That’s not the question she should be asking!

Posted on Posted in Comments on the 'News'

I noticed an article about a ‘mother’ who was posting to popular forum, Mumsnet, for advice from her peers on her situation with her partner, who seemed to be expecting her to pay for his child’s school fees.  The original post and it’s many, many responses is here:

I haven’t read all the responses, but my immediate thought having read her initial post, was, ‘that’s not the question you should be asking!’

Though admittedly my very immediate second thought was that this was a made up post in order to stimulate discussion.  I am further encouraged to believe my second thought is accurate because in a thread of nearly a thousand posts, the initial post appears to be one of only four by the ‘mother’…so, bit of a publicity push methinks. Most threads started on Mumsnet have a fair number of posts made by the original poster in response to the ‘advice’ they receive. Seems odd that this ‘mother’ has only responded a few times, and seems to take no offence whatsoever at those who have been critical towards her.  In my view, that’s almost concrete evidence the problem isn’t real.

That said, if there were such a situation that someone was facing, the actual question should not be the one posed.


Because the answer to that question is undeniably simple. It’s ‘NO’. A clear and unequivocal ‘no’.  There’s no reason for her to meet the school fees of a child that is not hers, even if that child will be living in her house.  But as I said, this isn’t the question she should be asking.

The real question is, has she ensured that she’s signed a deed of trust for the property she has paid the deposit for?  Has she accurately worked out, and had legitimised, his likely share of the property should they break up in future?  Those are the real questions.  Those are the pressing issues, because her man doesn’t strike me as a keeper.

It’s clear, if she is buying the house, unless they live somewhere where property is insanely cheap, that he’s not going to be making much of a contribution from his minimum wage job and therefore her best interests are served, not in being sidelined by his daughter’s (and his) demands for her to pay the school fees, but in protecting her financial interests in the house.

It doesn’t bode well that a man who managed to keep schtum about his expectations until the house was bought and they were about to move in together, is now thinking he’s in the right that his child should have her fees paid for by someone who is not related to her and didn’t offer to do so.  His expectation would be right if he was bringing in an equal income and was actually contributing towards the school fees of the other two children, but on £16k a year he’s clearly only barely managing to cover his own living expenses.

My advice would be forget the unreasonable school fee demands and concentrate on ensuring your financial interests in the property are fully protected.

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