Spending Money on Stepchildren

by TTMK on December 10, 2012 · 36 comments

When many of us are looking for a partner, and thinking of getting married, there is some kind of standard narrative at play.  Meet someone attractive and fun, someone who you really enjoy spending time with. A person who shares your values and with whom you can see spending the rest of your life.  Perhaps even having a family.

The fairly tale doesn’t necessarily include the idea of a built-in family, where there are stepchildren involved.  How many people have this as a part of their vision?  My guess is that not many do.  It’s just the way it is.

However, as we get older, we tend to gain life experience.  For some people, a part of that life experience is becoming a parent.  It’s one of the most rewarding things you can do, and one of the biggest responsibilities you could take on.  Really, could really be more important to someone than their own children? Personally, I find it hard to imagine finding anything more important.

This makes the idea of becoming a stepparent one that involves understanding that the person you married has children that are a major responsibility – in terms of providing for them, handling their emotional development, and many other things.  It’s the most important job the person you married will have in life.

Having said all that, this makes a particular situation I know about quite hard to understand.  There is a couple I know where the two people got married with the man having custody of a young child.  The woman did not have kids of her own.

Apparently, when dating and in many detailed conversations, it was mutually understood that the guy had a major responsibility for his kid, and was a devoted parent.  This meant handling all aspects of parenting, including – quite naturally – spending money on the child.

Well, once married, the woman had a difficult time sharing money, and having joint finances in marriage. This wasn’t something she indicated would be an issue before, apparently, but she couldn’t handle income being spent on the child.  Thus, she kept her finances separate, with paychecks going to a personal account.  Her income may actually be higher than his, not that it necessarily matters, but just something to consider.

Without getting to into too many details, some of behaviors of this stepparent that would catch your attention were:

  • Insisting that the husband personally pay for more housing than her – as in a 60/40 split – because of the presence of his kid.
  • Making him pay for a majority of utility bills because theoretically the kid could result in extra electricity or water costs
  • Getting angry at him if he bought new clothes for the kid, demanding that he return them and stretch older clothes for another season
  • Throwing fits if he wanted to sign the child up for more than one extracurricular activity
  • Becoming very upset and screaming over his spending money even $100 on Christmas gifts for the kid
  • Generally expecting to be the #1 priority in his life, ahead of his kid

Her overarching thought was that he should be the primary breadwinner, and responsible to take care of his family – including her.  However, her money isn’t to be used on the kid.

My thoughts?

  • This is entirely crazy bonkers wrong to treat a stepchild that way.
  • A single parent – man or woman – should get some empathy for their hard work.
  • A stepparent should “step” up and try to help her (or his) spouse
  • It’s perfectly understandble to prefer to marry a person with no kids, but if you actually do it, you need to embrace them – to be a good person, and to have basic consideration for your spouse
  • Nobody should be jealous of a child in this way
  • A child shouldn’t be put on the back-burner financially (or otherwise) by any parent, just because it isn’t a biological child of the new spouse that’s a stepparent
  • Money earned by both husband and wife should be shared together, and used to support the family – including stepchildren.

Bottom line: When two people marry, they become a family. A kid is a part of that family, whether biological to both or just to one.  If a person can’t fully accept the reality that their spouse will spend on kids – then don’t marry the person, or be ready to fully accept it. Kids deserve kindness, patience, and love.

What Do You Think?

In this situation, do you think the biological parent has a legit reason to be stressed about his spouse’s behavior as a stepparent?

Or, do you think that the stepparent has a valid outlook on this?

Purely hypothetical here: how would you handle this topic, and approach money and family, based on playing either role here (biological parent or stepparent)?

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ evolvingPF December 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Wow, what a major marriage problem. This is an ultimate argument against separate finances.

I think compromise is in order (as well as joint money). The step-parent shouldn’t dominate the spending decisions for the child but neither does the biological parent hold a trump card once the new family is formed.

I have a rough time thinking about blended families. In a traditional nuclear family, I think the marriage should come before the children. Once a divorce or death occurs, the kids move up to the #1 spot. With a new marriage, I think the marriage should resume primacy but I can see how that would be difficult to implement, especially if the children have been given preference for a number of years. All this just goes to emphasize that you should to be extremely cautious in choosing to marry, whether you have kids already or not.


TTMK December 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Emily – I think your comment is quite insightful, really. There is a balance, and some of this does change as family dynamics change. It’s important to be very cautious when marrying, absolutely. In this case, I think the stepparent needs to be an adult and not behave so poorly with a child. No child deserves to be treated as, or feel like, the proverbial “just a stepchild”.


Maddy April 30, 2017 at 2:53 pm

I agree completely.
As a child of divorce, I was treated like unwanted debris from his previous marriage when my father married a woman that he’d known for 6 months who clearly did not want us. Gradually I stopped trying with him, but it was only recently, after cautiously marrying the man I’ve been dating for 7 years that I’ve been actually thinking about cutting contact with my father all together. He, along with my step mother ruined my wedding and I’m pretty sure that I’m done with him.


AverageJoe December 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Interesting. I had clients where the step mother didn’t get along with the step children, but it was a two way street: they treated her like dirt and she returned every bit of the sentiment. Ultimately their relationship ended the way I believe this one will: in divorce. When you’re married you take the whole team. If you aren’t ready for the baggage, why waste your life yelling about a piece of the guy’s life that he’ll never give up?


TTMK December 10, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Average Joe – two way streets sound unfortunate all around. That’s too bad. In this case, I totally agree with your point, that the whole team comes with, and most people thankfully would never give up kids for a partner.


Maddy April 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

But they were just that- CHILDREN. She was the adult, she should have behaved like one.


Emily July 11, 2017 at 9:16 pm


And maybe the kids should have behaved like kids. It most definitely is a two-way street. A big problem for stepmoms I know is that the kids have been elevated to adult status…and these women find themselves voiceless and powerless in their own homes. Homes they are usually helping to pay for and maintain…while the kids get to decide how the household runs.

That scenario would make any woman resentful. I think the stepmom in this article sounds smart for setting boundaries and sticking to them.


The College Investor December 11, 2012 at 1:02 am

Being a step-child, and being treated in a similar way by the step-parent, I just think its wrong. It makes you, as a child, feel not welcome in the household. I know I never wanted to go over to that house, and instead stay with my mom. Now that I’m older, I don’t talk to my stepmother ever, and only sparsely to my dad. It really made for a bad situation.

If I was a step-parent, I would treat the child as an equal and part of my family, including money. Everything in one pot is my philosophy on marriage and household finances.


TTMK December 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Robert – thanks for sharing your own personal angle. Sorry you had to go through that, it sounds very unfair. The end result of such things is probably what you’re describing, where a relationship with the actual parent suffers when the stepparent behaves unwelcoming. That’s great that you can see the impact of such behavior, and would treat a child equally. I agree with your philosophy.


Savvy Scot December 11, 2012 at 5:02 am

To be perfectly honest… I think that the marriage may have been a big mistake… She is clearly bitter!


TTMK December 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Savvy Scot – it sure seems weird to be bitter about a stepchild, especially since the person knew the kid existed and the parent has responsibilities, but bitter it just might seem!


Christopher @ This that and the MBA December 11, 2012 at 7:45 am

Must be why most the dating ads specify no baggage….As some have had experience with this type of situation….It is tough all around bringing children into a new situation….but she needs to realize that no matter what he isnt going to move on without them…and they need to work together to make their home a household!


TTMK December 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Christopher – especially when the parent has custody, no way he (or she, in the case of mothers) would move on without their own kids. That’s the biggest responsiblity, taking care of your children.


Goldeneer December 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

Very interesting insight.
I’ve never been part of a blended family but have seen the repercussions of one. My views on a marriage is all kids, step or not, should be treated equally and the marriage should come first, not the individual. It appears as though this woman was not ready to get married.

A parent’s expense is closely related to their priorities. If the parent is not spending their share on their step kid or husband, then their family is not a priority. This is a sure way to build a toxic relationship with your husband and step child.

I have close family that consist of a blended family. The woman’s views are that marriage is incredibly important, especially for the kids. Yet this woman favouritizes her biological daughter and expects her step daughters to serve her biological daughter first. The husband has treated her kids like his own and has put significant finances into their upbringing. There is resentment between the kids because of her behaviour.


TTMK December 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Goldeneer –

I agree that kids should be equal and that the individual (grown up) shouldn’t come first. Also, you have a very interesting observation about how expenses can be related to priorities. If someone won’t spend on a spouse and stepkid as most spouses would on their own family, then clearly there’s an issue where the two people aren’t a priority.

As for your story, that’s simply mindboggling that she would expect her husband to tolerate her own kid being favored over his own kids. How could anyone expect their own child to be treated as a priority over their spouse’s child in a blended family? Hard to get the mindset of some folks. Anyway, thanks for sharing and the comment!


Aloysa @ My Broken Coin December 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Interesting. My husband’s father has two stepchildren, and he treats them better than his own children. He takes them on vacation, he gives them money, he solves their children’s (his step grandchildren) problems. We talk to him about three times a year. 🙂 I guess every family has their own story.


TTMK December 11, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Aloysa – well, on the one hand it’s good that he’s nice to them. However, nicer to them than his own kids? Seems unfair, and analagous to stepparent behavior in this post. Anyway, hope you don’t mind my voicing the opinion.


Michelle December 21, 2014 at 11:48 am

As a step child, my step mom and dad always contributed to the gifts-whether we were on speaking terms or not. The gifts were clearly marked, “love mom and XXXXX”


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BILL February 12, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I am a widower who has got married again this last March. My current wife before we got married, stated that her boys have a Father and a Mother to take care of there financial needs. I have two adult daughters that are in College. Well have we got married the first thing her ex did was to get child support reduced by 90% he has his own business and can adjust the figures. With only one son left at the age of 15 he wants a car like his older brother.He went to his dad who has told him that since his mother got married he needs to go to her for money because he just got out of child support. Reading this article I am suppose to treat them like my daughters, but the ex that I am dealing with it will you only embolden him to not be a dad. Since I got injured in combat the oldest son is getting college benefits as will the youngest. The father is not contributing anything!! There mother feels bad because of the stress that it has brought into my life. I am feeling used not by her but by him


TTMK February 12, 2015 at 7:11 pm

I can sympathize, and understand how you would be upset.


Stepmom December 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm

The ex really is the problem much of the time. My husband’s ex was the one to file for divorce nearly a decade ago, but since then, she has not remarried. My husband and I have been together for four years. My husband pays most of his income in child support, which was determined when he was able to work much more and made more money. Now, he has the children almost everyday and cannot make as much money, but my contributions to our home (and to the child support that he pays his ex-wife) give us and the kids a nice standard of living. The ex is constantly jealous of this. She tells the kids that their dad doesn’t take care of her and makes them feel guilty for living well with us. It’s a disaster. So the advice that the stepparent should contribute equally is not always the best advice. It leads to inequality between the biological parents’ homes. Also, as far as the 60/40 split for housing described in the post, don’t forget that this is how child support is often calculated. The biological parent is not required to give equally to the raising of the child, so why should the stepparent?


Lalis March 23, 2015 at 4:48 pm

My boyfriend and I are planning on moving in with each other. He has two kids, which I adore, and I have one.

We take weekend trips together, all five of us, and usually have a great time.
But he gives his kids money in front of me and my son without offering my son any.

It feels awkward since I am not used to speaking about money in front of people, working in accounting, you learn not to speak of money or wages.

How do I confront him about this? I know my son is not his own, but is this an indication of our future together?


TTMK March 29, 2015 at 4:56 pm

That’s a tough one. Do you give money to your kid in front of his?

I think the dynamic you’re mentioning is a little different than someone not wanting a biological parent to spend money on his/her own kids. In this case, the father spends money on his own kids but not yours (or at least gives to them openly). If you do the same, maybe it balances out? I’m similar to you in that I might not want to talk about salaries/wages openly.

Ultimately, he’s responsible for his kids and you for yours. That part is fair. But how to openly treat each kid in kind way is another subject.


sarah jones April 18, 2015 at 11:06 pm

I’ve not been in a blended family myself, but my take on this is the new wife should not have a say in what her husband buys for his child. That’s his child. However, new stepmom is not obligated to support this child, abd there should not be joint finances. First there’s an ex involved and once her money is mixed in with his in a joint account, it’s fair game if she tries to come after him for more child support, also, she has no bioogical children, hopefully the marriage works out but sadly as we all know there’s a fifty percent chance it will not, she needs to keep her money seperate, in the end she needs to be able to support herself, the kid has two biological parents , they created him or her, it’s their responsibility to pay for the child’s upbringing and the new partner should not be expected or looked down upon for nor contributing financially


Emily July 11, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Since you haven’t been in this kind of situation yourself, you may not understand all the nuances and implications.

As a stepmom, it bothers me when my husband spoils his kids because he works freelance and doesn’t have much retirement saved up. His priority should be his own welfare and retirement, not buying his kids everything they could possibly want and spoiling them out of guilt. He is 10 years older than me, and I am the higher earner with no kids. I don’t want to be working into my 60’s because my husband didn’t know how to tell his kids “no.” Technically, he may be the one buying this or that…but’s it’s far too likely that I’m going to be the one subsidizing his spending habits in the future. That’s not fair to me.

Yes, the new wife should absolutely have a say in how money is spent. She knows what their situation is and what he can actually afford without jeopardizing their future. This author can’t possibly have any idea what’s going on behind the scenes, so she should really butt out.


Emily July 12, 2017 at 5:22 pm

I should also add, briefly, that in most states, your spouse is also on the hook for any debt you incur, even if you have separate finances and even if you take the debt out in your name only. It’s assumed that the debt was spent on the household, so both partners are responsible. Which is why it’s such a big deal and so selfish for one spouse to run up debt. So, again, yes…joint finances or separate, spouses should communicate about long-term financial goals and try to get on the same page about spending. The need to plan together and have a financial plan doesn’t go away just because it’s a second marriage. It bugs me how this author seems to think this woman should pony up for her stepkid…put all her money in one big pot….but have no say about household finances or general spending. What kind of deal is that?? My husband and I have a combo joint and separate finances, and I do most of the bill pay and accounting, but we still meet every month to discuss where our money is going and why. We don’t make each other account for every penny, of course, and we each have some money that we can just spend as we see fit…but there are no big surprises.

I love to be in love…like I am with my husband. But too many people forget all of the legal and financial implications. It’s a contract…and it should be one that benefits and protects both partners, not just the one with the kid.


antonieta April 30, 2015 at 12:45 pm

hello, what about if the step children are now grown ups, with marriages on their own and they still expect father and step mom (me) to help with money.. is that right?


Susan February 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm

It sounds like this woman took things to the extreme, but I can definitely see part of her side.

I earn twice what my partner earns, three times if you include usual bonuses. Child support comes directly out of his check. If you count all the money that goes out from him to his ex for the children, I am bringing in literally 6-7 times what he earns. Essentially, I am covering 85% of all of our household expenses outside of payments to his ex for the children.

Additionally, I spend a lot of money directly on his children. I pay for any activities they do with us. I buy them nice clothes since they never come with any during visitation. I cover Christmas and birthday gifts. I pay rent on an apartment which is higher than it needs to be for just us because we have an extra bedroom for them. I also pay the mortgage on a vacation home (which is mine, not his) in which one of the bedrooms is also for the kids preventing us from having other couples up on kid-free weekends.

Yes, I am resentful. There are so many things I could afford to do before we were together, that I can no longer afford because of the resources being eaten up by the children. I think it is totally fair that our shared expenses are divided up proportionately to our incomes (and for his I consider income after child support deductions). However, I do not think that any of the money I earn that goes to the kids should be an expectation. I don’t expect gratitude from them (because they are kids), but I do expect gratitude from him.

One thing i will add is that I fund my retirement to the absolute max allowed by law. This always comes first ahead of household expenses, discretionary spending, or anything related to his children. After all, there is no expectation that they will do anything to help me in my old age, even though they likely will care for their father. Therefore, my first priority has to be to take care of myself.


Stephanie November 17, 2016 at 10:10 am

Susan- I completely agree with you. I to0, am the higher earner in my relationship and determining how to allocate finances has been such a struggle. My guy, who I have been with for 2 years now, has two children, elementary school age. I have one son who is in middle school. I am a physician and have been in practice for 5 years prior to meeting this man. While I do make 3-4x his annual income, I too have my own financial obligations (student loans, retirement, investments, vacation shares, etc) that existed before I met him.

As an established professional, I do not believe in a joint share of income.

I contribute maximally to my retirement account and savings account first as well. I pay for vacations, dinners out, more expensive gifts for his children than he might purchase, an on. Clothing on occasion, groceries, the mortgage, and 90% of the household expenses. He has also been using my nanny to care for his children before and after school, all at my expense I have payed 195% of the mortgage and bills due to a change in his business, but this month he was able to resume contributions and we reached an agreement where he will pay a share of household expenses based on annual income. He will pays 25-30% of mutual expenses (including 2/3 of the childcare) which has alleviated much of the growing resentment I have been harboring.

However there are still so many unanswered questions on how handle short & long term situations. My question is, I contribute to my sons college fund. He and his X do not and cannot afford a college fund for their children. I also want my son to be in a private school for middle and high school, an expense I don’t believe I will undertake equally for his children, despite I do love and care for them.

What the right answer is, I don’t know. But I spent 20years working very hard to reach an income where I could take care of myself and my son. This new, and certainly wonderful man who I love dearly, and I am learning to love his very high energy children, they played no role in the blood, sweat and tears over those 20 years, and therefore, in my humble opinion, becoming a 2nd spouse does not entitle him to 1/2 of that income.

I’d love to hear your perspective on the issue and if you have found any further resolution to your situation.


daniel November 17, 2016 at 6:23 am

I am a step parent. My partner whom i love has 3 children. We go 50/50 on everything. I’m a good man, quite generous and a very caring and good role model. I really tried my best to be a good father figure. Their father doesn’t have anything to do with them.
This will change. After 4 years of being used up, held in contempt, not respected and life being very difficult with them I will change the ratio of money to go into our joint account to 33/66. Also I will no longer contribute to their schooling (was 50/50).
If my partner is not agreeable with this then i may have to leave her. I love her but her children are pricks to me and I don’t deserve it.
To those that say step parents should take everything in their stride, treat them like your own etc. I challenge you to walk a mile in my shoes. I’m looking at the possibility of leaving a woman I love because her children are a nightmare to live with.


Susan December 4, 2016 at 4:12 pm

I have been with my partner for over three years. I make at least 30% more than he does.
We keep the majority of our finances separate. He has five children from a previous marriage. He pays nearly a grand a month for support. I previously paid our car insurance and AAA. I was paying for the bulk of our groceries which was expensive. His oldest daughter has come to live with us and my grocery bill nearly doubled. He often asks me to go half on dinners out- even when we are tight on cash- instead of just saying No to his kids or choosing fast food.
I feel really resentful because I am behind in my own bills and finally had to say enough! I have to be responsible for my own financial welfare. His children are unappreciative and I am tired of buying things and clothes just to have them ruined.
I love him and I do love his kids- but I am done being taken advantage of.


anonymous December 27, 2016 at 8:49 pm

I agree with the article, if both people have income to contribute then it is reasonable to make it a team effort. But as a stepmother myself I have NEVER been willing to blend finances. My husband didn’t follow up on child support obligations when he got laid off, in spite of my encouragement that he needed to deal with it. He has some messed up taxes as well. And because he is in arrears on his child support, I can never file jointly with him without my income refund being at risk. That isn’t fair. I’m working 3 jobs to keep my family going because he previously made so much more than me, and no, I am not going to cheerfully pay for his 4 kids to be entertained. I have a hard time even paying for lavish food for them. They visited last summer and my stress was palpable to the point that I needed him to set some boundaries about food (nothing crazy but here is a long list of things they can have for lunch, here is a long list of things they can have as a snack, and he didn’t back me up when they were eating other things instead) and he didn’t and I got mad at him. I told my husband before we got married that I care for his kids but they are his responsibility. Especially when I make around 30k a year, I have no business trying to support myself, my husband, our new baby and his four kids. I never try to interfere with his time with them. I never expect him to put my wants above their needs.

But it is his job to support them, and he didn’t do everything in his power to increase his income and reduce his unreasonable obligations to the ex, so I have no sympathy about it. I don’t expect him to take care of me financially but I need him to take care of himself and his marriage 1 obligations.

If both people are honoring their responsibilities and commitments to the extent possible that’s one thing, but not every case is like that. Those kids will easily eat $300 in groceries in a week, and no I don’t think it is fair that I should pay for them. I still do but I resent it.


New Stepdad December 29, 2016 at 12:03 pm

I married my wife in April and we then moved in together with her 1st grade daughter. My stepdaughter and I have a great relationship, although I probably spoil her too much. For example, I took the family to Dismeyworld this year.

I make more money than my wife and I pay our home loan and utilities. Our finances are seperate and I have kept them that way on purpose.

I want to have a conversation with my wife about long-term expenses for my stepdaughter. I attempted to bring up the topic before we were married by suggesting we set up a prenuptial agreement. She was highly offended. Now we are basically in the same place of uncertainty but with slightly more skin in the game.

Does anyone have a suggestion for how to bring up the subject and avoid emotional blow-ups?


Weaselina March 13, 2017 at 6:22 pm

I am in a situation where I do not feel comfortable marrying my partner because of the situation with his ex and his kids. I in no way want my income sacrificed for any potential child support, as currently they have 50/50 custody, but I suspect one day the daughter will choose moms house to be close to her friends.

I talked all of my feelings over with my partner before i bought the house we all moved into. House is in my name, and he is earning equity by working on it and paying my share of the mortgage, which is 1/3 of whole since he has 2 kids.

I don’t understand why all the people who felt the step-mother should pony up her income for the kids can see it that way. Being a step-mother is already a huge challenge, with little appreciation, often from kids who will view her as the enemy of “their family” no matter how kind she is to them.

Now she should pay for the abuse?

I think if people decide to marry, they definitely should discuss this honestly beforehand.

I put 20% down on the house we live in, and was clear that the profits from flipping this house in a few years goes into the fund earmarked for my partner and my future emergency and retirement fund. We currently have zero saved up. We have no safety net.

For those of you that feel a new partner owes all of their resources to the kids that came from another union are super short-sighted. And wrong. The adults need to meet their needs as well, and the kids wants should not be a challenge to that.

I told my bf that anything coming out of our investments that have been funded by me are for us, not his kids to use for college or anything else. Ours. Alone. He works, and if he and his ex did not set anything up for the kids prior, why should I give up the only thing i will have for myself? I have no issue pitching into the kitty for my partner and I, but the kids are simply not my responsibility.


Emily July 11, 2017 at 8:52 pm

^^^^THIS 100%^^^^

Here’s the reality of being a stepmom…which you would have no way of knowing unless you become one. So, no. You don’t “know what you’re getting into.” From the instant you come into these kids’ lives…kids who aren’t yours…everyone in your life starts harassing you about it. The kids must ALWAYS come first. You MUST think of the kids as your OWN KIDS. There must be NO difference between your stepkids and your bio kids…none at all. The kids were there first and they will always come first!!!

People get downright rude and pushy about it and feel justified to butt in and comment on your life decisions…kind of like the author of this article is commenting on how her friend chooses to spend HER money. Most people wouldn’t dream of being similarly critical of the financial decisions or other decisions of the bio parents.

Most of this advice is truly terrible advice for blended families. Numerous studies have shown that the kids don’t want their stepmom to act like their mom…and may start to resent her if she does try to act like a mother figure. It’s best for stepmoms to set clear, understandable boundaries…kind of like it seems this woman is wisely doing.

Of course, it’s a total double-standard, too. Nobody goes to children of divorce and lectures THEM about their role. No one says – you have to think of this woman and treat this woman JUST LIKE your OWN MOM. That would seem insane and cruel. Nobody goes to these kids and says: “Now, the thing you have to always remember is that she and your dad are a PACKAGE DEAL, OK?” Again, that would seem silly. But these poor stepmoms are supposed to be superhuman – loving kids just like their own, while the kids have no such expectation…aren’t expected to treat her like a parental figure…sometimes aren’t even required to treat her with basic respect and civility.

Then there’s the matter of divorce. Second marriages end at a higher rate than first marriages. Why should a high-earning woman sink her resources into a child that isn’t hers…a child she will likely never see again if the marriage doesn’t work out. She could be left with nothing in her retirement years after sacrificing for years for someone else’s children…sadly, I know many women who have allowed this to happen to them. It doesn’t even have to be divorce. I know many women who have lost their husbands to death, and the stepkids turn on them the instant the body is in the ground…demanding that she sell off her house (that she helped pay for and maintain for years) and other assets because “it’s their inheritance.” Entitled snots. Knowing all this can and does happen…isn’t a second wife wise to protect herself and her earnings? I know far too many who haven’t and have lived to regret it.

The fact is, parents invest in their children with some expectation of filial love and an ongoing relationship. It doesn’t always turn out that way…but that is the expectation. That expectation doesn’t exist for stepmoms, so I don’t understand why people seem to think stepmoms should be financially responsible for their stepkids. The law doesn’t see stepparents as financially responsible…and I hope that more stepparents, especially stepmoms, will start to be smart and set boundaries like this woman has. The kids have two parents…and you’re not it.


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