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Author Topic: Newly separated and raising step-child from her prior marriage?????  (Read 2086 times)


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This has all happened within the last month...crazy. Spouse moved out Jan-12. Now living with another man (today is Feb 16). We have two children in common and she has a daughter (my step-daughter) from a prior marriage. I am a great dad and good person. Her infidelity has resulted in the situation it seems. No domestic violence or violence toward the children.

Here are my questions:

1) When I have the children, the step-daughter comes with them, there is nothing official yet as there has been nothing filed.

Question: If I continue allowing her to come over will I have to pay child-support for this child? The child has a father that pays my spouse already. Should I ask for child-support from her because I am raising this child that is not Legally mine but it does cost. I see the kids 40% of the time right now. Am I setting a presidence that could not be favorable to me?

2) Now that there is another man in my spouse's life (they are living together), AND step-daughter has a relationship with her biological father AND the step-daughter will soon have another step-father (dad number 3).

Question: If I decide to end or reduce the time the step-daughter spends with me, can spouse substancially reduce the time I have with my two biological kids. Her idea is to "keep the kids together". What rights do I have so that the schedule we have now is what is kept (regardless of my decision) so that if she decides to "play games" and keep the children from me I can fight it?

Thank you.


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You need an attorney and to file for parenting time. Keep documentation on the times you have them. I don't know how the other child factors in but I don't think you would pay child support for her when her dad is already. I think it's nice that mom is keeping the bond with all the kids.

Get something in writing, regarding your kids, so that she can't just change things for the worse if you do limit SD's time.


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You won't have to pay support unless you legally adopt her. DON"T reduce any time with your step daughter. I am sure you have formed a bond with this child and for you to just stop including her in the visitation would cause some serious psycological damage. If your STBX plays games you're gonna have to take her back to court for contempt, just like all the rest of us do. A "Great Dad" would treat all of his children equally, step or otherwise.


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More info...

Sd has a biological father in her life and he is as active as he can be (I have seen the hell X puts him through). Now, she will have another step-dad in her life. Down the road if anything should happend to X (I hope nothing ever does) the Sd would go to her dad. Also, who is going to give her away for marriage someday? I am not thinking of me but the development of Sd. She has a bio dad and now step dad #2? I talked to a child psych and he said it would be minimal, but a factor, to her development. I intend to still see her and not aboandon her...I just do nt know to what extent. I do not want to be "raising her" but to be a father figure and a resource for her. What about me being able to develop strong relationships with just my two children? Now I am spreading it by 3rds and it will become difficult in the future. It has already been difficult $ wise. Last week I took the kids to get shoes. I felt guilty and bought Sd shoes as well. SD has a dad and mom and they have jobs (they combined are not what I make) but they still have income. It is not about the money but that is a contributing factor as one could imagine.

I make big dollar (important) decisions daily and they are easy, this is more difficult than I had thought.


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just a comment about ............
« Reply #4 on: Feb 18, 2005, 08:26:13 AM »
SD getting married........

My DD is 12. She has told both her SF and her biological that when she gets married that BOTH of her dads are going to walk her down the aisle.

Both dads think this is a good idea .........as long as that is what she wants. And i agree its her day and her choice! It might not be the traditional wedding but when the day comes no matter what she chooses we will all still be very happy for her and her choices


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Your SD needs strong male role models
« Reply #5 on: Feb 18, 2005, 09:30:24 AM »
I am sure you have enoughlove to spread through all 3 children.  I don't see it really cutting your love by 1/3.  There may come a time when your sd doesn't want to come as much.  But if she has an established relationship with you now, I think that cutting her out of your life would be too cruel.  Kids need to know that the people that love them are constant no matter what is going on in the adult world.

That said, do get a parenting plan that outlines the time you want with your kids so that mom can't play games if things don't go like she wants.


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Well, i find it interesting that yo usomehow think your other two kids are going to get less love b/c rather than spreading it among two children, youre "spreading it in thirds".  After your Ws infidelity, this isnt an unusual statement to hear (b/c most victims of infidelity oftne think that theres x amount of love to be given, and it has to be spread out among your lovers).  But really, would you prefer to only have one of your kids at a time b/c you cant love them both as much together as you would when theyre apart?  hardly.

The kids are all siblings, halves or full or whatever.

But do consider one thing:  what are your feelings for her?  mY first response is to tell you that you shouldnt even consider reducing the amount of time you spend wtih her, but then after hearing your reluctance to take her, i almost think shes better off without you.  IM not trying to be harsh, but its clear that you dont love her like your own, and i question what seeing that all the time may do to her.  On the other hand, she will have to face the feeligns of not having a relationship with you at all after having had one for however long.

Wether she has a father figure in her life is not so much the issue IMO.  its your relationshipw ith her.  Dont take her out of pity for her, shell sense that.  SHell have to face it every single time shes with you.  

And i will add, im speaking about this as one who WAS the SD in a similar situation.  I had a relationship (LD) with my own father, my mother remarried, had two children by my stepfather.  They divorced, and my stepfather, after 11 years of raising me, never saw me again and has never seen or spoken to me since then.  Ive been in the same room as him, passed him walking down the sidewalk, and the man never has uttered a word to me since the day my mother left.  He sees his other two kids regularly, and i often was left home with my mother on the weekends he got his other two kids.

Im grown now, and im getting married next month.  Its been 12 years since ive spoken to my stepfather (#2), and on my wedding day, my bio dad and SD#3 will be walking me down the aisle and sharing my first dance.  And neither of those two (my bio dad or stepdad # 3) spent as much time in my life as my Stepdad#2.  Shame, really.

Good luck with whatever you choose, but please, dont do something for her pity.  Do it because you care for her and want whats best for her, and then, whatever your decision, stick with it, please.



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Two boys:

Thank you so much for your honesty and story. I want what is best for SD and in my humble opinion, I am truely the best person she has ever known as a father figure. Not patting myself on the back but SD bio father (and SD's mother on bio side) wants me to see her as much as possible. The future Xwife (and others knowing the situation) have said that as well. This is a very difficult decision but I am beginning to gather good information like your response. Every bit helps. Thank you very much for your input.


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When does she visit BD?
« Reply #8 on: Feb 20, 2005, 06:12:05 PM »
When does your SD visit her BD? If she goes to see him then she will not be with you at those times. As she gets a little older her friends will be more important and I think it will not be as much but right now she needs you since all of this is still new.


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Arizona has no Statutes in which grants step parent visitation rights after divorce. Additionaly the Supreme Court of Arizona has stated that the Superior Court doesn't have the authority to award visitation to a step parent.

I would consult an attorney for sure, but it appears from what I researched that the court nor your STBX can order visitation between you and your step daughter or make the visitation with your children of the marriage stipulated to include your step-daughter.

By the way, if neither of you have filed any paperwork yet... you are at the whim of your Ex to play games with the time you have right now. Personally I would be sitting on an attorney's stoop come Tuesday morning to get immediate custody of the children and then work out the details of who has what precent of custody when after you have filed.




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