The story of a woman refusing to take 50 percent custody of her children has shocked Reddit.
Posted on Sunday on the popular subreddit r/AmITheA**hole, user kidthrowaway76 explained the story, which now has over 12,000 upvotes and thousands of comments.
kidthrowaway76 said: “I know the title makes me sound like an a-hole, but hear me out. I have three children with my ex-boyfriend. We had 50/50 custody since our last daughter. In June 2021, he asked for 100 percent custody and of course, I refused. He threatened me saying he would get it.”
She went on to explain that when she went to collect her children that same week, they were angry and accused her of kidnapping them. “The whole week they were too much,” wrote the user, “so I gave him 100 percent custody while agreeing to pay child support.
“It was summer so of course they were having lots of fun and since his new girlfriend couldn’t have children, it was like a perfect situation for them.”
The poster said that she moved out of the house, got an apartment and began “living her best life.” But once school started again, problems arose.
“He didn’t know what to do when it came to school as I covered all of it,” she said. “I gave him a binder with everything he would need to know. Since January the kids and my ex have been begging to go back to 50/50 and I’ve refused every time.”
The post finished with: “I told them they made their choice. He told my family and I’m getting messages from everyone about not taking the kids back. So AITA?”
According to data from Statista, in 2020 there were around 15.31 million children living with a single mother in the U.S., while only around 3.37 million children lived with a single father.
When it comes to splitting time between parents, a major research project from Sweden in 2016 found that children in equal shared parenting arrangements—for example, a 50/50 sharing scheme—had lower levels of psychosomatic problems than those who lived mostly with one, or only with one parent.
The story sparked wide conversation online, where commenters overwhelmingly said that “ESH” – an online abbreviation for “Everyone sucks here.”
One commenter said: “Neither of the parents seem to be very concerned about what’s in the best interests of the children, only what is convenient or inconvenient to themselves,” while another wrote: “Your kids are the collateral damage in the war between you and the ex. Is the goal to do the best for them or hurt each other the most? Because it definitely looks like the latter.”
In a later update, the mom responded to the comments from Redditors and said: “A lot of you think I should see them on weekends and try to rebuild relationship before going back to 50/50. I think I will try this and thank you to the others who said I am the a hole and have a good reason why. I will be putting my kids first from now on.”
Newsweek has reached out to kidthrowaway76 for comment.