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Old 02-27-2021, 11:04 AM   #61
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Well, my thought is to be stealthy about it as 1 yr it may be a car for 1 kid, the next year a house down payment for another. My kids know I believe in keeping the score even over time. What I want to avoid is say my girls seeing I assisted in buying a car for my son and then they immediate think they are getting one too. When I say ďdonít tell your sistersĒ it also comes with a ďnote, I will be doing something equitable with your sisters at the right timeĒ.
Oh I completely understand your rational. It makes total sense. Iím just not comfortable with the secrecy aspect of it. I could see my son in particular having the mindset you worried about with your daughters. I guess my thought there is just ďwell thatís the way it is, you can trust me or not.Ē
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:34 AM   #62
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Here we go with that word "manage" again. Sometimes you sound like you're actually advising/teaching/mentoring your daughter in investments. But most of the time you sound as though you're literally "managing" her accounts. Which is it?
Iím not really understanding the question. I advise my daughter. I recommend how to balance her portfolio and make rebalancing suggestions when warranted. She has to be involved. If she were lazy and uninterested and just told me to make all the decisions she wouldnít be learning anything.

So to me theyíre both the same (manage, oversee, advise- pick a word). If I tell her I think she should consider closing, reducing, rebalancing or adding to a position I explain why, to include being sure she understands the rationale and any potential tax consequences. If she agrees she either does it herself or tells me to go ahead and do it on her behalf.

Itís not like she gives me her money and says ďdo what you think is best with itĒ while taking a handís-off approach. I wouldnít feel comfortable doing that and she wouldnít be learning anything.
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:35 AM   #63
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Well, my thought is to be stealthy about it as 1 yr it may be a car for 1 kid, the next year a house down payment for another. My kids know I believe in keeping the score even over time. What I want to avoid is say my girls seeing I assisted in buying a car for my son and then they immediate think they are getting one too. When I say ďdonít tell your sistersĒ it also comes with a ďnote, I will be doing something equitable with your sisters at the right timeĒ.
One way to avoid that is to tell your girls that you've assisted in buying a car for your son but that they are not getting one too. You can also say to your daughters that you will be doing something equitable with the at the right time.

This accomplishes your stated goal but also eliminates secrecy. I agree with Joylush that secrets within a family are generally something to be avoided.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:22 PM   #64
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One way to avoid that is to tell your girls that you've assisted in buying a car for your son but that they are not getting one too. You can also say to your daughters that you will be doing something equitable with the at the right time.

This accomplishes your stated goal but also eliminates secrecy. I agree with Joylush that secrets within a family are generally something to be avoided.
Donít necessarily disagree about secrets in family, but i do think there is a natural tendency for kid 2, 3, and 4 to start counting the $$ as soon as they see what kid 1 got. With 4 kids, and in my case, 3 of them girls, the score card sometimes takes a few years to balance out., but it does and they know it. Eg my wife has taken our 3 girls on multiple girls trips over the years. Iím taking my boy to Pebble Beach this year. It all works out
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:49 PM   #65
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I'm an outlier here and No Apologizes. I gave all of my kiddos a good start, equal opportunities so far as education, initial Roth contributions, the first car (or two) etc. Everyone had a roof over his head so long as he needed it. If someone chose to drop out of college; I don't own him a down payment on a house to compensate.

They don't need to advise or consult me before they make a major purchase or life decision; although advise is given freely upon request. And I don't have to consult them before I make a gift to one of their siblings. For the time being, at least, none of them is my conservator.

And - if I want to gift kid #3; who is working hard, responsible, but had lower earnings this year due to Covid $5,000 to fund his Roth; I don't have to gift kid #1 an equal amount so he can blow that dough on his fourth ATV; nor do I have to gift each of my other kiddos the same amount.
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:17 PM   #66
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Iím not really understanding the question. I advise my daughter. I recommend how to balance her portfolio and make rebalancing suggestions when warranted. She has to be involved. If she were lazy and uninterested and just told me to make all the decisions she wouldnít be learning anything.



So to me theyíre both the same (manage, oversee, advise- pick a word). If I tell her I think she should consider closing, reducing, rebalancing or adding to a position I explain why, to include being sure she understands the rationale and any potential tax consequences. If she agrees she either does it herself or tells me to go ahead and do it on her behalf.



Itís not like she gives me her money and says ďdo what you think is best with itĒ while taking a handís-off approach. I wouldnít feel comfortable doing that and she wouldnít be learning anything.


I think it is very odd for a parent to be this involved with as adult childís financial business. I have two daughters, each of them married. I have no idea how much any of the four adults make, other than it is likely more than they made two years ago because three out of four of them have gotten new jobs or big promotions recently. I know they were well paid before so I assume itís only gotten better.

I have no idea how their money is invested / saved / spent, other than the obvious purchases we see. They sometimes ask general questions about retirement accounts and Iíve always advised them to contribute at least enough to their 401K to get the maximum match, but I donít know if they do. I also donít know if they are invested in a balanced portfolio or Bitcoin. I feel that weíve modeled good money behavior and itís up to them, as adults, to manage their own affairs.
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:31 PM   #67
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I think it is very odd for a parent to be this involved with as adult childís financial business. I have two daughters, each of them married. I have no idea how much any of the four adults make, other than it is likely more than they made two years ago because three out of four of them have gotten new jobs or big promotions recently. I know they were well paid before so I assume itís only gotten better.

I have no idea how their money is invested / saved / spent, other than the obvious purchases we see. They sometimes ask general questions about retirement accounts and Iíve always advised them to contribute at least enough to their 401K to get the maximum match, but I donít know if they do. I also donít know if they are invested in a balanced portfolio or Bitcoin. I feel that weíve modeled good money behavior and itís up to them, as adults, to manage their own affairs.
I donít think itís odd. It all depends on what the parentís forte is. If you were a builder and your adult child was having a house built and came to you for advice would you tell them theyíre adults, to figure it out themselves?
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If itís a gift....
Old 02-27-2021, 07:35 PM   #68
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If itís a gift....

My belief is that if itís a gift, then no strings attached. If you are using the ďgiftĒ as an incentive, itís not a gift. Your 30 year old whose money management skills leave you unhappy, is a fact of life. Get over it. Itís unlikely any external involvement is going to make her change and will possibly risk your relationship.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:54 PM   #69
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I donít think itís odd. It all depends on what the parentís forte is. If you were a builder and your adult child was having a house built and came to you for advice would you tell them theyíre adults, to figure it out themselves?
I would.

I'm really good at preparing tax returns. Even so, I value my kids' independence and being adults more than my providing them with excellent tax preparation service into their adult lives.

So I'm teaching them excellently (because I'm pretty good at it), but I'm also actively shifting the responsibility, ownership, execution, and management of their taxes to them.

If they ask for advice or information, I'll always give that. And if they ask for help with something they haven't encountered before, I'll teach them about it. But I've set clear expectations with them that they need to be taking over this part of their adult lives. I'm trying to do similarly with other areas of adulting, like college, degrees, careers, dating relationships, investing, etc.

Believe me, I understand the desire to help and to manage my kids' lives. I'm sorely tempted myself every day, and I often fail at it. It's also tricky with teenagers and young adults to know when to be involved and when to back off. I've also realized that since we went through a divorce when they were young that I didn't get to be around them as much as I wanted to so I am "compensating" for that by staying involved now (mine are 26, almost 21, and 19).

It's especially hard as well when we think we know better than they do and think that our involvement will improve their lives. And it may even seem to in the short term. But I don't think it's best in the long term, even if I happen to be better at a particular thing than they are. My involvement beyond a particular point seems to be infantilizing and irritating. I think we need to hand off the reins.

If this train of thought interests you, the book "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend might be useful.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:05 PM   #70
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I never received any allowance or provided one for children other than educational costs, 3 hots and a cot.
It's the best way to instill self reliance & frugality imo.


Ask most Israelis.
Ever read Fortune’s Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt.:
Cornelius Vanderbilt was the richest man in history, worth the equivalent of $250 billion. He left most of it to his heirs. Less than 50 years after his death it was virtually all gone, blown away in a generational contest among heirs to see who could live the most outrageous life – lives that almost all end in misery and disappointment. This book is full of so many lessons about what money can and can’t do for people.~ AFAIK.

Good luck & Best wishes.....
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:10 PM   #71
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My belief is that if itís a gift, then no strings attached. If you are using the ďgiftĒ as an incentive, itís not a gift. Your 30 year old whose money management skills leave you unhappy, is a fact of life. Get over it. Itís unlikely any external involvement is going to make her change and will possibly risk your relationship.
Yes, I believe a gift is a gift to be used as the recipient sees fit. Iíve given gifts regularly. Excessively large gifts can do more harm than good when given to someone who is prone to making poor financial choices.

I donít consider an early inheritance to be a gift per se so Iíll be sure not to refer to it as such in the future to avoid any confusion. If additional early inheritance funds are offered they will be offered as teaching tool to see how they are managed. Depending on the results more will be forthcoming or delayed until more maturity has been demonstrated. If I had an adult child who proved to be completely worthless in the financial management department it would change the way their inheritance would be distributed. Giving them the opportunity to learn with smaller amounts before receiving a large inheritance gives them the best chance of success. And if they demonstrate an inability to make smart choices it will give me the opportunity to arrange things so as to protect them from their financially destructive nature.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:40 PM   #72
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I would.

I'm really good at preparing tax returns. Even so, I value my kids' independence and being adults more than my providing them with excellent tax preparation service into their adult lives.

So I'm teaching them excellently (because I'm pretty good at it), but I'm also actively shifting the responsibility, ownership, execution, and management of their taxes to them.

If they ask for advice or information, I'll always give that. And if they ask for help with something they haven't encountered before, I'll teach them about it. But I've set clear expectations with them that they need to be taking over this part of their adult lives. I'm trying to do similarly with other areas of adulting, like college, degrees, careers, dating relationships, investing, etc.

Believe me, I understand the desire to help and to manage my kids' lives. I'm sorely tempted myself every day, and I often fail at it. It's also tricky with teenagers and young adults to know when to be involved and when to back off. I've also realized that since we went through a divorce when they were young that I didn't get to be around them as much as I wanted to so I am "compensating" for that by staying involved now (mine are 26, almost 21, and 19).

It's especially hard as well when we think we know better than they do and think that our involvement will improve their lives. And it may even seem to in the short term. But I don't think it's best in the long term, even if I happen to be better at a particular thing than they are. My involvement beyond a particular point seems to be infantilizing and irritating. I think we need to hand off the reins.

If this train of thought interests you, the book "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend might be useful.
I have no desire to manage my kidsí lives so I donít really relate to you there. But if they come to me for help or advice on a topic I will certainly guide them as best as I can. And if it involves a topic Iím well versed in I wouldn't tell them to go figure it out themselves. So I disagree with your style in that regard. Just like I wouldnít discourage them if they looked for advice from anyone experienced in whatever they needed guidance with. Isnít that what youíre supposed to do? Know yourself well enough to know when it makes sense to ask for help and guidance. In my experience the smartest people are the ones who recognize what they donít know.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:50 PM   #73
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Iím not really understanding the question. I advise my daughter. I recommend how to balance her portfolio and make rebalancing suggestions when warranted. She has to be involved. If she were lazy and uninterested and just told me to make all the decisions she wouldnít be learning anything.

So to me theyíre both the same (manage, oversee, advise- pick a word). If I tell her I think she should consider closing, reducing, rebalancing or adding to a position I explain why, to include being sure she understands the rationale and any potential tax consequences. If she agrees she either does it herself or tells me to go ahead and do it on her behalf.

Itís not like she gives me her money and says ďdo what you think is best with itĒ while taking a handís-off approach. I wouldnít feel comfortable doing that and she wouldnít be learning anything.
Emphasis added.

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Yes, I believe a gift is a gift to be used as the recipient sees fit. Iíve given gifts regularly. Excessively large gifts can do more harm than good when given to someone who is prone to making poor financial choices.

I donít consider an early inheritance to be a gift per se so Iíll be sure not to refer to it as such in the future to avoid any confusion. If additional early inheritance funds are offered they will be offered as teaching tool to see how they are managed. Depending on the results more will be forthcoming or delayed until more maturity has been demonstrated. If I had an adult child who proved to be completely worthless in the financial management department it would change the way their inheritance would be distributed. Giving them the opportunity to learn with smaller amounts before receiving a large inheritance gives them the best chance of success. And if they demonstrate an inability to make smart choices it will give me the opportunity to arrange things so as to protect them from their financially destructive nature.
Emphasis added.

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I have no desire to manage my kidsí lives so I donít really relate to you there. But if they come to me for help or advice on a topic I will certainly guide them as best as I can. And if it involves a topic Iím well versed in I wouldn't tell them to go figure it out themselves. So I disagree with your style in that regard. Just like I wouldnít discourage them if they looked for advice from anyone experienced in whatever they needed guidance with. Isnít that what youíre supposed to do? Know yourself well enough to know when it makes sense to ask for help and guidance. In my experience the smartest people are the ones who recognize what they donít know.
Emphasis added.

The emphasized parts seem inconsistent to me. But I'll bow out since you don't seem to be understanding my point and don't seem particularly interested in doing so. Still, I wish you and your children well.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:29 PM   #74
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Emphasis added.



Emphasis added.



Emphasis added.

The emphasized parts seem inconsistent to me. But I'll bow out since you don't seem to be understanding my point and don't seem particularly interested in doing so. Still, I wish you and your children well.
Probably too many assumptions being made due to too little information understood or given to see the whole picture. . We seem to agree allowing them to stand on their own two feet is of utmost importance.

Mine stand to inherit an enormous inheritance. I will feel better knowing they will be able to handle it and that it helps, not harms them. Over 70% of inheritances of that size are lost by the second generation. My hope would be to beat those odds. I’m not convinced I’m there yet. One of the best ways to insure that doesn’t happen is to give them the tools they need to insure it doesn’t. Still learning on how best to achieve this goal. It’s a work in progress. Thank you for your input.
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Old 02-28-2021, 03:10 PM   #75
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...One contributes fully to their Roth IRA as well as to their brokerage account and allows me to manage the account. The other tells me nothing. Not because Iím at all judgmental (only encouraging) but because they are likely embarrassed.
Anyway, to encourage savings I was trying to come up with a way to give them choices as far as my gifting was concerned. My thought was to offer them 100% match on any Roth IRA contributions they make. So they put in $3000, I match it with $3000. The other option is to choose a straight out $1500 gift, no requirements.
So they would be given the choice of doing nothing and with no oversight getting $1500, or saving $3000 and getting $3000 with some oversight. I suspect one would choose the higher value option and I have no idea what the other would choose. But if it was their choice and their sibling got more by doing more they couldnít claim preferential treatment or favoritism. Does this sound like a reasonable thing to offer?
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... Who wouldnít take advantage of a free service like that? Oh, I know, a spendthrift sibling.

I donít want to be an enabler. I would prefer to give each of them the maximum amount allowable per year without having to file a gift tax return, $15,000 each. But I feel stuck because Iíd be 100% comfortable doing that for one and feel 100% foolish doing it for the other. So itís like the responsible one is losing out in my attempt to be fair.

What is my goal? To reduce my estate size so as to avoid having my estate pay estate taxes in the future. To encourage financial responsibility and behavior in my offspring and not drop a boatload of money into the hands of one who will not manage it wisely.

The most financially prudent thing to do would be leave everything to one child and give them oversight of what is left to the other. But that would not benefit their relationship no matter how well intended so is not a consideration. If the less responsible one can show me they are responsible it would benefit them greatly.
Iíve seen the damaging effects of rewarding irresponsible behavior and I wonít go that route.
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...My son canít fix a thing. We recently tried to instruct him how to change out a dryer cord. When asked if he had a socket set, he said, ďA what?Ē

Whereas his sister was just just telling me how she reset the thermostat on her water heater after troubleshooting it. When I asked her how in the world she figured that out she said I remember you had that issue after a power outage at one of the rentals and you told me there was a reset button so I watched a YouTube video and found where it was located so I didnít have to ask you where it was.

Both kids were exposed to the same things, at the same times being the same ages. I donít get it either. But one takes after me and the other takes after their father, an incredibly smart, unhandy, high risk personality type.

Joylush, You said you aren't judgemental in your first post but that's what you've done in almost every post. It doesn't matter if they "were exposed to the same things, at the same time", we are all different. If someone is not mechanical/handy you can't make someone handy. If someone isn't financially interested you can't make them interested. Your son may change on his own but at 30, a mother pushing at him, won't change his ways. It sounds like you have two great children. Give because you want to, not because you are trying to change what you see as bad financial decisions. Just curious, does your husband feel the same way about gifting to your children?
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:10 PM   #76
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Most of my networth is sitting in a Roth IRA. While I would like to give some money to my kids (any money I gift them, I would be pulling from my Roth), I wonder if they would be better off inheriting my Roth after I die (the problem being I may not die for a while).
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:26 PM   #77
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DGF and I have four kids between the two of us. Three get $1000 per month with the instructions to spend some, save some and give some to those less fortunate. I ask for no other information as to what they do with it. All have kids and cash is always appreciated. We also have 529 plans for the five grandchildren.

With the fourth kid I fund his Roth, invest some in his brokerage account and he gets $400 a month for whatever he chooses. He has no spouse or kids so I don't think he needs more than that each month as he also has a job.

All are grateful for the $$$, we have way more than we need and it gives us pleasure to give it while they really need it as opposed to when they are older in life without kids, etc. It's not enough to be life altering so I don't worry a whole lot about it.

Everyone has their own methods and beliefs. I guess if we felt one of them was squandering the gifts then we might cut them back or take the money and put it in their kids 529 plans. For now it works fine and has been for the last five years.
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:40 PM   #78
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Most of my networth is sitting in a Roth IRA. While I would like to give some money to my kids (any money I gift them, I would be pulling from my Roth), I wonder if they would be better off inheriting my Roth after I die (the problem being I may not die for a while).
Hard to say.

Do note that with the SECURE Act, they'll generally be required to drain the Roth IRA within 10 years of your death. The withdrawals will be tax and penalty free, but will lose their Roth protection in that way.

But if you have any estate tax exposure, gifting from a Roth is probably a good way to reduce your taxable estate. Pulling a lot from your traditional may expose the withdrawals to high income tax brackets.
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:42 PM   #79
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Joylush, You said you aren't judgemental in your first post but that's what you've done in almost every post. It doesn't matter if they "were exposed to the same things, at the same time", we are all different. If someone is not mechanical/handy you can't make someone handy. If someone isn't financially interested you can't make them interested. Your son may change on his own but at 30, a mother pushing at him, won't change his ways. It sounds like you have two great children. Give because you want to, not because you are trying to change what you see as bad financial decisions. Just curious, does your husband feel the same way about gifting to your children?
Yes, thatís what Iím afraid of. Of course I know the bigger picture, my sonís lack of moral character in some areas, his high risk behavior, etc...but Iím not sure itís wise to post the details on a public forum and thatís the only way to fully grasp why I have the concerns I have. Both my twins are academically gifted high achievers, graduated high school with associates degrees, etc...When I said they were exposed to the same things at the same times, at the same ages it was to show that one chose to learn and the other chose not to.

My daughter is smart enough to recognize what she doesnít know, to learn from others. My son suffers from what I call being too smart for his own good. Thinking he can outsmart the system, cheat, cut corners, etc and not get caught because he knows heís smart. In my book itís not something to be proud of. I only mention intellectual capability to say itís not that heís not smart enough to better. He is very smart but seems to lack common sense and a bit of moral compass. He does have some good traits as well.

His father is my ex husband after 24 years. He also is extremely intelligent but high risk behavior personality who thinks he knows everything and then it comes back to bite him. I spent many years protecting him from himself. Our divorce was about seven years ago.

His father left the marriage with more than $5,000,000. Itís gone. As far as I know pretty much all gone. Much of that lost by being scammed and other reckless decisions (think Filipina women and buying properties in the Philippines without realizing foreigners canít actually own property in the Philippines, think expensive cars, etc...). What is he doing now? He lives in a small home in a remote western state (because itís on the high ground for when the end of the world comes) and he spends his time preaching QANON conspiracy theories, alienating all his friends and scaring his family who are beside themselves.) And apparently he smokes a lot of weed. Something he never did before but was a big drinker which I understand has changed. While I was entitled to half his military pension I chose not to ask for any of it because I predicted this would happen and knew eventually it would be all he had. Unfortunately I also agreed to less than a 50/50 split because he earned more during the marriage and I didnít think it was fair for me to take half. As you may have noticed Iím all about being fair. My kids have both told me separately they wish I hadnít been so generous because then less of it would be gone. I always felt like I was holding my ex back from something due to my more conservative nature but I really had no idea how right he was when he said he needed me to protect him from himself.

In any case Iím sad because my son wants nothing to do with his dad anymore. He is difficult to be around and I realize my son is just scared being around him and feels heís lost his father. My daughter loves and supports him unconditionally but after staying with him for awhile it has become a real challenge for her. My son claims heís nothing like his father but as I see it, itís very much the opposite.

So right you are! When people show you who they are believe them because theyíre not likely to change. I guess Iím still holding onto hope that with maturity I will see a change. As some people here have stated they are different at 40 than they were at 20, or 30.

I know whatever my ex has left to give he will give equally. I donít believe he gives anything currently because he has nothing left to give. He was already way too generous with strangers he barely knew who took advantage of him. He was warned, but he knows everything. Like father like son.
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