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Woman is extremely suspicious of DIL; tells husband, 'I think it's time to sue her.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Woman is extremely suspicious of DIL; tells husband, 'I think it's time to sue her.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this MIL is furious with her DIL and wants to take legal action, she asks the internet:

"WIBTA for suing my DIL?"

Our son and DIL (26 yo) have been together for 2 years and live together. We've always thought she' a very nice girl and she seems to make my son happy, so no problem from us.

Our son has his own law firm that he’s currently trying to get started. We’re very proud of him, and we’re fortunate enough to help him with a start up loan. DIL works a retail job, that she’s very happy with.

Some time ago husband and I were over at their apartment and we decided to order some food. Husband and I wanted to pay, and since DIL were ordering from her phone we gave her our card so she could draw the money from our account.

We thought it goes without saying this was to draw an amount once, for the lunch. However DIL apparently put our card into her Apple Pay, and have been using it since.

We didn’t notice for some months but recently saw withdrawals we didn’t recognize. We had our accountant look into it, and he discovered that 1) DIL has been using our card on her phone and that 2) she’s spend around 17K. We were quite shocked and called her up and asked why the hell she’s been using our card.

She got very defensive, tries to deny it and eventually said she was entitled to it, and why do we care since we haven’t noticed her use over 4 months. We told her she needed to pay us back immediately or we’d report her actions for theft.

She apparently doesn’t have the money to pay us back. We’ve gone to our son and he’s offered to pay us back even though he actually cannot afford to. This isn’t about the money for us, but more about the fact that she’s stolen a huge amount of money.

While we are comfortable and it took us time to notice, we still recognize the seriousness of stealing 17.000 USD. Our son has completely dismissed her behavior and excused it as her being stressed.

She’s taken no responsibility, and we’re honestly wanting to go forward with the police report to teach her consequences to her actions. Would we be TA for doing this?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

g8882 writes:

NTA. The problem and solution, to me at least, is very clear: Your DIL is dishonest, untrustworthy, and completely lacks judgement and a sense of right & wrong. She has stolen from you without remorse or acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

If you let this theft and her subsequent behaviour slide, you’re doing a great disservice to your son who, at the moment and for whatever reason, appears to be under her influence.

If you let this slide, you will be hurting your son in the long term far more than you would in the short term.

How? Because she - someone dishonest, untrustworthy, lacking judgment and a sense of right and wrong - might marry him, she might have his children, she may lay further claim to his finances and his life. And she WILL be his downfall. And potentially that of the family he goes on have.

Act now before it’s too late OP. Save your son. File criminal charges. Will it tarnish her record, upset your son, lead to him potentially cut you off temporarily?

Maybe. But you will be making a very clear point about where you stand - where the LAW stands - and, at that point, you can fight (through therapists or mutual friends) to make him see the light and hopefully leave her.

By filing criminal (vs civil) charges you will also potentially recoup some of your credit card loss which too sends a clear point across.

Good luck OP. This is not good situation to be in but the path ahead is clear. Pursue it with courage and the conviction that you’re doing the right thing. File that police report. Do it, not for the money or for you, but for your son.

keyrepla% writes:

NTA... First, I would definitely report this to the police. People should not get away with theft, no matter the amount and no matter who they are.

Second, what really bothers me about this is your son basically shrugging it off. That's the most shocking thing about this whole situation.

For now, this is only the first such event, but if your DIL shows zero remorse and your son takes her side, then it's very likely that something similar (not the exact same thing but another situation where your DIL does something illegal/entitled/disrespectful/selfish) will happen in the future.

Are you always going to back off and let her do what she does just to save your relationship with your son? I don't see any reason why the DIL would ever change her attitude if she gets away with something like this, but eventually, this is going to have to stop, no? Unless you plan to do nothing about it forever.

haha$# writes:

NTA. I understand you are upset, you have all right to be. So the first thing would be to kill that card. She has the information so do not keep is valid and cut it off.

Now if you got the money back, would that make you happy? After all if your son is going to pay you back, set up a payment schedule and let it be.

That way you are showing that you harbor no ill will and are content that you are being paid back. If you take her to court, this will strain the relationship between you and your son.

So if he wants to take the financial hit for her, he needs to understand several things: 1) That any and all financial aid from you is no longer on the table. That this is all on him. 2) That you will never trust the young woman ever again. She has shown that she can not be trusted.

The option to report this to the police is going to remain on the table, though if you do, the relationship between you and your son will be stressed to the point of him going NC with you.

So that would be the consequences of your action. Though it may be short lived, cause chances are she will do the same thing to him as she has done to you.

So weight your options carefully, and make sure that the results are what you are wanting.

paulastillsing writes:

NTA. Press the charges, even if he goes NC with you. You are saving him from a Gold digger that doesn’t really care for him.

Also cut him off for not acknowledging the problem. If he doesn’t have money, most likely she’ll look for a new richer option, and your kid will come back to you at some point and thank you. Meanwhile, save his future, you don’t want to press charges to avoid you pain right.

Right now you and your wife are still strong to put up with these, in 10/15 years, when all hell breaks lose, it will be even more difficult to handle.

Also, make sure everyone knows she stoled from you, your son will see that he can’t build a successful firm having a theft by his side, who would want that lawyer, it will help with his decision to leave her. Good luck and a lot of strength! Don’t postpone the pain!

sweetykitty writes:

Your DIL's behavior is one of the reasons why background checks are necessary for certain positions.

Your son should be taking this more seriously than he is. He's trying to get a respectable, trust-based business that requires confidentiality and the handling of sensitive material off the ground and he's got a walking, talking liability in his bed.

You should ask your son what the Bar would say about such matters as lack of due diligence, negligence, etc. If I found out about this as a client, I would quit his services ASAP.

Withdraw further financial support as a taste of what's to come if he continues to be this lax about finances and his business.

If he decides he's going to pay you back on DIL's behalf, then he has CHOSEN TO FORFEIT the advantage you have given him. Take that at face value and step back: Hopefully he will learn from the pain he chose sooner rather than later.

For your sake and your son's, please move forward with criminal charges: DIL stole from you, has no remorse, has made no effort toward reparation, and you probably aren't the only victim. NTA.

bigjay6 writes:

NTA. She stole from you. You were gracious enough to give her the opportunity to pay you back, she declined.

HOWEVER... When it comes to your relationship with your son, it really doesn't matter what everyone else on the internet thinks.

You said he's being dismissive of her fault. You pressing felony charges against her, potentially sending her to prison, is NOT going to suddenly make him say, "Gee, I guess my wife was wrong!" Instead, to him, you will be the asshole.

You said that your son offered to pay her back, but you want the money to come from her. Unless you still control your son's finances, how will you know the source? From my perspective, you have three choices:

Forgive/forget about the $17K. Accept the money from them, knowing that most (if not all) of it will come from your son.

Move forward with pressing charges. She will likely be convicted, possibly spend time in jail. She still won't have the money to pay you back.

You could try a court action, maybe garnish wages, but she will likely lose her current job and who's going to hire someone just convicted of felony credit card fraud? I don't know her skill set, but retail (her current job type) is likely out. Given your son's response so far, this will likely hurt your relationship with him.

In any event, she (they?) has lost any trust you had for her, and should never be allowed near your card(s) again.

kellygreen writes:

NTA. Also, cut him off. I hate to say it. I'm a lawyer with my own shingle so some of these "crappy lawyer" comments hit home.

I never found a firm that fit my childcare schedule and took appointed cases to build up my knowledge and reputation. You don't need an office, you just need a working phone and car and a couple of blazers.

If you've given your son that, he can make his own money. You don't just jump into $250/hr rates. You build up the expertise under a senior attorney or by being in court every day.

Also, as a criminal defense attorney, he'll learn about consequences. Because that's what criminal law is about. You shoplift, you get probation. You roll around town drunk? You go to AA every day for months, etc. You steal $17,000? You get arrested and pay restitution.

You are a victim of a major crime. Your son has not separated himself from the criminal. You have not been compensated.

Make a police report. And make him work for his business. Because he is pretty clearly used to coasting. It's so much better to earn it and he may start seeing her for who she is once it's his hard earned money she's blowing.

And if he cuts you off back, well, then they were only using you for your money. When he matures, he may understand. There's no easy way out but there is a fair one.

And now, OP's update:

She has no savings and doesn't make a lot of money. If we demand she pays us back the money will be coming from our son. We gave him money to start his new company, and making him pay us back kind of defeats the purpose. DIL has showed no remorse, and is offended we're mad.

Also, they aren't married referring to her as DIL is just easier, so it wouldn't have any legal consequences for our son. Our accountant gave us a debrief. She was mostly spending it on big lunch/dinner outings, new clothes, jewellery and handbags.

Our son wasn't aware as far as we knew and seemed shocked when we told him. I don't know what changed but he's taken her side afterwards and they haven't been very communicative since. We've tried reaching out.

And now, OP's 2nd update:

Thank you for all your feedback, I got many requests for an update so here goes. We were utter and completely shocked with our sons nonchalant way of handling this, and at a loss.

We desperately wanted to fight for our son but since initial confrontation he had been avoiding us. We decided we would to take the advice and call the police to press charges. However we wanted to let our son know before doing so.

Husband and I decided to show up at his office since he had been ignoring our calls and texts. I know this might sound boundary crossing to some but we desperately wanted to talk to our son. Initially he got angry and asked us to leave but he calmed down and agreed to hear us out.

We told him our side of the story and to say the least, he was SHOCKED. He apologised profusely, cried a little and begged for forgiveness. He told us he was blinded by love, working 14 hours a day and under the impression we had gifted his GF the money.

His girlfriend had apparently told him that we wanted to spoil her, as our future DIL and that we gave her carte blanche to buy herself nice things as a way to welcome her to the family. And that we’d since changed our minds on spoiling her and now wanted all the money back knowing she can’t afford it.

She had told him we did that as a manipulative way to force her out of his life, to try and control him. He was also under the impression she’d spent maybe 3-5 K and not 17 K. He was livid and was actually the one who in the end convinced us to pursue legal action.

He actually helped us call the police right then and there at his office after our talk. We then went with him home and helped him pack up all her stuff before she came home.

She wasn’t on the lease, living rent free so kicking her out was no issue. We offered to stay with him for the blowup, but he wanted to handle it on his own. From what he’s told me she didn’t take this lightly.

So our sons EX has now been pressed with charges and we’re awaiting further information. Like some of you pointed out its a sufficient amount and she’s been pressed with criminal charges.

Our bank has also been informed and we’re told we’ll likely get our money back. She blew up on the entire family, but no-one but our other DIL is taking her side.

Other DIL is a whole story, for another time perhaps but we are now glad to officially announce that we are thief free in the family!!! We appreciate all your feedback, advice and engagement.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Did she do the right thing?

Sources: Reddit
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