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Author Topic: Advice on son asking for clothes, laptop, etc.  (Read 2755 times)


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Advice on son asking for clothes, laptop, etc.
« on: Sep 03, 2011, 06:52:58 PM »
Update:  my case is still ongoing, I'm going after a change in custody due to my ex-wife being married to a boy (14 years younger than her) who was convicted of beating up our daughter.  At present, LBFH has primary physical custody and I pay child support.

15 year old son started having an attitude because my wife and I just bought laptop computers with a one-time settlement we received.  We also bought a computer for one of my stepkids to use for school (not too expensive.)  He is asking why we didn't buy things for him instead, such as school supplies, more clothes, a laptop, etc.

LBFH is not a very good mother (hence the reason for the motion to modify) and doesn't know how to manage money.  She receives both child support and state aid, neither she or her new husband have a very good work ethic.  Money rarely gets spent on the kids from what I can tell.... another example, one of the daughters is college age but doesn't see any of the money.... in fact, this daughter has been working since she was 16, and the mother frequently borrows money from the daughter

On one hand, I pay child support diligently and feel that LBFH should be providing these things.  We did purchase new shoes at the end of summer, as the shoes she sent him in had literally worn through.  Providing all of these things would be like paying child support twice, and other than the said settlement, we're a paycheck to paycheck family and can't afford to take food off of our own table.

On the other hand, I don't want to see my kids suffer just because they have a bad mother and stepfather.

What's a good way to answer such requests from my son?  I know that I'm not supposed to disparage the other parent, which might be inferred from suggesting that she should be buying this stuff for him.  However, I don't feel that I should have to "cover" for her mistakes, making myself out to be the faulty parent in the process.

Regarding the request for a laptop, I've given them computers in the past and they seem to "disappear" (a polite way of suggesting that she drinks them up.)  I'd likely get him a laptop for school if he lived here, but not sure if I should actually say that, as this would be construed as me bribing him to tell a GAL that he wants to live here.


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Re: Advice on son asking for clothes, laptop, etc.
« Reply #1 on: Sep 03, 2011, 07:49:47 PM »
I definitely wouldn't tell him that you'd get one for him if he lived there. But, given that you have already bought them computers in the past and that are now gonetrashed, you could simply say that you don't want to purchase such a high ticket item given the history of computers missing/broken at his other home. That way, it's not placing blame on the ex that she should be providing this stuff, but at the same time putting you in a position to buy one. A laptop isn't something a child needs, no matter what the age.
If your son needs school supplies, buy them if you have the money. That kind of stuff shouldn't be about if the other parent should be providing it. My husband and I buy my SD's school supplies every year for the last 3 years, and bought some after school started the year before we started buying school supplies every summer. He pays CS monthly, pays for all transportation, provides medical/dental insurance (and co-pays and uncovered expenses), he provides for SD in our home, and he provides clothing for my MIL's home (where SD is EOWE due to us being overseas with the military). We spend thousands a year in addition to CS between all of that. We don't feel we should HAVE to buy the school supplies given the ex gets CS, but my SD wouldn't get it if we didn't. It's our duty as parents to make sure our kids have what they NEED, regardless of who SHOULD provide it.


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