Woman Backed for Refusing to Help Brother Avoid Losing Custody of His Kids

A woman found support on the internet after she refused to snoop through a man's home as well as his phone in order to gain intel on her brother's child custody court case.

The now-viral Reddit post, titled, "AITA for refusing to help my brother and telling him he should've expected to lose his children," has been upvoted 9,800 times with 1,600 comments. Redditor @thumbelina25 shared the post to the subreddit "Am I The A**hole" on June 23, and it has been turning heads ever since.

Child custody cases can be extremely expensive and take a lot of time. Costs vary based on numerous factors, including the attorney chosen and if the case is contested or uncontested. Costs can range from $3,000 to $40,000 or more, according to Talking Parents. Attorney costs can vary from $85 to $400 or even more every hour. This number is based on the lawyer's experience, reputation, and record of successful cases.

In most cases, each side must pay its own legal fees. However, a judge can grant an exception if one person makes a lot more money than the other person or if one can't afford representation. Some parties can be eligible for a pro bono attorney or legal aid based on their income as well.

The original poster revealed her brother is going through a rather "nasty custody battle," and it appears like he is going to lose his kids. It all began because her brother had an affair and continued seeing the other woman, who is now his fiancé, even after his wife found out. She moved with their two kids after she had a "mental breakdown."

"My sister-in-law didn't want her family to get involved until he took the kids, but now my brother is realizing he f**ked up as my sister-in-law's dad and brother are using their money and connections to (unfairly) destroy him in court," she explained.

When asked for more clarification on the man taking the kids, the OP explained in a comment that he told his wife he was taking them to the park, and then "never went home and wouldn't let her see them."

Woman and man sitting apart
A woman was backed for refusing to help her brother avoid losing custody of his kids. Here, a man and a woman in a fight as they sit apart on a couch. FIZKES/GETTY

The OP has tried not to "involve" herself, but all her family wants to discuss is the custody case since everyone is "worried" they won't be able to see the kids if the man loses.

The Redditor has a "casual sexual relationship" with her sister-in-law's brother, and the OP's sister suggested to her that she should use that situation to "look through his phone/house to see if there's anything that could help" her brother's case.

The OP continued: "Everybody was on board with the idea, but I refused to do it. I told them he would catch me, but they still want me to try. I ended up having an argument with my brother because he said I didn't care about how he was going to lose his children."

The woman admitted she was "upset," so she told him he should have "expected to lose" the kids because "he knew who her family" was "before he decided to f**k everything up."

In another comment, the OP revealed her sister-in-law's dad and brother's "evidence isn't all true," adding, "They have witnesses who are lying and portraying my brother as a neglectful parent with a short-temper and aggressive tendencies." She also said she knows they are "lying" as her in-law's brother practically admitted to it.

Numerous people weighed in on the situation, and the majority didn't think the OP was at fault, and they also didn't condone snooping on the woman's sister-in-law's brother. One Redditor thought it's a "long-shot fishing expedition with high risks that would violate" the woman's own integrity.

"NTA, it's gross that they would expect you to do this," they added. "And really, what on earth would you expect to find that would turn this around for him? He's dug his grave, and now he's in crisis and panicking."

Another user didn't mince words, weighing in with their judgment of NTA. "Your family basically tried to pimp you out to spy on your brother's ex," they said. "Low key your family sounds toxic as f**k."

Others called out the man's behavior in the situation. "Yeah... It sounds like he cheated on his wife, drove her to [a] mental breakdown, and then kidnapped the kids with his affair partner... Doesn't sound like being destroyed in court is unfair," a Redditor reasoned.

One Redditor admitted they're "rooting" for the OP's sister-in-law. "Doesn't sound like he's getting 'unfairly' destroyed," they said. "He cheated on his wife and took his children away from their mother. He deserves whatever is happening. If you have a shred of decency left, do not do anything illegal, and be nice to your SIL, and maybe you'll see your niblings. NTA."

Another user urged the OP not to "wreck" what they hoped was a "good, solid relationship" with her in-law's brother for her by "snooping," adding, "Your brother made this mess. He needs to do things right and go to court rather than asking you to do something s**tty and illegal!"

A Redditor thought the OP's brother is the a**hole in the situation "probably in at least a hundred ways," insisting, "This is on him. He started it, he continued it, and now he has to live with it. Don't get involved or you could be bringing trouble upon yourself."

Newsweek reached out to Redditor @thumbelina25 for comment.

This isn't the only viral moment involving family drama. A woman was applauded for revealing a "disgusting" family secret. Another woman was backed for telling her family to "beg" her husband "for forgiveness." In addition, a sister raging about her parents' "toxic" favoritism at a graduation party is being praised.