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Aibu to be surprised by people's thoughts of step families?

(18 Posts)
Fairyegg Wed 12-Dec-12 21:32:50

Another thread has prompted me to post this. When I got together with my now dh he had an 9 year old son. We have since gone on to have 2 children of our own. Whilst my step sons mother pays for the majority of his needs, when he stays with us in the hoildays all activities, food, treats etc for him come out of our joint account, as they do for my dc. We also often buy him clothes when he's here, again from the joint account. I have no issues with this, when here he is as much my child as my other 2 children. Dh does pay the maintenance but then he does earn about 70% more than me, if my income was to increase I would be happy for the maintenance to come from the joint account. We have recently done our will to which it went without saying that any money / property would be split 3 ways (between step son and my 2 biological children). It's never occurred to me to be any different, I always knew dh came with son so it went without saying that he would be treated as an equal part of our family. However Aibu to think this isn't a common view to take? If its not how do step families split their finances? What do you do about wills?

ratbagcatbag Wed 12-Dec-12 21:34:59

My DH has a son, I've got joint account which everything comes from, we pay more than we should and do a lot more besides. I love my DSS he's my family. When baby arrives our will will be changed to reflect 50/50 between our children be it step or biological for me smile

Purple2012 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:37:45

We pay my SD expenses out of joint account. I give her pocket money, my family treat her as if she was my own. I can't have any of my own so our will is split 3 ways between her and my nephews. I even gave up my car and added 2 and a half hours to my day getting the bus so we can afford to help her with uni when older etc. Andy husband pays a huge amount of maintenance despite her being with us a lot.

NatashaBee Wed 12-Dec-12 21:39:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumblechum1 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:39:22

With my will writer hat on, I'd always at least suggest the possibility that the clients consider a life interest trust for their home. This is to avoid child A (the child of the first marriage) being cut out by their stepparent after their natural parent dies. With a life interest trust, the surviving spouse has the right to live in the house until they die or remarry, at which point the house is sold and the first spouse to die's share then goes to the children, even if the second to die leaves everything to a new squeeze or the cats home.

Equally, however some clients give less to the child of the first marriage because their ex has also remarried to a richer second spouse and perhaps will end up giving a lot of money to that child, but the children of the second marriage will end up getting less.

Writing wills where there are step children is always a bit more involved so that no one is unfairly penalised.

I have a paid for advert over on MN Classifieds by the way.

SilverBaubles33 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:42:39

I know a few blended families and there is often friction about money, especially older kids equating gift value to love and exdp often encouraging the demand for expensive laptops, phones, planes tickets etc.

If you add to that a dad who's afraid to say 'no' and just wants to keep everyone happy, then yes it happens mire often than you'd think.

Your arrangement sounds lovely and fair, OP. Did it take a while to evolve or was it always arranged like that?

Fairylea Wed 12-Dec-12 21:43:16

We have dd aged 9 from my previous relationship and ds aged 6 months together. We treat them both equally in every way including financially. Ex dh gives me an allowance but I pay this directly into my dh and I's joint account and we just use this as part of our household budget. We have a joint account and use that for everything.

I would find it extremely odd if dh thought he didn't have to pay for anything for dd. She is as much a part of our family as ds.

DrCoconut Wed 12-Dec-12 21:56:37

DS1 is not DH's biologically. However, DH has PR and ex P has no involvement in terms of time or money, he has been off the radar since DS was a year old (his choice not mine). We also have DS2 who is DH's. Both boys are looked after equally by both of us in terms of buying and doing. It works. DH's parents have accepted DS1 as their grandson and treat him the same as DS2 as well, which is also nice.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Wed 12-Dec-12 22:02:13

DP and I have a joint account and seperate accounts, our wages go into seperate accounts then we both transfer a set amount into the joint account, I earn more so pay a bit more in then DP does, we are both left with the same amount of money in our seperate accounts although occasionally I will be left with more depending on if I've done any over time.

All household expenses come out of the joint account and anything left in it after bills are paid is used by either of us for anything needed, including for DSC.

DP pays maintenance, his mobile bill, DSC's pocket money and car insurance from his own account.

I pay my mobile bill, car insuraance and everything for the horses, dog and rabbits from my account.

Anything the DSC need comes from any of the accounts depending on who they are with at the time ie, I took DSD to get her eyes tested so I paid for her glasses, DP took DSS to have his hair cut so he paid and they both needed new school uniform which came from the joint account.

I know some people think its strange to have seperate finances but its how we like it.

We are a family and it doesn't matter if 2 members only live here part time if they need something then as the adults in the family we provide it.

I don't have children of my own yet but when I do I will consider us a family of 5..... 2 adults and 3 children

RogueEmployee Wed 12-Dec-12 22:04:07

I really don't know how people afford two families, one is quite expensive enough for me. grin

Fairyegg Wed 12-Dec-12 22:09:19

So lovely to read your replies. I was starting to think that all step parents were evil from that other thread! sliverbaubles we've always done it like this. To be fair I don't think we've ever had a discussion about the 'arangements', it just naturally happened this way. The way I see it if I was to ever remarry for any reason I would expect my new dh to treat my children as his own, not refuse to pay for a day out, meal, new coat etc for them. I think step children should be as much a part of your family as your biological children (or at least you should try and let them be, appreciate its not always easy).

Waitingforastartofall Wed 12-Dec-12 22:09:36

i too never really understood the whole concept of our children and then his children. I see my dsc as much a part of my family as my ds and spend on all three of them for various clothes,shoes,school things, treats ect. I would not be able to see it any other way we are not a 3 person family we are a 5 person family like above poster said.Makes me sad to think of not feeling this way.

AcidTurkishBath Wed 12-Dec-12 22:10:51

My DSDs live with us all the time and rarely see their father so I feel like their second mum. Therefore there is no question of me not paying for them. I don't know how I'd feel if they weren't with us all the time and I didn't have such a good relationship with them.

Redbird12 Wed 12-Dec-12 22:14:25

We have separate accounts which we pay our wages into and then we each put the same % of salary into a joint account which covers bills, food, any joint expense and occasional treats like meals out.

Anything that is an individual expense comes out of our own accounts including the maintenance DH pays his ex partner. I would pay petrol for example to get to work out of my own account (DH walks to work) or birthday presents for my friends.

However, whilst DSS is with us, any expenditure on him comes out of the joint account as it is part of everyday expenses. But additional requests for money from his mother (eg can DH pay half towards a phone) are up to DH to decide if he can afford it, if it is appropriate or whether it needs to wait till a birthday or Xmas.

We are also just in the process of making our wills and have agreed that after we both die, 50% would be split between DSS and any other children we have and the other 50% would be split between any other children we have together or if we don't have any, then it would go to my sisters and their families.

So any future children would inherit a larger share than DSS but the logic is that DSS would also inherit from his mother.

MimsyBorogroves Wed 12-Dec-12 22:15:40

My DS1 lives with us. DH is his stepfather, we have another son (DS2) together. I am currently not working so that I can be a SAHM.

Ex pays a (very minimal) set amount a month.

DH funds DS1 as if he is his own. He has bought all clothes, food, presents, random stuff (magazines etc), all school costs (uniform, trips, cake sales, book fairs etc)

RacHoHoHog Wed 12-Dec-12 22:16:11

We have seperate accounts.

Dp pays maintenance for his dd.
I buy basics for my own dc.
Food, days out together etc we split the cost.
If dp wants to take his Dd anywhere on his own he pays, if I take my dc anywhere I pay.
Christmas we decide a budget and in theory buy our own dc, but in reality I have bought all the presents and winter clothes for all dc this year because dp was in and out of work.

It works for us and all children end up with the same. We are very careful of that especially because our dd's are the same age so any differences would be glaringly obvious.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 12-Dec-12 22:16:24

My DH is stepfather to my two children and doesn't have biological children of his own. We just have money that comes into the house and money that goes out of the house. My ex gives me a small amount of maintenance and pays directly for things for the dc. We can't afford much but everyone has what they need for a nice enough life so it's not a huge issue.

The cash my ex gives me for maintenance has sometimes been spent on things like a haircut for DH when that's the money we had in the house, but then my DH has paid for things that the dc need and want out of his wages. It's just one pot with various outlets.

exoticfruits Wed 12-Dec-12 22:19:54

YANBU when you marry someone with DCs you get them, for life, as part of your family. It might be possible to keep them 'mine' and 'yours' if you don't go on to have more DCs. Once you have 'ours' you have to have all the DCs as 'ours'. I wouldn't have gone on to have more DCs if my DS was going to be a second class member of the family. My DH has never once said 'my step son'- he always says he has three DSs and all his family treat hem equally too, and DH1's family treat them equally.

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