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Woman cuts off child's inheritance; 'I think this was the best parenting move.' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Woman cuts off child's inheritance; 'I think this was the best parenting move.' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this woman cuts off her child's inheritance, she asks the internet:

"AITA For Cutting My Child's Inheritance?"

Two years ago, I (46f) lost my husband in an accident, and I was heartbroken. We had three children and I thought we were very happy until his mistress showed up at my door demanding money to support the child my husband fathered.

I didn't believe her, but she was able to prove it with screenshots, messages, etc. The image that I had of my husband was forever tainted and he left me with the mess.

Because of bitterness about the betrayal and how offended I was by the mistress's lack of remorse and entitlement I told she wasn't getting a dime and that she shouldn't have slept with a married man.

She kept harassing me and when it wasn't going to work, she went to my husband's family to put pressure on me to give her what she wanted. She even tried to involve my children, leveraging her silence for money. I knew that once I gave her money she would come back, so I told them myself.

My husband and I had well-high paying jobs, lucrative investments, savings, and I got a sizable amount from the life insurance policy. I consulted a lawyer and while she could prove the affair, it didn't prove paternity and since my husband wasn't on the birth certificate nor could she produce that my husband acknowledged the child she had no case.

After my lawyers sent her a strongly worded letter, I didn't hear from her for a while and thought it was over until my oldest Alex (19f) came to me and said that she did a DNA test with the mistress behind my back.

She said that did it because she wanted to get this resolved, the child deserved to know who their father was, and get the financial support that they were owed.

My husband had a will the stated each of his children were to split an inheritance that they would only access to when they went to college and couldn't get full control until the age of 25. When the results came back proving that my husband was indeed the father the mistress took me to court.

It was a long legal battle but eventually a settlement was made. I sat Alex down and explained to her that her inheritance would be split 50/50 between them and her half sibling as part of the settlement agreement. When she asked if my other children had to split theirs, I told Alex "No."

My husband's will stated that it had to be split but it didn't say it had to be equally and until each of the children turned 25, I had full control.

Alex was upset, saying that it wasn't fair. I countered saying that it wasn't fair that my other two children had to get a lesser share because of my eldest's choices, and if they wanted their full share, they shouldn't have done the DNA test.

There's still plenty of money for Alex to finish college she just won't have much after that and I do plan on dividing my own estate equally in my own will. All of this Alex knows but they are still giving me the cold shoulder. My own siblings think that it wasn't fair and I'm punishing Alex for doing right by her half sibling, but I don't see that way. AITA?

And now, OP's update:

Thank you to everyone's responses. Even the ones calling my "YTA," but based on a few frequent questions, comments and/or themes I feel like I need to clarify some things.

Alex is my daughter not my son. When I first started writing this, I wanted to leave gender out of it in case it influenced people's judgement but then I remembered that Reddit tends to prefer that age and gender get mentioned so I added (19f) at the last minute.

Hope that clears it up a little. My other two children are Junior (17m) and Sam (14f). The half sibling is now 5. When my husband drafted the will, 10 years ago, he initially named just our children but a friend of ours had an "Oops" baby, so he changed it to be just "his children" in case we had another one.

At least that's what he told me. After the mistress threatened to tell my children and I decided to tell them. I sat them all down and explained the situation. They were understandably devastated and asked if they really had another sibling.

I told them that I didn't know and that if the mistress could prove it, she might get some money. I told them that if they wanted to know if they had a sibling or not, we could find out, but I made sure that they understood that their inheritance could be affected, and other people might come out claiming the same thing and get more money.

Initially all of my children said that they didn't want to have to deal with that and so I did everything that I could to protect them, but I guess Alex had a change of heart. Until the DNA test I had no reason to believe that my husband's mistress was telling the truth and acted accordingly.

I kept following my lawyer's advice and if she wanted the money, she the burden of proof was on her. While some of you might think I TA please understand that my decision wasn't spiteful.

If I really wanted to "punish" Alex, I would just tell them they weren't getting any more money since they already used some of it for their first year of college, so the guidelines of the will were technically already met. I still plan on leaving them an equal share of inheritance from my estate too.

Update 2:

Thank you so much for so many responses, even the ones who didn't 100% agree with me because it did give me perspective. I also wanted to give an update and answer some questions to anyone who was curious so here it goes.

Since I told Alex what would be happening, she told her siblings, and the house has been pretty tense. To try and make peace I spoke to each of my children 1-on-1 and as a group to figure out what to do next.

I spoke to Alex first and some interesting information was revealed that I'm very angry about. Apparently, the mistress created a fake profile account and manipulated my daughter into befriending her.

After gaining my daughter's trust, she pretended that she was in a similar situation as her and said that a DNA test would prov that there wasn't any paternity. When Alex went behind our backs, she thought that it would prove the mistress was trying to scam us.

My son, Junior (17m), is furious that Alex went behind our backs and doesn't care why she did it and blames her for them being "stuck with" a half sibling he doesn't want. My daughter Sam (14f) said she wishes she never knew the truth and is deeply upset.

I asked my children that since they now know the truth would they want a relationship with their half sibling. Junior, clearly, wants nothing to do with the child, and says that Alex should feel lucky he still considers her a sister.

Sam says she doesn't want to, and I feel it's because she's in denial and wants to live life pretending that her father was perfect. Alex admits that she is curious but never wants to see or hear from the mistress ever again so she doesn't think a meeting will ever be possible.

I proposed Family Therapy and while my girls are open to it my son says that therapy is only for people who have something "broken in them" and that's he's not "broken," is now happy that his father is dead and wants to change his last name as soon as he turns 18. I'm not going to force him, but I do hope he changes his mind one day.

For clarification because I keep seeing this. Before I made my first post, before I told Alex what was going to happen with her share of the trust, the settlement was already finalized so there is no "still cutting" because it's already done.

Technically I could go back and renegotiate the terms of the settlement, but the mistress could try and to come back for more money. Initially she wanted the entire Life Insurance Policy, 50% of the trust for just her child and 50% of my husband's savings.

Her argument was that since I was still working, and had a high paying job, my children and I didn't need the money and she was a "struggling single mother." I'm honestly getting exhausted with everything to deal with that woman anymore and don't want to spend more on legal fees.

Edit 2: I have not now, nor have I ever blamed Alex for her father cheating on me. That is ridiculous and I don't know how people are coming to that conclusion. Especially when I never said that it was her fault.

Edit 3: I'm come to the realization that some people believe that Alex is getting absolutely nothing, which isn't true. There's still plenty of money from the trust for her to finish college, she lives at home rent free, I pay all of her bills, give her an allowance, allow her to use a car that's in my name, and she will get an equal share of my estate when I pass on.

And now, the little sister weighs in:

I (14f) lost my dad in an accident almost three years ago and I was so upset. One minute he was there and one day my mom and grandparents sat me, my sister (19f) and brother (17m) down to say that he was in the hospital and three days later he was gone. I loved my dad so much and while I knew he wasn't perfect I still thought he was a great man.

Then one day my mom (46f) sat me and my siblings down again and told us that a woman was going around claiming that her child was also dad's. They're younger than me, which meant my father cheated. We were all very upset and refused to believe that our dad would be so horrible.

Only reason my mom was telling us was because the woman threatened to if she wasn't given money to go away.

From that day forward I knew I would hate her for the rest of my life because we were starting to get used to my dad not being around and she shoves her greedy hands into our family. My mom offered to do a DNA test to prove if this child was really our half sibling, my siblings and we all said "No."

It was a stressful battle for my mom, but she fought for us and eventually the woman went away. Then my sister decided to do the damn DNA test behind our backs and proved my dad wasn't a good person. I don't know if I can ever forgive my sister for doing that to me.

My sister is upset that my brother and I don't support her decision, but I don't see why I should. I wanted this woman to go away forever but now that there's undeniable proof that she had my dad's last child, unless there's another baby out there somewhere, my paternal grandparents want a relationship, and they want me to just accept it and be a "big sister."

I don't want to. My brother is hardcore against this and wants to legally change his name when he turns 18.

I'm honestly thinking of changing my surname too because my paternal family is starting to be really awful to my mom. My grandma is acting like having this child around is a blessing and it's incredibly insulting to my mom, but I guess her feelings don't matter to them anymore.

For Christmas my paternal side wants us all to do a Zoom meeting so we can officially meet my dad's other child, give them presents and tell them we can't wait see them in person. I don't want to do that.

I don't want to see my dad's mistress; I don't want to pretend that I have good feelings towards this kid. I don't know them and don't care to know them. Their existence is just a painful reminder of the awful thing my dad did, how little he cared about my mom and how easily replaceable I am as the "baby" of the family.

My paternal aunts know that this situation isn't ideal but think that I'm being selfish and need to learn to get past what's happened, but I don't see why I should. AITA for not wanting to join a Zoom chat to meet my new sibling?

Sources: Reddit
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