular or prolonged basis.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 16-Jun-13 09:11:54

In addition, I personally felt that making a contribution actually afforded me a greater amount of "power" - for want of a better word - and freedom, as paying meant I was recognised as an adult and therefore given the privileges that went along with that

It is for precisely this reason that many parents, step or otherwise, don't ask for a contribution to the household finances.
They are more comfortable keeping the DC in the child box, even when they are independent adults!

theredhen Sun 16-Jun-13 20:02:26

I think it really depends on how you view "keep" in the first place irrespective of whether you're a parent or a step parent.

Personally I think it's a good thing that teaches them the value of money. However im not sure I agree on the third of wages thing that gets bandied about or on the fact that they can pay their parents a tenner and then think they have the same rights as the home owner. grin

I have never intended on giving my ds a free ride for years and years. I don't want him to feel pushed out but I don't still want him living at home at 40 either! I therefore have the same feelings on my step children when they become young adults and what I feel is right. It's just a lot more complicated when you add in other parents, two homes etc.

dotcomlovenest Mon 17-Jun-13 13:42:01

Think it depends if they are paying at their resident parents homr already.
They would either need to pay less at the other home or not pay at yours.
17 yr olds don't as a general rule get paid a lot

NotaDisneyMum Mon 17-Jun-13 22:47:17

They would either need to pay less at the other home or not pay at yours.

So, if they pay a F/T rate of board (for want of a better term) at their RP home, then are they considered guests in the NRP home?

Bonsoir Wed 19-Jun-13 15:05:25

I think that when DC reach 18, living a split life between separated parents has to come to an end, personally.

theredhen Wed 19-Jun-13 17:10:14

But if a child has grown up with it, it's going to be very difficult to say "sorry mum/dad, I don't want my room at yours anymore, I'm going to spend every night at my other parents." I should imagine a lot if young adults wouldn't be able to bear the guilt of doing that, especially if their parents have always been warring, so stick with the rota until they literally get a place of their own.

allnewtaketwo Wed 19-Jun-13 17:16:18

"I think that when DC reach 18, living a split life between separated parents has to come to an end, personally"

Hear hear. Access visits are for children, not adults

HighInterestRat Wed 19-Jun-13 17:18:37

She's just visiting, seems overkill to charge her.

allnewtaketwo Wed 19-Jun-13 17:30:29

But she's not 'visiting', she lives with her father part of the time

Petal02 Wed 19-Jun-13 18:13:54

I agree that fixed visiting arrangements are definitely for children, not adults.

But as regards money - it doesn't matter whether the classification is "visiting for a few nights each week" or "living here part time" - it still incurs the same cost!

The difficulties of having any sort of formal visiting arrangements with a young adult, are considerable. We've managed to dispense with the access rota, but DSS still has to spend a very specific amount of time under our roof each week - to the point where it looks like we're going to have to pull out of a social event this weekend, which has been planned for some time, as DH had a work-related emergency, so he hasn't put in enough Daddy-time this week. Just ridiculous. Sorry - just feeling a bit fractious tonight.

allnewtaketwo Wed 19-Jun-13 18:55:26

sad Petal

theredhen Wed 19-Jun-13 19:12:35

Oh petal, that's just ridiculous. Can't you make the time up next week? Not that you should have to, but is that not an option?

Petal02 Wed 19-Jun-13 19:38:17

I'm not sure Redhen. DH is working away this week, there's been a problem on the contract, he was supposed to be back tonight but won't be back til Friday now. We had arranged to have DSS on Thursday and Friday nights. So DSS wants to come on Fri and Sat nights instead, but we've already got plans for Sat night.

Sometimes you just get weeks when everyone's time is squeezed, and it's hard to ring fence a specific allocation of ttime for DSS - the rest of us get less of DH this week, but DSS can never be told he'll get a smaller slice of the pie on this occasion.

I did suggest offering him an extra night next week, but DH's mum goes into hospital and its hard to make any commitments for next week, we'll just have to see how thing pan out. DH doesn't want to offer him a night next week which may get cancelled, that would mean two lost nights in two weeks.

Funnily enough, I would 't be too upset if we had to cancel our Saturday plans (although the principle drives me up the wall) but DH was really looking forward to it, and after the week he's had - and the week he's potentially got next week - a night out would do him good.

But as one of my friends has just pointed out: if he wants to be a martyr ......

Petal02 Wed 19-Jun-13 19:58:21

Anyway, apologies for the thread hijack, I'm going to wash up before The Apprentice starts!!!

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