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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.

betterthanever Thu 23-May-13 12:34:46

You have been very reasonable.
Your DT have no relationship with this person and it would be hard to achieve without what has just happened. The DT are at an age when court will take note of thier wishes and feelings. But non of this will make the court process any less stressful - from what he puts in his statements as to the reason why he is only making contact now to what he says happened during that phone call.
Solicitors are vital but very expensive but then he would have to pay those costs too but he could self rep as could you.
A relationship with a sibling later down the line (as too young now anyway) can be discussed then you have not said you would stop that. As with all family cases there are of course law issues but these have to be mixed in with moral and social issues. There is the legal protocol that has to be followed but he hasn't gone down that route yet. I think a letter from him to DT would be helpful but you have sight of it first. Do you still have the note he left you when he left?
I am shocked he would say that to DT1. How are things with his parents now? how often did they see DT? I feel for you all.

TakingTimeOut Thu 23-May-13 15:52:09

His parents see them quite regularly. They're actually a positive influence in the DTs lives. I've always had a good relationship with them despite the ex. However, since he's reared his ugly head things are a little strained between us. He is their son after all and they feel he deserves a chance. They actually asked if I didn't agree to his terms and demands would it be ok for DT to still meet their sibling sooner rather than later. I've told them no for the time being which hasn't gone down too well at all. They feel that the sibling is also an innocent party in all this. I completely agree but I don't think it's appropriate to do a meeting via the grandparents when they don't even know their own father. Things are confusing enough for them with him suddenly appearing without adding in his other child just yet.

RedHelenB Thu 23-May-13 17:08:17

Why can't grandparents be there when dts meet him? At 13 I don't really see the necessity for supervised contact tbh it really should be between him & his children. He was very wrong to say what he did BUT it does seem from your post as though you are being a bit controlling (understandably from your POV but obviously not from his.

TakingTimeOut Thu 23-May-13 18:50:10

RedHelen: The reason I want it supervised is because he is practically a stranger to them. I do not feel comfortable with him just taking them off alone when they don't know him. Even more so now when the only contact he has had has resulted in him being verbally abusive to DT1. I haven't ruled out him having unsupervised at all - after a period of commitment and consistency on his part.

I also have no problem with the grandparents being there. It is he who wants it his way or no way. I'd also prefer it to be DTs getting to know their dad before any other family members get introduced (wife and baby). He expects it to be one big happily family in one go and that's it. He's not willing to take it on go slow and think how all this is affecting the DTS. He's a selfish twat.

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 23-May-13 18:57:51

I'm in a similar position. I'd rather my ex took the time to get to know ds first; emails, letters, phone calls. He can't be arsed to do this though. It does take time to build bridges and there's not a lot you can do if he can't be reasonable and patient. Your children are old enough to decide whether they want to spend time with him, which is very unlikely if he doesn't make the effort.

RedHelenB Thu 23-May-13 20:07:21

I still don't really see the need for supervised contact, sorry. Different if they were younger. i totally get he's a prat but he is half of them & I am sure they are curious if nothing else about theiur father.

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 23-May-13 20:09:10

He sounds abusive, RedHelenB. He also doesn't know his children so it would be akin to leaving them with a bloke down the pub.

ihearsounds Thu 23-May-13 20:17:44

What is the alternative to non supervision, drop them off somewhere, like the local park and leave them with a total stranger? Regardless of who this man is, he is a stranger to the twins. How exactly would it be in the twins best interest to leave them with a stranger? The op obviously wants to protect her children.

BrienneOfTarth Thu 23-May-13 20:18:05

What a bastard. Someone who would call a 13 year he's never met old a bitch over the phone is definitely not someone who should be allowed unsupervised access.

That said, I think you might want to reconsider the GP's idea of contact between the siblings. Obviously a new baby will have no ability to engage, but once this sibling is a toddler/3yo-ish then I think it's a great thing, and not unreasonable at all, for your Ts and the ex's toddler to have the opportunity to get to know each other by regularly both being at GPs house in the absence of either set of parents - the kids should be able to get to know each other without the twins having to get to know their git of a father.

BrienneOfTarth Thu 23-May-13 20:18:34

Apologies I used "set of" incorrectly in the above...

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 23-May-13 20:24:37

You don't see why the OP wants supervised contact between an abusive stranger and her 13 year old children Helen? Really?

betterthanever Thu 23-May-13 22:27:40

OP, you are doing so much to try and keep everyone happy and why? because you happen to be the children's mother and care for them deeply and have always done. You have caused non of this.

redhelen wow, if I had been faced with this at 13 and my mum sent me to meet some bloke calling himself `daddy' on my own, I would have thought she had gone crazy or it was a joke. I know children develop at different ages but at 13, they are children and need to feel as secure as possible as much as possible. I know people have different views on how to create strong, individuals but I think the OP is right to want supervision. Having a sense of security as a child is so important to enable you to grow up into a secure adult and that doesn't always require having had `daddy' around.

OP with regards the sibling, I agree with you, it is one step at a time - you have to facilitate all this and you do have blood in your veins as well. I really feel for you, you are doing so well.
It could be so amicable if they stepped up to the plate and just considered everything as you are doing - hope that is how it all woks out.

You are not controlling in any way, being able to offer other solutions and manage your children's best interest is just being a good mum. It can't have been easy with twins on your own all these years. They make me laugh thinking they can jump back in and after 13 years !!!! and any slight concern from you is seen as's not the movies there are no guaranteed happy endings and when people are capable of leaving it all these years it says something, beware.

I often wonder why I come on here sometimes as the view in the `real world' often differers considerably. But I do like to see what rhetoric is being peddled as there are also some wonderful people who come up with much better rebuffs than I ever would.. and I store them up just in case grin

RedHelenB Fri 24-May-13 07:10:41

Well, I would have thought she would have told them what she knew about their father as they were growing up. Thirteen year olds meet new people every day without their mum there! OP hasn't suggested he is dangerous.

SoupDragon Fri 24-May-13 07:16:43

RedHelen, You would really leave your children with someone who had called one of them a "spoilt bitch" during the only contact they'd ever had? confused Really??

SoupDragon Fri 24-May-13 07:18:36

I don't think that starting with supervised contact is unreasonable at all.

RedHelenB Fri 24-May-13 07:21:31

I think the mistake made was that OP explained (or rather told!) the father what was going to happen. She very obviously doesn't want this man in her or her childrens lives BUT they do have a dad & a half sister & whatever they may say to the mother I am sure would want to meet him. I know it's hard but my ex for whatever reasons refused to discuss contact with me . it all went through the kids from them being very young - totally their own thing. But all kids want to know their fathers

AThingInYourLife Fri 24-May-13 07:21:33

"he is half of them"


No, he is not.

They are 13 year olds, not zygotes.

AThingInYourLife Fri 24-May-13 07:22:29

"But all kids want to know their fathers"

No, they don't.

SoupDragon Fri 24-May-13 07:24:52

I think the mistake made was that OP explained (or rather told!) the father what was going to happen

No, what she said would happen was perfectly sensible and reasonable. He has never been in their lives at all - he left when the OP was pregnant.

SoupDragon Fri 24-May-13 07:25:57

I can not imagine any sane person letting someone who is a verbally abusive stranger have unsupervised contact with their children.

RedHelenB Fri 24-May-13 07:29:57

BTW - courts rarely insist on supervised access.

Op knows this guy and obviously had reservations about them meeting him alone. All people are different and this guy sounds like a selfish idiot. Presumably op had an idea of that prior to speaking to him which is why she suggested supervised contact. She was right wasn't she? He's not about the children at all.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 24-May-13 07:31:55

Having had extensive court experience with childrens matters, courts would suggest exactly as OP has suggested, indirect contact at first, leading to supported and then unsupervised.

Also the childrens wishes and feelings would be taken into account as they are thirteen years old.

OP write down exactly what happened at the first attempted indirect contact session in a diary, and diarise all future attempts too, if it goes to court you need something to back your version up.

If he wants contact again, email him your contact proposal, so again you have something in writing for court purposes, not sure how it would work out if he applied thro the Irish courts.

Also OP has maintained a relatiosihp with her ex IL's for the children, she is certainly not trying to cut off her ex at all, he's being a bully. He's not even able to be nice to his daughter over the phone after however many years, I would not want my thirteen year old going off alone with such a person father or not.

5madthings Fri 24-May-13 07:44:19

I think by supervised the op meant with the grandparents being there? Not an 'official' person.

This man is a stranger to them with a history of drug/alcohol use and the children are unsure about contact so the op is right to take things slowly. Ob
He can take it to court but at their ages he cant insist on contact if the twins refuse to go they cant be physically made to but it will be stressful for all.

Seeing sibling via grandparents seems fine, they wont have much of a relationship to begin with if sibling is a baby.

Collaborate Fri 24-May-13 07:47:00

If he's not prepared to take it at the pace of the children themselves then he's going to get nowhere. If he can't speak nicely to them on the phone, what chance he would be bothered to take it to court?

kittycat68 Fri 24-May-13 09:16:49

op, this is a forum and you are going to get alot of different personal views on here.
Some people have more knowlege than others as they work in this field.
Op you have done all the right things, let him apply to court if that is what he wants to do, but remain child focused through out.
He would not get unsupervised contact from day one , a court would rule for it to be supported contact ie the GP initally. Dont be bullied by your ex . ignore redhelens comments (clearly on an agenda)here.

betterthanever Fri 24-May-13 11:00:42

I think the mistake made was that OP explained (or rather told!) the father what was going to happen. .. the mistake the OP made...... how dare she, especially after 13 years of looking after DT on her own...... Red I really don't understand what you feel can be gained from saying all this to the OP.

I agree with kitty well put and explained fuzzy collabroate - well said.

Good luck OP. Hope your RL friends can support you, you are doing a lot, you are a strong lady, I wish I had half your strength.

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 24-May-13 11:23:28

The OP is putting her children first. She isn't controlling at all. If the children's father wants to see them or be a part of their life then he needs to make an effort and start off slowly.

TakingTimeOut Fri 24-May-13 11:44:19

Red Leaving kids with virtual strangers may be ok with you but it's certainly not the case with me - and seems like everyone else too. The man may be their biological father but he is a complete stranger. If some passer by on the street asked you to take your kids for a while - would that be ok? In fact as it seems ok by you to leave kids with strangers should I pack them off to stay with him instead and just hope he's there to meet on the other end? At what point did I say I didn't want him having contact? I've never said he wouldn't be able to have them unsupervised eventually. Can you say he no longer drinks like a fish and smokes weed? I'd like evidence and a relationship to be built first. All I said was that I'd prefer he no longer contacts here because each time he has been verbally abusive to both dt1 and I. He can now go through his parents.

Unfortunately I don't think a relationship with the kids is important to him. He's not willing to work on it or accept any responsibility for his actions. He'd use the court route just to stir up stress and upset because he can - regardless of what the outcome.

RedHelenB Fri 24-May-13 13:13:19

He's not a stranger - he is someoney ou decided to have children with & the children's father! And at 13 they ARE old enough for MUm not to need to input in to their relationship with their dad. I am divorced, have friends who have divorced & i can categorically tell you that what the children say/think about their fathers & what the mothers think they think DO NOT match up!

betterthanever Fri 24-May-13 13:20:37

He's not a stranger.................. ??? WTF well red that is just it isn't it - he is to the children, OP was not alking about herself.....their welfare is what is important. You sound a very unsupportive parent to be honest but are entilted to parent however you see fit - as does the OP. They do not have a relationship with thier father at all, I would of thought you would agree for her to support her DT to have one was a good thing?

What a broad statement about how people think.... if you are such a good mind reader, you should also be able to tell what most people are too poliet to write back at you on this thread.

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 24-May-13 13:41:52

He is a stranger to these children. A bit of DNA doesn't make a decent father. It takes time and effort. If the children's father can't be bothered to speak to them decently on the phone what do you think he's like in person? confused

You're doing the right thing, OP. I have done the same. My ex makes demands for ds to fly over to see him alone for a week, yet can't be bothered to contact him and take the time to get to know him. I've never with held contact but when one parent can't be arsed unless it's on their unrealistic terms what can you do?

fuzzywuzzy Fri 24-May-13 13:59:32

RedHelen, which part of "I have DT who turn 13 this year. While pregnant with them the ex upped and left"

I am also divorced, I do knwo what my childrens wishes and feelings are regarding contact withtheir father as they have told me, they have told their teachers, they have told CAFCASS and anyone else who asks them. My children can speak for themselves.

OP is trying to encourage a relationship to be built up between her children and their father at a pace that is comfortable for the children. But the ex is abusive to the children, of course no parent in their right mind would force a child who has never met the absent parent to go off on contact dictated by said absent parent for whatever amount of time in a different country, you of course may have different standards, but OP is not wrong. And no court would force her to hand her children over to a stranger which is what he is.

If he cannot be civil to his child over the phone after 13 years of absence, I would be very reluctant in forcing contact on my child too.

5madthings Fri 24-May-13 15:09:03

He is a stranger to the children, they have never met him!

The op has continued to have a gold relationship with his parents, which she didn't have to do, so clearly she has tried to maintain contact with their fathers side of the family.

is father has done nothing for thirteen years, not even paid maintenance or tried to have contact and now after thirteen years wants it all on his terms. It does t work like that, he needs to try and build a relationship with these children, not inside they call him 'dad' and swear at them over the phone. Their mother may know him, I would say knew him as their has been no contact for 13yrs. He is a stranger, related biologically but still a stranger.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Fri 24-May-13 15:14:27

Part of the checklist the court considers is "the wishes and feelings of the child in light of their age and understanding". In these cucumstances I don't think a judge would order contact if a 13 year old child is making it clear why they don't want contact.

RedHelenB Fri 24-May-13 16:40:02

I think we may have to agree to disagree but I know children who tell me great things about their time with their father - from their mothers it is a very different tale.

ihearsounds Fri 24-May-13 16:45:42

Oh my days. Of course he is a stranger. The dt's have never met him. The last time the op saw him she was pregnant with the twins....

I met my dad for the first time around their age. I was really scared and needed the support of someone I knew to help me through the process. I would have felt really let down if I had to face it alone.

Thankfully, for the most part, the family courts in this country do have common sense and realise the disaster waiting to happen putting them in such an uncomfortable situation.

This man is even a stranger to the op. She doesn't know what he has been up to for the past 13 years. She doesn't know the kind of person he is now. The person he was then is irrelevent because people change. He could have turned from the drinking weed smoker to someone with violent criminal convictions. He could have changed and be a really nice man, although don't know any nice men that shout and swear at children.

Carry on protecting your children op. Ignore the silly comments about leaving them alone with a stranger. Anyone that would leave their children with a stranger is imvho an utter fool.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 24-May-13 16:48:09

Did you miss the point where the OP said he walked out when she was pregnant and has 'never asked about or had any contact with' them until recently. So 13 years. While they have had contact with his parents.

He is a stranger to them. They've never met. The first time they spoke, EVER, he called one of them a 'spoilt bitch.'

Cloverer Fri 24-May-13 16:58:27

He's a stranger, and the only contact he has had with them is abusive. The OP has no idea what he is like with children, no idea if he is trustworthy, and no idea if he still abuses drugs and alcohol.

At 13 I would have found it very scary to be sent off to meet a family member I had never met before, who had been verbally abusive towards me. I don't think any mother would deliberately put their children in such a vulnerable situation confused

This is very different to parents splitting up when their children are 5, 10, 13 years old - when the father has had some parenting input before the split.

RedHelenB Fri 24-May-13 17:39:31

The fact is they DO know their grandparents so that would have been the obvious route to take.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 24-May-13 17:49:34

No. The obvious route to take would be having some contact through email/letters/telephone/Skype before meeting in person. Which is exactly what the OP did.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 24-May-13 17:50:36

That would be when he talked to his 13 year old for the first time in her life and chose to call her a 'spoilt bitch'.

mrsdinklage Fri 24-May-13 17:56:26

Red - the OP already suggested that - the x didn'twant to know

Cloverer Fri 24-May-13 18:19:23

That's what the OP suggested RedHelen, in her 3rd post directed at you - phonecalls first (that went well!), then supervised meetings with the GPs.

Concreteblonde Fri 24-May-13 20:35:57

You are doing all of the right things OP.
I would put your proposals for a gradual increase in indirect contact (letters, phone calls etc in worrying) if this is what your children want in writing. You can then use this as evidence that you have made perfectly reasonable proposals to him.

If he 'takes you to court' and demands immediate supervised contact with 2 13 year olds he has never ever seen, he would be laughed out of court. Your DD will be able to speak to court welfare/cafcass about he verbal abuse.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Fri 24-May-13 22:30:38

If the children are in England the application will have to be made here, not in Ireland.

Mediation would have to be attempted prior to proceedings being issued. Some Mediators are qualified to speak to children. It might be useful in this instance.

RedHelenB Sat 25-May-13 08:08:53

People are missing the point - from his POV it may well look like OP is dictating how things should be and how they should feel. At their age there is not the same need for OP to be involved as there would be if they were 3 or 4.

Bit puzzled as to why DT! didn't call him dad when he obviously is? Can see why he thinks OP has been badmouthing him.

Because you earn respect. At 13 they are old enough to realise that their biological father has not given a stuff about them since before they were born. A father is someone who raises a child, biological or otherwise, this man has not been a father to these children.

The courts will definitely have to take your DT's wishes into account with regard to contact.

burntoutteacher Sat 25-May-13 09:01:14

Red, you're puzzled as to why the child didn't call him dad after not seeing him for 13 years? You can't be serious?

Ive been on MN a long time and can see from your posts you're so entrenched in your views on fathers rights that you forget the child's completely. Mores the pity.

Fozziebearmum2b Sat 25-May-13 10:27:04

Having read this thread, I'm flabbergasted by some of the views on here.

I completely agree that both parents should have access to a child, but when one has been absent for 13 years (mother or father) they cannot just pick up where they left off and expect unsupervised contact immediately when the child doesn't even know them (and I mean an adult they trust rather than an official).

This needs to be thought about from the child's perspective - it's a very confusing time for them. Any decent parent should fully expect that any such introductions would need to be slow and they need to gain the respect and trust of their child, why would they immediately deserve/demand it...

SoupDragon Sat 25-May-13 10:29:15

Bit puzzled as to why DT! didn't call him dad when he obviously is?

He isn't their dad. He is, at the moment, simply their biological father. There is a large difference between the two.

ihearsounds Sat 25-May-13 10:48:23

So by your logic Red, adopted people should when meeting their birth parents for the first time in 18+ years automatically started calling them mum/dad?

This man isn't at the moment dad other than he supplied some fluid. He will, like it or not, have to show his children respect to earn that title. He isn't going to gain this by shouting and name calling. He has to grow up and realise that this is going to take time and regardless of what he wants it is about his twins. If the op has been bad mouthing him off, which not all parents do this btw, then all he is doing is showing them that actually it's all correct.

betterthanever Sat 25-May-13 10:56:11

They have a right to a positive relationship with both parents if it has a positive impact on their welfare - it doesn't sound like contact with the long time absent NRP is having that impact so far but then some people seem very happy with conflict and don't seem to understand the damaging effects it has.

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 25-May-13 12:00:36

A little bit of sperm doesn't make a parent! Using your views, Helen, step parents or adoptive parents have less rights than biological parents who don't see their children. confused

Every relationship takes time and effort. Just because he shares a bit of DNA with them this doesn't mean he's exempt from taking the time and making the effort to get to know them. These poor children would be terrified if they were sent to see someone they don't know after he's shouted and sworn at them down the phone. He's not going to see it this way because the whole world revolves around him and his needs.

You have some very odd views on this, Helen. Try and see this from the child's perspective.

RedHelenB Sat 25-May-13 12:17:39

No, because they have had someone else to call mum & dad. Also, if you give your child up for adoption you are making a legal decision that you are giving them up to someone else. And legally, yes, step parents do have less "rights" than biological parents.

I AM seeing it from the child's perspective, you would be very surprised at he difference between what parents tell one parent & what they feel.

RedHelenB Sat 25-May-13 12:19:01

No, I'm puzzled as to why Op isn't calling him dad when she is speaking about them.

RedHelenB Sat 25-May-13 12:19:23

Sorry, speaking about him to the children.

Gay40 Sat 25-May-13 12:28:39

Because he isn't their dad. He provided the sperm 13 years ago and is their biological father. He isn't their dad - yet.
After 13 years of not giving a toss, he's going to have to earn that title with hard work, yet the phone call is a very bad start on his behalf.
OP, you are going about it the right way, imo.

Unless I'm missing something, the twins have never ever met him. He left before they were born and has never shown the slightest interest in them until now. Why on earth would they call him "dad"?

OP doesn't need to badmouth him to them; they are quite capable of noticing that he's never written, called or visited. And, now, of noticing that he shouted at DT1 and called her a bitch. He's doing a far better job of badmouthing himself than the OP could ever do.

ladyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 25-May-13 12:33:21

When someone abandons a pregnant partner and doesn't contact their children for 13 years surely they are making a decision too? What sort of message does this give to the children?

The NRP in this occasion has no rights. The children, on the other hand, have every right to see the NRP and every right not to. A 13 year old is more than able to decide and more than able to decide what they call the NRP. If he's never behaved like their 'dad' then they shouldn't call him this.

And, again, why would she call him "dad"? He left before they were born saying specifically that he didn't want to be a dad. He's never met them. He'd never even spoken to them until recently. "Dad" isn't a legal description, it's about the role someone plays in your life.

SoupDragon Sat 25-May-13 12:37:44

No, I'm puzzled as to why Op isn't calling him dad when she is speaking about them

Because he isn't their dad. He is simply their biological father.

Justfornowitwilldo Sat 25-May-13 12:56:09

I think someone's on the wind up. No-one could totally ignore someone calling a 13 year old a bitch, let alone the girl's biological father the first time they've ever talked to them, to argue over what the child's mother refers to them as.

AThingInYourLife Sat 25-May-13 13:00:52

A man has a perfect right to abandon his children before birth, have contact with them for over a decade and never pay a penny towards their care.

He is still an equal parent to the woman who bore them, who fed and sheltered them and who raised them.

If and when he decides to show up everyone should be delighted and grateful and he should be treated in just the same way as the mugs men who bother sticking around to raise their own children.

fuzzywuzzy Sat 25-May-13 13:06:16

RedHelen, you keep saying children lie to RP regarding whether they want to see their NRP.

Does this mean, you perosnally pack off screaming crying pleading child(ren) to contact on regular basis & utterly disregard their coherent articulate reasons as to why they fear the NRP?

OP ignore ReHelen, the posture clearly has their own agenda.

fuzzywuzzy Sat 25-May-13 13:06:56

Poster even

RedHelenB Sat 25-May-13 13:44:28

No it doesn't at all Fuzzy wuzzy. My ex didn't see his ds for a year due to worrying about what OW thought BUT I certainly don't put obstacles in the way!The OP SHOULD have said to the father - how do you think we should do this rather than dictating ( I know she said explain but doubt that is how he'd see it) As i have said before, I know lots of children of divorced kids & it DOES matter to them that they see both parents, even ones that fall way short of perfect! I totally get the OP's perspective as a single Mum myself BUT tbh that's irrelevant.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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

Redhelen are You actually for real ?.

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?

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 ......

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.

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 ?

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.

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.

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

|Legally, yes it does Jemma!

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

Oh & I don't have a step family!

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!


(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).

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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