The student, who goes by the username u/bbburmah, detailed the situation in a post shared to the popular Reddit forum AITA [Am I The A**hole] two weeks ago, in a post titled: “WIBTA if I asked my mother to share her workplace bonus with me?”
According to the graduate student, their mother divorced their stepfather about a year before they began university at 18 years old. A couple of years ago, their stepfather mentioned he was glad that they never struggled with money throughout school, because of the $15,000 he allocated to the child during the divorce settlement – a sum of money that the student has since never seen or heard about.
Throughout their entire education, the student explained that they had never received any financial support from their mother, ever since leaving home at 18 and moving to a new country. Now, they’re working full-time to pay off their student loans.
“My mother remodelled her house while I was away at university, and I had never known where that money had come from, as she doesn’t have a very well-paid job and never had much in savings,” the Reddit user wrote. “That money was meant for me, and she spent it without ever telling me. I’ve known this for around two years but never brought it up with her.”
The child recently learned that their mother was given a backdated bonus of around $8,000 from her job, which she plans to spend on a vacation with her current boyfriend.
“WIBTA, would I be greedy, would I be petty, if I told her that I know about the $15k, and asked for a share of her $8k to help me cover my student expenses?” they asked.
Since being shared on Reddit two weeks ago, the post has received more than 6,700 interactions and 533 comments from fellow users weighing in on the situation.
The post sparked mixed reactions from commenters. Some believed that the student was entitled to the $8,000 and encouraged them to seek legal counsel. Others felt that the person behind the post should confront their mother about the missing $15,000.
“I mean this is f***ed all over,” one person wrote. “We don’t know what the ‘agreement’ to give mom the cash truly was. If it wasn’t a verifiable legal contract, it would be hard to make it binding. If there was a contract, sue her.”
Another person said: “You need to discuss the 15k with your stepdad, your mother, and a lawyer. You’re entitled to the money if it was set aside for you legally in the divorce. This back alley plan is not the way to go about getting it but you’re NTA for wanting what’s rightfully yours.”
The majority of comments suggested the student would not be in the right to demand their mother’s bonus, considering she was being underpaid by her employer for so many years. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t inquire about the missing college fund.
“NTA for being upset. But you can’t make her share her bonus. Stepdad should have given it directly to you if it was for you,” said one Reddit user, while another person commented: “YWBTA for demanding her bonus. But it’d be perfectly reasonable to ask about the education allocation from the divorce - mention that dad mentioned it to you, and you weren’t aware of it.”
In April, an architect asked Reddit users if he was in the wrong for telling his husband and his in-laws they are “delusional” for expecting him to work for them for free. Back in March, Reddit users urged a woman to divorce her husband after she questioned whether she was wrong to show up to a restaurant where her partner’s family was having dinner, despite not being invited.