Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Absent father rights/opinion

(15 Posts)
Jbell87 Sun 28-Aug-16 12:00:43

Hi all , I recently had a baby to an ex who left me for someone else whilst I was pregnant. He told me numerous times he hoped the baby died and told me that if I contact him he would report me for harassment. The last time we spoke he said he doesn't want to be on the birth certificate. I didn't cope well, we had been together years so the break up was bad enough without the baby issues and I was hospitalised with the stress. Now I've had the baby and he's found out via social media. Hes made no effort to contact me but Yesterday he turned up at my sisters house asking about it (obviously she said she's not getting involved).

Does anybody know if I have to tell him about the baby if he's not on the birth certificate? Does he have any right to be involved? I'm going to speak to a lawyer but would appreciate any input.


twopenneth Sun 28-Aug-16 12:43:32

Him not being on the certificate doesn't mean he's not her dad & doeant have rights. Unfortunately he does. But yes, I'd lawyer up & do it through proper channels so everything is agreed & he can't play bully

dunfightin Sun 28-Aug-16 15:03:30

It's up to him to go through the proper channels i.e. contact you and ask or he can choose to make a court application. Your role is to respond and either offer contact off your own bat or respond to court with reasonable offer. So you don't need to have a lawyer.
Ask yourself what you think is best for your DC now and in the long run

JenLindleyShitMom Sun 28-Aug-16 15:08:28

The baby has rights. He has responsibilities.

Baby has a right to a relationship with both parents as long as not endangered by those relationships.

Both parents have responsibilities to financially provide for their child and to facilitate relationship with other parent. Parent with care has responsibility for child's physical and emotional wellbeing.

Champers4Pampers Sun 28-Aug-16 16:19:37

I would contact a lawyer for advice.
Yes he does have rights as he still the father even though he's not on the birth certificate and your child does have a right to know it's father.
Do you have and text messages/emails proving what he said in the past? They could be useful if he tries to paint you as the wrong party.
I would take anything on social media regards your child down as although you may not be "friends" with him he is obviously seeing the info somewhere.
If he wants to be a real father he needs to step up and make the right moves.

Lunar1 Sun 28-Aug-16 16:28:41

Cheeky sod turning up at your sisters. How old is your baby now?

PurpleDaisies Sun 28-Aug-16 16:30:34

He sounds like an arsehole but if he's not a danger he has the right to see his child.

Try and keep it really formal, and difficult as it might be try and keep the emotion out of it. If you can agree (through solicitors) to a regular amount of child support and regular contact time where the only interaction between you and him is a quick update on the baby and handing over what they need that's got to be a positive thing. Obviously if it doesn't work out like that (which is entirely likely given his part behaviour) you'd be absolutely right to revisit the contact arrangements. Quite possibly he'll decide it's all too much hassle and not bother you anyway.

Congratulations on your new baby.

AyeAmarok Sun 28-Aug-16 16:44:18

Parents don't have 'rights' when it comes to children, they have responsibilities. Children have rights.

Regardless of whether he wants contact or to be involved, he has to pay maintenance. Your DC has a right to be supported by their father financially.

Even if you don't think you "need" the money, it's for your DC so make sure you get it. Babies are cheap, children aren't, so save it for later (that later might even be a house deposit in 20 years time).

Jbell87 Tue 30-Aug-16 15:44:23

Thanks All, it's so nice to hear the support but I am incredibly worried about having to allow him access. I don't believe for a second that he wants to know my baby, I think he just doesn't want to look like such an a** for leaving us the way he did. At the moment I'm going to ignore him and see what his next move is, hopefully he'll now be able to say he tried to get in touch so may have enough reason to give up. I've deleted all references/photos from social media and I'm meeting with a lawyer tomorrow just to be prepared for any potential next steps.

My son is 3 weeks old now, my whole pregnancy was awful and I was in and out hospital with stress from his fathers behaviour. As a result the little guy was born at 28 weeks and although the doctors feel he has a positive outlook he's very sick at the moment so I could do without the added stress of the ex showing up!

I completely agree that the baby has a right to know his father and maybe in future he will but right now this guy has gone out of his way to harm my pregnancy and disown his child so I'm not going to welcome his presence without proof things have changed.

Fingers crossed things get better and thanks for all the inputs smile

Trifleorbust Tue 30-Aug-16 15:48:50

You don't have to tell him anything whatsoever. It's not your job to enforce his right to see or to know about his son. Legally speaking, if he applies to the courts for access and/partial residency he will probably get it, and you will be expected to have dealt reasonably with any requests made directly to you. But turning up at your sister's house to ask about his child? Nah. He has your number, presumably, plus Facebook, Whatsapp and whatever. Email. If he has any serious intentions about being a father, there is nothing stopping him.

QueenofFatAsses Tue 30-Aug-16 15:59:25

If he isn't on the birth cert he doesn't have PR.
Though if he choose to he could fight to be on birth cert.

StereophonicallyChallenged Tue 30-Aug-16 16:02:02

If he isn't on the BC and you weren't married at the time of the birth (congratulations btw flowers ) then I think he'll have to apply for parental responsibility before he can go to court and force your hand on the issue of access.
Its easy enough to do, but seems to put so many people off at the first hurdle if you like hmm Until then, all contact would be down to you, obviously, as you are caring for the baby.

Luckily this does not apply to maintenance and financial responsibilities so he might also just disappear if you ask him to start his financial contributions sooner rather than later...

I've seen so many (my own ex included) that shout and rattle about being a parent, and even with a willing and co-operative mother they soon back away and just disappear. It's all a front and about how they come accross to their wider circle angry Its sad really, but given all this twat has done for you... you'd be best off if he does this, no?

I wouldn't worry at the moment, unless he starts harassing you, in which case I'd think again and possibly see a solicitor.

Just try to enjoy being a new mum as best you can and hope he gets bored and backs off.

QueenofFatAsses Tue 30-Aug-16 16:02:25

re your last comment unfortunately you wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on to stop him seeing the baby.
You could make him take you to court which could be lengthy and expensive to get a contact order, unless he is a danger to the child he would be awarded some contact.

ThatStewie Tue 30-Aug-16 16:11:40

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. Right now, you just need to focus on your baby and you. Be kind to yourself. Make sure you're eating properly and getting enough sleep. Your baby needs you to take as much care of yourself as you do her. flowers

And, congratulations!

MrsBertBibby Tue 30-Aug-16 19:19:45

As a family solicitor, on what you've said, I would say you are not obliged to tell him a thing, and frankly, you should let him take you to court to get PR and contact. Yes, if he sticks with it, he may ultimately succeed (probably will, unless he keeps up his current behaviour) but at least if he sticks with it, you know he is committed. Make him work for it, or you're just handing him the ball to play with.

Rare for me to advise in that way, but you need to make him work from the outset.

I assume the reasons for your stress are well documented? All relevant to proceedings.

What an utter arsehole, by the way. Good luck.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now