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I need a third party opinion.

Here are the facts – I’m married to a women with a 17 YO son who just graduated high school. We have been married for 4 years. I have 2 grown children and 1 in college…and she has 4 grown children with 1 on the way to college.

Here’s the story- “Her” 17 YO old son is entering the University of Alabama on a 4 year Army ROTC scholarship. In preparation for his higher education, I have contributed $300 a month to a savings account and my wife has contributed the $440 a month child support she receives from the child’s father. We have been doing this for more than 3 years…. Thus there should be more than $24,000 in the account. The account is in her name only…I have no access to the account. While we have been married, I have financially supported the son in every way…..cloths, cash, a car, etc.. and never asked for any of the child support funds.

Here’s the questions (issue) – My son is in his third year a Alabama with the help of student loans and a monthly $500 check from me. “His” mother doesn’t pay anything.

Issue #1 – Since “her” son has a really nice “savings” build up from both of our contributions AND is on scholarship, I wanted to stop my contribution of $300 and start to help my son more each month to $800. She doesn’t agree and views this a “unfair”. Remember, I have not asked for any financial support for her son since we got married and have also contributed $300 to his savings for more than 3 years, while my sons has to take out loans and works part time while at school.

Issue #2 – She has advised me that she is paying for her son to take a 2 week trip to Europe as a graduation gift and paying for it out of the “higher education” savings. My has to work this summer to make ends meet!

Am I being “fair” or unreasonable with the issue? :scratchhead:

How should “child support” be factored in the overall home budget? :scratchhead:

Should I oppose the $3,500 Europe vacation? :confused:
 

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Am I being “fair” or unreasonable with the issue? :scratchhead:

How should “child support” be factored in the overall home budget? :scratchhead:

Should I oppose the $3,500 Europe vacation? :confused:
Technically, child support should have been going toward food/clothing/shelter. However, if you are able to provide that otherwise, it's great to be able to use that money to help him with university expenses.

If I ever receive any child support for my children, I would also put it right into their college funds because I have only received a few hundred dollars in total over the last 10 years so I cannot rely on their dad for food/clothing/shelter for our kids.

I think in the end it's hair splitting to determine what should be used for what because I'm sure the main goal is to provide for both of your children and help them both get as good a start as possible. I would think since you both seem to be the main contributors for both sons, that you should agree you both want the best for both of them and work out whatever is equitable in that regard and not get caught up in where every penny comes from.

I don't think I'd make a big issue about the vacation...yes, it's a lot of money but a great experience (I used my own savings to go to Europe the summer before university). I think you should going forward compromise where you both feel your sons are getting a fair deal.
 

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Well... the way I see it....

Her child has a full ride from the army. Go him, congrats is in order. She already made preperations for him, and has a good amount set aside for him.

Your son is scraping to make ends meet, and that is BS. Let your wife know you can not neglect your responsibilities as a father to your son, tell her your sorry, but hey, fair is fair and considering there is no tuition for her son, your son gets the money that you are spending.

If she don't like it, tell her you had your son before her and will gladly go back to that if need be.

And about your son working over the summer.... so? Most kids in college have to work and attend school... let alone just the summer. I know thats what I had to do.
 

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I think you need to lay out the numbers to her and show her.

But I agree with Drac, let the kid go to europe, it is a once in a life time thing, and make sure he knows it from BOTH of you, not just her.

But you guys should ahve planned this all out $$ wise ahead of time to assure fairness and no hard feelings down the line.

My step father paid he children's college education while I was told to pay my own way through college with NO help from my parents ( my father died when I was 1)

So the kids should be humble that you were able to help out, but do not short change the kid.
 

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Hell, no! You are not being unfair. Why should you be helping out your stepson to the detriment of your own child? The fact that you were paying anything towards his college is really nice, but it is more than fair to support your son 100% over her son.
 

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you're not being unfair at all. the fact that you contributed at all to your stepson's fund speaks volumes as to the type of guy you are. Plus the fact that, if my calculations are correct, you put in over $14,000 into that fund, that boy is set for now. by the time he'll need more money, he can get a job. it's time to help your own son now.
 

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I'm guessing that since this is a three-year old thread, that the kid probably does have a job by now. Heck, maybe even a wife and kid--:D
 

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Your stepson is in ROTC. His toast has been buttered and the Army will make sure he gets to see lots of the world's surface. Sending a soldier on an overseas vacation is like sending a fish to a lake. Distributions should be made based on need and not "fair". Fair is a place to ride the Merry-Go-Round and eat cotton candy. I'd invest the most in the kids who are doing the most to better their condition. If I have one kid who smokes dope and lays around the house, they get basically nothing. The one struggling to finish college gets more gravy than the pot smoker.
True fairness would dicate that all 6-7 kids would receive the same monthly assistance and that aint gonna happen nor should it. Not everyone needs or deserves the same assistance.
I'd look at it as an investment. Investing money to send a soldier on a trip overseas seems a little ridiculous to me. Investing money to help one graduate Alabama State and begin supporting himself sounds like the better use of the money. The Army paid me to have a 4 year vacation in Panama, another 4 year vacation in Europe, vacations in Brazil, Honduras, Kuwait, Iraq, Holland, etc, etc, etc. He'll travel often, visit exciting places, meet interesting people and kill them. The young Lieutenant will get 30 days paid vacation each year and the benefit of extremely low-cost travel on the government's dime at rates you and your wife could never match. Spending your money on his travel isn't cost-effective. He'll be ordered to do plenty of travel and he'll have ample opportunity to travel for his own leisure purposes.
 
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