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WWYD poke the bear? or wait

(14 Posts)
user1466690252 Wed 06-Dec-17 15:16:50

DD is 6. exp left when I was pregnant with her and hasn't been in contact since. pays maintenance though. I have never changed my details and tried initially to facilitate contact but he isn't interested.
When she was 2, I met now DH. She calls him daddy, and in every way it matters he is her daddy. They have an amazing relationship. DD understands in terms a 6yr old understands that DH is not her biological dad. We have a special day they celebrate the day "daddy picked her" and we answer any questions she has as best as possible. DH and I are married, have a mortgage, and another baby together now.

We would like DH to adopt DD. or at least have PR. if anything was to happen to me we all want the family unit to stay together.

Exp hasn't shown an interest but Im afraid me asking for the adoption or PR would make him request accsess. I have worked hard in creating stability for DD and she is an anxious child. I am worried that if we start going for anything it would backfire and I really don't think it would have a good effect on the child, or our family, if it was to happen now. Obviously when she is older its her decision to make if she wants to ask him questions. Does anyone know how this is likely to go in court if exp fights me and asks for accsess? I don't know if its worth starting something now if its going to really backfire, all for the sake of a worst case scenario, when he has left us alone for 6 years and we have built a lovely, quiet life out of his bombshells and volitility. I know everyone dislikes their ex. but he was drinking and drug taking and having affairs when I left, its hard not to judge him by that and his absence

titchy Wed 06-Dec-17 16:10:14

If your dh adopts your ex won't have to pay maintenance any longer. That might sweeten him up..?

prh47bridge Wed 06-Dec-17 18:50:22

Does your ex have PR? If you were not married and he is not on the birth certificate he does not have PR. If that is the situation you can give your husband PR without involving your ex. You simply complete a Step-Parent Parental Responsibility Agreement and take it to a local office of the family court.

user1466690252 Wed 06-Dec-17 19:02:32

unfortunately he is on the birth cert. That's what I think about the maintenance. It feels such a risk tho

Familylawsolicitor Thu 07-Dec-17 00:31:48

His consent to PR/adoption is needed and without it you will need to make a court application. Adoption extinguishing his rights is almost certainly not going to be ordered unless he agrees. PR for your partner is possible. He will need to be a respondent to a court application and will be asked to attend court and if he's got to be involved in court proceedings anyway he may well take the opportunity to make a contact application. Your daughter is young and the court will most likely think that she should have an opportunity to know her biological father even if that is supervised for safety concerns.

I think your thread title has it, it would be poking the bear.

MrsBertBibby Thu 07-Dec-17 07:44:12

I would be inclined to agree.

Getting PR for your partner at this stage wouldn't make it any more or less likely that your daughter would stay with you husband if anything happened to you, btw. If it pushed the ex into applying for contact, it might even make it less likely, since he would then be known to her.

I would let sleeping dogs lie.

Familylawsolicitor Thu 07-Dec-17 09:35:14

That's a very good point MrsBertBibby makes.

If anything did happen to you, your H could apply for a residence order at that point.

Zoomaa Thu 07-Dec-17 09:39:25

Presumably if you got run over and killed there's no way your ex would know anyway if he's not in contact. In which case it seems your DH would be more likely to get residency then as up to that point ex would have had no involvement.

endofthelinefinally Thu 07-Dec-17 09:50:13

At the very least make a will and appoint a guardian for your child.
Take legal advice as to who this can be. For example you could probably appoint your DH. Or a blood relative who is supportive of your dd continuing to live with him.

Pannacott Thu 07-Dec-17 10:16:32

I would leave it. So many threads where exps are causing trouble for the sake of it.

I would however hold on to the idea of your DH adopting her, as a symbolic gesture, when she's old enough that exp can't cause trouble. Although by that age she might be more comfortable with the idea of having two dads - he's not the actual shittest Dad in the world if he's paying maintenance.

mustbemad17 Thu 07-Dec-17 10:20:53

Courts wouldn't go against your ex as he is paying maintenance. Apparently regardless of visitation, the fact he is paying regularly means he still has 'a hand' as it were in things like PR etc.

He might surprise you; my ex agreed to let me change DD's surname without a quiver. I was expecting WW3.
On the other hand, if all is quiet & happy, is it worth the risk?

user1466690252 Thu 07-Dec-17 11:34:12

Thank you everyone. I think I have made my mind up to let things lie at the moment. We will cross this bridge of and when we need to and make a will instead. Thank you all

Hedgehog2018London Thu 07-Dec-17 11:40:57

I'm glad your daughter has a happy and stable life regardless of her biological father not seeing her.

However, I see no reason to file for adoption papers at all. You can seek out parental responsibilities in other ways if anything were to happen to you, such as through your will, family etc. No court would give your child to a father who has never seen her if anything were to happen to you, they would look at the family unit she currently resides in and offer custody to either your husband or your family member first.

user1466690252 Thu 07-Dec-17 12:20:42

Thank you, this is such a minefield if you have no leagal knowledge. I will speak to a solicitor regarding a will and I feel better knowing worst case scenario she would stay with her Daddy and brother.
I would love to chance her surname, as on her birth cert ect it is my exp surname, but she doesn't know thats her name. School ect call her XX our surname, as her "known name" again tho, I don't think it's worth poking the bear

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