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  1. #1
    Crimson_Faerie is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Step Mom's Rights?

    What is the name of your state? Florida

    My husband and his ex-girlfriend share the custody of their six year old son. My husband and I have been together for years and I took part in raising their child. He's come to our house every weekend and I stayed up nights, changed diapers, paid for, bathed, fed, all of the tasks a mom does for him while he is down. He pays child support for this child, and we have two of our own.
    His mother and I don't get along, I don't believe we ever will, and she claims that I have absolutely no rights at all in his life. I find it hard to believe that, after raising and caring for this child, that she can make such a claim.
    My Husband recently got laid off of work, and fell behind on his child support, as well as losing our place to live, our insurance, and everything else that comes with it. He was working with the Child Support Office and filed for unemployment while still looking for another job. She threatened to call the Child Support people, and then followed through with it, saying also that she didn't want me to see my step son anymore. Now they're going to take away his driver's license if he doesn't pay up...which he's paying with his unemployment check.
    That's the run down on the situation, aside from the fact that right now my step son isn't even here, she ships him off to PA every summer for eight weeks and pockets his child support money...last year she got a nice tattoo.
    My question is do I have any rights?
    Can I go down to the Child Support office and make a stand both for my Step Son and my own children?
    If my husband looses his driver's license he can't go to work to pay our bills and take care of our children, if he dishes out all of his unemployment to this woman my family may not survive.
    Can they take away all of his money (so she can get another neat tattoo) full knowing that their are two other children depending upon him to survive?
  2. #2
    Zephyr is offline Senior Member
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    you have no rights to the child dad had with another woman, at all, not being harsh- that is just the way it is

    what kind of stand do you think you can make at the cs office for the benefit of all the children?

    and if dad is having problems getting rehired, why aren't YOU working and supporting your own kids?
  3. #3
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    You have no more "rights" to your step-son than you would to any strangers child. Your hubby needs to file for a modification of the child support. He should have done that when he was laid off.
  4. #4
    Halls is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson_Faerie View Post
    What is the name of your state? Florida

    My husband and his ex-girlfriend share the custody of their six year old son. My husband and I have been together for years and I took part in raising their child. He's come to our house every weekend and I stayed up nights, changed diapers, paid for, bathed, fed, all of the tasks a mom does for him while he is down. He pays child support for this child, and we have two of our own.
    His mother and I don't get along, I don't believe we ever will, and she claims that I have absolutely no rights at all in his life. I find it hard to believe that, after raising and caring for this child, that she can make such a claim.
    My Husband recently got laid off of work, and fell behind on his child support, as well as losing our place to live, our insurance, and everything else that comes with it. He was working with the Child Support Office and filed for unemployment while still looking for another job. She threatened to call the Child Support people, and then followed through with it, saying also that she didn't want me to see my step son anymore. Now they're going to take away his driver's license if he doesn't pay up...which he's paying with his unemployment check.
    That's the run down on the situation, aside from the fact that right now my step son isn't even here, she ships him off to PA every summer for eight weeks and pockets his child support money...last year she got a nice tattoo.
    My question is do I have any rights?
    Can I go down to the Child Support office and make a stand both for my Step Son and my own children?
    If my husband looses his driver's license he can't go to work to pay our bills and take care of our children, if he dishes out all of his unemployment to this woman my family may not survive.
    Can they take away all of his money (so she can get another neat tattoo) full knowing that their are two other children depending upon him to survive?
    Step parents are nothing more than glorified babysitters. It is the fact of life. Step parents were not there at the conception of the child and do not have legal rights of that child either.
  5. #5
    haiku is offline Senior Member
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    First and formost, you say you have two children, THAT should be your priority as parent. You have 2 children, your husband has 3.

    you have no rights to his oldest child, you are not that childs parent in any way. A good way to look at it is to start seeing yourself as that childs "aunt". I think thats a much better descriptor than "Parent".

    your husband has had an obligation to pay to his first child since before he had two with you. AFTER he pays that obligation THAN the rest of his money goes towards the family in his home.

    IF at this time he cannot adequately support your household after meeting his support obligation, you may have to "make a stand" and go to work to help pay for your childrens needs.

    Thats just the way it works. I do not work now, but there have been times in the past I have gone off to work to make some ends in the house meet.
    "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." Frederick Douglas
  6. #6
    MrsK is offline Senior Member
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    Q:My question is do I have any rights?

    A. No

    However, since your husband was laid off, and not fired, he can try for (and probably receive...) a reduction in support since he is not voluntarily unemployed.

    He should do that ASAP.
  7. #7
    jbowman is offline Senior Member
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    Best way to look at this, in all seriousness:

    If you babysat a child every weekend since he was born, would you still feel that you could march down to court and try to do anything to change the support the mother of this child received?

    This is your situation. And um, a tattoo? That is a very petty thing to complain about. What you are saying is that mom took food out of her child's mouth to pay for this tattoo? Or did she not pay rent or electricity for this child so she could get the tattoo? She is obviously taking care of her responsibilities as a parent.

    I get child support each month also. And guess what? Sometimes, I may splurge on a new pair of shoes. Does this mean I am not using child support to care for my child? No ma'am, it does not.
  8. #8
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbowman View Post

    I get child support each month also. And guess what? Sometimes, I may splurge on a new pair of shoes. Does this mean I am not using child support to care for my child? No ma'am, it does not.
    Isn't it funny, that when people are married, they pay little to no attention to the little things that their spouse purchases now and then... new shoes, a manicure, a day at the spa, cool wheels for the car, a CD here and there, whatever. But the second that couple divorces, and one of them is paying child support, THEN all those little things matter.

    But... my ex tried to use my tattoos (one from before we were even married, and one from a few years before we divorced) and the fact that I've purchased 2 cars since we divorced as a reason to not have to pay support because 'obviously' I can't manage money. I thought the judge was going to choke.
  9. #9
    carofl93 is offline Member
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    I seriously doubt that CSE will even let you in to talk. I'm in FL and have been a custodial stepmom for 5 years. I went once with the hubby, and sat in the waiting area.
    It's good that you care for your stepson. Kids need all the love they can get. As step parents we are legal strangers. We have no rights to the children that aren't ours, no matter how much we have them.
    Another thing....did you know he had another child when you married him? If so, you knew he had prior obligations to that child. If it helps, (not trying to be heartless here) think of the CS as a bill. My husband was paying on 2 kids when we married. Still paying on one, and recieving absolutely nothing on the one living in our house.
    Hope this helps.
  10. #10
    Gracie3787 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson_Faerie View Post
    What is the name of your state? Florida

    My husband and his ex-girlfriend share the custody of their six year old son. My husband and I have been together for years and I took part in raising their child. He's come to our house every weekend and I stayed up nights, changed diapers, paid for, bathed, fed, all of the tasks a mom does for him while he is down. He pays child support for this child, and we have two of our own.
    His mother and I don't get along, I don't believe we ever will, and she claims that I have absolutely no rights at all in his life. I find it hard to believe that, after raising and caring for this child, that she can make such a claim.
    My Husband recently got laid off of work, and fell behind on his child support, as well as losing our place to live, our insurance, and everything else that comes with it. He was working with the Child Support Office and filed for unemployment while still looking for another job. She threatened to call the Child Support people, and then followed through with it, saying also that she didn't want me to see my step son anymore. Now they're going to take away his driver's license if he doesn't pay up...which he's paying with his unemployment check.
    That's the run down on the situation, aside from the fact that right now my step son isn't even here, she ships him off to PA every summer for eight weeks and pockets his child support money...last year she got a nice tattoo.
    My question is do I have any rights?
    Can I go down to the Child Support office and make a stand both for my Step Son and my own children?
    If my husband looses his driver's license he can't go to work to pay our bills and take care of our children, if he dishes out all of his unemployment to this woman my family may not survive.
    Can they take away all of his money (so she can get another neat tattoo) full knowing that their are two other children depending upon him to survive?
    Did your husband go to CSE about the problem before his ex did? If so, his ex is pulling the exact same thing that my husband's ex did when he was injured and unemployed. She basically deluged the CSE office with calls, mailed letters and faxes demanding that they suspend his DL and jail him. (yes, there was a modification pending and she had already been sent documents and other info on why he wasn't working) Even though they were already aware of my hubby's situation and had agreed to work with him, they caved into the ex's demands and sent my husband a very nasty letter threatening DL suspension and jail. This is how "we" (but he had to do the visits to CSE) dealt with it, hopefully it will work for you also:

    Your husband should gather all papers proving why he's unemployed and when his unemployment will start. He also needs to get a payment print out from the court clerk's office. If he has anything that confirms any prior communication with CSE, he should also take that. He can then go in to speak to his caseworker. Once the caseworker sees that he has already making arrangments, that payments can be made from his unemployment, and that he's making a good faith effort to pay, the caseworker should be able to drop any further action.
    When my husband did this and the caseworker realized that his ex was just using this as a way to harrass, the caseworker refused to take any further action and later informed the ex that she must stop calling, faxing, and mailing letters until such time as she could prove that my husband wasn't making any effort AND had the financial and physical abilty to pay.

    I hope you husband's worker is as good as my husband's was. Good luck.
  11. #11
    Crimson_Faerie is offline Junior Member
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    Thank You for your Responses

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that took the time to respond to my post. All lot of it was very helpful.
    To those of you that told me that I should "go to work", you're right, I should...and I am. I have had the same job for three years. I am a manager at my job. I work and I take care of my two children. Unfortunately I don't get that much money, and my hours have been cut drastically. I could get another job, but then we'd have to find some sort of day care for while I'm gone from work, the cheapest day care costs a hundred dollars a week, unless I wanted to go through the system, but...oops, that second job would put us over the bracket to receive help. Not to mention, I don't want help, we've made it years without aide, we should be able to continue, there's to many other people that desperately need those funds.
    I was talking about the tattoo that the "ex" got as merely an example, my step son is always sick, under weight, all of his clothes and toys come from us and his paternal grandparents, the "ex" has a boyfriend and that boyfriend's mom is the one that feeds the kids.
    Personally I love tattoos, I have one, and I'd love to get more, but it's more important to me to feed my children then get ink, unlike the line of reasoning in this woman's head. I wouldn't mind her splurging, not at all, if she worked, if her "boyfriend" worked, and if she didn't threaten my husband with jail time because we fell into hard times. Splurging is a good thing from time to time, lest you go insane, overwhelmed with the weight of bills, but, balance your responsibilities. That's all I'm saying.
    My husband and I have been together for ten years, we only got married a year ago. The mother of my step son was a fling while I was away in Cape Cod. It took a lot of work to get over that, and I'm still not completely, but for the most part we co-existed...until this. So, in short I was around a long time before her, and it was me that carried the burden of the family, not her.

    I'm sorry that there isn't anything that we can do. At least anything that I can do. I just thought, that maybe since there were two other children, one only six months old, and she wasn't doing anything to provide for her family, or holding to any of the obligations set forth by the CSE that I could say something. I guess, in the future, maybe Step Parents will have more rights, at least for those of us that care for their Step Children.
    But, for those of you that took the time to answer my question, thanks again, and for those of you who judged, please don't judge me to harshly, I've worked hard for my family, and I love every last member. It looks like it wont matter soon, anyhow, she's leaving to PA, and we'll probably never see my step son again. Which is too bad, but, there's nothing we can do.
  12. #12
    Gracie3787 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson_Faerie View Post
    It looks like it wont matter soon, anyhow, she's leaving to PA, and we'll probably never see my step son again. Which is too bad, but, there's nothing we can do.
    YES, there IS something your husband can do!

    He can file an objection to the ex moving HIS child out of state.

    He can file for contempt if ex is refusing to allow visits that are court ordered.

    Being behind in CS does NOT in any way stop him from enforcing his parental rights for custody and vistation. Especially when he has a legitimate reason for being behind and is making an effort to pay. He should enforce his rights, ASAP.
  13. #13
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson_Faerie View Post
    we'll probably never see my step son again. Which is too bad, but, there's nothing we can do.
    Good Lord - lose the drama. If Dad wants to see his kid, there are things he can do about it. If he doesn't - y'all can quit whining.
  14. #14
    carofl93 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson_Faerie View Post
    I'm sorry that there isn't anything that we can do. At least anything that I can do. I just thought, that maybe since there were two other children, one only six months old, and she wasn't doing anything to provide for her family, or holding to any of the obligations set forth by the CSE that I could say something. I guess, in the future, maybe Step Parents will have more rights, at least for those of us that care for their Step Children.
    But, for those of you that took the time to answer my question, thanks again, and for those of you who judged, please don't judge me to harshly, I've worked hard for my family, and I love every last member. It looks like it wont matter soon, anyhow, she's leaving to PA, and we'll probably never see my step son again. Which is too bad, but, there's nothing we can do.
    Your hubby can fight the move. He can also keep contact logs regarding how many times he is able to talk on the phone, mail stuff etc. My SD's mom moved with her and denied contact for over a year. No visitation, no phone calls, moved 4 or 5 times...and after a year of that, my hubby got custody. Don't write your SS off as a loss and start a pity party just because you didn't get the answers you wanted here. If your hubby does everything by the book, it is possible to get a custody change.
    My SD's mom isn't doing right by her child either. She completely walked out on her 4 years ago...treats her like a doll...play with her head for a while, then walk out again. No one has the Brady Bunch life. Any family is hard....even the regular kind.
  15. #15
    snugglebearss is offline Junior Member
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    WOW I must admit, some of you have been hard on this lady. She came here to try and learn something from someone that might had been in the same situation and wow some took it personally. First my heart goes out to her for that. You have to understand that if she has never dealt with anything like this, sure she is "confused". Try to be nice..

    Crimson, Unfortunatley, they are right. A step parent, no matter how long they have been in the childs life, has no rights. Unless there was some kind of agreement drawn up in the original custody papers, which can be enforced.

    I am sorry to hear all that you are going through with hubby being out of work and the ex. First thing that should had been brought up was that neither parent could leave the state in which the child resides in without prior written consent from the non-custodial parent. Yes this can be done, your hubby could also go back and do a "ammended" visitation, custody to the original paper work and ask that she not be able to leave the state providing she lives here.

    As for the child support. Florida is one of the hardest states to get a "reduction" of payments in, even temporarly. They have no feelings for the non custodial parent. EXAMPLE: My Son turned 26 in may, a yr prior to that I went down and ask them to DROP the back child support. I told them, my Son is 25, I don't need this money, this was my 2nd attempt at doing this. They REFUSED! HELLO!!!! This is NUTS. I finally did finish getting paid off but not because I pushed it, but because Fl don't care! You would think with me being the custodial parent that what I said mattered, it didn't. People don't stop to think that extra 2-3 dollars that the state collects for "their" work adds up into the goverments pockets.

    As for the D. L. issue, One thing I found with my Son and my Son's Father going through this, Is if you go take the time to talk to the worker, they will work with you on the DL issue, sometimes just a small payment can make a big difference in keeping your privleage in driving.

    I don't know what County your in, but they all work pretty much the same. If you cannot afford a attorney, u can get the paper from your local court house and file it on your own. I do strongly suggest a attorney, but if you have enough paperwork backing up your claim, most the time they will take the time to talk to you about. Also remember that in Fl, they first put you through mediation before going in front of the judge. If you can't come to terms, then they will leave it up to the judge. Fl rules states that child support cannot exceed 60% of your wages, and that the spouses income cannot be included in this. My Son applied for a temoporary reduction, in the process, they found that the Mother gave her rights to the Grandmother who now resides in GA. She has filed for support, but because the Mother did this without my Sons knowledge, when he does get the papers for child support, all he has to do is show up in court and the Grandmother automatically loses custody of the child because my Son was suppose to recieve his Daughter if the Mother could not provide for her, In this case, the Mother can't because she is in prison on drug charges, plus has a long line of problems with DCF from her other child. My point is, if you have any concerns about anything like this, it might be worth looking into.

    Okay I have blabbed enough, I probably will get negative feedback myself, but thats okay, I have been there and gone through what you are going through.

    Take care and I do wish you and your family the very best.

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