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To accept money from DF for DCs' education ?

(19 Posts)
poshfrock Tue 23-Apr-13 12:53:59

DH and I have 4 children – he has 2 (DSD and DSS) from first marriage, I have DS from first marriage and DD with DH.
DSD (17) lived with us for a few years when younger but now lives with her mother and we have little contact.
DSS(13), DS (13) and DD(9) all live with us.

About 3 years ago my DF, completely out of the blue, asked me if my DH would expect him to contribute to university costs for DSCs. I said of course not and thought no more about the subject it just seemed an odd and somewhat arbitrary question. Incidentally I would not expect DF to contribute to uni costs for DCs either.

Then about 18 months later DF sends me two cheques for £250 – one for each DC ( in their own name) to be put away for uni costs. I thank him and tell DH who goes mad that DF has not sent any money for DSC ( neither DSC living with us at the time). Tells me that his parents have always treated my DS as their grandchild and finds it incredible that my DF will not provide equally for all 4 kids.

It is true that my PILS have always treated my DS equally with their own grandchildren- ie always buy him Xmas and birthday presents of equal value etc. They have been in many ways better grandparents to him than my own parents ( DM now dead). My DF is quite distant – geographically and emotionally - and until recently rarely bothered with birthdays/ Xmas presents etc for anyone. He has improved now he has a new partner who reminds him and buys appropriate gifts.

However I would never expect PILS to include DS when it comes to making provision for education or dividing their estate. I don’t anticipate any provision for DS in their wills for example. To me buying a few Christmas and birthday presents is totally different from making long-term financial provision.

DF gave me a further two cheques at Xmas – another £250 each. Generous of course but when uni fees are £9000 per year it won’t make much of a dent so I don’t feel that DSCs are missing out hugely. I thanked DF and put the cheques in my purse. I didn’t plan to tell DH because of the huge row last time but he found them when he was looking for change for parking and again he went mad. He told me that my DF is no longer welcome in our house and that if I want to see him then I have to go to his house ( not easy for lots of reasons but a whole other thread). If I mention DF’s name he leaves the room and won’t speak to me. I asked him what I should have done with the money and he said give it back unless DF was prepared to give the same for DSCs. I said that would be rude and ungrateful and I didn’t see why DCs should miss out on money from DF just to appease DH. Incidentally DSCs’ mother is the only child of very wealthy divorced parents so both DSCs do very nicely in terms of money /presents etc from their FOUR sets of grandparents.

So what do I do now if DF offers me more money for DCs ? Accept or refuse ?

TheChaoGoesMu Tue 23-Apr-13 12:57:39

Accept it. Because its theirs, not dh's.

Callisto Tue 23-Apr-13 12:59:23

My father is going to help me with school fees if necessary when DD is old enough, so on that point, no YANBU. I also don't see why your father should contribute financially to your step children, but I can see why your DH might be hurt by this. However, I think he is absolutely out of order kicking off in this way and banning your father from your house. I guess he has had his ego dented a bit?

As for money - of course you accept. Stash it in a high interest (ha ha hmm) account for when they are older, money is always useful.

DamnBamboo Tue 23-Apr-13 13:01:26

He can't force your DF to give his kids money, and the reality of it is, rightly or wrongly, he doesn't wan to.

He needs to have a word with himself and stop being such a jerk, and yes, you should keep the money.

Would he really expect your DF to pay for his own children's education? Do they know each other, have a nice relationship?

These threads always end up a little polarised, but the reality of it is, some GPs simply don't feel the same way to DGS who aren't really theirs. It's life.

spottyparrot Tue 23-Apr-13 13:01:33

Give your df the kids' bank details and let him pay whatever he wants whenever he wants. I wouldn't refuse the money, it will help someday.

I can see why your dh has a problem with it and think it would be better for your df to give each of the 4 kids £125 but he hasn't and presumably won't so why take the money away from the 2 kids who have received it?

To me, these random gifts of £250 aren't paying for an education as university costs are so high these days. They are actually the same as birthday/Christmas gifts IMO.

5Foot5 Tue 23-Apr-13 13:02:11

Did you tell your DH about your DFs original question about whether he should contribute to the DSCs Uni costs? It sounds like your DF did consider this and he can't be blamed if you gave a different answer to what your DH would expect?

I agree that Christmas / birthday presents are in a different league to inheritance or long term provisions. Your DH sounds like he is being a bit of a knob

currentbuns Tue 23-Apr-13 13:03:21

I think your dh is being extremely unreasonable here.

Chattymummyhere Tue 23-Apr-13 13:07:53

I don't see why your DF would be expected to pay UNI fee's for DSC, surely they have their own grandparents who wont be paying for your DS to go to UNI?

I can say if I was your father I would find your DH's attitude ungrateful and would stop sending money all together in which case your Ds misses out and your DD jointly misses out. Considering DSD should be off to uni what this year? Next year £250 really wouldn't help her at all and she does not live in your household.

neolara Tue 23-Apr-13 13:11:07

Well I think you have every right to accept it. I think giving away big sums of money is different to giving Xmas presents. However, from a purely pragmatic perspective, you might want to consider whether it is worth having such a major falling out with your dh over something that in the great scheme of things is relatively unimportant.

TheCraicDealer Tue 23-Apr-13 13:14:30

When respective GP's and parents die their worldly goods will more than likely have to be divvied up between the SDC. It's more than likely gifts will be based on the family relationship, especially if someone dies intestate. You can try and be "fair" all you like, but it's almost impossible to do this forever, not knowing what the future might hold.

Also- cheques via post are different to giving presents to children in front of you. I wouldn't dream of giving one child an ester egg and having the other two stare at me with sad faces. I'd spend another five or ten quid and get another. You can see why it may not occur to your Dad that your DH is pissed. And he asked you, and you said there was no need.

squoosh Tue 23-Apr-13 13:19:09

Your DH is being a knob. It's nice that his parents treat all the kids equally but it doesn't mean that your father is obliged to do the same. Presents at Christmas are very different from cash which is intended to go towards university fees.

And remind your DH that you have no control over how your father decides to spend his money so he should desist from being such a drama queen and dictating to you the future terms of your relationship with your father.

Accept all future cash gifts.

DeWe Tue 23-Apr-13 13:19:11

I suggest that you ask your df to open a bank acount or trust fund for your dc. He may need their birth certificates to do this. Then he can pay what he wants, when he wants into an account that no one but him knows about (officially). He can then give it to the dc's any time after they turn 18 as their own money.

Sushiqueen Tue 23-Apr-13 13:25:02

At the end of the day the DSC's are not your DF's direct grand children.

it is lovely if grandparents treat all of the children equally as your PIL's do but you can't force them too. Sometimes it depends on how much they see the children. If your DF doesn't have much contact then he won't think of them as his grandchildren no matter how much your DH wants him to.

I would take the money - he is trying to do a nice thing for the children and has specified it is for their future. Your DH has no right to deprive them of that money. Your DSC's also have 2 sets of grandparents who may also be making provisions that your DH doesn't know about. If they suddenly get given some money when they are 18 or so will he tell them to refuse it and share it with your other 2 children because they are all one family. I don't think so.

I have DSS's and one DD with DH. My parents have set up a plansfor DD to help with possible Uni costs. DH knows this and knows that the boys won't have the same coming to them (due to his parents and his ex parents circumstances). He just appreciates the fact that DD has loving grandparents who want to help so that things may be a bit easier for her at Uni. She doesn't know about the plan.

nemno Tue 23-Apr-13 13:42:29

I think your father is doing a really thoughtful thing and that your husband is out of order.

OneDayWhenIGrowUp Tue 23-Apr-13 13:47:19

YANBU at all, I would also vote for accept. It's just not up to your DH to dictate who your DF would like to give his money to. Your DF is under no obligation to give anyone any money, and aside from that, as the cheques are in the DC's names, it isn't really up to you to accept or refuse on their behalf either really - at 9 and 13 they may be old enough to decide for themselves anyway.

My Nana had 9 grandchildren and 1 stepgrandchild.... not only did she not consider her DSGD to be a 'proper' grandchild, she also did not consider her three younger siblings to be 'proper' grandchildren (ie my uncle's second family) even though they were full grandchildren! I think simply because she disapproved of divorce and remarriage. I guess you can't police personal morals.

poshfrock Tue 23-Apr-13 13:49:37

Thank you very much for the input so far.
To clarify - neither child knows about the money. Money for DD has been invested in Child Trust Fund and for DS in Children's Bonds ( wrong age for CTF) so they don't know it exists.

We have had virtually no relationship with DSD for the last 2 years when she moved back with her mum; I think we have only seen her 3 times so for DF it will be longer than that. He still sent her £20 on her recent birthday and bought her an Xmas present but he never hears from her ( nor do her "real" GPs and she only lives 2 miles from them) so they do not have a close relationship. To be honest he only sees the other DCs about 3/4 times per year.

I didn't tell DH about DF's question regarding paying for uni fees; to be honest I totally forgot about it until the cheques arrived which was at least 18 months later. It just seemed a really odd thing to ask at the time and it was very offhand. At the time the eldest DSD was only 13 or 14 so uni was still a long way off and to be honest it never occurred to me that he would offer to help pay for any of them. He never gave a penny to me or my siblings to help when we were there - we all just got jobs - so I certainly never expected any cash from him. At the time he wasn't even sending birthday presents for the kids so extra cash was unthinkable.

About 6 years ago I contacted a high street finance company to enquire about setting up small savings plans for each of the 4 kids. The type of plan I wanted has tax advantages so you can only have 1 per child. When I gave DSD's details ( names and DOB's) I was told that plans already existed in their names and they were being paid for by Mr XX ( their maternal GF), so I do know that DSC have something coming from at least one set of GPs at age 18.

GibberTheMonkey Tue 23-Apr-13 14:06:13

Does your dh expect his exes parents to give your children equal amounts?
Thought not

As long as they treated equally to their faces then your dh is being unfair

ceebie Tue 23-Apr-13 14:06:41

I suggest that you sit down with your DH and discuss long-term finances for all 4 children - taking into consideration your DSC's mother who obviously would only provide for her 2 children, and your DC's father who, if on the scene at all, would only provide for his DC. The long-term finances of the 4 children can't ever be entirely equal, so sit down and TALK about it. Presumably, all 4 children will be given the opportunity to go to university if they want to, and there may be opportunity for financial provision to be evened up in other ways, so you could view accepting money from your DF as easing the overall financial burden, IYSWIM? You and your DH need to plan ahead and agree how to handle it, but it's more than just about whether to accept money from your DF.

Astley Tue 23-Apr-13 15:46:34

Does he expect this only of your Father or does he expect your DS's paternal Grandparents to give his children money too?!

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