Question: Dear Luise: My question is about Child Support. My Fiancé has a 12 year old daughter from a previous marriage. My fiancé gets child support for her. The 12 year old DEMANDS her support money every month, in that she basically asks for things we cannot afford. When her mom tells her no she tells her mom that the support is HER’S (the daughter’s) money and she (mom) shouldn’t be using it for Rent and Bills, etc. We are not bad off financially and we do get her things with that money. It is the daughters DEMAND for her money that I am bothered by. I am sure she gets the “it’s her money” from her father, but we need to handle this attitude and help her understand what support is and used for. Do you have any suggestions? B.
Answer: Dear B.: Can you get her biological father to cooperate with you? If so, all of you need to let her know that “demands” don’t build character and that because of her attitude, and with her dad’s approval, all of the child support money is going into her college fund. It is not “play money” for a 12 year-old to “demand.” It was intended to pay the additional costs of your raising her, and reflects he dad’s responsibility in that matter. How it is to be used is not decided at her whim but from your wisdom. It isn’t an “allowance.” Since she has chosen to make it an issue, you are doing what you see needs to be done to help her learn that “demands” are not an option for a dependent child. The money was never intended by the courts to be put in the hands of a minor.
You are probably going to have a “monster” on your hands when you implement this so you all will need to present a solid front and not let her play one of you against the other. She has already gotten away with way too much. Blessings, Luise