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Section: children, family, marriage, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Many years ago, my daughter asked me to co-sign a loan for a new car. She was young and just starting out, so my wife and I agreed to co-sign. After making only a couple of payments, she defaulted. By then, my wife and I had divorced, and I had remarried. My new wife and I ended up paying $246 a month for almost four years in order to pay off that loan. We did it because we felt it was important to maintain our credit rating, as well as our daughter's. My ex-wife refused to help in any way. Our daughter is now engaged to a fine young man. When we divorced, my ex-wife and I agreed to share the cost of a wedding whenever our daughter decided to marry. Since my ex did not contribute one cent to paying off that auto loan, I do not feel obligated to contribute to a future wedding and have said so. My daughter, with her "good credit rating," just bought a new car and took a nice vacation. She has never offered to pay back one red cent of the money I laid out for her first car. The young man is wonderful and had nothing to do with this mess. I feel uneasy about backing out on the wedding expenses, but I still think I'm justified in doing so. What do you say? -- Still Hurting in Levittown, N.Y.

Dear Levittown,
Sorry, I don't agree. You are mixing apples and oranges and coming up with lemons. Years ago, you and your ex-wife agreed to share the cost of your daughter's wedding "whenever she decided to marry." Well, Dad, the time has come, and you are honor-bound to keep your word.



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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Marina 's Comment
I disagree. In no way is this Dad obligated to pay for his daughter's wedding. He paid for her car. That's enough.

Reader Comment
Deduct the cost of the car payments from the wedding expenses. The adult daughter seems to feel entitled to having anything she wants without paying for them.

Maryann's Comment
It's a shame the father did not repossess the car. He didn't do his daughter any favors by allowing her to get away with this. I think his prior agreement to help pay for his daughter's wedding is void under the circumstances. "Sorry, honey. I love you, but I paid X amount of dollars for your car for four years. THAT MONEY CAME OUT OF YOUR WEDDING FUND. I guess you and your mom will need to plan something simple." I hope he has the guts. This girl desperately needs a wake-up call.

Maryann's Comment
Dad to daughter: "Sorry honey, the payments we made for four years on your car came out of your wedding fund. I guess you and your mom will have to plan something simple. Love you."

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Reader Comment
Make your daughter pay for her own wedding! She didn’t pay you back!

Reader Comment
I paid my son's rent for over 3 1/2 years; paid half for his newer vehicle and then when I got fed up with his nasty attitude toward me and tried to distance myself from him, he's trying to get me committed and declared incompetent. He's 55 now and is berating me for leaving my "child". I have contributed to his adult life over $60,000.00 because I didn't want him to struggle as I always had to when he was young. Is this entitled, or what?

Grace Powell Harper 's Comment
He paid for her car . That's enough . She is lucky .

Ronnie's Comment
No reason Dad shouldn't deduct money paid for car from amount he would have paid for wedding. Daughter needs a wake-up call.

Momma Reyes's Comment
Dear Still Hurting, take a deep breath and think this through. Didn't you help pay off her car when she wasn't able because you love your daughter? It's not the first time a parent has helped their child financially. She is about to get married and you are about to walk her down the aisle. She is marrying someone you like. That is huge. They are going to have children. You are going to be a grandfather. Take this opportunity to bury the hurt from the past and start thinking about your future relationship with your daughter. That's more important than money. Help her the best you can financially with her wedding and savor every precious moment that is about to come with enjoying family life. Trust me the whole grandparent season in life is incredible! As her father, take the lead and build that bond. Your entire family will reap the benefits. Let me know how it goes. [email protected]
 
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:


Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers