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'AITA for making my daughter split her inheritance after she took a DNA test behind my back?'

'AITA for making my daughter split her inheritance after she took a DNA test behind my back?'


"AITA for cutting my child's inheritance?"

Here's the original post:

Backstory: 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 mistresses 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 her and her half sibling as part of the settlement agreement. When she asked if my other children had to split their's 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 oldest's choices, and if she wanted her full share she 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?

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.

1. My other two children are Junior (17m) and Sam (14f). The half sibling is now 5.

2. 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" incase we had another one. At least that's what he told me.

3. 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 effected, 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.

1. 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.

2. 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 anymore 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.

What do you think about how she handled this? This is what top commenters had to say:

major_shayne said:

First of all, I'm really sorry this happened to you, I wish you the best. I say NTA. It's a messy situation no doubt. Your husband's will said split between his kids, so split between them it should be.

If Alex really cared about "the child deserved to know who their father was, and get the financial support that they were owed" then she should have no problem sharing her inheritance! Also IMO she should've minded her own business and not gone behind your back to make a messy situation worse, in the first place.

[deleted] said:

Nta. Mostly because Alex was ready to be a knight in shining armour as long as it wasn’t his armour

sstylesh said:

Your dead husband is the biggest AH. Sorry, had to say it. It’s a difficult situation for everyone, I think you were trying to do right by your children and so was the mistress, and Alex was trying to do right by the half sibling.

lexisplays said:

NTA. I've been in Alex's place (except my dad is unfortunately alive) and I could never imagine betraying my mother over my dad who can't keep it in his pants.

[deleted] said:

ESH. I literally can't find ONE person who isn't an asshole here, except maybe your younger kids. The mistress is the a-hole, not for going after her child's inheritance, but for doing it through your eldest. Your eldest is the asshole for going behind your and their siblings back on such a delicate and sensitive matter.

You are the a-hole for allowing your hurt and anger at the mistress and your H to hurt an innocent party, that other child. You are less the asshole because this is a hugely confusing issue for you, and a painful one. Still. Frankly, in your shoes I would split the inheritance equally among the four, deduct from Alex' share whatever you paid for the lawyers,

and tell Alex that you need a heck of a lot of space from them because, by going behind your back and making it all about daddy's other baby and what they "deserve", they forgot that you deserved something too-- their honest support and loyalty. By going behind your back, they hurt you, and so you need a motherload of space.

SirLennard said:

NTA. Your kid had no business doing that behind your back, it was a matter of your relationship with your husband and his short comings. It wasn’t something for your kid to go and “fix”, but ridiculous for your kid to be mad that the inheritance was cut short too. If anything your kid’s actions enabled the fact that your husband cheated.

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