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absent father wants contact after 13 years(12 Posts)
My sons biological father has decided after 13 years he wants contact with my son. We were not in a relationship, he wasnt at the birth, he has never been involved, he is on the birth certificate as he said he didnt want my son to be considered illegitimate, he has never financially supported his son or sent him anything on birthdays or christmas. We fell out after he kept claiming my son wasnt his, I said I was happy with that, I didnt want people to think my son was his! I've since met someone who my son calls Dad, has done for 5 years and we have two more children. Every couple of years he get maudlin and trys to get in touch, I ignore him and he forgets about it, but this year he seems more insistent.
Does he have a leg to stand on? He doesnt have automatic parental responsibility as my son was born before that came into effect, can a parent who has always been absent, never supported, ask a court to force a teenager to see him? As far as I'm aware he has no permanent residence, has been in prison etc
My son is very settled, goes to a good school, has a great relationship with the man he thinks of and calls Dad, I've heard that a court will ask a teenager if they wish to see the parent but I dont want to unsettle my son by putting him through anything to do with a court
where do I stand?
I would ask your son what he wants. He's old enough to make his own choice.
if he pushes for court action your ds will be spoken to and his feelings will lead the way things go. your ds will not be forced into contact at this age as long as his decision is informed but Cafcass will access that. The PR issue is irrelevant, PR doesn't affect contact arrangements. He is on the birth certificate and that's all that matters
You know your own child, OP, but I think it is good for children to know their biological fathers, as long as they are safe.
in my opinion he wouldnt be safe, we are talking about an irresponsible, unpredictable ex-con with no permanent residence
I agree OP. I suspect your ex is at a low ebb in life and is thinking of what your child can offer to him in terms of love and security, rather than the other way round.
He could meet him in a public place with you close by for safety - McDonald's for example.
Presumably your son knows of his existence? In which case if your son is willing he could and should meet him.
Clearly not for overnights but half an hour in a fast food place might be beneficial for your ds. Even if to decide his father is a waste of space and he doesn't want to see him again.
my son was 12 when this happened - he saw cafcass and said he would see his dad once. then they decided to have "phased contact planning" with a big proposal of planned visits ...having this forced on him and the whole process made him depressed and angry and now he's refusing to go. cafcass were a disaster frankly.
HOWEVER... i think ask your son. he will almostly certainly want to find his dad at some point and in a way I think its been better now for my son than if he did this in some teenage fantasy moment when he might have idealised him.
instead he's seen his dad for what he is.. in his words "disappointing" and a "twit". and he's lost interest in him.
a childs attachment to their parent is about years of constant love and care - not about some bloke who turns up years later and claiming to be a "dad". he will work that out for himself.
so I would advise to let you son make the call and get ready to support him through it.
I would only ask your son if it seems that his 'father' is likely to follow through. He may not be interested in taking it further. In my experience, Cafcass will take all the circumstances into account before they recommend contact between you son and his father. Including the lack of previous attempts. Good luck
Perhaps they could email and phone each other for a bit? Try to build up a bit of a relationship from a safe distance.
Does.your son know his bio father has been in touch? It must be so hard to unsettle him for someone who is likely to disappear again in the near future.
Legally a child has the right to know and spend time with both parents if it is in their best interests.
Practically this man will have to invite you to mediation before he can make an application to Court to spend time with your son. Some mediators will also speak with the child to find out how they feel so that they have someone they can talk to.openly without fear of hurting either parent. Given the age of your son his wishes are going to be the single most important part of this.
I would advise any of my clients to try mediation first and to try to find a mediator suitably qualified to include children in the process. It is effectively what a CAFCASS officer would do if the matter went to Court but a lot less Stressful as well as being quicker and cheaper.
From your point of view all you can do is let your ds know that it is OK to be curious about his bio dad and that you and your new husband will support him whatever he wants to do.
My friends DD separated from her EXDH when her DD was 2 1/2 and divorced when her DD was 3 1/2 and that was the last time they heard from the EXDH no maintenance birthday Christmas cards in fact didn't really know where he was although had heard he had gone back to Ireland with his mother.
DD go on with her life worked hard to provide for them and eventually remarried to a lovely chap 4 years ago. Her DD is now 18 in last year at school and 8 weeks ago they had a new baby DD.
About 6 weeks ago my friend received a letter addressed to her DD in previous name at her address. Her DD was there when it was delivered it was from a solicitor acting on behalf of her EXDH it said he had remarried and has settled back in the UK and he and his wife wanted to be able to play a part in the DD's life leading up to them having her to stay weekends and holidays and especially be able to have a say in her secondary education.
The EXDH couldn't even get the right name for his DD spelt her first name wrong and the second name right initial but wrong name think Emma for Emily and of course the date of birth completely wrong only the month was right he had the year as 2003 instead of 1996.
My friend and her DD just laughed when they read it. The husband she is married to now is a solicitor and replied he said he was acting for the DD and she had remarried. He pointed out that there were quite a few inaccuracies in his letter as regards the names and date of birth of the person in question in fact the 'child' was now an adult and in the last year at school and was very happy and did not wish to see his client. So far have heard nothing else.
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