in , ,

Parent Refuses To Split Daughter’s College Fund With Stepdaughter After Wife Depletes Hers

Twin sisters hold out two jars with money in them labeled College.
JGI/Jamie Grill/GettyImages

The price of college these days can be astronomical.

It’s never too late to start preparing.

But what happens when a parent needs to deplete that fund for medical costs?

Redditor Own-Okra-7920 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for not sharing my daughter’s college fund with my stepdaughter?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My wife and I have been married for 14 years.”

“We each have 1 daughter from previous marriages who are going to college this year and we each had a college fund for our own child.”

“Last year, my wife got very sick, and she used all of my stepdaughter’s college fund to pay for the expenses.”

“Now she is insisting that I share my daughter’s college fund with her daughter because her daughter doesn’t have a college fund anymore.”

“My daughter told me that if I do this, she will leave, and I will never see her again.”

“She chose a very expensive college, thinking she could graduate debt-free as I promised her.”

“I told her that her college fund is only hers and I won’t give it to anyone.”

“I don’t want to lose her.”

“Now my wife is mad at me and thinks I’m an a**hole.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA, the college fund is for your daughter, and it would be awful for you to deny her this opportunity.” ~ Kukka63

“OP did not screw over his stepdaughter.”

“Her mother did.”

“Many people in second marriages maintain separate finances in order to protect their assets for their children.”

“OP did nothing wrong.”

“He is not obligated to destroy his child’s college experience to fund his stepdaughter’s.” ~ bbaywayway

“There’s no saying OP would have used their own child’s college fund.”

“If OP had gone ahead and said to use their daughter’s fund, I’m sure people would be up in arms about that too.”

“At the end of the day, there will always be emergency situations people need to cover.”

“The Stepdaughter’s funds should have been left untouched if at all possible, and both parents should have come up with any financial plan possible, but that neither didn’t happen or couldn’t.”

“What you don’t then do, is jeopardize the other child’s future when they’ve got their plans all in place, and it’s something that’s been counted on and perhaps paid for by more than just OP.” ~ LethargicCaffeine

“Here’s a productive idea: Your wife should have made a payment plan for her medical bills instead of raiding her daughter’s college fund.”

“As that ship has sailed, she has to STOP PUSHING THE DEBT FORWARD, so right now, it lies with her daughter.”

“Her daughter can get a loan for her education, and your wife can contribute to paying that off, preferably pay it all off, if possible.”

“That way, it’s not all at once.”

“I don’t know if it works that way, but maybe it’s at a cheaper rate than just getting a random loan, and the debt doesn’t get smeared out, like a black hole, sucking everyone in while they have nothing to do with it.” ~ Special_Lychee_6847

“Many people who love their children deny themselves to fund their children’s college fund.”

“And you do not know how this money came about.”

“It could have been court-ordered as part of a divorce case.”

“It could have been funded by grandparents or an inheritance.”

“OP owes his stepdaughter Zip.”

“What about the stepdaughter’s father?”

“And this is OP’s wife’s responsibility.”

“Many people in second marriages maintain separate finances in order to protect their assets for their themselves and their children.”  ~ bbaywayway

“After being married for 14 years… she had to use her daughter’s college fund for her treatment??”

“I think you guys should have kept the fund untouched and taken a medical loan if the treatment was beyond budget!”

“Imagine if you fall sick next month and need the same amount of money… will you use your daughter’s college fund?”

“Will your daughter hate you for it??”

“Won’t she give the same ultimatum again?”

“I think you shouldn’t have touched your stepdaughter’s fund… it’s unfair on her, too.” ~ South_Landscape_2806

OP responded…

“It is my daughter’s money so it would be her choice whether she helps me or not.”

“But I know my daughter well enough that I know she would not only give me all of her college funds but she also would start working to help me pay for expenses.”

“But even if she didn’t want to do that, it would be fine because I won’t ‘demand’ help from her.”

Reddit continued…

“I’m not American, either, so this is really just quoting options presented by other comments, but – the mother had the option of declaring medical bankruptcy.”

“Money in a college fund would have been considered a ‘protected asset,’ or something along those lines, which essentially means that whatever money is in the fund wouldn’t qualify you as not being bankrupt.”

“In other words, she could have declared bankruptcy, and the college fund wouldn’t have been touched.”

“Either way, the conclusion is – OP’s wife is the one who screwed over her own daughter.”

“Not OP. He didn’t have the money to help pay for her treatment, and in my opinion, he’s correct that it’s not fair to jeopardize his daughter’s future because (assuming the comments I’m referring to above are correct) his wife made a bad choice with money.”

“Really, though, the true ‘bad guy’ in this story is the US healthcare system, which allows its citizens to go bankrupt from having a medical emergency.”

“I saw a quote a while back, along the lines of ‘universal healthcare is such a complicated issue that out of the world’s 30 (?) most civilized countries, only 29 have managed to solve it.'”

“Admittedly, this is a paraphrase of the original quote, as I wasn’t able to find the original; the number is a guess from memory, but is frankly not important.”

“The point was that there is exactly one ‘civilized’ country that faces this issue.” ~ eivind2610

“NTA – your wife used her daughter’s college fund for medical expenses.”

“Didn’t you guys have health insurance?”

“Don’t blame yourself. The $$$ is for her education and hers alone.” ~ Comfortable-Sea-2454

“NTA, in response to your original question.”

“But, I’m anticipating the other shoe to drop here in regards to this story.”

“Was there really no way for you two to handle your wife’s expenses w/o exhausting either school fund?”

“Did she have a really bad health condition that you’re glossing over (big C)?”

“Are you guys underinsured?” ~ shuckyducked

“I don’t think that other commenters are being entirely fair to OP.”

“I’m going to presume during your wife’s illness you were the main earner.”

“For a family of four.”

“So that’s electric, water, food, mortgage/rent, phone/Internet that’s really going to add up.”

“But other people have mentioned a loan could have been used for part of your wife’s medical expenses.”

“However, your wife doesn’t have the right to ask for a penny of your daughter’s college fund. NTA for not sharing the college fund.”

“What is stopping stepdaughter from getting a job or loans in college.” ~ jess1804

“If only you lived in a developed country 😕. NTA.” ~ Borsti17

“As a French citizen, this conversation sounds surreal, from the medical bill side mostly, but even the college fund part, we do have private schools, but good public universities are pretty much free, depending on your future plans.”

“You can also get it paid by an apprenticeship in some graduate programs.”

“If money is tight, why doesn’t she apply for a scholarship?” ~ Myouz

“The competition is insanely high for most scholarships that cover a decent portion of your schooling.”

“There’s a lot of small scholarships out there, but they cover less than a quarter of yearly expenses if they’re even for all 4 years and not just a one-time gift.”

“Yes, America is insane. It’s all capitalist-driven. Money money money.” ~ Mindless-Client3366

“Yeah, this is so insane to me.”

“I have to take three medications, two of which are pretty expensive, but as they’re prescriptions, I only pay 5-10 per package.”

“In my country, if you’re poor, you can also get it for free.”

“And University is, for me at least, about 350 per semester and includes a public transport ticket for the entire country.”

“And if you take out student loans, you only need to pay back half of it in the distant future with no interest.”

“America is freaking wild, and I have no clue how people live there, much less enjoy it.”

“Just imagining my mum getting really sick and not being able to AFFORD treatment is a horrifying idea.” ~ carcrashcinema

Of course, there was another opinion here and there…

“ESH. OP, I get medical costs are insane, and any illness can bankrupt you, but that should have been something you cover as a couple.”

“That you made her cover it on her own is such a bad move.”

“Also, I would think I would take my retirement savings before I went to my kid’s college fund ?!?!?!”

“Where’s her dad? Does he know that fund was emptied?”

“I’m so confused at why that was the fund they tapped.”

“And yes your wife is an AH for thinking it okay for her daughter to share her college fund.”

“I also was wondering if your ex contributed to this fund and was she considered.” ~ Vegetable-Cod-2340

“YTA for helping to create this situation.”

“You state in comments that you couldn’t afford the medical bills.”

“That sucks, and it happens to a lot of us.”

“But there are options other than depleting a child’s college fund.”

“Monthly payment plans are a thing for medical bills.”

“Either you did not have a conversation with your wife about how to find these bills, or you did and are leaving that out of the story.”

“Either scenario makes your TA.”

“A marriage is a partnership.”

“Even in a marriage with separate finances, some costs are shared.”

“Medical bills are a shared cost.” ~ TherinneMoonglow

Well, OP, Reddit is with you on this one, for the most part.

It’s awful that your wife fell so ill.

But that doesn’t mean your daughter shouldn’t receive the education she’s worked so hard for.

Hopefully, there are other financial options her daughter can benefit from.

Good luck.