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Should a stepfather be responsible for costs of contact

Filed under: General — Pritchards @ 5:02 pm Thu 2nd March 2017

Appreciate your views here, as legally the poor old step dad is right royally rogered

If the mother has no income, the stepfather has enough income to look after the step child and 2 biological children, then should he have to contribute to travel costs to ensure contact between his step child and the biological father?

Both from alegal and moral perspective, I am interested in your views (yes, even you jerry).

many thanks!


  1. It’s one of those things men sign up for when they become step fathers.

    There is a few feminist arguments that your money is hers.

    Do you get Working for families?
    If you did then that money is supposed to be hers.

    Does she get child support?
    Then that money is for the child’s costs.

    She is not working but you are.
    Then due to her future losses.
    You are required to pay her spousal support.
    Taken into account when deciding relationship property.

    So in some ways when you spend money it’s according to the state her money. Despite you earning it.

    If the mother moved away from the father.
    Should she pay all the costs?
    Has the court decided both are at fault or there is no fault in regard to the circumstances and decided each party pay half?

    If the mother can’t afford the costs.
    Get a job like Anybody else with financial issues has too.

    Costs of travel by the father should reduce the child support liability.
    If that is the case.
    He should be paying all the costs?
    But little child support.

    End of the day.
    Your male.
    Apparently it’s ok to call you a provider.
    But sexist to imply women are not.
    Even when they are not.

    I am presently a stay at home dad with two young children.
    With a young adult son at home too.
    So my partner is in your position as the working, paying step parent.
    If he costs us money.
    I pay.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Thu 2nd March 2017 @ 5:58 pm

  2. Thanks DJ Ward for the well-considered comments, much appreciated.

    More than happy to pay for day-to-day living costs, as father pays the square root of sfa.

    Comment by Pritchards — Thu 2nd March 2017 @ 6:16 pm

  3. Legally there would be no automatic obligation on a step dad to pay for a step-child’s contact with the other parent, unless the stepdad entered into a court or legal agreement to do so for whatever reason. Morally I guess it would depend on many factors such as how close and caring the stepdad feels towards the child, the nature of the relationship contract (spoken or unspoken), and the stepdad’s view of the benefits for the child of the parental contact. Essentially though I would not accept any moral responsibility other than what I agreed to.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Fri 3rd March 2017 @ 7:51 am

  4. It depends if the Mother has a legal responsibility to contribute to the travel costs (by means of Child Support through the IRD), then I suggest the Stepfather pay in her place. If not, the IRD will will be charging HER penalties quicker than her head can spin. Furthermore, why isn’t she working ? “Not working” is frequently viewed as a way to avoid your “responsibilities” to your children. IRD will do an Admin Review and she WILL lose unless she is physically unable to work and is an invalid.

    Comment by golfa — Fri 3rd March 2017 @ 9:20 pm

  5. #4 golfa

    No legal obligation via child support, IRD are not involved

    Mother has twins under 3 years old to raise as well, this is why she is not working.

    She is doing unpaid work, to be fair.

    Comment by Pritchards — Sat 4th March 2017 @ 6:43 am

  6. #5 So she contributed to the travel costs before ?

    Comment by golfa — Sat 4th March 2017 @ 7:06 am

  7. Yes, before getting the twins. Forced to by parental agreement

    Comment by Pritchards — Sat 4th March 2017 @ 4:34 pm

  8. #7 No, no, she wasn’t “forced”. She signed the “agreement”. She can’t back out now unless she goes back to Court and attempts to get it changed. And if the stepfather doesn’t want her to be in breach of a Court Order, I suggest he pays. I’m assuming the “parental agreement” has been registered with the Court and turned into an Order.

    Comment by golfa — Sat 4th March 2017 @ 7:34 pm

  9. Yes yes she was forced. The parental agreement was a court order that a judge decided.
    She is in the process of getting it changed. Hence the questions to this forum.

    Comment by Pritchards — Sun 5th March 2017 @ 8:58 am

  10. #9. If she was “forced”, then it must have been under threat of something. Like loss of custody etc. If she ends up in front of the same judge, it will be pretty difficult getting that judge to change his/her decision. Especially if the Father puts forward the argument that she became pregnant in order to give up work and to avoid paying her parental responsibility as ordered by the Court. The IRD use this argument all the time when paying parents take on a lesser paying job in order to spend more time with their children. They don’t see it that way, they see it as if you’ve done it on purpose to reduce the amount of child support you have to pay.

    Comment by golfa — Sun 5th March 2017 @ 9:11 am

  11. Golfa

    She was ” “forced ” ” by the court order to pay some travel costs when she had no income and was looking after 1 year old twins and a 4 year old.

    As you’ve noted, the judge ain’t gonna change his mind so not really voluntary.

    She is now seeking leave of the court order and the father had agreed as he was struggling/failing to meet his obligations.

    Comment by Pritchards — Sun 5th March 2017 @ 7:52 pm

  12. #11. If both parents are struggling to live up the the Court Order, just ignore it. After all, it is just a piece of paper. And there is nothing the Court can do about it …. until one of the parents decides that the other parent’s noncompliance is more egregious than their’s and takes the matter back to Court. Until that time, the Court doesn’t give a toss.

    Comment by golfa — Sun 5th March 2017 @ 8:45 pm

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