AITA for selling my son's car to pay for his stepbrother's surgery?

  1. Because you know its his bio son and he and the ex wife went half on it so why sell his car when he can just sell other people's cars because his wife and her ex can't provide for their sick kid.

  2. What really gets me is the “he found out” part. Like was OP just gonna sell it and not tell his kid beforehand? Was his son gonna walk out one day to drive to school or work and just find his car gone with no explanation?

  3. Indeed, YTA. Why not ask your son to sell his car? It's a medical emergency, and most likely your son would agree to sell. But now you took matter into your hands and decided that was the best course of action. It was your son's car and it was your son's decision to make.

  4. There's also medical bankruptcy in the U.S. Long before the ACA, my grandparents had to do that for my uncle's medical bills. It sucked that it it had to go there, but they did it and rode out the 7 years, and in the end in did come off their credit report and my uncle got the care he needed. If OP could accept that as an option, he could have just been glad he was able to help out his bio-son with a car before his finances took a turn for the worse.

  5. Also as someone who has a condition that’ll require multiple surgeries throughout my life. A lot of surgeons who don’t take insurance or where you’ll have a big bill even after the fact will work out some kind of payment plan with you. They just want their money; they’re generally pretty happy to wait a year or two to see all of it. Yeah it sucks but it’s always worth asking about since payment plans directly through a doctor tend not to have interest. And you could always try to petition your insurance to cover more of it than they are offering to. It’s tailored specifically towards my own condition, but I can save something off a group I’m in on how to advocate to insurance to get them to pay more— it’s like a letter template. If OP had bothered to do research instead of going nuclear and selling a car that he didn’t fully pay for he would’ve found that there are options.

  6. And four, given the cost of health care in America, (I'm assuming he is or he wouldn't be stressed about the cost of care) the proceeds from selling a used car will just be a small drop in the bucket and won't really do anything to help solve the financial strain. He created a lot of anger and resentment to put bankruptcy off by a week or two. It's a really shitty situation OP is in and he just made it that much worse.

  7. The fact that the ex-wife’s reaction or thoughts about his decision to sell the car isn’t mentioned whatsoever makes me think maybe she passed away

  8. This isn't an INFO situation...OP, YTA. You gave a car to your son and you took it back from him now that you needed money. That was inappropriate and it may have even been illegal, depending on where you live. Gifts like that to children can actually be considered transferred, even if you don't put it in their name immediately.

  9. This. I am also a bio and stepmom, and this is exactly where I went. At the absolute bare minimum it should have been discussed, but selling an adults car regardless of who’s name it’s in was an asshole move- I don’t care what reason there was.

  10. When I saw the title my first question was whether OP's son had done anything to warrant any sort of punishment. He didn't, his only role in proceedings was to be the primary driver of a car he was gifted, and to rightly protest OP's plan.

  11. Unless this car is a rare collectors lamborghini, then it's barely going to make a dent in the finances any operations OP's step-son requires.

  12. That's exactly what I was trying to understand. OP sold the car without telling their son first? That order of operations is the largest contributor to what makes OP TA. If he asked beforehand, or even told him beforehand that would have made her less of an A, and maybe even made the son TA if he had outright refused. But taking something from someone without telling them, especially a barely-adult offspring who recently moved out, is setting up the parent for all sorts of trust issues, bitterness and reduced contact going forward. I understand this must be a terribly stressful time and you may be in a bad financial situation, but that was a horrible way to approach the problem, OP.

  13. He knew his son would say no, so he decided to demand forgiveness instead of asking for permission. Then he has the audacity to be upset that his son doesn't want to talk to him, and that he's being shamed for stealing from his child.

  14. YTA OP. This is such a massive trap step parents fall into. They overcompensate and end up treating their step child more favorable than their biological children. You literally showed your son that he and his belongings do not matter and that you're always going to favor his step brother. You also probably caused resentment between the boys.

  15. YTA. A major one. Congratulations on ruining any future relationship with your son. You took a GIFT (therefore the car is his) then sold said car without talking to him at all ? What’s wrong with you. I understand you’re in a difficult position but what you just did was so wrong on so many levels. Especially considering his mother also paid for the car.

  16. Yeah like...even if you for some reason decided you absolutely needed to sell this car for the money OP, couldn't you have like...offered to let your son buy you out of it, or to the rest of the family to buy it out on your son's behalf, so you could get the money for your stepson without depriving your son of the vehicle? Why was your immediate thought to sell it to a stranger and tell no one until your son came home for the winter holidays and found it gone, or whatever happened here?

  17. Yes, not discussing this is the major AH part for sure. He might have been ok with selling the car to help his brother, and then it wouldn't have been an issue.

  18. I would cut my dad out of my life so quick. I can’t imagine how mad he and his mother are about this. I don’t know how OP can make this right. He clearly can’t afford to replace the car and now owes his ex wife money in my opinion.

  19. Wake up in the morning to go class, to the garage, wait wheres my car ? DAD, do you know where my car is ? Oh yeah, I sold it yesterday, better hurry you gonna miss the bus.Get rekt!

  20. YTA. You gave him a gift. One that he uses to go to SCHOOL. Instead, you should have explained the situation and ASKED if he would be willing to sell his car to help. If he refuses, then you don't sell the damn car. Why don't you sell YOUR car instead?

  21. Because it would have impacted him and that can't happen. His son's car is expendable in his mind, because his bio son is no longer important to him

  22. It should also be pointed out that only half was a gift from the dad. The other half was paid for by his bio mom who was not consulted

  23. Go ahead and kill your relationship with your bio son, maybe he gave half a gift… his mother payed for half of the car

  24. YTA. and also I hope you plan on giving his mom back her money she put into the car because personally I would sue the living crap out of you

  25. And also plan to permanently lose a son. OP’s son will never forget this, and will probably write off the relationship + any emotional investment

  26. So why didn't you or your wife sell your cars? How is your son suppose to go to school now? Or does he have to give that up too?

  27. YTA. Cannot believe that is the only option for cash. You could take a 2nd mortgage on car., Check into charity from the hospital,.check into medicaid. Your wife could sell her engagement ring to pay for her son's healthcare needs rather than expecting you to sell your son's car that his mom paid 1/2 for without discussing with you.

  28. Again this is was the easiest option for OP. A second mortgage would actually hurt him=. Selling the car without telling his son is perfectly fine because who gives a shit he only paid half screw his ex right.

  29. I agree OP is the asshole but reading this from a European is disgusting this is even a thing. Selling engagement rings etc to save a kids life.

  30. I’d start selling my own plasma & move into a van down by the river before I’d steal from my child to pay any bill - even a necessary medical bill.

  31. YTA. If you and your ex wife jointly bought the car, and your son is the only person who drives it, you can’t just unilaterally sell it. I’m sorry about your stepson but this was not the way.

  32. Added onto this as someone who’s family was in the medical field is the fact that many hospitals (Christian based ones especially) often have charity funds. You’re going to need to discuss with your stepson’s medical team about your options. Usually they will go this route if there’s no other alternative. I do think YTA but I believe this is an act based in sheer desperation and not one based on rational thought considering OP came to Reddit for this.

  33. As a medically complex individual as well, it’s worth mentioning that the debt won’t appear on your credit report if it can’t be paid. There are other solutions besides screwing over your eldest son. YTA. Find another way.

  34. We will get an update in 5 years when OP asks for advice to reconnect with their son who hasn’t spoken to him since selling the car

  35. YTA You STOLE his car. Of course you are the asshole. And his mother paid for half of it, how does she feel about this whole thing? I have a feeling you just permanently destroyed your relationship with your son. Which any reasonable, decent person would have seen coming. Have you sold your car yet? What about your wife's? Second mortgage? A line of credit for medical expenses?

  36. He ruined not only his relationship with his son. His son is now going to resent his step brother and step mom. Most likely will being going NC as soon as he is able

  37. YTA. I realize you are in a tough position but a better approach would have been asking him about the car as a possibility to sell vs. telling him you ARE selling it. You left him out of the decision process on a car that belongs to him. YTA for how you approached the problem not for trying to raise money for surgery as that is necessary.

  38. You are in a difficult situation. I understand money was needed to pay for the surgery. If it's a matter of his life or death, then I understand the desperation.

  39. Also, is there nothing that op and/or wife could of sold that they own themselves first? There must have been other options available to them.

  40. YTA If my parent had done to me what you've done to your son I would never speak to them again..

  41. YTA. You failed to mention if your stepson’s bio dad was involved or willing to contribute financially. There are other options to explore rather than selling your son’s car. Ask the doctors treating your SS to refer you to a social worker at a hospital. My cousin’s daughter had osteo sarcoma and while her parents both had good jobs, the cost of her extended treatment was not manageable for them. The social worker actually helped them apply for welfare for her which covered all of her medical care which was probably over a million dollars.

  42. YTA. It was a gift, it was not yours to sell, his mother contributed to it, and your stepsons issues are not your son's or his mother's financial burden to bare.

  43. My biggest question is where is the father? And where are his family members(stepson's)? Because OP made his son and ex pay for the surgery for someone that they didn't decide to be part of their life.

  44. So are you planning on giving your sons mom half of the money, since she paid for the car? Or are you just as cool with stealing from her as you are with your son?

  45. YTA It may have been in your name, and you may have paid for it, but it was his car because you gifted it to him. I get the stepsons health issues take priority over everything. However, what you did was no different than if you had bought your son a microwave for Christmas, then took it back when you needed one.

  46. YTA. You pretty much stole from your biological son for your stepson. Your stepson is sick and that’s sad and I hope he gets better but there are other things you could have done instead of selling your son’s car. Just because it was in your name doesn’t mean it was yours to sell. You gave it to him as a gift. You can’t take it back. It’s also your stepson. Where’s his biological father?

  47. YTA. You cannot take back a gift, his mom also paid half, she would be mad I’m sure, and why was it in your name?!? Also you just cut off your other son by showing his brother was more important.

  48. YTA it’s his car, that your ex wife also help paid for. You can’t just sell it without his permission.

  49. YTA You gave your son a gift then stole it. You didn’t even pay for it 100%, you & HIS mother bought it. Your finances aren’t his problems. Give your son HIS car back and sign the title over.

  50. Honestly I feel for you. Shitty situation. However, YTA and here's why. You sold a gift that was given by you and your ex and it really was not yours to sell. Yes technically still in your name, blah blah blah but morally the wrong thing. You've not only taken from your son but your ex as well.

  51. YTA. A gift is just that: a gift, which means that once it's been given to the other person, it's theirs, completely and permanently. That holds doubly true in this case because it was jointly purchased with someone else, meaning you not only took something that wasn't yours to take, you actually stole the money his mom put towards the purchase. I hope she sues you for her contribution, and you deserve losing your son, which is what's going to happen next because he has seen for himself that you aren't to be trusted with seeing to his best interests or keeping your word to him.

  52. YTA - IT'S A GIFT. That doesn't mean you get to take it back when you decide to spend money elsewhere. I'll be shocked as hell if your oldest stays in contact with you. You're clearly showing him how much he rates. Have you gone through the rest of his belongings for things that you've given him? Maybe you can get money for the XBOX One S you got him a year or two ago. Resell his jeans? Maybe he has some kicks that you gave him for his birthday that are worth something on the market?

  53. YTA 1000000000000%. You didn’t even ASK. You just told him. He is an adult who is going to school and I would assume probably working part time (or will be wanting to soon). What is he supposed to do now? Is his life just on hold indefinitely and his feelings worthless to you?

  54. YTA, not necessarily for selling the car, but for apparently doing it without any discussion. Surgery for a family member is a valid emergency but just going off and making that decision is kind of messed up. You could have at least gone to him and his mom and asked them to buy it or something (assuming whatever your ex already paid into it went towards it as well). This was a messy choice that probably made rough time that much worse for everyone. Sorry about the sick kid, hope the surgery goes well.

  55. What a heartbreaking situation… as someone who lives in a country with universal healthcare I can’t imagine what you as a loving parent would feel like trying to find the money to cover a child’s surgery.

  56. Exactly—the American medical system is the real AH here. That a family would have to go into debt to save their child’s life (or save them from extreme debility) is the real tragedy here.

  57. YTA.. you were not the only person who purchased the car and your son’s uncles are right.. your stepsons health is truly not your son’s financial concern.

  58. Are you seriously here for our verdict? How are you not the AH here? You’ve stolen your son’s car. You handled it so poorly, instead of communicating with him, you went behind his back and sold his car. It doesn’t matter if it was in your name, it was his. It doesn’t sound like he will forgive you and I don’t blame him. You’ve just lost a son.

  59. YTA. I am very sorry your stepson is in need of this procedure and I hope he will get better soon! Unfortunately, you may have lost your son for good. You should have never taken from him even if the car is in your name. I also hope that you have his mother her half of the proceeds from the sale back.

  60. Was the car legally yours? On paper, sure. BUT! You did NOT pay for it by yourself, it was a joint purchase between you and your son's bio mom, for him to use for transportation/college. You had absolutely NO RIGHT whatsoever to sell that car without talking to your son or your ex-wife. Depending on what state you are in, your ex-wife could sue your pants off for it. So could your son. Despite the fact that it was in your name. Because, who paid for the insurance, gas, oil and upkeep? Did/do you owe any back child support? Do you owe any kind of educational contributions as per the original divorce decree? How about carrying health insurance on your son as per the original divorce decree? Have you been meeting all legal support obligations per the original divorce decree? Because if you have not, even one little smidge, and your ex and your son decide to take you to court, you have a very good chance of having your goose well and truly cooked by a judgement in their favor against you.

  61. INFO: how does he not qualify for Medicaid as a minor? I thought that was pretty easy even in shitty states that hate their residents, but admittedly I could be wrong about that.

  62. YTA dude i understand why you did it but you didn't even tell him so he could come up with an alternative or prepare to lose his transportation to school, also you said it was a present from you and his mother are you going to pay her the half that is rightfully hers?

  63. Where is your stepsons parents???? They should be funding this surgery. Not money from a car that you and your ex paid for. So you and your ex are funding surgery for your now wife’s child. How can you not see YTA!!!

  64. This is a tough one. In my family — first generation american — there would be no question about selling anyone’s car so a brother (blood or step), can have a life saving or quality of life saving surgery.

  65. But it’s also not completely ops, his ex put in half the money so really op should only be getting half of what the car is worth regardless of the reason

  66. Importantly, if they do live in the US and not a major city they would need a car to drive the sick son to appointments. So maybe NAH if they only have two total cars for the whole family. If this is life or death, like OP makes it sound, you have to sell the car. At the same time the son has a right to be mad about it. If both OP and his wife have a car (3 total cars) then I would say YTA.

  67. YTA when you give someone something especially your child you don't take it back. If he never talks to you and your wife again remember you did this to yourself.

  68. YTA. It’s not your car, you gifted it and you didn’t pay for it all to begin with. It’s also not your sons responsibility to pay for his stepbrothers medical procedures.

  69. YTA. You can’t return a gift. You took advantage of your power over your son. Selling a car right out from under him is scummy, no matter what the reason.

  70. Lessons you taught your son. 1. Your stepson is more important 2. You cannot be trusted 3. Never have your name attached to anything, you'll steal it from him 4. You are willing to steal from your ex-wife as well (car was half hers, she paid half) 5. You won't negotiate or argue because you don't want to hear YTA

  71. YTA you and his mum paid for it. That money isn't all yours and further: it was a gift. Parents like you are always the ones wondering why their child doesn't speak to them in the future

  72. YTA -- You and HIS MOM bought that car and gave it to him as a gift. You stole from him and from your ex wife.

  73. YTA. Yes it’s a tough situation but you gave him a gift. Even though it was still in your name you still gave it to him and then took it away to sell. Sometimes you got to do what you got to do but you have permanently broken your sons trust

  74. I feel for you and your stepson, but YTA. It was not yours to sell, especially without discussing it first. I’d be surprised if he ever forgives you.

  75. It was a gift. It should have stayed as such so YTA, especially as he needs it for college. Having said that, it’s of fucking shitty that people have to go into debt and sell their children’s cars just to stay get medical help. Most hospitals will have financial plans to help pay this off over time, have you looked into that?

  76. YTA. I know US healthcare sucks but you will not be denied life saving surgery for not being able to pay. You could have went ahead with the surgery and then dealt with the medical debt. How much did you get for the used car anyway. Probably not more than $10 K, which wouldn’t even begin to cover the surgery.

  77. Regardless of the Judgment (which I do think YTA, if only because you went behind your son's back), I really hope stepson recovers, because, dude, you sacrificed your relationship with one son to save another.

  78. YTA. The uncles are absolutely correct. And if he had the medicine condition since birth, his mom should have been more prepared.

  79. Your son is correct: It was a gift from you to him. It is NO LONGER YOURS. The fact that you didn't have the title transfered was an oversight needs to be corrected. You are in actuality stealing from your son. No excuses for that. None! You and your wife need to take out a loan or find some way to take care of your stepson that doesn't involve stealing from your other child.

  80. INFO: Was there no alternative? What if you couldn't get money? Is that it? Nothing can be done to help your step-son?

  81. YTA, first of all you can make payments to the hospital, it doesn’t have to be paid off all at once! Secondly you’re putting one child above another, and just taking the car…what a shitty thing to do! Yes sir you are!

  82. YTA. He’s using it to drive to college if I understand things correctly or will very soon. Not only this, HIS mom is the one who helped you buy it—not your wife. Yes, it’s in your name but this seems like it’s really going to hurt your relationship with your son because you’re favoring his stepbrother over him.

  83. You stole from your son AND his MOTHER. You should at least reimburse the money his mother spent. Totally YTA in that regard. If I was her I would at least take you to small claims court. Congratulations for alienating both of them. I'm sure something else or some sort of compromise could have been done.

  84. YTA. Question. Would you have taken and sold your step-son's car to help pay for medical care if your son needed it? Even if that car was a gift from you and you're current wife.

  85. YTA. And you owe half of the money from the sale to your ex. Bad decision, is going to lead to bad consequences for you.

  86. Why didn’t you sell your car? YTA it sucks that this is how medical expenses are but it’s not your son’s responsibility to pay for it

  87. YTA I think we all need to go no contact with op. If I was his ex wife I would be calling the cops with proof I paid half the vehicle then I would be pressing charges. Frankly I hope your stepson gets well because going forward he’s going to be your only child

  88. YTA!! And i won't be surprised if mom demands payment for the money she put down on that car Or if she sues you for it. Next time do better and talk to your son before doing something behind his back, because you knew he would be upset about it and yet still did it. Don't act like the victim here. Pretty sure if you had communicated properly your son wouldn't hate you at this moment.

  89. YTA. That is your son's car. His mom paid half that car for him. Your wife and her EX are responsible for her sons bills not your son. Figure it out another way.

  90. So you must have sold all the jewelry you and your wife have and electronics, cut back on streaming services, stopped going out to eat and buying coffee and sold your cars right? Then when you sold his car you paid your ex back for her half of the car, if not YTA

  91. YTA: You didn’t even bother to talk to him before hand? I’m guessing you’re at least taking the responsibility of getting him to the places he needs to be, right?

  92. Yta and it’s not yours, are you gonna pay his mom back? Or do u just expect her to help you with your entitlement?

  93. YTA. Are you in the US? Because if so, and if this actually needed surgery 1) you have health insurance or you GET health insurance 2) hospitals don’t ask for huge upfront payments, they would absolutely have let you create a payment plan. 3) where is step kids bio father in this situation? Make him cough up the cash and take him to court for it if needed.

  94. I don't understand people who ask questions like this, of course YTA. If you don't have the money, talk to the insurance, talk to the billing department, make a payment plan. But to sell your other kids car, without them even knowing, what is wrong with you?! What about his financial situation, how that effects him and his life? You spared not a single thought to him and you should be ashamed.

  95. YTA- for being an unapologetic thief. It’s you and your spouse’s job to fund your stepson’s surgeries, with the help of his father. No one else’s. Theft solves nothing. It makes you a poor parent to your own kid, and it sets things up for resentment.

  96. YTA- it was your sons car, which you gifted to him - or was it? The very fact the car was still in your name is pretty suspicious that you never really intended the car as a gift in the first place

  97. You are an absolute coward and implicitly admitting you knew you were an asshole by not having a conversation with your son about it first. You’re getting the exact fallout you know you deserved and that’s why you acted like a weasel behind his back. YTA

  98. YTA. I hope you like No Contact with your son. You chose your stepson over him. Also you said it was a gift from you and his mom. Did mom agree to let you sell the car?

  99. YTA. The child of your bed partner is not your son’s problem. You and his mother gave that car to him. If you think finances are bad now, how do you think they will be after your ex and your child take you to small claims court?

  100. YTA becuase u didnt even think or blink to ask him or tell him u need to sell it for your stepsons surgery. u just blatantly took it back and sold it and told him afterwards. and the the other part is you totally disrespected him by your behaviour after the fact. had you asked and explained the situation your bio son probably would have said go ahead sell it but you were shady about it so dont be surprised he goes low to no contact.

  101. YTA and you are an awful parent! You should get ready for your son to go NC with you because he now has absolute, undeniable proof that you will pillage any and everything for your new family, including his gifts. Everything you have given him is on loan until you need it again. If I were him, I would give back everything you have every given and tell you goodbye! You literally make me sick OP.

  102. Yta. The car may have been in your name but you had given it to your son. Not only that but his mother - who has no responsibility to you or your son - paid for half off the car. You know she didn't give you money for a car so that you could sell it - no matter how good a reason you might have. You are forcing one son to pay for the medical treatment of the other - but that isn't his job.

  103. Info: after you stole the car that belonged to your son what did you do with the money you sold it for? Did 100% of it go to your stepson's medical bills?

  104. Yta. What did your sons mother say cause she paid half of the car. You had no right to sell it. You can't take something back to sell. Edited to add. You don't say that hat your ex wife thinks I hope she takes action on you since she paid for half. Also I hope his moms not gone and it's was something from her.

  105. It was a gift from your ex and you to your son. You screwed over your son and clearly his mother would not want this. He may never speak to you again. YTA.

  106. INFO - Did you at least give your ex wife what she put into getting the car for your son or did you just expect her to want to pay for some of your stepsons medical bills as well?

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