AITA for not telling my kids'mom that I was never going to allow her to take them on vacation?

  1. YTA. She asked you about having your children during their holiday break. She brought up traveling in the same conversation (at least that’s how I read your post). THAT was the time to have the conversation.

  2. If this guys ex is “crazy” like Britney then he is Britney’s terrible controlling father that nobody likes. What a control freak who gets pleasure from being petty. I hope his ex decides she doesn’t want to travel and let’s him have the kids so he can’t get his sick satisfaction. YTA

  3. YTA. Not because she can’t travel w/o written permission. Not because you said no to traveling. You’re wrong here because you went petty when you could have been upfront. You’re wrong because you are using your “generosity” as a weapon. If you aren’t giving something freely (meaning, without holding it over someone’s head) then it’s not giving, it’s leverage. You already have the majority of the cards if not the entire deck. Whatever power trip you are on about is not your color and looks extremely bad on you.

  4. He likes the control and power over her. She did ask him with all the relevant info, but she didn't say it the way he wants it said, so he punishes her. It's all abuse and control.

  5. You verbally agreed to let her have the kids for Christmas, and you knew that she was going to travel. You are being REALLY vindictive if you go back on your word. Just sign the document.

  6. Critical question, the answer to which is conveniently left out. It seems like OP has been salivating for this moment from the way the post is written.

  7. As a divorced dad with two kids I’m just going to tell you that not only are YTA, but you’re a huge one at that. There is absolutely zero reason you’ve described that your kids’ mom shouldn’t take them on vacation. You’re being petty and vindictive and the only result of this is that you’re kids are going to grow up resenting you. So be very careful with the choices you make because believe me, they will backfire.

  8. That"crazy like Britney" update only solidifies the fact that he's a misogynist. It's clear the best interest of his kids didn't even cross his mind in any of this, he's just interested in exerting control. OP, YTA

  9. You came on Reddit asking AITA because you believed everyone would rule in your favour. You're wrong because you're definitely TA. But you won't change your mind. You're still going to bar your kids from seeing their maternal relatives for Christmas. You're trying to play a stupid game with your ex but you're inadvertently punishing your kids. Guess what? They notice.

  10. YTA. You don't follow a bunch of other rules because you are so "gracious.". Then you expect her to follow all rules to the T. You set her up by not clarifying her responsibility sooner. I am going to guess this is part of why you aren't together.

  11. Travel out of the country is still a pretty big assumption even if local agreement and rules haven't been strictly enforced.

  12. You need to stop this line because that level of crazy doesn’t get 1 week a month, and one month a summer unsupervised physical custody, along with 50/50 decision making. You don’t seem that worried about them spending time together either, just that she disrespected you, aka the controlling partner code word.

  13. INFO: at what point do you take the children's needs into consideration? Do the children's opinion on going on vacation hold any weight or is their only job right is to just be pawns in your vindictive and controlling game?

  14. I disagree. I've noticed a trend on AITA where people miss the point of assholery. Yes, technically she had to ask for permission, so legally he is in the right. But he's still an asshole, becuase he knew about the trip already and is depriving his children of a cool experience for the sake of making a point. That's a legal move, but an asshole move.

  15. I wonder if it is permission or notification. My custody order said notification at one point (on both sides) for travel out of state, as in I had to send a letter to my ex and tell him when we’d be out of state and he had to do the same; 30 days prior to travel. we both had to cc the court. My ex always read it as seeking his permission… and would try to tell me no. But my ex also likes to play games like this guy and have those gotcha moments.

  16. But it's not about her or him. It's about the kids. Mom should have been responsible and gotten the written agreement, but OP had nothing to lose by just fucking reminding her. But he wanted to be petty, and now the kids are missing out on something they've been looking out for for a long time. Who benefits from this? Whoopie doo, lesson learned... Why can't the kids go on the trip now?

  17. INFO: I'm confused. From your comments the only reason you wont let her travel with the kids is "she didn't ask me." Xmas is a ways away still. If she "formally" asks you now will you say no? If you say no now what would your reason be?

  18. That's my question too, it seems arbitrary. Like he wants to punish her for not asking before doing x amount of planning. But it's still so far off... What deadline did he secretly set that she had to ask by? Or what is the reason travel is permanently off the table?

  19. He’s basically saying she’s crazy because he’s worked hard to make people think she’s crazy. That’s the lesson we all learned from Britney Spears but he somehow missed the memo.

  20. YTA. Why can’t you let your children travel with their mother? You make no claims about their safely or that she isn’t a good mother. In fact you state she takes them more than she ‘has’ to. She sounds like a present and involved parent. What’s your problem?

  21. YTA- she’s not taking them on some random dangerous trip she wants to bring them to her families. You’re making your kids not see loved ones because you’re angry with your ex-wife

  22. To be fair there are plenty of examples of people taking them out of the country “to see family” and then they don’t bring them back. That’s why you need both parents or permission from the parent not traveling to leave the country.

  23. YTA. How is this about the well-being of your kids? All you talked about here is your dislike for your ex and how much you think you do for her.

  24. Info: You say you have split legal custody but you have custody. To me that says you have custody because this is what you agreed on/what was best for kids, not because she needed intervention or is an unsuitable parent. Is that correct?

  25. So you know she wanted to travel with the kids, and you're upset and now refusing because she didn't specifically ask? Yeah, YTA.

  26. Info: why are you against her travelling with them? You haven't explained why except that she needed your permission and you saying no sounds spiteful rather than reasonable. If you're making you're kids miss out on travelling with their mother do you have a reason for this?

  27. First you're all easy going and flexible, even giving her more time, and then pull the rug and suddenly expect that everything should be done exactly as agreed in writing. YTA.

  28. YTA. You make yourself sound so magnanimous, talking about how you let her have extra time with the kids. Then you decide to be petty because she didn't phrase it as a question when she talked to you about it. Your title says you were never going to allow it. If that's the case, why not just tell her that when she mentioned it the first time? You knew what she was thinking and instead of asking for clarification and communicating like an adult, you waited.

  29. YTA unless you have a very good reason for denying her travel plans …which I assume you don’t, because you didn’t mention any.

  30. ESH. She should have been direct and taken that important rule seriously, so I'm not putting it entirely on you. The problem is that it really sounds as though your decision was made in response to your ex rather than for your kids, especially since it essentially escalated to never taking trips and threatening to reduce her contact with the kids (which would likely hurt them) when you got angry about what she said. None of your custody decisions should be about your ex or your relationship with her. Your exclusive concern is what would create the best experience for your children.

  31. YTA. I’ve read all of your comments. You think you’re Joe Cool. You’re really just an ordinary asshole trying to act all slick. Those children that you are using as pawns are going to see the real you and you’re going to lose. It might not be this year or next but it will happen and you’ll be a bitter, lonely man.

  32. YTA. Take this down. I worked in the Family Division for years. Keep doing stupid shit like this and you’ll lose custody. You’re playing games and your kids are suffering. This isn’t it.

  33. YTA. It’s painfully clear this is about sticking to your ex rather than what’s best for the kids. You don’t mention the kids’ preferences even once or how you’re going to handle telling them they can’t go.

  34. Yes YTA! Do you have a good reason why they shouldn’t go on a trip while she has them? You sound very controlling and passive aggressive with the way you e written this whole post. If you already said she can have them for two weeks over Christmas, not also giving them permission to travel is vindictive. It sounds like you just want to wreck her plans and you’re mad she’s not falling at your feet thanking you for “letting” her spend so much time with her own kids. I don’t know why you have 75% custody time, but unless you give more evidence that this would endanger your children. I definitely side with your ex.

  35. Yes YTA, how petty of you. Why on earth would you prevent them travelling? You are ruining an opportunity for your kids to travel and see the world because you want to punish her for some, undisclosed, reason?

  36. You say you were “never going to allow it” and then try to say it’s because it’s last minute. Christmas is 2 months away. If you don’t have actual safety concerns then YTA.

  37. Ik it says but to downvote but there is absolutely no reason for you to bring Britney Spears and her mental health into this, if you couldn't make a cognizant argument without using someone else's worst moments as an example then maybe you're overreacting and YTA

  38. I get that she's not following whatever rules, but ultimately this seems like you're saying no because she didn't ask you for your permission. Your decision to say no comes off as a power play and not because you are actually worried about the safety of your children. Your more worried your feelings instead of what is best for the kids, and yes, that is vindictive.

  39. YTA and a control freak. She mentioned the trio and you didn't object. You knew that based on your not voicing an objection that she would naturally assume there was no problem, and you waited to spring it on her. YTA, YTA, YTA.

  40. NTA. Switch the genders of the parents and re-read this. I wouldn't let an ex who can't handle her kids more than one week a month travel with them either.

  41. YTA. You should have brought up your objection as soon as she mentioned it if you had one. By not doing so you're just being petty and vindictive and controlling.

  42. YTA So you know she was planning to travel? You said that you knew she was “dropping hints”. Soo now you’re acting like some formal ask is required even though you were fully aware. Sounds like you’re kind of an asshole. You understood the plans and just waited for her to confirm that understanding before pulling the rug out. Maybe ask your kids what they would like to do and stop being a vindictive ass.

  43. YTA, you suck as a parent if you can’t see past your hatred of your children’s mother to realize that they are probably SUPER excited for the trip already and really want to go.

  44. YTA for the “She’s like Britney Spears crazy” comment alone. If she had mental health issues you were actually concerned for you would simply say: sadly she has mental health issues. Instead you use hyperbole. You come across as extremely controlling. YTA for not being an adult and dealing with this at the time. Y also TA for not letting your ex take your kids on holiday. What even is it to you?

  45. YTA…OP I am also a single father of two. It sounds like you already made up your mind about not letting them go with her. Unless their is some safety concerns or your afraid she is going to essentially kidnap the kids, which you already stated is not a concern since she feels your brother should get them if anything happened to you, their doesn’t appear to be any reason to deny her request. Sounds like you are being bitter. The only other reason I can see you denying her is if it’s your holiday to spend with them, but you didn’t mention that.

  46. INFO: What's the level of risk of international parental kidnapping here? Like are we talking travel to a country she has citizenship in? Ect. If there's no risk, it just seems like you're being petty because you think you should be her boss tbh.

  47. He seems to be saying even out of state wouldn’t be okay to see grandparents etc. out of country is a bigger consideration, but is she like trying to go to Massachusetts from New Hampshire? That seems different. I think out of state v out of country is very different, and even which states the travel is between could change the calculation. But he seems to be suggesting a blanket no travel anywhere just because he can.

  48. Enjoy your kids while you can. Once they're old enough to pick up on how you're using them to get back at their mother for whatever reason, you're in for a lonely life.

  49. I don't think that's the case. He sounds like he doesn't trust her and that she doesn't have a primary for a reason. He expected her to communicate to him where the plan was to take his children because legally he has to approve.

  50. I say NTA, the mom wanted to leave the country. Once you are out of the country with your kids it is an easy flight to somewhere that won't return your kids to you.

  51. I’m gunna go ESH. You do have a valid point, but are being unforgiving as a form of control. Also, leave Britney Spears outta this, that’s just fucking rude.

  52. ESH. So if it's so important to you legally and morally that she asked, why did you let her dance around it instead of asking outright if she had actual, concrete plans to take them traveling for the holidays? Yeah she shouldn't have been fucking around, but neither should you, and now you're just being vindictive about it.

  53. NTA. So many of these comments are saying Y T A because of how they view what you’re doing to your ex as spiteful or something.

  54. YTA she's still their mother and even If she doesn't have custody she can still spend time with her children. She asked you to let her take the boys for Xmas break and you agreed so you already knew she was probably going to take them out of state. She wasn't pulling anything and It seems like you have a problem with her rather than where she is taking the boys.

  55. Info: Do your kids enjoy being with her? Does she treat them well when they visit? Would they enjoy the trip with her over Christmas break?

  56. YTA. Limiting parenting time because she couldn't cope or couldn't be trusted would be one thing. You aren't doing that. You clearly don't have safety concerns, because you are fine with her having the boys.

  57. Is there a reason you don’t want to allow the travel, other than the custody agreement? Is she unfit in some way, or is there a specific reason they shouldn’t travel with her on special occasions? Because if any of this is true then NTA.

  58. I had a similar arrangement with my ex. He NEVER asked if he could take the kids out of town. He told the kids they were going on trips without ever mentioning it to me, and if I tried to object, he would say it wouldn’t be fair to the kids if I objected because they wanted to go SO BADLY. He manipulated me over and over again this way. I did finally put my foot down, and was willing to take the heat from my kids because I was sick of being manipulated. Magically, he started doing it the proper way going forward. In these cases, I didn’t know his plans ahead of time. I saw where you told someone the only reason you were saying no is that she didn’t ask. If this is true, and you knew this was coming, you should have spoken up earlier and let her know that if this happens again, you won’t allow it, but not dig in your heels like this if it’s actually a one-off. Based on the information you provided, unless there’s a safety concern, YTA.

  59. A lot of the comments seem like double standards, because I sure as heck wouldn’t let my kids travel with an ex husband overseas. Why should OP feel any differently. NTA.

  60. I actually don’t agree with the Y T As entirely. You were approached about having the kids for an extended stay over Xmas, didn’t mention travel at that point in anyway. But then hinted at travelling to you. It is not your responsibility to run after your ex in regards to her plans. It sounds like they didn’t outright tell you because they knew what the custody papers stated. They wanted to wait til it was set in stone money was paid to back you into a corner to say yes. Funny how people are just stuck on the fact that you picked up on the hints regarding the travel, but it is September/October, so months before Christmas time, and you did end up being the bigger person and asking what the exact plans were. Sooooo NTA

  61. Yta bro. You knew she was going out of town but didn’t bring it up. Yeah she should have asked earlier but you’re just playing petty games. Your kids are gonna miss out on a trip cuz you’re on your own power trip. Gross.

  62. So she mentions it but doesn't specifically ask...ok, I get that the conversation is needed. However, when you bring it up and she tells you she thought it was ok, you then go and tell her she can't do it?? YTA in every sense of the word...

  63. YTA - a vindictive asshole on a power trip. An asshole so proud of himself for being gracious - while lying in wait to shoot her plans down, instead of acting like an adult and asking what her plans are.

  64. YTA, you heard her hints and waited instead of asking then if she was going to travel. It was on you to remind her. And it is on you to give permission unless she's an actual danger to your children or you think she's going to kidnap them. You're a petty, sad little person.

  65. Honestly NTA, people are saying that she is the mother of your children and that you had already promised to celebrate Christmas with her, which is correct. What is not correct is that she did not personally tell you that she wants to take them out of state/country, because that is her responsibility as she does not have full custody and needs your permission. She has to remember that a legal agreement is a legal agreement, because legally you have the right and the power not to allow her to have your children out of state.

  66. Info; is there a reason other than her not asking you explicitly that you won’t let her travel with the kids?

  67. YTA you give no mention of what’s in the kids best interest. It’s just about power and control, which is the definition of asshole.

  68. YTA, you sound like a vindictive, controlling jerk who would punish your kids by refusing them a vacation to teach your ex a lesson over who's in charge.

  69. Seems like youre trying to manipulate the situation to punish the mom and paint yourself as righteous, which has absolutely fuck all to do with kids going on a trip with their mother. I dealt with this exact kind of nonsense as a child, but had to grow up anyway. You should too.

  70. YTA. Not for sticking to the agreement, but because you knew and kept quiet on purpose. You literally waited it out so you could spring it on her last minute... and THAT makes you the jerk. You could have been decent and immediately said you wouldn't approve travel when she mentioned it, since you would've said no even if she had done everything EXACTLY right. You made the asshole choice to say nothing until the end. Is it your right? Yes. Is it still an asshole move? Yes. Was it also an asshole move towards your own children who will now be in last minute negativity during their Christmas break visit with her just so dad could pull a power play on mom? Also yes. Next time, just be upfront and say no the second you hear it instead of making it a game of "last minute gotcha".

  71. NTA. I’m the primary parent for two kids as well, and my ex has always been given every other weekend or less, depending on his mental health, sobriety, and legal issues. I know from my experience in family court time and time again there are reasons when one parent has such little time and there are reasons when there is an order that the primary parent has to give permission for travel.

  72. YTA. This is so petty. You let her have extra time, so obviously you trust her with the kids. You just wanted to turn her down because she didn’t formally ask.

  73. Unpopular opinion, but NTA. As a child who was (when I was younger) in situations that sound somewhat similar, you’re NTA. Passive comments to the parent with most custody aren’t okay. Nothing should be assumed when it comes to who has the kids when, because it creates anxiety for the child. What’s not posted here is exactly WHY OP has primary custody or what exactly makes the mother think she can’t handle even 1/2 custody. That’s a HUGE factor. Honestly, for setting boundaries and sticking to them, you’re not the AH. Should you have clarified? Maybe, but that’s not your job and you guys aren’t together - it’s her responsibility as a mother to communicate, just like it would be yours. Expecting her to act like a full grown adult isn’t a far reaching expectation, even if she is the mother. Not all people can be trusted. For sticking to boundaries (even for yourself): NTA. Your boys probably need a strong example of someone who can mean what they say when they say it straight up.

  74. NTA. If she takes the kids without written permission as per your contract, she can be charged with Kidnapping and crossing state lines/country borders.

  75. YTA- you won’t let her travel with her kids to see family because you’re butt hurt she hasn’t asked permission? Go to therapy and get over yourself

  76. YTA, I’m not going to reiterate what everyone else here is saying, your ex should’ve brought it up instead of it being an afterthought, and you should’ve just been an ADULT and brought it up yourself, but what really clinched things for me was the Britney Spears comment. Literally anyone with half a braincell knows that she did not deserve what happened to her, she was not ‘crazy’, and all she wants now is to live her damn life with her kids and partner.

  77. YTA. You’re a classic narcissist. This is about control. You want your ex-wife to ask you the “right” way at the “right” time. You were playing games by not squashing her plans to travel with the kids when she “dropped hints”. You knew damn well what she was planning. You could’ve have just told her that it was ok to have the kids for the Christmas holiday (being the gracious guy you are s/) as long as no travel was involved, but no, that wouldn’t be any fun for you. You want to make the monkey dance.

  78. NTA I feel like taking kids out of the country is something both parents should agree on. I don’t know, seems like there is more to this story though. I’m guessing there is history of a similar pattern, maybe she just assumes you will do things for her without ever asking? Ultimately she created this situation. Ask yourself though, is what you are currently doing in the best interest of your children? If you can honestly say yes then you are N T A. If you are doing this to prove a point to your ex, consider your children and pick another hill to die on.

  79. She may have to ask to take them out of the country, but she does NOT have to ask yo travel within the country or out of state unless it specifically states that in your custody agreement, and I would suggest both she and you review it.

  80. I would like a solid reason why not before I make a judgement. I suspect there is a reason and that is why she wasn't going to ask. "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission" doesn't really work when it threatens a court ordered custody agreement, that could lead to revoked visitation or jail, if broken.

  81. ESH I don’t know why people keep forgetting that’s an option especially in this cause because you’re both clearly the AH. She shouldn’t have assumed anything about getting permission for the boys to travel and should have asked clearly before hand. You however knew this was what she actually wanted and instead of just calling her on it before it got this far you waited till she had money invested before you put a stop to it for some petty ass reason.

  82. NTA. She has been hinting about taking them out of state and possibly OUT OF THE COUNTRY. As a mother with little to no custody that's unacceptable. Even if she had 50% they both need to be discussing major plans like international travel.

  83. YTA, she did a soft ask to see if you had any objections, and you didn’t object. You knew was was going on and let her paint herself into a corner. You know it, I know it, now Reddit knows it.

  84. Info besides not asking with lots of notice to take the kids out of state etc. is there any concern with her doing so? Would the children be in danger? Is exes family toxic? If yes then N T A but if not, it would be in the best interest to allow the children to see their moms side of the family.

  85. YTA. Simply bc you knew she had plans and instead of being upfront (she probably was aware you would say no and wanted to ease you into it)you waited until the last minute. That makes YTA. You seem like an angry bitter little man. So why exactly did you come here? Bc you know you're wrong. You just want someone to be on your side or you want someone to applaud your efforts?

  86. YTA. You agreed to let her have the kids for Xmas which she then proceeded to say they'll be going out of the country, to which you did not object. Of effing course she would assume you were ok with it. Now you are being an AH by saying she didn't specifically asked you. Like seriously? This is like arguing with a kid with underdeveloped brain.

  87. ESH. She is a lousy parent. You are playing the game of “if you asked me I would have said yes, but now it’s a no because I had to ask first” out of spite. It’s still September. Christmas is in 3 months, you’re having the conversation now. Stop adding to the chaos.

  88. YTA. Why are you punishing your kids to fuck with your ex? You’re ruining their Christmas plans too not just hers.

  89. YTA. You have provided no reason for the kids to not go with their mom except “because I said so.” It would be different if there was a safety issue or she isn’t able to properly care for the kids or the kids don’t want to go. You try to paint yourself as the good guy by saying you give her more days than she is ordered, but that might just be because it’s convenient for you. Going out of the country may be a little much if you have concerns she may try to abscond with them, but it doesn’t sound like that’s a concern. What you’re doing is simply a power play to try to exert control.

  90. Please note that parents have been known to kidnap their children and take them out of the country - which also takes them out of the jurisdiction of their home country. OP is not out of line to refuse permission to travel out of state or country! ESH

  91. What do you think your leniency has taught her? That you wouldn’t mind & that you have a casual style that would allow her to make travel plans after granting her the time. I’m not surprised she thought you’d be ok with it.

  92. Nta. Its strange why nobody is asking why he has custody of the kids. And not even 50 50. Maybe she's simply an unfit mother and he feels she shouldn't take the kids out of the state. The fact that she won't be getting custody after him shows there must be a reason

  93. Need Info: Why are you against her taking the kids on vacation? Do you have a legitimate reason or are you just being petty?

  94. YTA. Your children are not objects or possessions to use against your ex. They are people with feelings and who love both of you. This is going to backfire on you big time when they get older and want nothing to do with you. And believe me, they will.

  95. YTA. If she’s so crazy then why did you have not one, but two kids with her? Did I miss the reason you don’t want her taking the kids away for XMas? Or is it just a control thing? “Gracious” - please. She’s their mother. Get off your father of the year pedestal and realize that as long as your kids are safe and happy they should be able to spend time with their mom as often as they can.

  96. You know why Britney acted “crazy”? Because she had a massive asshole gaslighting her to the brink of insanity. That’s what she and your ex have in common. YTA

  97. NTA. My understanding of physical custody vs. legal custody is that legal custody is decisions about medical care, education, religious upbringing. So that in this particular case, you both need to decide those thing together and get equal say. But since OP has primary physical custody, not only does he get the most time with the children, but he gets to make decisions about where the children live. Therefore, it seems pretty clear that by not being openly communicative about where in the world your children would even be, she's going against the agreement?

  98. NTA. The mother is the one who should be responsible for asking about travel as per the custody agreement. OP even making an attempt to bring it up months in advance because he got the hints was not necessary. he is already doing his best to not restrict the time the kids have with the mother by sticking strictly to the agreement. She is a bad communicator and this is all on her

  99. Weren’t you trying to be an asshole though? You said you knew she talked about traveling. You didn’t press further since that’s “her job”. So you let her think she could travel with the kids and then at the last minute mentioned it and again was like “whoops that’s your bad”. YTA and you know you were trying to be one.

  100. NTA for refusing permission to travel since she didn’t ask directly, but your attitude in this post feels unnecessarily mean.

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