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to be upset over dh's long lost daughter?

(62 Posts)
doggyandteddy Mon 12-Jan-09 12:38:59

Long story.... DH's 1st marriage, had a daughter, they split up when she was baby and he went to work overseas. Before he went he signed a legal document giving up his parental rights for her and he signed their house over her mother.
She is now 13 and last week contacted him for first time thru friends reunited. We always knew she would come looking for him one day and decided it would be her decision, not him showing up there....
He now is saying that he wants to start paying money to her every month, maintainance. He is frightened that the ex-wife will send csa after him and he will have to pay back payments... Now he is also saying he wants to go and meet her, we live in scotland and she is on south coast, so will be an expensive trip with transport and hotels etc...
I know it is right for dh to pay for his own kid, but... I feel really unhappy about the whole thing.
In the space of a week I have gained a step-daughter and lost £50+ a month of our money plus the cost of this trip, all at a time when I thought we were getting sorted financially. I know it's not the daughter's fault but AIBU to be feeling upset about this?

juuule Mon 12-Jan-09 12:40:35

YABU - it's his daughter.

pamelat Mon 12-Jan-09 12:40:55

Sorry but I think you are being unreasonable.

Do you have children together too?

It is his daughter and it is natural for him to want to see her (especially when she has bravely chosen to get in touch)

13 is a tough age too and she is probably very anxious about meeting her dad and new family.

Lauriefairycake Mon 12-Jan-09 12:41:41

Very unreasonable.

What exactly was his reason for giving up his parental rights and responsibilities?.

Hopefully the CSA will recover all the money from him at a rate that he can afford - he should try and pay as much as he can and should have been paying all along.

Please scratch the last paragraph if he had a great reason for not contributing to the cost of her upkeep for 13 years.

lisalisa Mon 12-Jan-09 12:41:58

No of course you are not being unreasonable. It is a big shock. However - and this is the crunch - you knew of her when you go tmarried presumably and also of the possiblity that she would come knocking one day. AS you corectly and fairly acknowledge of course your dh has to see her and rebuild a relationship ( and all the credit to him for preparing to do that). If you put yourself in this girl's shoes she has lived her whole life witoiut a father and now she has the opportunity to peice together an important part of her life. She cannot be deneid that chance and neither can your dh.

Tidey Mon 12-Jan-09 12:42:58

If you knew about the daughter's existence the whole time you've been in this relationship, then surely somewhere in your mind you knew this was a possibility.

She hasn't just dropped out of the sky and suddenly you have a step-daughter. And if in 13 years, her mother hasn't been chasing him for money, what makes you think she'll get bitter about it now? She might just be glad he's started paying anything at all.

Molesworth Mon 12-Jan-09 12:43:05

YANBU to feel unsettled by this development

but you would be being very unreasonable to attempt to stop him from seeing his daughter or paying money to her (£50 a month is not a lot)

mm22bys Mon 12-Jan-09 12:43:13

Yep, at least you knew that she existed, and it is lovely that she wanted to contact her dad.

I have no idea about backdating of child support payments.

The immediate costs, while it sounds like it could be a strain, are surely minor compared with you basically gaining another DD, and your DH being reunited with his own DD?

All the best,

doggyandteddy Mon 12-Jan-09 12:43:18

I totally understand that, but I feel like this is a big deal for all of us, her included and I have no idea how to deal with this.
We have 2 kids of our own together and I am terrified this is going to drag up all sorts of stuff from the past which will upset my little family - I mean me, dh and our 2. We had a really, really shitty year last year and we are just getting back on to an even keel in our relationship, and i'm frightened it will upset the balance again

MadameCastafiore Mon 12-Jan-09 12:43:47


You knew about her and expected this to happen - we are talking about £50 a month (which is feck all when it comes to feeding and clothing a child isn't it - she should get more than that) and a trip to the south coast as opposed to being a complete wankjer and not trying to fulfill his responsibilities as a father - you should have some respect for him trying to be part f her life and sort this out - if he were to turn the other cheek again he really would be the lowest of the low.

Ivykaty44 Mon 12-Jan-09 12:45:13

He signed a legal document giving up his responsability for his daughter? Was she adopted by someone else?

The CSA cant ask for money from anytime before they actually got in contact with the nrp - but if he isnt the girls legal dad then they can not claim any money from him anyhow and would have to turn to the adopted father.

NAB3lovelychildren Mon 12-Jan-09 12:45:18


doggyandteddy Mon 12-Jan-09 12:45:34

Hang on a minute, I never said that he shouldn't see her. And I always knew this day would come. But am I not allowed to feel upset about this and unsure?
Of course he should see her if she wants to get to know him.

Pingping Mon 12-Jan-09 12:45:35

I think YABU

Try and be more supportive to your DH he want to see his Daughter also I doubt the mother will go for CSA after all these years and she hasn't bothered why would she start now??

if your DH is going to start being apart of this child life then yes he should pay maintaince

pamelat Mon 12-Jan-09 12:45:44

I would feel threatened so I understand your defensive position but she is his daughter.

As the father to your children too he is not going to do anything to damage their well being.

I would try to embrace it. He will not thank you for being resentful about this. He must feel quite anxious too, try to do this in union.

Lauriefairycake Mon 12-Jan-09 12:46:01

The reason I said you were unreasonable is because the whole of your post was about money.

Of course you're not unreasonable to be upset when you and your dh are recovering from a tough time. It may or may not upset the balance, try not to think of the worst case scenario.

lisalisa Mon 12-Jan-09 12:46:34

doggyandteddy - of course youare worried. I wholeheartedly sympathise. i would take it very slow and suport dh in going to see her but not for the minute offer to have step daughter to stay. You need to get used to the news slowly as does he and she too. Once you have digested it and dh and step duaghter have got to know eachother a bit you should then just start by asking questions about her. Try and open the door if you can to accept her in the beginning as a long lost member of the family. Not someone in teh immediate circle but a family member who has been discovered and will soon be part of yuor life ( as indeed she will). By not taking on the package immediately I thnk it will be eazsier for you to to enquiare about her, build up a picture and start to accept her in your future. If you try to think of her immediately as dh's daughter, coming to stay , you being a stpe mother to an effective stranger it will be too much to cope wiht .

doggyandteddy Mon 12-Jan-09 12:46:41

Not sure about the adoption thing. They were married when she was born and he is named on the birth certificate. Don't really understand about this legal document thing, just what he told me????

Haribosmummy Mon 12-Jan-09 12:47:32

Get over the shock...

Support your DH to make contact with his DD..

When he's established that, go with him and take your kids.

make her feel welcome, make her feel secure.

make sure that she doesn't feel that this is her problem.

Because it's not.

Respect her for being adult enough for contacting him and Him for being adult enough to be the father she has always needed.

Good luck!

tengreenbottles Mon 12-Jan-09 12:49:00

when you say he signed the house over to his ex wife ,do you mean there was no mortgage left on it ? If so then as his ex wife i think i would of rather had that ,than bits of maintenance . Yanbu for feeling upset ,its alot to take on board whether you knew about it or not. But you do need to support your dh on this one otherwise it will blow up in your face .good luck

Aitch Mon 12-Jan-09 12:49:08

i think you are FINE to feel threatened and upset, you're just working through your feelings. you've always known she's his daughter, i presume you jsut thought that she'd be back in your lives when she was abit older, maybe 18 or such?
i'm sure that you will do the right thing when you've got used to the idea, of course you will.

pamelat Mon 12-Jan-09 12:49:59

doggyandteddy - as I say, I do understand your defensive stance on this (I would be the same) but your original post makes it sound like you are more bothered about the cost than anything else, which is totally totally unreasonable.

ThePregnantHedgeWitch Mon 12-Jan-09 12:50:02

Message withdrawn

doggyandteddy Mon 12-Jan-09 12:50:51

Thanks for all the supportive messages. Sorry if it came out all wrong in the beginning.
I'm proud of him for wanting to be a part of her life now and don't want to spoil that for either of them. I realise I should have known this day would come, but I never really thought about it before, guess I should have!

WinkyWinkola Mon 12-Jan-09 12:51:08

YANBU to feel wobbly, upset and unsure. Your status quo has been rocked. Nobody can actually help how they'd respond in this situation. It's huge.

But you can help how you react in terms of support for your DH and his daughter.

If you were to say, express resentment over the money and time he wants to spend on and with his child, it will most definitely come back and bite you on the bum and I imagine, ferociously.

If you were to say, sit down with your DH once he returns from his visit to his daughter and together work out a plan regarding finances and visitation that is reasonable and workable to both you, you will reap the most amazing dividends.

Because it's a child involved, at the risk of sounding sanctimonious, you've got to be the biggest person. I say the biggest person because it's not your child, it represents potentially big changes in your life and you may not be comfortable with that.

It's really really not easy for you but if you can sound positive to your husband, you'll come through this together. Don't express your negativity at this early stage. The daughter does need to know her dad. And she'll need to know you too because you're a massive part of her dad's life.

Good luck!

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