‘Am I the evil stepmother?’ I’ve one son. My husband has four children and says we must always cut up our property 5 methods. I disagree. What now?


I’ve been married for five years, have a 25-year-old son from a previous relationship and my husband has four grown children from his first marriage, aged 22 to 28. We both entered the relationship with varying degrees of ability. but I would say mostly equivalent. My income is about $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 more annually.

Years ago my son lost his father and received nothing from his death. In fact, I supported my son 100% financially for most of his school years and worked very hard to get where I am today. My husband is a wonderful, caring and loving man and is kind to my son. I couldn’t ask for more.

My step-sons were mostly all grown up when we got married. One lived with us in high school for a year, and at that time we continued to pay his ex-wife support. I try to be there for his children, but there is no real bond. Telephone calls / SMS, invitations to dinner, family outings, etc. are often not answered. The relationship can best be described as “my father’s wife,” which I agree with.

“I try to be there for his children, but there is no real bond. Telephone calls / SMS, invitations to dinner, family outings, etc. are often not answered. “

I can’t say it doesn’t hurt; I don’t see or speak to one in over two years, but there isn’t much I can do other than be here and send out invites when needed. I would say my husband spends more time with my son and has had the opportunity to bond with him more.

Where I fight: My husband thinks we should split everything evenly between the five guys. I do not agree. Maybe it’s my son’s age and what he’s been through. I feel like I’m taking something away from my son to give to boys I have no relationship with. I believe our estate should be split in half, with my half going to my son.

Maybe I will feel different later when my son gets older or after a few more years of marriage. Am i the wicked stepmother? Have I been single for too long and do I have to focus on one focus? I regret not talking about this before we got married, but I believed this would be the fair and right way to deal with things.

How do couples in similar situations deal financially with these difficult decisions?

Torn mother and stepmother

Dear Torn,

Yes, it would have been better to have this conversation earlier, but it’s good that you are talking about it now. And no, you are not a bad stepmother.

I agree with you that splitting it into five ways is excessive and marriage would have helped. If you had met when your kids were very young – Brady Bunch style – I’d understand if you wanted to split your estate up into five ways your husband wishes. Definitely take into account your relationship with your stepchildren and how long you have known them.

The relatively short marriage period between you and your husband, the fact that your children are now young adults, and the quality of your relationships with them will of course play a role in your decision-making. You had a long life and career before you met your husband. There is absolutely no reason to divide the booty of hard work into five ways.

You had a long life and career before your husband. There is no reason to divide the booty of hard work into five ways.

Note other restrictions on spousal inheritance. As far as your own home is concerned, with the “community rent” you can leave your share of your own home to a third party. With a “joint rent”, one partner inherits the other’s share after his death. Your state may have a “right to vote” that restricts how much you can disinherit your spouse.

For example, in New York, the surviving spouse has the option of receiving part of their spouse’s estate. These laws vary from state to state and may depend on, among other things, the length of your marriage, whether you are sharing children from the marriage, the value of your respective estate, and inheritance / non-inheritance property, according to The Demetri Law Firm.

Consult an inheritance lawyer about how much of your estate you can actually leave your son with. Please note all of the above. It’s time to talk about trusts, wills, and beneficiaries. There are many ways in which you can leave money on your son. You may also have bank accounts that were set up prior to your marriage and that are treated as separate property rather than marital property.

And as difficult as your situation now feels, dividing up inheritance into large blended families can be a lot more complicated than yours.

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical issues related to the coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

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