Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Help regarding a very possible child access case - v long sorry!

(93 Posts)
TakingTimeOut Thu 23-May-13 11:00:44

I have DT who turn 13 this year. While pregnant with them the ex upped and left - leaving a note (no conversation or anything) saying sorry but he wasn't ready to be a dad. The DTs have contact with his parents - they're pretty good. Ex apparently moved to Ireland and has never asked about or had any contact with the twins - until recently. His parents told me he'd married, had a baby and wanted to meet the twins this summer. I've been up in the air about this but put my own feelings aside and agreed to it - if it's what the children wanted. When discussed one minute they want to and one minute they don't. I passed my number on to his parents to contact the twins via phone conversation first so I could gage how serious he was (past alcoholic, weed smoking fuckwit) and to go slowly-slowly.

When he phoned I tried being civil (believe me that was hard) I explained contact would be going at the twins pace, via phone first, leading up to a meeting this summer - if that's what they wanted - but supervised, then in a hope of unsupervised given time. I was met with a hurl of abuse of how I wasn't telling him what contact he could have with his children - certainly not supervised and if that's how I wanted to play it then to expect a solicitors letter.

So he seemed to back down and had one conversation with DT1 which ended up in him calling her a spoilt bitch who had no respect for her elders because she didn't call him dad but by his first name. Then went off in to a tirade of how she didn't know the background and had no right to judge. How I was a poisonous bitch because I'd poisoned their minds when he's trying to make amends.

So after a long background I'm wondering where do I stand if it does go to court. Is what I've offered unreasonable? I doubt DT1 will want anything to do with him now - and I don't blame her. Would she be forced to? His parents have stated that he will take it to court as his new baby deserves to know siblings. All we've seemed to have is abuse each time he's contacted. Personally I'd prefer if he never contacted again. I've claimed no CSA off him (despite being told to recently) as I don't want anything off him. We've got by fine without his input.

That's the default position of the court, yes. In the case of teenage children who have never previously had any contact with the father and who were verbally abused by them on the one time he did contact them, the court may well shift from that default position.

Glad you accept that "dad" is not a legal term that anyone has any right to.

Xenia Tue 28-May-13 09:59:10

He sounds an utter idiot. 13 year olds are some of the hardest people on the planet to get to like you even if you're their parent. The last thing you do on the telephone is swear at and alienate them. They are also now old enough to get a say in contact so if they refuse they can refuse.

Longer term it would do no harm to have some careful contact. It is good of you you kept in touch with his parents of course. I suspect he is one of those silly people who think everything has to be his way or not at all. He will find that therefore he alienates the children and they will not like him.. Perhaps the girl can write a long email summarising what he said to her and his parents can be shown that so the facts are all very very clear and on one is hoodwinked.

You could certainly have a session where you and the twins meet the grandparents and the half sibling is brought along - that would do no one any harm.

The father needs to think of how he can make these twins want him. he has done all he can so far to ensure they will never want to see him.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 28-May-13 09:10:28

OP went along with the ex's desire to contact their DT's, she kept it at a manageable level with for her children.

Courts do not always consider direct contact to be beneficial for the children, if the father has a drug problem and/or is abusive no court in England will force unsupervised contact as of with immediate effect with a hiterto absent parent.

My children don't call their father dad either, he insists on it when he has contact (now stopped by the courts), but I always refer to him as their father, they have other opinions as to his title. Shared genes do not automatically create blind unquestioning love, that is earned.

RedHelenB Tue 28-May-13 08:31:41

Father is the legal term, yes.

It is very interesting how many people if they don't hear what they want to hear automatically assume some things (quite wrong) about the poster.

FWIW, the default position of the court is that it is in the best interests of a child to have meaningful contact with both parents.

This is my last post on this & I really hope that contact can be sorted amicably. All I was suggesting to OP was that she discuss rather than explain & hopefully the outcome will be of benefit to the twins.

ElenorRigby Tue 28-May-13 08:21:11

TakingTimeOut
So the DT's father gets married and hey presto he's interested in his children that's he's not given a stuff about in 13 years.

The DT's father isn't pushing this, his wife is. She has married him and had a child with him so she must believe he's a decent bloke right?
But how come he's had no contact with them in all these years. It can't be him because he's a decent bloke right?

He's no doubt given her a cock and bull story about what a bitch you've been to fill that gap and make you, not him the bad one.
Given that she's pushing this, it explains his irritation and nastiness on the first phone contact. He doesnt want this, he's just playing the decent bloke, good father act to please his wife.

It's my guess he wont want to pursue this, he just need to be seen to have made an effort.
If he did pursue it, he would not have a chance in court given his actions.

Don't worry about this, keep looking out for your DT's, you're clearly doing a great job.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if separates from his wife in due time. Leopards rarely change their spots. wink

Bobyan Mon 27-May-13 20:29:13

Red are we reading the same thread?

What legal qualifications do you hold, because you seem to have graduated from the university of talking bollocks.

OP I think you should get an one hour free introduction from a solicitor, just to set your mind at rest. Given the dt's aged I can't see a court forcing contact. I would be very careful with your ex-ils, do you trust them not to go against your wishes.

SoupDragon Mon 27-May-13 19:22:34

His DNA makes him the biological father. Rather like a sperm donor.

McKayz Mon 27-May-13 19:15:29

I reckon RedHelen is the absent idiot father.

OP you have done absolutely nothing wrong. This man is a twat and doesn't deserve contact with the DTs. I hope that if he does take it to court then they see him for the useless person he is.

RedHelen,

(a) Please give us a reference to any current piece of legislation that uses the word "dad", given that you're so certain it's a legal term.

(b) From what the OP describes, there's every chance that her ex isn't on the birth certificate and doesn't have parental responsibility. So legally he probably doesn't have any status right now (although he could get it easily enough by applying to the court).

RedHelenB Mon 27-May-13 18:58:51

Oh & I've never posted on the step board so I think you are muddling me up with someone else!

RedHelenB Mon 27-May-13 18:57:25

Oh & I don't have a step family!

RedHelenB Mon 27-May-13 18:57:05

|Legally, yes it does Jemma!

burntoutteacher Mon 27-May-13 11:22:48

Redhelen you are too entrenched in the situation caused by your own step family dynamic. This means that the advice you give is no longer impartial. I am shocked sometimes at the things you say on the step board but this is a bridge too far, you are wrong on this one...just wrong.

acceptableinthe80s Mon 27-May-13 09:52:52

Hi OP, I remember your last thread and the general advice being to give him a chance. Well you gave him one (contact via phone) and it sounds like he fucked that up. Let him take you to court, I don't think he's got a hope in hell. Your children are teenagers, their views will be taken into account. Contact is meant to be in the best interests of the child and since his one and only contact with the children ended in him verbally abusing your dd it really does'nt sound like contact would be in their best interests. This is all about him and a judge will see that.
Just make sure you keep records/copies of all communications.

Jemma1111 Mon 27-May-13 09:37:58

Redhelen you don't seem to have any idea , I don't think you're helping the OP by putting your daft input into this thread , instead your just winding everyone up .

Just because this man gave his DNA , it does not make him a dad ! DO YOU GET IT YET REDHELEN ?

ihearsounds Mon 27-May-13 09:26:11

Adopted people look for their birth parents to find out why they were given up. To find out more about family history. To find out were they came from etc... Not necesarrily to have a relationship..

He isn't their dad that is why they don't call him it. What is so hard to understand? He is a stranger... Look up the definition of a stranger. This is this man to them. They have never, ever met him. They possibly also know that he walked out because he didn't want to be a dad, unless of course you think they should be lied to about this.

Not everyone wants to have anything to do with their own father, or even mother. I call no-one dad despite have a natural one who can rot in hell and a great step dad.

Isityouorme Mon 27-May-13 09:18:43

Thinking they don't call him dad because he is a stranger who has ignored them for 13 years ......

RedHelenB Mon 27-May-13 08:44:31

No ds had no relationship because I was pg when he got with OW. Certainly not a wind up. I just think that the initial conversation could have been handled better in retrospect. And in no way am I sticking up for the Dad but I do believe the children do want some sort of relationship with him else why do so many adopted children find their birth parents? And I am still a bit confused about why they don't call him Dad unless there is a new partner for OP who they do?

Jemma1111 Sun 26-May-13 07:56:00

Redhelen are You actually for real ?.

MumnGran Sun 26-May-13 00:01:57

Let him take it to court ...and get some legal advice.
If the position is as you have stated, the judge will absolutely take the childrens views into account and would be highly unlikely to force immediate un-supervised access with what amounts to a complete stranger.

The best route would perhaps be to allow contact at his parents home, as the children already know their grandparents well.

"My ex didn't see his ds for a year"

With respect, that's not really in the same league as an ex who stated before his children were even born that he didn't want to be a dad and never saw or spoke to them from that point until they were already teenagers.

It's great that you went out of your way to protect your ex's relationship with your children even when he went flaky and no-contact for a year. But they had a relationship in the first place. This father didn't, and he went no-contact for thirteen years . There wasn't a relationship there for the OP to protect.

Chubfuddler Sat 25-May-13 20:36:51

Op I would just completely ignore redhelen - clearly on the wind up (and probably frankly not even a woman). Don't let this person derail your thread. You've done everything right, and no court is going to force 13 year olds to have contact with a person they have never met, and who called one of them a spoilt bitch the only time they have conversed.

TakingTimeOut Sat 25-May-13 20:29:32

Red I have told my children all about their dad (well from what I knew - obviously not what he's been up to the past 13 years as I don't know.). His parents have also been there to fill in gaps if needed. At the minute he is their father by as far as I'm concerned donation. He left, didn't want to know and now expects to come back with waiting open arms. He has a lot of explaining to do to my children. They have a step parent in their lives who for all intent and purposes of the meaning is their dad. They don't call him dad and I don't expect them to. But he has done a bloody lot more than their own has done. He has supported them financially, taken them on days out, comforted them when upset, looked after them when ill and a whole lot more.

I have never badmouthed him to them - they know the facts. They're not stupid and they have their own minds. If he earns they're respect and is willing to work at it with them - who knows? Maybe they will. He has a lot of growing up to do. Please explain to me how it's perfectly fine for him to verbally abuse his daughter?

Maybe I should buy them a father's day card to give to him too?? hmm.

Do you have any idea how confused my children are - how it is actually affecting them? How every question is asked with a why?? I'm having to look at professional guidance to help them deal with it. I suppose I'm in the wrong for doing that too?

I can tell them from my side of what I know but I can't answer whys. Why he left and hasn't ever wanted to know until now. Why he didn't want to be a dad to them but is playing doting dad to their sibling. That should be his place - but he's too selfish for that.

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 25-May-13 14:48:52

I don't think the OP is putting obstacles in the way, Helen. She isn't making unreasonable demands, she's just asking that the NRP makes the effort to get to know their dc before he meets them unsupervised. You're right, there is always another side to the coin and we're not aware of all of the facts but most of the threads on here are like that. I agree totally with what she's doing as I'm in the same situation myself.

fuzzywuzzy Sat 25-May-13 14:48:01

OP is facilitating contact, the ex wants it his way only.

if anyone is dictating contact or actually making it difficult to form a relationship with the chidlren its the ex.

You don't walk into someone's life after never having set eyes on them and tell them what they call you, how often and where they see you and swear at them.

The ex is not willing to compromise or see it form the childs view point.

The ex is the one who walked out of the chidlrens lives and did not look back for the past 13 years, the ex is the one therefore who has to do all the leg work and building of relationship, the ex should be bending over backwards to endear himeself to the children.

The OP is amazing in my opinion in that she maintained contact with the ex's family and has maintained ties for the sake of her chidlren with her ex in-laws.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now