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Naming father on birth certificate

(46 Posts)
ScrewIt Thu 20-Jun-13 21:50:44

I'm pregnant & have recently split with the father of my unborn child.

I want him to have a good relationship with our child, I want him to be named on the birth certificate. However, he has already stated he will do 'everything in his power to ruin my life' & that he will make sure he gets custody of this child when it's born.

I don't particularly worry that he would be assigned custody & want to have him named as he should be on the birth certificate. I think it's important for the child to have both parents on there. Am I being naive? Is it a decision I could live to regret? Exactly what are the automatic rights he would get & how miserable could he make my life in contrast to if he weren't named?

ItsDecisionTime Thu 20-Jun-13 22:00:06

If he were on the birth certificate, he would automatically have parental responsibility. That means regular contact (assuming there are no real reasons why this shouldn't happen) and he'd also be liable for child support. Unlikely he would get custody (again, assuming there are no real reasons why you shouldn't retain it).

It's a dilemma as yes, the child does have a right to a relationship with the father but only if the father's motives are genuine and would not, in the longer term, adversely affect the child. If they did have a relationship but only so your ex could use the child as a pawn in your relationship, or to cause you problems for you, then the child, when older would understand this and it would inevitably all end in court hearings and tears.

On the other hand, not putting him on the birth certificate means that, without a court-ordered DNA test, you could wipe the father out of your lives. Bear in mind that if you deny him being on the birth certification, you also won't get child support without proving through other means he's the father.

I have been in a similar situation and looking back, I wish I'd not told him about the baby, not put him on the birth certificate and moved to the other side of the world. In the long run, it would have been cheaper and less stress for me and my child.

ScrewIt Thu 20-Jun-13 22:15:27

I want him to have regular contact & I want him to pay child support.

But I'm hoping he wouldn't use the child as a pawn, that he's started these threats already is worrying. I don't suppose I would find that out until its too late.

He ended the relationship so I can't understand why he's being so bitter & angry. It's just in his nature I think.

PatriciaHolm Thu 20-Jun-13 22:15:49

If you are unmarried, he would need to attend the registration of the child with you to be put on the certificate. To be honest, it's pretty easy for him to get parental responsibility without it anyway - a court ordered positive DNA test will give him it essentially, and that won't be hard for him to get and it sounds as if he'd be arsey enough to make you do it. Wiping him out of your lives doesn't seem an option as he doesn't seem prepared to walk away. The problem will presumably be being amicable enough to go through the registration together..

ScrewIt Thu 20-Jun-13 22:17:21

Could he stop me from moving out of the area where he named? Or getting a passport for the baby etc? Would he have to agree to things like school etc, how far does the responsibility go?

PatriciaHolm Thu 20-Jun-13 22:25:46

You would be expected to consult on things like schooling, yes, and he could go to court to prevent you moving a long way away if it frustrated contact.

The problem is that even if you don't put him on the BC, he can get PR relatively easily, so you have to decide whether you think he will really go through the court process to do so or whether he is full of hot air and bluster and will disappear in time.

babyhammock Thu 20-Jun-13 22:45:47

However, he has already stated he will do 'everything in his power to ruin my life' & that he will make sure he gets custody of this child when it's born.
Seriously if that's his attitude I would get the hell away and properly disappear while I still could. There is nothing he can do to stop you doing that at the minute or changing your name etc. I appreciate you are still attached to him in some way, but honestly you will be saving yourself a whole world of pain.

ScrewIt Thu 20-Jun-13 22:48:04

He's much better at making threats than following through. It is unlikely he would go to the expense of involving the courts. He's more of a wallower than proactive in his anger.

But I don't want to do anything that could deny my child the chance of a good relationship with their father. I want to do the right thing but I'm starting to learn that's not always the smart thing.

ScrewIt Thu 20-Jun-13 22:52:03

He says that & then in his next breath he's telling me to have an abortion. I think it's because he wants me to retaliate by saying 'you won't see this child' & then he has his excuse to walk away.

I do want him to pay for his child. I want my baby to have a dad. But I don't want to give him any power it would be easy for him to hold over me as if its easy for him to do so I'm sure he will.

scaevola Thu 20-Jun-13 22:54:38

I agree with you that, ideally, a child would have both parents named on the BC.

But this man is threatening you.

Think carefully. To have him on BC, he would have to accompany you to the Register's Office. Do you expect him to be co-operative in the post birth days? (You have 43 days to register a birth). Will you even be able to agree on a name?

What sort of involvement do you want him to have in DC's life? Is it safe for him to do that?

TheSecondComing Thu 20-Jun-13 22:55:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scaevola Thu 20-Jun-13 22:57:22

Also, if he had to apply for PR, would he actually bother? If he is likely to show inertia on this, it might be a protection for you, rather than handing it to him on a plate via BC.

You can tell your DC about their father in ways other than one legal document.

babyhammock Thu 20-Jun-13 22:58:45

Look how he's treating you. He's threatening you when you are at your most vulnerable...pregnant. Do you seriously think he will be a decent person with your child. I think that's highly unlikely.

ScrewIt Thu 20-Jun-13 22:59:38

The baby is having my name, I wouldn't even consider his. It's always been that way.

I think it's because my dad is so important to me I want my baby to have a chance of that. I would have no safety concerns about him & the child. Head games maybe.

I really don't know how I expect him to be, thus whole situation is a huge shock.

TheSecondComing Thu 20-Jun-13 23:01:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ScrewIt Thu 20-Jun-13 23:03:00

You're right BH he's forced my hand really with his behaviour. I'd be pretty stupid to ignore his threats. I just feel like purposely not having his name there would either make me a bad person or fk up my child wondering later in life if that's really their dad.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 23:06:18

Don't feel shamed by the blank space on the birth certificate.

It's his shame due to the fact he's a nasty cunt.

Do everything in your power to disentangle him from your life.

He's got virtually fuck all chance of getting residence unless you are a smack addict.

iheartdusty Thu 20-Jun-13 23:10:50

it is not necessary to have PR in order to have contact.

at the moment PR just sounds like loads of hassle for you if he carries on behaving like this.

If he is named on the birth certificate he has the exact same rights as you do, including residence until an order could be put in place.

If he chose not to return the child from contact you would have to take him to court for custody - and because he has equal rights he could refuse to return the child until the court made a decision, which could take months. The police wouldn't be able to do a thing about it, because you would be equal in law. The police and social services actually TOLD my BIL he could do this when he reported his ex for neglect. So after giving her support and numerous chances he did.... And she rang the Police - and they are still with him.

With this, and from what you have said


With this and what you've said there is no way on earth I'd be putting him on the birth certificate - he's already said he'll go for custody, by putting him on the cert he could have the child with him whilst he does so and there wouldn't be a thing you can do.

He sounds like an abusive bully - does a child really need that in their life?

ScrewIt Thu 20-Jun-13 23:20:03

Thanks guys that really helps and CS you have just made it easy with that information.

For some reason I really expected a flaming for even considering not naming him so I am grateful for your responses.

zippey Thu 20-Jun-13 23:33:59

Sounds like he is worried and panicking about the responsibility of having a child and wants to put you off bringing it into the world by being as nasty as he can. Maybe once he realises you're not changing your mind or once DC is here he will be nicer to you.

How well do you know his parents? The threats are worrying and its up to you what you do. Is there any rush to name him on the certificate? Not sure how that works.

Many men and women are not good parents, but he still has a right. At the moment his threats are baseless and you seem to think he is all bark and no bite, but I'd still be worried. Maybe give him a wide bearth till he can be more civil.

MidniteScribbler Fri 21-Jun-13 00:22:45

Honestly, I'd leave him off the birth certificate. You could potentially have 18 years (or longer) of dealing with him and him being obnoxious if you put him on there.

Leave it off for now, and if he turns in to a prince after the birth and proves himself over the next couple of years, then you could consider getting the certificate changed later. If not, you have the option of disappearing and saving yourself, and your child the heartache.

I've seen so many cases of parents who are actually doing their child more damage because of their relationships with their ex. Having to do two separate parent-teacher conferences, both parents storming up to the school at different times for different perceived slights, even down to which parent got called first when a child was sick. Parents who deliberately refuse to allow children to go on camps or excursions just to make a point to the other parent. Don't do that to your child! The writing is on the wall with this guy!

Look after yourself, and your child first. If he really wants to be a good father, he will prove himself.

Good luck, OP.

honey86 Fri 21-Jun-13 11:43:10

are there any solicitors on here, to give nonbiased advice? only im in the same situation, my ex is extremely controlling selfish abusive (non-physically) and all his demands are based on his own self entitlement. he doesnt genuinely have my unborn babys interests at heart.
when people say he can easily get pr, surely they dont just hand it over on only a dna test? will i have the chance to contest it? why wont it be looked into further than that, how comes any dad can just get rights when that dad is abusive and doing it only to hold control of the mother?
so even if a bloke has been away for 2 years or so n only been nasty, he can just get legal rights just like that? i find that notion extremely worrying on the basis of my babys welfare.

can someone who actually knows the law advise? without giving me fathers rights shite? xx

NotActuallyAMum Fri 21-Jun-13 11:48:21

"Bear in mind that if you deny him being on the birth certification, you also won't get child support without proving through other means he's the father"

I'm not legally qualified but I do know this isn't true

The OP can put in a claim to the CSA regardless of whether he's on the birth certificate or not and if he denies he's the father they can order a DNA test which he will have to pay for

OP I would not put this pathetic attempt at a man on the birth certificate in your situation

betterthanever Fri 21-Jun-13 11:50:18

When your exp says things like he will do 'everything in his power to ruin my life please believe him. When my exp told me how `nasty he could be' and how he `stops at nothing to hurt people he wants to hurt' I didn't believe him until it was too late.
Even though you are still in the pregnancy stages, I would seek some proper legal advice, I did that and I am very thankful for that now. Please take all threats seriously. If he is `joking' he can answer that in a letter to your solicitor.
Making threats to a mother in that way is not being a good parent to the child.
zippey raises a good point about him trying to put you off having the baby and how he may change when the baby is born. It is very unlikley he will change and he could become worse. My exp went from verbal threats to physcial threats when the verbals didn't work. I was astonished at the more pregnant I got the worse he got. Don't underestimate that what can appear to be head games that you can cope with can turn very nasty. I am not saying this to frighten you, just to make you aware.

honey86 Fri 21-Jun-13 13:24:11

i agree betterthanever on that- my ex started with petty arguments, then controlling, then false accusations then putting me down then name calling.. then started to 'bump' into me then actual shoving.... that when i ended it, soon as it started getting physical. abuse only stays the same or gets worse x

ThingummyBob Fri 21-Jun-13 13:42:11

Honey86, yes PR can be given with a simple dna test (or without if the mother agrees that the person applying is the father of child in question.)

PR is simply 'parental responsibility' and yes it will give a father the same rights as a mother unless a court order says differently.

For example, police will not intervene in a 'kidnapping' (for want of a better word) if a father with PR does not return a child to its mother after contact. It would be up to the mother to seek the childs return via court if necessary. The same as if police would not intervene if a mother refused access/contact with a father. It would be a case for the family courts.

Married parents automatically have PR each I believe. Unmarried fathers do not unless they attend the registration of the birth (for children born after December 2003).

In OPs circs. and yours, I would NOT be offering up PR as a matter of course if it was me. If he's being an arse how would you get together and agree to register the birth together anyway? confused

honey86 Fri 21-Jun-13 13:56:31

is that a professional fact or your view?

on gingerbreads website it says if the mother doesnt agree to giving pr, the court will consider if its in the childs best interests based on dads reasons for it, how much hes been involved and if theres a bond.

it doesnt make sense, why would a court just hand legal rights over to any fucker just cos hes the biological dad. what if a criminal decided to come back and just apply for pr? what, the court would go 'oh yeah dna test is positive, heres your legal rights to that child'

im sorry but that just doesnt seem right. why would a court put a child at risk like that?

betterthanever Fri 21-Jun-13 13:56:43

PR is not decided by a DNA test - paternity is. A court can grant a PR if the parent has an attachment to the child and has demonstrated a commitement and it is the child's best interest, not because the DNA result identified them as the father.

betterthanever Fri 21-Jun-13 13:58:43

I actually like honey's why would a court just hand legal rights over to any fucker just cos hes the biological dad. better than my version grin although my exp would like that to be the case.

honey86 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:14:58

pmsl i was never one to beat around the bush grin

girliefriend Fri 21-Jun-13 14:21:57

Sorry haven't read all the replies but he sounds like an idiot and I would not put his name on the birth certificate. I am assuming you're not married and if his name is on there it would give him parental responsibility.

I think you are being naive tbh, he sounds horrible and I don't think a childs right to a father should be at all costs, I mean seriously would you want this man around your baby?

honey86 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:23:42

dunno, it just sounds dodge, any sperm donor just getting rights.... and dads talk about it as if we have no say, that they can just force it no matter how bad a father he is?
and if thats the case, that would mean men who do sperm donation can just turn up n get rights to a child he gave to the recipient. am i the only one who finds that freakin wrong?

tootdelafruit Fri 21-Jun-13 14:25:36

in your shoes OP I would do absoloutely nothing.

I would let him threaten whatever he likes- let him rant and rave- don't react or respond- ignore any threatening= calls or texts.

I wouldn't inform him of scans or appointments. I would let him be the one to take the initiative to find out about the health of his baby, it's progress and growth. let him put plans in place for when baby is born, let him approach you with a plan for contact, let him ask you when you are registering the birth, let him 'put' himself in this baby's life as opposed to you 'keeping' him in the baby's life. that way you will neither be opposing contact or forcing him. give him nothing to fight against and let him decide how much of a father he will be.

if he doesn't go out of his way to find out when the baby is being registered then no I wouldn't be going out of my way to give him the privilege of deciding where baby goes to school or what vaccinations it has.

leave it entirely up to him. my guess is these are empty threats from a bitter person trying to throw their weight about to retain some control. don't rise to it- let it all wash over you. actions speak louder than words.

betterthanever Fri 21-Jun-13 15:02:51

I have to disagree with tooth if you don't do anything, if he takes this to court you will look obstructive. The system is rightly or wrongly as it is and I wish I had known more when I was pregnant. I never imagined for one min I wuld be in this position now.
Once the baby is here you will be very busy and really would not have time to start from scratch.
Sadly screw the law stands very firm on what rights the child has and unless is can be provedn otherwise the child has the right to see both parents and have a relationship with them. This is of course should be a `good' and `positive' one but this is how they get cases heard in court and you would have to go through all that. Try early intervention. There wasn't much more I could have done in the past but if I had known what I know know there were things I could have done to protect my DS more. In answer to your orginal OP - no I would not put his name on (he would have to be with you at the time by the way - you can't just put it on) but I would seek some professional help now.

tootdelafruit Fri 21-Jun-13 15:29:40

" if you don't do anything, if he takes this to court you will look obstructive. "

my advice was not telling OP to be obstructive. it was telling her not to volunteer info that he hasn't asked for. if he asks for the date and time that she will be registering the birth then of course she should tell him and give him the chance to be there. I was NOT in any way saying OP should withhold information- just that he should be the one seeking it rather than her offering it up all the time. if he wants to be a father it requires involving himself. no-one should get their DCs handed to them on a plate with all the 'caring' done leaving only the 'fun' stuff for them to enjoy.

ScrewIt Fri 21-Jun-13 17:45:24

Thanks everyone I think you make a lot of sense & I really don't think it's a good idea to have him on the certificate, especially if it could always be amended later anyway.

One thing I'm unsure about is that someone said I could apply for child maintenance without him being in there. If I do that is that admission by me that he is the father enough to enable him to easily obtain PR should he want to? Basically he'd have to go to court in either instance so is the process pretty much the same & I might as well apply for the child maintenance?

tootdelafruit Fri 21-Jun-13 17:55:25

I got child maintenance without exp's name on certificate but that's because he accepted ds was his son and agreed to pay- he was also seeing ds regularly though. if your ex wanted too he could either insist on getting PR when you apply for child maintenance or he could deny paternity forcing you to have paternity proven via DNA testing- which then of course makes it easier for him to get PR when he decides to go for it. this guy, at the minute, sounds angry and volatile which is why for the time being I would do nothing, let him rant and get whatever he wants out of his system- don't react. then by the time the baby is born he may (may not though) have calmed enough to see that he needs to be reasonable if he expects a relationship with his child. how long til you are due?

ThingummyBob Fri 21-Jun-13 18:07:25

honey I specifically said it can be given on the basis of a dna test, and it can. If there is no good reason for a court to deny a father parental responsibility then it will be given. It is not a question of whether a mother considers him to be a good father or whatever, it really isn't.

A father can be a total arse, even to the mother of his child, and still be given PR by a court.

Remember that family courts will always consider that a relationship with both parents is in the best interests of the child unless there is a good reason not to.

They are not "handing legal rights over to any fucker just cos hes the biological dad"; it would simply give the father the same automatic rights a mother has by virtue of giving birth. So a tosser ex could start being difficult by demanding to be kept informed of decisions made re the child and could look at applying for residence orders etc. I'm not sure you could apply for any sort of residency order without first having PR but could be wrong about that.

I wouldn't be rushing to give PR to any non resident parent tbh. I am grateful for the fact that my exP's cannot do much at all without my permission as both my dc were born pre Dec 2003.

babyhammock Fri 21-Jun-13 18:31:07

For honey and screwit this from thingy: Remember that family courts will always consider that a relationship with both parents is in the best interests of the child unless there is a good reason not to.

..and even if there is a very good reason not to the family courts are often a total nightmare for mums who have experienced DV and are trying to protect their children. I don't know where to start with giving you the info on this but it is not good.

If I were either of you, I would NOT put his name on the birth cerificate. Instead be proactive, change your name and disappear. Forget the CSA as that often inflames them into insisting on their 'rights'. Every day I wish I had done this and we would have avoided hell sad

betterthanever Fri 21-Jun-13 19:32:25

toot please don't get me wrong, I think you are exactly right that she shouldn't tell him anything he should ask... but I promise you if she isn't see to have `encouraged' him to be involved.. if it got to court they would flame her.. wrongly IMO but they would. I did the `encouraging' bit - we even met a few times and he still claimed he has only just found out (years and years later) he `may' be the biological father of my DS but at least with copies of correspondence I could prove him to be a liar for one thing. Cafacss have been astounded at him.

thing you said: Remember that family courts will always consider that a relationship with both parents is in the best interests of the child unless there is a good reason not to. we know and we all agree with that. But I totally agree with babyhammock that they some times totally disregard that relationship and the best interests.. why? not sure.
* I wouldn't be rushing to give PR to any non resident parent tbh. I am grateful for the fact that my exP's cannot do much at all without my permission as both my dc were born pre Dec 2003.* he could take you to court and get it.... easy as.

You then said: A father can be a total arse, even to the mother of his child, and still be given PR by a court. yep we know that see your post above.

What a couple of us have said is:A DNA test does not give `automatic' PR for the NRP, which is correct for the OP to know. My ex pushed for DNA strangely as part of a contact case.. he wasn't given PR at the hearing that the results were presented at, he still does not have PR. I pray every night the court continues to see what is in the best interests of my DS.

screw if you can manage without the money please don't apply - also agree with what babyhammock said about that.

honey86 Fri 21-Jun-13 19:46:44

if it was just a case of him being an arse i wudnt be so hellbent on keeping him away.... but hes a head case, a violent controlling one, cant control his finances, in debt cant even look after his personal hygiene ffs!! hes not even allowed contact with his first child (by his ex) cos of his behaviour!

tootdelafruit Fri 21-Jun-13 19:47:47

how bloody infuriating better why on earth does a grown man need to be encouraged to see his child? surely the PWC is doing everything they signed up for and more by being the PWC and providing every single daily need for the child? now she must be responsible for another adult's relationship with the child? who encourages her to have a relationship with the child? no-one- because she is an adult and she has the wit and sense of responsibility that comes with becoming a parent- why on earth is he excused from having to possess a bit of gumption? arggghh!!

not ranting at you at all here better- just at the situation. angry

Snazzywaitingforsummer Fri 21-Jun-13 20:00:22

Given what you have said I wouldn't name him on the certificate. Even if he can get PR easily, he will at least have to do something himself then.

betterthanever Sat 22-Jun-13 15:26:37

You are right toot you would not believe the `help' I am still being asked to give my exp who has decided to rock up years later... they twist it to be `for the benefit of the child' and make you out not to care about the child just yourself if you don't. My exp had to send some info about himself to my DS, he didn't know what to put, they asked me to do the list WTF!! they said I was bring obstructive because I said I really thought he should be doing it himself.

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