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'AITA for refusing to pay for college for a child I have no legal obligation to anymore?' UPDATED

'AITA for refusing to pay for college for a child I have no legal obligation to anymore?' UPDATED

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"AITA For Refusing Pay For College For A Child I Have No Legal Obligation To Anymore?"

Here's the original post:

For the sake of length I'll try to stick to the facts and keep it brief. I (50m), legally have three children with my ex (51), Adam (23m), Chris (21m) and Sophie (18f). Biologically the first two children are mine and youngest is the result of my wife's infidelity. I discovered this the day when Sophie was two-years-old and we had to rush Sophie to the emergency room. I filed for divorce two months later.

I got 50/50 custody of my own children but since Sophie was legally "mine" I had to pay child support for her and was very bitter and resentful about it.

I tried to fight it at first but in the end decided to suck it up to save myself the stress, but I made it very clear to my ex that outside of child support I would take no other responsibility for the girl and would shut down any attempts at being her father, but I would make the effort to still be polite to Sophie.

After some time I learned to trust again and remarried a wonderful woman who made it very clear that she and her daughter were a package deal. I accepted this and did everything I could to try and be there for my stepdaughter Katie (17f). Aside from the typical ups and downs I would say I managed to make a great family life for myself.

We'd have family nights, I attended most after school events, took my family on fun vacations and put my sons through school and paid for their apartments and cars. They were own their own for gas money.

Chris is expected to graduate this coming summer and I made a silly post on social media about how relieved I was going to be that I only had one more kid to put through school left. A couple of days later I got a message from my ex asking me to pay for Sophie's college expenses on my own since the pandemic has made money tight.

I asked her what she meant and referred to my post and I reminded her that my legal obligation to Sophie ended the day she turned 18 and that I was talking about Katie. My ex was furious demanded to know why I was willing to pay for Katie and not Sophie since neither of them are related to me.

I countered by saying that I knew upfront Katie wasn't my biological child and agreed to care for her instead of being conned into doing it like I was for Sophie. After that I got a call from Sophie asking what she did to make me hate her so much and to leave her feeling so excluded.

I told her softly that I don't hate her and that nothing about this situation was her fault, but the simple truth is that it wasn't personal I'm just not her father. Since then my sons have told me that Sophie was becoming really depressed, my ex is blaming me but I don't see what I have to do with it AITA?

Edit: Just to be clear because I keep seeing the same questions

1. The kids know why I divorced their mother

2. My ex claims that Sophie was the result of a one nightstand and doesn't know who her father is, which is one of the reasons why I was kept on the hook for CS.

3. After I learned the truth I was very angry and didn't think I could handle raising a child that I was tricked into caring for so I decided to keep my distance.

4. Just because Sophie wasn't mine and I treated as such doesn't mean that I was horrible to the girl. I also made sure that my children knew that what happened between their mother and me was not Sophie's fault and they should never be mean to her.

What do you think? Is he the AH? This is what top commenters had to say:

lil_peege said:

YTA. You didn't make Sophie, but you are making her pay for her mom's mistakes. You keep saying it's not her fault and that you don't treat her differently, but it's not her fault she doesn't have a dad.

Why does Katie get to have a dad and a step-dad but Sophie gets f*ck all from OP AND her non-existent biological father? Maybe you don't have to pay for her entire school, but holy hell... you could at least do SOMETHING. She's a kid and this is definitely traumatizing her. Making her suffer through something that was in no way her fault.

Eldernerd0 said:

Your wife cheated on you and you still had to split your assets 50/50 + pay the child support? Divorce laws are completely broken

Tomodachi-Turtle said:

The difference between Sophie and Katie is Katie is the daughter of your spouse. Sophie is not, as mother was no longer your spouse when you learned of an affair and a massive lie.

new_girl1827 said:

NTA. Your ex wife should of put the money you paid for child support into an account for Sophie that she could use for college. You're ex is lucky you even paid child support considering you're not Sophies father.

greentea1985 said:

ESH. Both you and your ex-wife are AH. The only person who isn’t an AH is Sophie and probably the other kids. I feel so sorry for Sophie. You refuse to really acknowledge her or give her anything near what you give to her brothers, your two biological children, or even your step-daughter whom you aren’t biologically related to at all.

At the least, treat her the way you would your step-daughter. That is the non-AH thing to do. Your wife is an AH for cheating, but you are an AH for taking out all of your resentments on an innocent child. Yes, your legal obligations ended when Sophie became 18, but if you have been her father for 18 years, 16 after you realized there was no biological relationship, you are a father-figure to her as well.

What you do to Sophie will impact your relationship with your other children because it shows how petty you are with your love and how conditional it is. I would at least give Sophie what you give your step-daughter.

Dezzaroomama said:

NTA. It sucks for the kid, but her mom is TA. Not you.

Verdict: Divided!

Later, OP shared this unexpected update:

Thank you to everyone for their kind words of support. A lot of you have suggested therapy and for the longest time I never felt like I needed it, but after everything new that's happened I've decided that talking to a professional won't hurt. I thought I buried my anger and hurt toward my ex years ago but now new information has been revealed that's just making me angry all over again.

Not too long after my initial fight with my ex, she and Sophie got into a fight that ended up so bad that Sophie was kicked out of the home. Sophie called her brothers and they in turn called me and she is currently staying with my wife, Katie, and I.

Apparently, in spite of my efforts to maintain a boundary, my ex kept telling Sophie that if she was well behaved and did good in school that I would think of her as a "daughter" again. It was my ex's way of getting Sophie to be obedient.

When I made my post Sophie thought that I was finally giving her the validation that my ex had always promised and when I didn't it was just chaos. Sophie called my ex horrible names and demanded to know who her bio dad. My ex refused and told her if she was going to be disrespectful she had to live elsewhere.

Originally, some of you suggested that in spite of Sophie's blood type she could still be my daughter and that was really starting to get to me. Now that Sophie was staying with me I took some of her DNA and sent it off for testing and couldn't believe the results that I sent it again for a second time. To my shock Sophie and I are indeed related, she's just not my daughter.

Like I said, the bad feelings are all starting to come back to me again but this new information is just putting me in a bad place again. I don't even know how or when to break the news to Sophie or how to even confront my ex about any of this. I feel like such a fool.

Did a second DNA test and whoever it is they are, genetically, my cousin.

Sources: Reddit
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