Life is expensive, even if you make a good living. Life is triple expensive if you're supporting both your own children and stepchildren. Budgeting so that things are fair for you and the kids can get really hard, really fast.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she's wrong for not wanting to pay for her stepkids' private schooling. She wrote:
I (36f) have one (13F) child. My husband (46) has 4 kids (13F,11M,8F,6F) with his ex wife. Their divorce was very amicable and he gladly pays for his ex’s home and cash support as she was a SAHM. This amounts to close to 8k a month. He makes 250k (15k month net) while I make 400k (around 23k a month, varies). I would guess his ex makes 60k a year now.
We live in a high-cost-of-living city so my ex's house is only 3 beds and ours is 4 beds (almost 10k a month). Before marrying me he lived in a studio down the street and he would take the kids during his days but put them to bed at her house. I lived in a two-bedroom paying 4k, so my daughter had her own room. Now, his kids share a room at our house when they are here 30% of the time.
We have an uneven amount of kids and can’t afford a 6 bedroom. I have put my daughter in her own bedroom. She’s only 2 months younger than my oldest stepdaughter and is with us almost all the time. Her father is out of state and I receive meager child support.
Between that and my daughter attending private school (started 2 years ago before we married), I pay a little less than half my salary every month to tuition and mortgage payments. Ex-wife is now asking my husband to either allow my oldest stepdaughter or stepson to have their own bedroom, and to send all the kids to private school. Quite frankly, we can’t afford it.
I am making great money now but was basically paycheck to paycheck most of my daughter’s life. I pretty much decimated my retirement and got into big debt (100k) to start my business that just started thriving last year. She is claiming I am treating my child like the favorite. I have always instilled academic values in my child- she has never received anything less than an A and has a lot of dreams.
The other kids are great kids but they do not value education as much. I’m not judging, just evaluating, but the kids are different. They have been raised differently, and that's fine. I told my husband we can consider private school for each kid individually as they get older and they possibly get more academic rigor but sending 5 kids to private school is just out of the question.
I feel like I am being expected to foot this bill because I am successful but I also have my long-term financial security to work out. He has a healthy retirement (to which ex is entitled to half) and I have nothing to fall back on if my industry gets a downturn. My career is half his career’s age, I do not have wealth like he has.
I asked my daughter if she was okay sharing a room with her stepsister, and she said she would prefer not to since the kids are messy. AITA for not wanting to pay for all my stepkid's private schooling and changing up rooms?
NTA. It sounds like you, and only you, are paying for your daughter's school. Fair would be either him, or him and his ex, paying for their kids schooling. Tell husband that he can stop sending his ex money and put that money towards the kids getting private school. For the kids getting bedrooms, they have bedrooms, they have to share, and that sucks, but it is what it is.
NTA. Your husband his and his ex are positively bonkers for thinking you should foot the bill for all FOUR of their children's private school educations, all because you pay for your ONE biological daughter's. Could they not be aware of how much it costs or something? They are absolutely responsible for their own children's schooling.
NTA! You need to fully fund your retirement and get out of debt before anyone else starts spending your money for you! You are screwing up your future to make everyone happy now. If you won’t do it for yourself, take care of it for your daughter. What would happen to her if you were injured, disabled, or killed in a car crash tomorrow?
Would your husband take care of her interests, or give everything to his other kids? You need to get an accountant, lawyer, or financial planner to get your ducks in a row now that you have assets to protect for your daughter. Do you even have life insurance?
NTA. Ex-wife wants to use your income to supplement child support. She tried it...you refused...that's done.
As for the room situation, you married a man with four kids. The room situation was a foreseeable issue. The stepson/stepdaughter were never going to be able to share a room longterm. 😕 Just because they're there 30% of the time now, does not mean it always be that way. You know, from your own situation, that custody arrangements are fluid.
NTA. Your child first always. If the father can't pay for their school or have another room, it's not your problem. If your business wouldn't go so well, do you think the ex would be willing to pay something for your child?
They are trying to take advantage of you and your success. Build your wealth first and take care of your child. Your husband’s children have both their parents to take care of them, and your daughter only has you, apparently.
OP is NTA here, her husband and ex both need to pull their weight.