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'AITA for paying child support to my ex-wife when I don't have to? My current wife hates it!'

'AITA for paying child support to my ex-wife when I don't have to? My current wife hates it!'


"AITA for paying child support to my ex-wife even though I don't have to?"

ScubaDivingHorse writes:

My wife (35F) and I (35M) have a great relationship. There is one recurring point of contention in our relationship, my ex-wife, with whom I have a 7-year-old boy. My previous marriage was not a happy one. Looking back on it now, there was a lot of verbal and emotional abuse, which culminated in her cheating on me.

This finally gave me the kick in the butt I needed to leave, and I'm honestly grateful for how everything turned out in my life since. Our son splits his time 50/50 between both households.

For reference, we live in an Eastern-European country, and I make a good living and would classify us as upper middle class here. From the moment we separated, I paid my ex-wife child support voluntarily amounting to somewhere around 12-15% of my pre-tax income, which in our home country amounts to slightly above what a minimum-wage worker would earn.

According to the legal system in our country, I owe her no money, since my son spends half the time with me and is provided for; the other half is up to her. I should also mention that I was fairly generous with my ex-wife during the divorce and left her with a house in the countryside and a small online business we had started together.

My ex-wife does not have a proper job. She sees herself as an artist/designer/photographer and will take the occasional project (like designing a logo for someone or taking some pictures), but has never pursued any of these domains with enough determination and seriousness to be able to earn a proper living from them.

She has some additional small income from the online store I left her in the divorce.We will often run into her in the city, being out with friends, drinking coffee, etc. This bothers my wife because she feels like I'm financing all this and my ex-wife is benefiting from me.

This is not a financial issue for my wife, as we are in no way struggling (and she has her own income). My intention for this money was never to support my ex-wife, but rather to ensure that my son has a good life when he is with his mom as well. I also don't want him to grow up in an environment where financial struggle is a constant issue.

To add to this, I grew up in very similar circumstances: divorced parents, well-off father, struggling mother. My father paid the minimum amount of child support he could get away with, and I have distinct memories of my mother struggling while living a life of excess with my father.

I always felt my father should have helped my mother more. My wife tells me I'm making her pay (emotionally) for my childhood trauma, which I feel is unfair.

I'm also worried that if I stop paying child support, my ex-wife might try to gain sole custody, which would be a way to force me to pay her child support (though still significantly less than I'm currently paying her). Unfortunately, our legal system is quite backward, and if it came to this, she would likely win. I will admit that, in a sense, I also pay this money to appease her to a certain degree. So, AITA?

Here are the top comments:

Mames96 says:

NTA. With your only other option being your ex-wife suing for custody, possibly getting it, and paying even more in support while most likely seeing your son less. You took the smart route.

I could also give her less money, as long as it is more than she could reasonably expect to receive if she goes down the legal route.

tinyd71 says:

NTA for stepping up financially in a country/situation where you are not legally required to. Your desire to support your son financially and ensure that he has comparable living situations with each parent is admirable. That's good parenting. That's being a good person. Your current wife should be glad to be married to someone who has moral standards. OP says:

ClareSwinn writes:

Do I think your ex wife should get off her a^% and work? Yes. Do I also think that you are more interested in your son’s overall well being than being petty and that is admirable? Also yes. I don’t think your wife’s description of this as an emotional burden is valid. Her emotional burden would be much much greater if you needed to fund and fight custody battles.

She feels that you are over involved with your ex wife and she is still being ‘looked after’ by you i guess. I’d resent that too on a bad day. I guess you need to underline that this is for your son, not a residual sense of marital duty to his mother. NTA but I do sympathise a tiny bit with your wife and hope you work it out.

What do you think?

Sources: Reddit
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