Dear Abby: Boyfriend wants a piece of woman’s child tax credit

Though he pays for very little of their kids’ expenses, he feels entitled to at least half of the money just for being the father.

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DEAR ABBY: My daughter received her tax refund recently. It amounted to $8,700. Approximately $5,000 is for overpaying on taxes. Approximately $3,000 is the child tax credit she receives for her two children. Her boyfriend, the father of the two boys, thinks he’s entitled to some of her money.

Now, I understand the child tax credit is given for financial help for the children. My daughter and I agree that the $5,000 is hers exclusively as she is the one who paid those taxes. As far as the child tax credit is concerned, her boyfriend thinks that he should be entitled to at least half of that because he’s the father. We think because she is the one paying for the year’s health insurance, doctor copays, prescriptions and most of the diapers, wipes, pullups and other incidentals, it should all be hers.

Don’t get me wrong. Her boyfriend does contribute to the household and is a great guy. They split most of the bills. After five years, this is their first big disagreement.

He chooses to get money during the year, so of course he gets a lower tax refund at the end of the year. FYI, she pays less for the baby supplies because she works at a well-known warehouse. He contributes when they are low by picking some up at the grocery store. What advice do you have? — MONEY WOES IN THE EAST

DEAR MONEY WOES: Watch your daughter’s “great” boyfriend closely because his stance is troubling. Because he is the father (!) doesn’t mean he has a right to any portion of the child tax credit. If he needs reimbursement for the items he picks up for his children at the grocery store, your daughter should repay him out of her salary, not by forking over half of her tax credit. That money is intended for the kids, not for any one parent. If things aren’t clear enough, consider putting the tax credit money in a separate account.

DEAR ABBY: My brother “Frank” passed away last month. He didn’t have any underlying medical conditions, so it was a shock. My problem is, when I was 9 and he was 14, he used to molest me while my mother was working.

For years, I never told anyone, but when I was 40, I told my mom and big brother. Both of them believed me. For the past five years, I had been there for Frank and his daughter, but I was always waiting for an apology from him that never came. Now it’s all I dwell on. How can I move past this and try to remember the good times? — PERPLEXED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR PERPLEXED: Your religious adviser may be able to help you with that. However, if you are not religious, it may take some sessions with a licensed mental health professional. Your niece, Frank’s daughter, should be asked if her father ever did anything that made her uncomfortable because, if he did, she may need professional help.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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