Dad Demands His Estranged Daughter Pay Back $18K In Child Support If She Wants To Reconnect

"She needs to prove to me that she doesn't only care about the money."

hand out with dollar sign above it and upset young woman Luis Molinero via Shutterstock / Hadiiiben's Images, TiTi Lee, Temptackle and George Doyle via Canva

A conflicted father looking for advice — and financial retribution — turned to Reddit to ask if he was in the wrong for expecting his daughter to pay him back $18,000 in child support.

The father wants his estranged daughter to pay back the money he has given her over the years to repair their relationship.

In his Reddit post, the father explained that the fallout started when his daughter, Aria, “abandoned” him and their family to live with her birth mother, "Sandra," full-time when she was 15.


"Sandra has always been less 'strict' than me," the dad wrote. "She's always let Aria do what she wants and has never had any home rules. She also buys Aria everything she wants so she will want to live with her."

Recounting the events that led to her leaving, he said that after a 5-day school trip out of the country, her father grounded her for not staying in touch as much as he wanted. The punishment caused Aria to miss a popular girl's birthday party, which affected his daughter deeply as "she's never had a lot of friends," according to the father.

RELATED: 16-Year-Old Daughter Feels 'Entitled' To The $1900 Monthly Child Support Payments Her Mom Gets From Her Dad


At the end of that week, when her mother came back to pick her up, Aria’s father told her “that she didn't have to come back if she didn't want to." Aria took her father’s advice and did not return to her father’s house after that.

Her father believed it was because “she didn't love us and that she preferred staying with her mother, her parties and her free-of-rules life.”

Despite the falling out, her father was expected by law to pay child support, including half of her college expenses.

"Over the years we've communicated through lawyers, because Sandra has 0 intentions on helping me get my daughter back (she finally has her to herself)," the man wrote. However, he added that despite not seeing or talking to his daughter, "they've been demanding that I pay for child support, even now that she's 21 years old."

However, this didn't sit well with the father, who felt it was unfair to have to support a child who didn't want to see him — so he devised a plan that he hoped would recuperate both the money he spent in child support over the years as well as his daughter's favor.


"When Aria turned 18, an adult, I started adding up everything I had to pay in an Excel that I send to Sandra when I update it so she knows what damage she is doing to our daughter," the father wrote.

RELATED: A Mom Wants Her Son's 'Deadbeat Dad' To Pay Child Support But Doesn't Want Him To Have A Chance To Get Custody & See Her Son

The father clarified that he expected his daughter to "pay her debt" before they could reconnect.

After years of estrangement, the man wrote that his now 21-year-old daughter "has been trying to get in touch again." However, $18,000 stand between them.

"I told her that we can't fix the emotional part unless we fix the money part first," he said, explaining that he believed "she needs to prove to me that she doesn't only care about the money."


"I expect Aria to pay her debt, but I gave Sandra the option to pay for her to which she refused," the father wrote. "We are now at 18K."

The father is obligated by law to pay child support, regardless of his relationship with his daughter.

Unsurprisingly, many people on Reddit were horrified by the father's handling of the situation.

"You smothered your kid until you pushed her away," one person wrote, noting that if he really cared about her, he "would be trying to make amends, not demanding money," which others noted as being extremely hypocritical considering he was the one who seemed to "care more about money than rebuilding a relationship with his daughter," as one person wrote. "the irony."

Many of the comments were up in arms over his belief that he could make it work in a way most convenient for his personal finances instead of his daughter's well-being.


Legally, this is not how child support functions. Though child support laws vary by state, voluntary child estrangement does not exempt a parent from supporting their child. In fact, in a 2021 court case ruling in Canada, a judge wrote that every parent is expected to continue paying child support after 18 if a child chooses to attend college, regardless of the parent's personal relationship with their child. 

Ultimately, if Aria’s father was looking for support in his quest to get his $18,000 in child support back, he did not find any of that on Reddit. And he probably won’t find much legal support for it either.

"I can guarantee that if you try getting her to pay back the money you were required by the court to pay (child support, college), any lawyer would laugh in your face," one person commented. "That’s called being a parent, it’s not a loan."


RELATED: Man Protests Being 'Forced' To Pay Child Support For A Baby He Didn't Want—'We Should Never Force A Man To Do Anything'

Amanda Hartmann is a writer who covers human interest stories, relationships, parenting, and more.