She was thrown into the deep end by her ex-husband when he told people his ex-wife would pay for the damages. But she thinks $700 was too much for a kid’s shoes!
OP (Original Poster) is a 37-year-old divorcee and a mother of two. She shared that she had custody of her kids for most of the year because her ex-husband was frequently away for business.
However, he usually wants to spend time with his kids whenever he’s in town.
A Weekend Away
The week before this story was posted, OP mentioned that her kids stayed at their dad’s for the week. Then, when her 17-year-old son came home, he gave her a receipt amounting to $700.
He said that it was for a pair of shoes he needed to pay for.
OP was confused about why they needed to pay for another kid’s pair of shoes—especially one that amounted to $700!
Her son explained that he accidentally stepped on another kid’s shoes while his shoes were muddy. She said in the post, “Apparently, the mud caused so much damage to these expensive shoes that they need to be replaced.”
Needing Some Clarification
OP still wasn’t sure she should pay for the new pair, so she called her ex-husband for some explanation.
Then, he told her, “It was our job as parents to set a good example to our kids and show that we fix things when we make mistakes.”
Making Her Pay
Per OP, her ex-husband volunteered her to the other kid’s mom. He said she was the one who would be paying for the replacement.
She said his reasoning was that she was receiving child support from him, so OP should have enough money to pay for the shoes.
Trying to Resolve Things on Her Own
Seeing that there was no point in further arguing with her ex-husband, OP ended up calling the other kid’s mom. She explained that she did not agree to pay for her kid’s supposedly damaged shoes.
This made the other kid’s mom upset. She said it was an agreement with OP’s ex-husband that she would pay for the shoes, and it was OP’s responsibility to do so.
OP was getting frustrated at her and the whole situation and told her that if her son didn’t want to get something so expensive damaged, he shouldn’t have worn it at school.
OP further said it was a mistake and they would not be paying $700 for a replacement. The other kid’s mom didn’t want to back down and threatened to “seek legal counsel” if OP didn’t pay.
However, OP decided to stick to her decision.
Is She Wrong?
OP clarified why she thinks she might be the a**hole in this scenario. First, she asks whether or not she was wrong to refuse to pay for a pair of shoes her son stepped on.
Second, she wants to know whether it was wrong to back down on her ex-husband’s agreement with the other parent involved.
The Community’s Reactions
A top commenter listed everything he thinks went wrong in OP’s story.
Some of the things he said included, “Your ex is an a**hole—regardless of how much child support he pays, he doesn’t get to obligate you to pay for something. When your kid is with his father, his expenses are his father’s responsibility, not yours—that includes any incidental costs for other kids’ clothing that he destroys.”
Why Spend $700 on a Pair of Shoes?
The same commenter asked, “What kind of idiot sends a child to school in $700 shoes? Why does a child even own $700 shoes?”
He also added, “Schools are crowded places where lots of kids crowd into the same space. Someone standing on someone else’s shoe is part of normal incidental contact and normal wear and tear. The shoes didn’t get damaged—they got muddy. If a pair of shoes can’t stand up to a little mud, they’re not appropriate to wear to school.”
Stick To Your Decision!
Other Redditors also stood by OP’s decision, and one even said that legal counsel would laugh at the mom who tried to press charges over an issue like this.
A Redditor also said, “Do not pay unless your son went after other kids’ shoes on purpose with the intention of damaging them.”
The Spotlight Is on Her Ex-husband
Redditors also called out her ex-husband for being an absolute a**hole in this scenario.
One person commented, “The ex is awful! ‘We need to set a good example for our son. I’ll start by offloading the cost of the shoes onto you. What a good role model I’m being!’—parent of the year material right here.”
With Redditors’ comments, it’s clear that OP’s husband was in the wrong for promising she’ll pay for something without her consent; she wasn’t even in the scene when it happened!
People also want to call out the other kid’s parents for letting their child wear a pair of shoes that cost $700 to school, which could be 100% dirtied. They even said that it was too much to say that OP’s son “destroyed” the shoes instead of it being accidentally “damaged.”
If you were asked to pay $700 for a pair of shoes your child accidentally dirtied, would you do it? Did OP do the right thing?
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