In a tale of familial ties and obligations, the Original Poster (OP), a father of four, wrestles with the complex task of distributing his wealth evenly among his children from two marriages. Amidst the substantial wealth disparity between his affluent ex-wife and his current wife, he faces a contentious battle over his intentions.
The Composition of the Family
OP, with two sons from his ex-wife and another son and daughter from his current wife, wanted to divide his assets equally among his four children. His ex-wife was affluent, providing handsomely for his older two sons, but OP still felt a responsibility to treat all his children equally.
He struggled with feeling guilty about his older boy’s upbringing. Only having seen his oldest sons sporadically while contributing minimally to their upbringing. His ex-wife had the means to do so, but it still left OP feeling guilty.
The Disparity in Wealth
The wealth disparity between OP’s ex-wife and his current family was substantial. Neither OP nor his wife were in financial straits, but they weren’t at the level of his ex-wife. She had always been good at handling her money. This complicated OP’s decision on how to equally distribute his assets.
The Autonomy of Wealth
OP had primary control of the household’s finances, with most of the money under his name, apart from a shared house and bank account. He organized his share to be distributed equally among the four children upon his death.
What They Deserve
This caused friction with his current wife. She believed their mutual children should receive a larger portion due to their less affluent upbringing. She believed that was what would make things fair in the long run.
The Nonexistent Child Support
An unusual arrangement saw neither OP nor his ex-wife paying child support, despite the children primarily living with their mother. The ex-wife’s affluence overshadowed any financial responsibility OP might have had. This non-payment of child support made OP feel guilty and obligated to include his oldest sons in his estate.
The Stay-at-Home-Mothers Protest
OP’s current wife, a stay-at-home mom, protested his plan to divide the inheritance equally. She saw it as converting her household labor into cash for OP’s ex-wife, a concept OP found absurd.
The Alleged Exploitation
OP’s wife felt exploited, believing her household work was being monetized for the benefit of his ex-wife’s children. In contrast, OP felt he wasn’t exploiting anyone, as he provided for his wife, who had lived without a job for a long time.
The Question of Emotional Heirlooms
OP’s wife argued that his elder sons had already received emotional heirlooms from his late mother. These heirlooms held little monetary value but were priceless in their sentimental worth. She suggested these heirlooms compensated for any lack of financial inheritance.
The Injustice of Additional Wealth
OP did not see why his younger children should receive an additional inheritance. He believed that if he had paid child support to his ex-wife, he might feel less guilty about giving them less.
The Shadow of the Ex-Wife’s Contributions
OP felt that his ex-wife had done more for their children than his current wife had for theirs, primarily because he was more involved with his younger children. This complicated his intentions for equitable distribution of his assets.
Reaching Out For Support
As OP struggles with his current wife on what to do, he seeks advice from the internet. The opinions about one aspect are mostly the same. According to most people, including all four children equally is a must. They do have many concerns about how he is looking out for his current wife.
What About Me?
Many hypothesize that his wife is fearful for her own future, and that is where her doubts originate from. If, for some reason, OP dies an early death, what will his current wife and children do? This leaves OP with a lot to think about.
Was Splitting His Inheritance Amongst All Four Of His Children Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Your children are all equally yours to different mothers or not, so you’re right to want to treat them equally.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “This should not be negotiable. Tell your wife that each of your children will get equal amounts, and you will not under any circumstances have it any other way.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “She’s a stay-at-home mom, and it does sound like you don’t value that. She gave up her career to provide for the family you created together. She shouldn’t be destitute for that decision in case you die before her. She should get funds to live off of when you pass, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of just two of your kids.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “Your wife is the stereotypical stepmother who thinks her kids deserve more. Your kids should get equal parts. If your wife wants her kids to have more, tell her to go back to work to provide the home with a better living.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.