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I’m new to this step-mum thing ... paying extra child support?

Community Member

Step mum help... Advice... Something!?

My partner and I have been together for just over 12 months. He has 4 kids (2 from each previous marriage - 15, 12, 5, 2yrs).
We see the 2 youngest kids half of each school holidays and FaceTime 3x week. We have the 2 older kids 2-3 nights per week. In the circumstances, my partner currently pays the highest rate of child support to each ex (both have full-time employment in good jobs), and then of his own free will he pays half of all extra curricular activities the kids participate in, including half of daycare and preschool for the 2 youngest ones.
We have a joint account, and with all other payments, mortgage, bills on top of this, we live off a small amount each fortnight.
I have expressed that I want to have a child of our own Which he is open to. Ive been working crazy amounts of overtime to put extra into a savings account for this). The problem is though, that no matter how much I try, I just can’t get over the extra that we are paying on top of the court order child support (the most recent ex doesn’t claim the additional as child support payments from us, and she got a near three-figure settlement payout when she left) sometimes it’s an extra $500+ per fortnight to the most recent ex. She also lives with her parents on a property so she doesn’t have a mortgage etc

I’ve tried time and time again to explain this to my partner, that we go without to give his ex’s the extra money. It’s a difficult conversation to initiate, particularly when he won’t budge from the current position and says he “needs to do it”, we end up arguing and then not speaking.

I’m also not allowed to talk to the youngest kids on FaceTime (they live 1200km away) and im not allowed to attend the changeovers (I have to get out of the car at a different location and wait until I get picked up) as the mother goes off if I have any involvement. I feel like I’m just throwing part of my hard earned money at the ex wife. I understand child support is a great thing for single parents with kids, im not against it at all. I am however, an anxious mess wondering what the future might bring, and I may never be able to enjoy motherhood on my own accord. The thought of having this conversation with my partner again makes me want to be physically sick.

Could anyone please afford me some humbling advice or am I being too over the top about it?
Thank you

1 Reply 1

Community Member

As a dad who pays CS and used to pay more then I was required too, I'd say I definitely agree with you that it should cease and only the required amount be paid.

CS use there own calculations based on tax assessments and projected income to determine the payment....this factors in school, daycare and extra curricular activities

I too did it because I felt guilty and wasn't a good father if I didn't.

But at the end of the day the extra only goes to the ex and supports her lifestyle, any benefit to the kids isn't seen by you and isn't appreciated by the kids as they probably aren't aware

In terms of the making you get out the car for exchanges is pretty pathetic, she doesn't control you and doesn't control your partner....but that's something your partner needs to address and I guess judging by the extra CS it's his way of appeasing her.

Good luck