Sharing custody of a child is supposed to make things clearer and more organized for both parents involved—but somethings stuff happens and one parent might find themselves taking on more responsibility. If it’s a consistent thing, that’s obviously unfair—but what if it was an emergency?
One Dad took to Reddit to ask if he was in the wrong for asking his ex to pay for babysitting her own daughter after he had to take the day off work to care for her due to an emergency on the mom’s side.
Apparently, this has happened before, and this was the last straw.
“I have a custody and child support agreement with my ex for our 5F (Sumara) that has been unchanged for the past 3 years, since our breakup. Personally, I’ve never missed anything, never been late. I adhere to the agreement to the tee. I make sure everything else in my life will agree with our agreement because I know thats whats best for Sumara. My ex…I can’t say the same. She’s never been a very organized person and after our breakup it seems to me like her life has been even more disheveled since I’m no longer around to bear that load,” the OP writes.
“2 weeks ago she calls me at 7am and tells me I need to pick up Sumara because she has to go to to work soon and her normal childcare (her Mom) and her backup (her Sister) are not available. I’m like WTF I have to go to work soon as well what happened?”
Unfortunately, the OP’s ex explained that her grandfather had fallen the night before and had to go to the hospital. Because her mother doesn’t drive, the ex’s sister had to go with her and are still at the hospital with the grandfather. Apparently, this is the 3rd time something like this has happened in the past year, and the OP is aggravated that he has to rearrange his schedule.
“I double checked with my ex to make sure there is literally no one else available. When she said no, I called my boss and explained the situation and he said it was cool, but he reminded me that I’m a new employee so I didn’t have any paid time off, and that in general it doesn’t look good for new employees to call-off last minute. I said I understand, and picked up my daughter.”
“When my ex came to pick her up at the end of the day I told her she owes me $100. I lost money by not going to work today. I understand it was an emergency, but this is your fault for not having proper backup,” the OP said. “She BLEW UP on me. She started screaming and said she’s not going to pay me to watch my own daughter. She called me a piece of sh*t for trying to capitalize on her family emergency. She called her Mom on the phone so she can yell at me too. I stood my ground and collected my $100.”
Was the OP wrong here?
“NTA. She needs backup care to properly provide the level of childcare you’re already assisting in paying for. Stuff happens, but when the same stuff repeatedly happens, she needs to figure out a new system that doesn’t jeopardize your job,’ said rileygreyy.
“Next time just tell her no. She will have to be the one to miss work. If the situation was reversed I can promise you she would not have handled as well as you did, putting your child first. Plus you have a new job. Not to sound like Nancy Regan, Just. Say. No. If you have concerns she will leave the child in an unsafe position, then go back to court get primary custody, get the tax break, pay less child support or don’t pay any, and ensure your child is cared for properly. Probably best all around,” said lallaw.
“If she can’t handle the responsibility of equal custody, she shouldn’t have equal custody. Also, she can use the child support to hire a baby sitter, or she can take a day off like you would when it’s your day to watch her and you can’t find a sitter. But instead, she chose to be an irresponsible parent and force somebody else who care more about the child than than her to pick up the slack,” explained ianwasted30.
“I’m going against the grain: YTA. Grandpa was in the hospital, child care fell through, that happens. Your options were to tell her you weren’t available and she’d have to take the day off work. Or to tell her up front, I can take the day off work, but I need you to reimburse me $100. Don’t bill her after the fact. Even if you were happily married, childcare still can fall through (especially when you’re not using a daycare and relying on family). And you still would’ve taken a day off to care for your child. Having a child doesn’t always perfectly align with the court order. Sometimes you have to go above and beyond. I’m going to guess mom has primary custody and does the bulk of the day to day work in raising he child. Taking a day off to help in a family emergency isn’t like a crazy situation,” noted CityBride.
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