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'AITA for taking half of my ex's 401k which led him to call off his engagement?'

'AITA for taking half of my ex's 401k which led him to call off his engagement?'

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"AITA for taking half of my ex's 401k which led him to call off his engagement?"

When our first child was born, my ex forced me to quit my job. When our 2nd child was 2, I found out about his affair. I couldn’t afford daycare to work and had no family support. He refused to give me any money to take care of the kids saying “The courts haven’t ordered me to give you a dime!” He lied to the bank and had my accounts frozen when I filed for default in the divorce.

The judge finally ordered him to pay child and spousal support 6 months after I kicked him out. It was $2,562 a month. He refused to pay it until the garnishment kicked in and by then he was $6k behind in support. I used that to get permission to move away.

I remarried a year after the divorce. I checked the court docs and there was a little box that said spousal support stopped upon remarriage if that box was checked. It wasn’t checked, so I figured I was good. Instead of filing for his retirement, I just took that year of spousal support ($12k) and left it alone. (Spousal support was only ordered for 2 years)

In 2017, he filed for sole custody of the kids out of nowhere. That was when he found out I had remarried and he had paid spousal support to me during the first year of my marriage. I told him I took that money instead of filing for my share of his retirement. I said if he let me keep that $12k, I wouldn’t file to split his 401k.

He demanded that I repay the spousal support. The judge ordered me to repay it, but increased child support and deducted the repayment from that. It ended up that I got an extra $20.00 a month and he repaid himself. He dropped his bid for custody in exchange for 2 extra weeks in summer.

I pursued the retirement account split. He refused to cooperate and dragged it out for 4 years. It was so bad, they sanctioned him and he had to pay me 600 a month for a year in addition to child support. They also charged him with contempt.

In Jan 2021, he proposed to his girlfriend. In May of 2021, I finally got the disbursement from his 401k. I won’t say how much it was, but it was about 4 times the amount of spousal support overpayment. I had no idea it would be that much.

I had thought it would be around $12k which is why I thought keeping that year of spousal and not filing for his retirement account was a fair trade. Had he not tried to take the kids from me, I never would’ve filed to split the account. Play stupid games… win stupid prizes.

His fiancé emailed me recently and told me it is my fault he won’t marry her because I cleaned out his retirement account. She said I shouldn’t have “stolen” his money. I told her that I gave him the option to let me keep that year of spousal support or take it back and I could file for his retirement.

He chose to have me file for his retirement. I told her that if he really wanted to marry her and protect his assets, they could get a pre-nup so he wouldn’t have to worry about it. She said she shouldn’t have to sign a pre-nup because I “robbed” him.

I never asked to be financially dependent on him. He clearly indicated he wanted a court order to take care of his kids so I got him one. I tried to be fair and take the lesser amount. He wouldn’t let me. AITAH?

Here's what people had to say to OP:

says:

A pathetic, cheating sc%$bag, he deserves everything that is happening to him, to hell with him and his new chick who he'll prolly abuse and cheat on as well. NTA, hope you and your kids are well and happy, and hope your new marriage is a lovely contrast to that sc^#bag.

OP responded:

In my last message to her, I sent her the link to my ex’s POF (Plenty of Fish) account and told her to have a good night. 🤣 My husband is absolutely amazing to me and my babies. ❤️

says:

You endured financial hardship, yet you protected your children and fought for what was rightfully yours. Your ex's choices led to his own downfall, not yours. You acted fairly and justly in a difficult situation. You're not at fault; you did what you had to do for your family.

says:

wild that the fiancée doesn't see this whole situation as a major red flag

OP responded:

He told her she’s “not allowed” to talk to me… that didn’t clue her in either. 🤦🏻‍♀️

says:

NTA. You did great. All that noise about you cleaning him out - well, from where I’m looking, he could have easily avoided his current situation. All he had to do was to not cheat, and to be nice.

Another note - despite what others are saying, I think you are being wise to keep the line of communication open with his fiancée. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll say something that will resonate with her enough to open her eyes. Boy, does she need her eyes opened…

Sources: Reddit
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