Fierce Debate Over Parent Letting Ex See Sick Son Before Divorce Finalized

When going through a tough time, many people turn to friends or family for support. But sometimes an intense situation can lead to arguments between those who love each other the most.

In a viral Reddit post, a user called hir25 explained that she was living with her brother while going through a "messy divorce." Her brother had helped her leave her ex, she wrote.

Almost half of marriages in the United States end in divorce, according to figures compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Siblings arguing
Stock images of a man arguing with a woman and a sick child. A woman argued with her brother after she allowed her ex to visit their unwell son at the brother's home. fizkes / Ridofranz/iStock / Getty Images Plus

The CDC National Vital Statistics System states that there were 1,985,072 marriages across the country in 2021—a rate of 6 for every 1,000 people. It recorded 689,308 divorces that year, though this figure excludes California, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota and New Mexico. The divorce rate was 2.5 for every 1,000 people.

In the dilemma posted on Reddit, hir25 explained that her son was sick and had been asking for his dad, so she allowed him to visit. However, the situation took a turn for the worse when her brother returned home and found the ex there.

"He told my ex to get out of his house and to stay away from me and forget he had a son. My ex refused but I made him go as their arguing was upsetting my son," the original poster explained.

"Once he left and my son had calmed down, my brother turned his anger on me. He thinks I'm insane for asking my ex to come and see our son as he thinks I need to stay away from him until our divorce is finalized.

"He told me he didn't want him in his house again and wouldn't budge when I reminded him he's still my son's father. I was frustrated so I told him he needed to get over it because I did what was best for my son in the moment."

'Seeing His Dad Is a Perfectly Reasonable Request'

Laura Wasser, a family law expert at, told Newsweek that a messy breakup is often tough on the children involved.

Wasser said: "Ideally, it would be best for both parents to put their differences aside and work together to ensure their children's well-being. If they can do that, seeing each other during the divorce process could be beneficial for the children.

"However, if there's a lot of animosity between the parents, it might be better to wait until the divorce is finalized before attempting any type of co-parenting. If the relationship is volatile, it can negatively impact the kids and that's the last thing you want.

"In this particular story, it seems like the brother is still harboring anger towards the ex, which is understandable. But he needs to recognize that he's not just hurting his sister; he's also hurting his nephew. Seeing his dad is a perfectly reasonable request from a little guy."

Wasser, who represented Kim Kardashian in her divorce from Kanye West, said: "The solution here is for everyone to put the child first."

Newsweek also reached out to Russell Frank, a family lawyer in the Orlando office of Private Corporate Counsel.

He said: "As co-parents, you do want to continue to co-parent with the other parent during any divorce case. In many jurisdictions, once a case is filed the status quo must remain the same, including any timesharing that has been occurring. It could potentially be a violation of that order if a parent has been seeing the child and that timesharing stops.

"If there have been previous issues of domestic violence … the court will look negatively upon any parent who has committed domestic violence and that could be used by the court in determining a timesharing schedule.

"It is likely the parents would still need to see each other in order to effectively co-parent, including school events or other activities that the children may be participating in.

"If there are concerns about violence or aggression, then visits could be done by video in order to protect one of the parties. Additionally, it is possible to have exchanges at public locations, or even police departments, to ensure everyone is on their best behavior during any potential exchanges."

'If You Can't Respect Your Brother's Boundaries, Move Out'

More than 540 people have commented on hir25's Reddit post, which has received 11,400 upvotes since it was shared on March 7. Many users asked what the ex had done to make the original poster's brother hate him so much—and some assumed the relationship had been abusive.

Hir25 responded to some of these comments saying "he didn't beat us." She also wrote: "He wasn't abusive but he wasn't exactly nice towards the end."

Commenters were not impressed by the original poster's reaction to her brother, judging her to be the a****** in the scenario.

One wrote: "Your brother is helping you out by housing you and your son. The least you can do is respect his boundaries. You didn't even have the decency to ask for permission. The audacity to tell someone who's taking care of you and yours to 'get over' your bad decisions. If you can't respect your brother's boundaries, move out!"

Another comment that received 1,400 upvotes was critical of hir25 "for telling him to get over it. You actively endangered his wife, his home, his nephew and his sister and you don't even care."

Some Reddit users felt they needed more information to judge the situation. One wrote: "There's missing info: if the ex was abusive/dangerous then [you're the a******]. But if your ex was a good father to your kid then you're [not]."

One reader warned fellow commenters about the language they were using. If the marriage had been abusive, they wrote, "then this is absolutely not the way you should speak to an abuse survivor … Making someone feel bad or guilty is just going to push them back into the arms of their abuser."

They added: "It's so incredibly hard to leave [an abusive relationship] so please treat people with some level of grace while they're trying to navigate this, especially when they have a child [and] will inevitably be forced to interact with your ex to some degree."

Newsweek has reached out to the original poster for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.