Step Mom's Role


My husband has had primary physical custody of his two children since 2009. I have been in their lives since they were 4 and 1, they are now 14 and 11. With my husband having primary physical custody of the children this means that they are with me a lot. I take them to games,practices,church and have to do everything I do for my own biological children when they are with us (which is about 70% of the time). Up until the past year their mother rarely went to their games, school activities, first day of school etc and now she has came back into their lives full force and wants to do everything with them(her live in b/f kicked her out) which I/we are fine with her being involved b/c they need their mother BUT now she doesn’t want me doing ANYTHING for them. Well, she’s fine with me doing the everyday routine stuff with them but when it comes to special activites like school dances,homecoming games, field trips etc she doesn’t want me to be a part of at all anymore (but it was fine when she lived with her x b/f).I just don’t know why we can’t all be involved in their lives.
I don’t know what to do b/c I hear all these stories of “overbearing step parents” and how that can be detrimental to a case but the majority of the stories I hear about, the father only has custodial visits not primary physical custody. I do not want to be deemed as an overbearing step mother but at the same token I feel like I deserve to be involved to some extent as much as I do for them not to mention the kids want me involved.
I guess my question is that if for some reason in the unforseen future that she decides to take my husband back to court to regain physical custody of the children (14yrs and 11 yrs) I just don’t want my involvement to be an issue. She is their mom and I do not want to take her place BUT I can’t help they are with my husband and I as much as they are either. I have a hard time thinking that a judge would reverse custody being that we have a great family and church life for the children and they are extremely happy and striving in athletics and academics. Where do I or should I draw the line being a spouse of a husband that has primary physical custody the children?


There is a difference between being a domineering step-parent and just being an involved PARENT. You are a parent who seems involved in your children’s (biological or not) well being. Judges do recognize this. Unless their mother can prove that you are a danger to the children then she has little say over which activities you are involved with. So long as you have the father’s consent as to your involvement and are not undermining an existing custody agreement then you should be fine.

Just to clarify – if their agreement states that the bio-parents are to collaborate for major decisions effecting the children then it is important that you respect that part of the agreement – i.e. don’t change the kids schools, etc. as that would be a major decision.

Based on what you describe if she were to take you to court you should easily be able to prove her lack of involvement for extended periods of time and your consistent involvement.