Not every relationship is destined to work out. But when there’s at least one child involved, it’s expected that both parents will chip in.
But some estranged parents do their best to avoid providing any kind of support, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor, who has since deleted their account, looked on while their mother did everything she could to support her child, while knowing that their estranged father had the financial means to change their life.
When their mother passed away, the Original Poster (OP) decided it was time to do something important in her name.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for suing my biological father for unpaid child support?”
The OP’s biological father never provided any assistance.
“I don’t have a relationship with my biological father. He left her when she got pregnant and never acknowledged that he had a child, always saying she was lying.”
“She did prove paternity in court and got an order for child support.”
“At the time at least, he had a job making well over six figures that was handed to him by his parents as well as rental properties, so the ordered amount was pretty high.”
“He refused to pay it at all and somehow got away with it.”
The OP wanted to do something in memory of their mother.
“My mother has died and I’m her only child.”
“He’s never had a relationship with me, and in this matter, I wanted justice for my mother.”
“While I couldn’t independently sue for that back child support, I could essentially sue on behalf of her estate.”
“I won, and he owed me almost $350,000, plus my legal fees.”
“He cried poor, but the judgment was paid almost immediately, so either he was not, or his parents bailed him out.”
Some people in the OP’s life felt conflicted about what the OP had done.
“I’m going into my sophomore year of college. I started out at a community college, but I’m getting myself an apartment now.”
“I’ve calculated what it would cost to do college, living expenses, and a student apartment, and I’m going to split the amount and invest the rest.”
“I’ve seen his wife’s social media, and she’s posting about ‘b**tards wanting a payday’ and other tears.”
“Some of my friends and family think that I shouldn’t have just used the legal system to get the money that wasn’t technically mine.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out that child support was meant for people like the OP and their mother.
“The money is technically yours. Literally, the reason why people have to pay is to support the child (you).”
“It doesn’t seem like he was ever in a bad financial position and he abandoned you. Financial support is the minimum.”
“NTA.” – blfsw34
“Just think of all the tutoring and other life-advancing skills they missed out on. College tuition is the huge one.”
“That says nothing of the missed opportunities to go to Disneyland, get really involved in a hobby, or countless other things.”
“Someone not paying child support has life-long consequences. OP’s mom would be happy to know he/she finally got a little bit of monetary compensation.” – TeddyRoosevelt26
“Let them drown in their public crocodile tears. If it was someone I knew that didn’t support a child they were responsible for, I wouldn’t commiserate with them. Rather, I’d be more inclined to judge them for being disgustingly mean and selfish for turning their backs on an innocent child.”
“Perhaps they’re pro-life? Whatever. You did the right thing. Justice is served and your mom can rest easy knowing you are a force to be reckoned with and you can and will advocate for yourself.”
“Remember on one of those good advice lists that one of them is: ‘What other people think of you is none of your business.’ Best wishes to you as you make a wonderful life for yourself. I wish you every success!” – rebtow
“My ex decided that he was paying too much child support and took me to court. The court reduced it by $5 a month in order to meet the child support guidelines in my state. My ex absolutely freaked out and threatened to never see the kids again if I didn’t take less money.”
“An acquaintance who is a family counselor gave me some very good advice. She said that money was not mine and I had no right to take it away from my kids. At the time, with the threat hanging over my head, this was tough to hear so to compromise, I offered to reduce it about $50 more a month and he would not agree.”
“Instead, he cut his kids completely out of his life. So it really wasn’t about the money. It was about wanting to take the easy way out and just bail. So I listened to that counselor and I used that money to pay for family trips, dance and drama lessons, sports, band instruments, my son’s FIRST robotics team participation, and much more.”
“Both of my kids went to college and my son is a computer engineer with a great job; thank you, robotics team!! Meanwhile, my ex’s new wife has pretty much bankrupted them due to her shopping habits. A repo man showed up at my house looking for her to grab her car.”
“Thank goodness the child support came straight out of his check. I’m so glad it helped create a fun and educational childhood and adolescence for my kids.” – Lilacblue1
“$350000 isn’t even a large sum of money for 18 years worth of child support. That’s just shy of $20k a year and that’s WITH arrears… $1600 a month for a child you have zero custody of is pretty typical in my state. (I just ran a CS calculation on my state website and the OP’s sperm donor would owe $1450 per month.)”
“He would not feel the sting of the judgment if he’d just paid on time.” – HidingBehindMyScr33n
Others recommended correcting a few people’s viewpoints on the matter.
“The law ruled in your favor. You’re NTA.”
“As for his wife, I bet the lawsuit is the first she heard of your existence, and now she’s wondering how many more kids/secrets he has.” – mesembryanthemum
“NTA, and OP ought to post on their bio-dad’s wife’s social media that 1) paternity was proven in court and 2) libel is actionable in court. If she wants to keep making defamatory statements about you, you’ll be happy to take her to court as well, or she can shut the f**k up.” – StanielBlorch
“The money is technically, morally, and wonderfully hers, his paying of that sum is simply the consequence of him sidestepping his financial responsibility as a parent for years.”
“If any of your friends believe otherwise then they’re not only pretty rubbish friends but also colossal morons.” – Craftiest_Butcher
“NTA, he was for trying to get out of court-ordered payments. Good on you for going ahead with this and winning!”
“Comment on his wife’s post saying, ‘Yeah, I am a b**tard because your husband left my mother when she was pregnant and was, therefore, an unwed mother.'”
“The money WAS technically yours since child support is to, well, support the child.” – D**mit_Janet15
“This money would have gone to rent, food, clothes, so mom would have been able to save for retirement, education for OP, etc. That is why this was 100% ethical and correct and I am glad he did it.”
“Also, the dad needed to have CONSEQUENCES for being a s**tty human being. This seems like a good consequence.”
“He chose to be s**tty, his wife chose to marry a s**tty man, and there are consequences for that.” – scarybottom
“Even if you interpret it as the money not technically being OP’s (and instead belonging to the mother who needs it to support a child), it does technically belong to the estate.”
“Everything comes down to balancing a ledger here. If he had paid his child support like he was supposed to, she would have had more money left in the estate to pay back what she owed in life, to secure assets that frequently are forced to sell, etc. Anything left over is OP’s because it’s his inheritance.”
“Hence why he won in court because the court agrees that money belonged to the estate. It’s just a coincidence that the estate happens to go to OP after the medical debts and other wolves have had their go at it.” – techleopard
The subReddit was collectively happy to see that the OP had not only advocated for themselves and avenged their mother’s memory, but they won the money after attempting to do so.
They also had some questions for the other people in the OP’s life who were questioning how this was not a worthwhile case for the OP to pursue. While collecting all of the money at once may have seemed like a lot, it wouldn’t have been so much if the payments had come in on time.