Internet commenters rallied behind a soon-to-be bride who finally received the financial support she missed out on as a child.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/Dull-Handle-7586 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said she recently came into contact with her paternal grandparents who, after learning of her existence, were determined to rectify their son’s financial malfeasance.
Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for ‘forcing’ my father to pay child support?” the post has received 18,000 upvotes and more than 2,000 comments in the last ten hours.
“My father is ad**k,” OP began, curtly. “When he got my mother pregnant he wanted her to quit her job and just stay home…my mother refused and divorced him.”
Continuing to explain that her father is entitled to a substantial trust fund, the original poster said that after the divorce, he returned to Europe without ever mentioning his newly-abandoned family, and without paying a single child support payment.
The original poster also said that, as she prepares to get married nearly three decades later, only fate could bring her father—and his trust fund—back into her life.
“I met the love of my life at university and we have been together for eight years,” OP wrote. “His family is from the same city as my father…[and] because of a lot of intermingled business…my [paternal] grandparents found out about my impending wedding and me.
“When they found out my father had basically abandoned me…they had their lawyer calculate the amount of child support [he] should have paid with interest…then gave [me] this as a gift,” OP continued. “What I didn’t know was that it came out of my father’s yearly draw on his trust fund.
“He has been contacting me and telling me that his current wife and children will be negatively affected if I don’t give him back this money,” OP added. [But] I’m not giving it back.”
Child support, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, is a vital source of income for millions of children and is widely credited for keeping kids and their families out of poverty.
Two years ago, data published by Statista revealed that more than 18 million children in the United States were living with a single, custodial parent.
Parenting website Very Well Family reports that roughly half of those households have some type of child support arrangement, whether an informal agreement between parents or government-mandated payment schedule, in place.
However, children and custodial parents who are entitled to child support don’t always receive the financial assistance they so desperately need.
While nearly 70 percent of custodial parents have received some (italics) payment from their non-custodial counterparts, the US Census Bureau reports that only 44 percent have received the full amount of child support due every year.
Concerned woman speaking on the phone. Members of Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole were outraged to learn why one woman had to wait nearly 30 years to receive a child support payment from her absentee father.
fizkes/iStock / Getty Images Plus
Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors acknowledged the shortcomings and severe financial effects associated with missed child support payments and advised the original poster to hold onto every penny she was given by her paternal grandparents.
“[Not the a**hole],” Redditor u/VoyagerVII wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received more than 18,000 upvotes. “He should have been paying it all along.”
“Your grandparents sound bada**,” they added.
“Sounds like they’re good people,” Redditor u/salty_drafter agreed, receiving nearly 5,000 upvotes. “Keep them around.”
Redditor u/Vegan_4evah, whose comment has received nearly 6,000 upvotes, offered a more pointed response.
“Imagine abandoning your own daughter only to call her years later to beg for money,” they wrote. “A d**k AND pathetic.”
“It’s time to shut him up,” Redditor u/kevwelch chimed in, receiving nearly 2,000 upvotes. “Let him know that if he keeps harassing you, you’ll show his texts and emails and calls to his parents. Ask him how he thinks they’d react.”
In a separate comment, which has received more than 4,000 upvotes, Redditor u/stophittingthyself speculated that, even if the original poster wanted to give the money back, she likely would not be able to.
“[Not the a**hole],” they wrote. “Your grandparents won’t accept it back anyway.”
“It’s [their] money to use however they wish. They’ve decided to gift it to their grandchild and not their lazy a** son,” they added.
Newsweek reached out to u/Dull-Handle-7586 for comment.