June 16, 2024 at 9:20 pm

His Ex-Wife Wants To Split Birthday Gifts That Will Be Used At Her House, So He Refuses To Contribute Because He’s Already Paying Enough

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock/Reddit

Divorce is tough on adults, but no one doubts the people who get the worst of it are the kids.

No matter how amicable, and no matter how committed people are to co-parenting, issues are bound to arise.

And I’m guessing that a lot of those issues have to do with money.

When one parent has more than the other, is it their responsibility to make sure the kids are comfortable at both houses?

Let’s find out what’s going on with these two…

AITA for refusing to pay for birthday presents for my son that he can only use at my ex-wife’s place?

I am a 52m recently separated from my ex (49f) of 18 yrs. We share custody (week on, week off) with our 2 children, a 13 yr old daughter and soon-to-be 15 yr old son.

The relationship ended mostly amicably, noone cheated on each other, as far as I know. Just drifted apart, ‘friend-zoned’.

He stayed in the marital home and she moved out, with the agreement that she would still get half of the proceeds when he decides to sell.

She lives in a rental.

When we split we agreed that I would stay in our old 4-bdrm family home for a few more years, while our kids were still at high school (we lived right next door to my son’s high school).

I would continue to pay down our mortgage (on my own) and also pay for any additional renovations (on my own) that we still have left to complete, since buying the place 4 yrs ago.

When the time comes to sell she will get her 50%.

She agreed to move out into her own 3-bdrm rental out by the beach.

I am paying her child support, as she only earns about 1/3 of what I do in her part time (30hrs/wk) job. The rest of her income comes from Govt social support.

We have a joint bank account where we both put money into to cover the kids general needs.

Their son has everything he needs at his home where he has always lived.

This week is my son’s 15th birthday, he’s big into gaming, basketball and fishing. When he moves between our two places he’s brings his Xbox with him.

I have paid for two computer monitors, one at each property, just so he can do this easily and be happy.

He has a homemade basketball hoop (that he helped me build & paint for him when he was a young 10 year old lad) mounted on the outside of my house for him to practice, whenever he stays with me.

Since his birthday is coming up, his ex wanted to split the cost of some things for their son to have at her house, to make it more comfortable for him.

My ex emailed me to ask me what I think ‘we’ should get him for his birthday, i.e. share costs for.

She listed two things, firstly a free-standing basketball hoop, and a gaming chair (all up around $1000 total), both to be used only at her place, for his enjoyment there.

He’s not sure this is something he wants to do, since his own house is already replete with these items.

I’ve refused to help her buy these particular options, I’d prefer it if we spent our money on something that he’ll enjoy getting the benefits from wherever he may be.

Like new clothes, a new device, a new bike, fishing gear etc, or a shared family experience with both of us present. I thought that was reasonable.

My ex-wife thinks I’m being a jerk with this stance, for not agreeing to pay anything for these particular presents, to help furnish her house or his bedroom there.

But maybe he should do it for his kid?

She’s suggesting that it’s not fair that he can play basketball at my place and not hers, or that he feels more comfortable playing video games at my place, and not hers.

She’s now accusing me of starting to play some kind petty ‘tit-for-tat’ game with her, by ‘not fairly contributing enough towards my son’s happiness on his birthday’.

My fear is that I am indeed being unnecessarily picky with this battle, being too selfish, and denying her the right to be able to make her home as happy or as comfortable as mine, for my son to live in.


Is he looking at this wrong?

You know Reddit will let him know!

The top comment says he has no responsibility to invest in her space.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This person agrees he is on the right track.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And this commenter thinks dad is being way too nice.

Source: Reddit/AITA

It does seem like a lot of money.

Source: Reddit/AITA

But…they probably bought the things at his house together?

Source: Reddit/AITA

I can honestly see both sides.

But for the comfort of the kids, you suck it up.

If you thought that was an interesting story, check this one out about a man who created a points system for his inheritance, and a family friend ends up getting almost all of it.