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Ex wants to see dd after 6 years

(24 Posts)
Britstone13 Wed 08-Nov-17 16:59:13

So just to fill in the back story, i have a DD with my ex boyfriend. He's never taken care of her, only seen her twice ( once when she was 2months and once when she was 2yrs) never helped out. In fact he moved out of state before she was born. He's threatened several times to take her away. But my husband is the one who has taken care of her and been dad since day one.(we started dating when she was a week old, and now we've been married for 6 yrs). Although my husband is technically the step dad, dd doesn't know this. She's only 6. Now after 6 years my ex says he now has a newborn son and wants to be apart of her life now. He says he has a fiancee and son and he realizes he's messed up and wants to coparent with us. My dd is very emotional for a 6 yr old and my husband refuses to talk about it, because I'm pretty sure his feelings are hurt from me even considering talking to my ex. I have no clue how to handle this or how i would even explain this to my dd.

Battleax Wed 08-Nov-17 17:01:10

I'd want him to show commitment by attending mediation to thrash out a plan. I'd want the actual plan to involve an extremely gentle phasing back in, starting with short supervised contacts.

TheGoodEnoughWife Wed 08-Nov-17 17:03:20

What a difficult situation but unfortunately you do need to have those conversations. Your dd has a right to know who her actual father is. Difficult for her SD but better for dd to know now.
It may feel like he is disrupting your perfect little family but that family is based on a lie.

Battleax Wed 08-Nov-17 17:05:32

You need to tell her the story of how a man and a woman made a baby but the man was scared and not very grown up and ran away and the woman and the baby met a wonderful man and made a family. Very gently.

Let that soak in (and make sure he's committed) before you tell her that he's reappeared.

lunar1 Wed 08-Nov-17 17:07:28

You have to tell your dd that your husband is not her biological dad.

I would expect your ex to arrange and pay for mediation to go through everything in a neutral setting. His enthusiasm for this would give you an idea how serious he was about building up very slow contact.

swingofthings Wed 08-Nov-17 17:24:41

Is he on the birth certificate? If so, he might have automatic parental responsibility.

In any case, there is a moral and legal stand here. Legally, he might be in a position to ask for it from a judge and would most likely be granted that right, although in almost all probability, this would involve short contact at a contact centre first (or in agreement of a witness). You might to prepare yourself for him to take this step. It will be easier for him if he does have PR.

From a moral perspective, you need to decide whether your DD has a right to know who her biological father is and give her a chance to get to know him. I feel massively for your DH, it must be the hardest thing to go through, but this is something he (and you) should have considered could happen.

Could you all benefit from going to counselling to know how to best approach talking to your DD about this?

NorthernSpirit Wed 08-Nov-17 17:29:49

It’s sad that the father hasn’t had any contact until now (and we don’t know his side or his reasons), but your daughter does have a right to a relationship with him (however unreliable he’s been) and whether it upsets your husband or not.

Your husband has done a great job raising her and as uncomfortable as it is for him, it’s not about his feelings, it’s about your daughter and her right to a relationship with her dad.

You need to face into this - work up a plan and gradual introduction. Your daughter in her own time and when she is old enough can make her own decisions. For now it’s upto you to support facilitation of contact.

PashPash Wed 08-Nov-17 17:33:58

Hmmm

My main thought would be he is doing this to impress the new GF. Not that he’s suddenly and spontaneously had an epiphany about how he need to be a better person.

Tread carefully

LoverOfCake Wed 08-Nov-17 17:38:42

There are two issues here:

Firstly, you have been incredibly irresponsible allowing your daughter to grow up believing that your husband is her father and not her step father. Even if she had grown up calling him dad on the basis she had never known any differently, she had a right to know that she was not his biological child. At what point were you considering telling her this?

Secondly, your ex needs to put in the effort now if he wants to get to know his daughter. It will have to be a slow process in the beginning, because firstly your daughter doesn't actually know that she has a father out there, and that is something you are going to have to prepare her for, but equally he is going to have to show his commitment by getting to know her gradually. Fortunately she is still quite young, but if this is done correctly and he is serious about his intentions, there is no reason why she can't have a positive relationship with him going forward, and ultimately also with her sibling.

AuntieDiluvial Wed 08-Nov-17 17:48:13

What's so important about biology? Surely 'dad' is the man who does the parenting?

Definitely tread very cautiously and lightly. Have him demonstrate some commitment to your dd's emotional well-being by going at a pace that respects the existing family - which includes your dd's father-figure - and taking all the steps they need to come to terms with this development at their pace.

LoverOfCake Wed 08-Nov-17 18:40:18

It is important because it potentially holds the key to so many things. It takes more than biology to be a father, and there's no reason why the DD can't see this man as her dad as he's brought her up, however as she grows up there are such things to consider as genetic conditions for instance.

Let's say for argument's sake it turned out that the DD has a genetic condition which could be passed to her children, she might want to know who she inherited it from. Alternatively she could e.g. Need a transplant in future years, perhaps bone marrow or even a kidney or liver. Imagine finding out then that her father wouldn't be a match because he's not her father, or the other way around - if he needed a transplant and she wanted to donate to him she wouldn't be able to but wouldn't know.

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Wed 08-Nov-17 18:42:38

Are you in the US? Advice might vary due to different laws surrounding contact etc.

SandyY2K Fri 10-Nov-17 13:26:51

He's a stranger to her. He can't just jump in and want to coparent a 6 year old.

It has to be a gradual introduction with you present. I'd want to know how his GF feels about it.. you don't want resentment being taken out on your DD.

Woodfordhound Fri 10-Nov-17 13:38:16

Does he pay maintainence? If not, tell him you are seeking legal advice on how to recoup payments dating back until her birth. This will go some way to test his intent. If he’s genuinely serious about getting to know his daughter and be a father then this will not phase him. If he disappears again then you’ll at least know he was never really serious.

Either way, you must tell her. Tell her that Mummy made her with a different man but he was silly and didn’t want to be a Daddy but then you were both so lucky because you both met Step Dad who loved her so much and chose to be her Daddy and has been her Daddy ever since. She needs to know the truth but she absolutely will not stop loving her Stepdad due to biology. He’s her Daddy; he’s loved her and cuddled her and put plasters on her knees and held her hand crossing the road etc. Tell your DD all this and tell her that it’s these things that make a real Daddy. Make sure you mention that her relationship with SD is extra special because he chose to be her Daddy.

SarahH12 Sat 11-Nov-17 15:20:24

Wait you started dating when she was a week old, she's only 6 now yet you've been married 6 years??

<misses point completely>

Lottie509 Sat 11-Nov-17 15:47:06

I think its very hard to explain biology to a very young child even at 6 as they lack understanding, I told my daughter at age six that her daddy wasnt her biological Dad, I explained that it takes a mummy and a daddy to make a baby but the Daddy that made her doesnt see her, So Daddy came along and CHOSE to be there for her in the role of her Daddy and that isnt she so lucky to have someone to WANT to be her Daddy because shes so special!
My daughter was fine with it not bothered in the slightest she doesnt even remember being told which is what I wanted, although it did take her a while to understand I would mention it every now and again every few months because she would forget that I told her, at aged 8 now she completely understands, I wanted to let her know whilst she was little so it didnt become a big shock in later life and become a big deal for her.
Your daughter is at the perfect age to start the process of telling her.
Keep it simple and using words as him CHOOSING to be there and WANTING her are nice positive words that will let her know she is loved. Goodluck.

Lottie509 Sat 11-Nov-17 15:51:35

Oh and just to say my husband is still very much her Daddy it has mad no difference to their relationship, Your partner has taken the role of her Dad and your daughter will still see that.
Honestly I dont think the father coming back in deserves the right to pick up where hes left off its not fair and I think he needs to understand that he cant just waltz back into her life now he feels like it, It will all take time, I would take it all very slowly.

FGSholdthedoor Sat 11-Nov-17 16:00:53

Does he pay maintainence? If not, tell him you are seeking legal advice on how to recoup payments dating back until her birth. This will go some way to test his intent

I think that's a good suggestion.

SarahH12 Sat 11-Nov-17 16:11:38

Does he pay maintainence? If not, tell him you are seeking legal advice on how to recoup payments dating back until her birth. This will go some way to test his intent

This ^^ is ridiculous advice! What if he genuinely doesn't have the finances? 6 years of no maintenance adds up to a hell of a lot. But making a mistake in the past shouldn't mean he has to literally pay for it now. Of course if he's loaded and the money is no problem then sure go ahead and test him this way. But your DD has a right to know her biological dad.

NorthernSpirit Sat 11-Nov-17 17:37:28

Children aren’t pay per view. Maintenance has nothing to do with this situation (although morally he should pay).

Woodfordhound Sun 12-Nov-17 22:45:13

Well Sarah, surely he should have been putting a little away each month for the last 6yrs? It’s not as if he didn’t know he had a child so that’s exactly what he should have been doing. Surely that’s what any decent man would do? Even if just £10 a month that would now be around £720 to hand to the OP. I think unless he’s been living in serious poverty these last 6yrs then failing to do that speaks volumes as to his character.

Any anyway, I wasn’t suggesting the OP actually link access to maintainence but rather threaten to. Again, unless he’s living in poverty he would not be put off contact with his child by this if he was absolutely serious about becoming a committed part of her life.

But I don’t cannot think of any reason other than severe hardship where a parent in his position would not be putting even a tiny amount away each month to show commitment to his daughter even if he ended up handing it to her at 18.

Woodfordhound Sun 12-Nov-17 22:50:01

But unless living in hardship, maintainence is linked to character. Every non resident parent should want to pay. If you are seriously struggling financially then of course such circumstances make it impossible but people who indulge with holidays and gadgets and whatnots yet don’t consider paying maintainence are IMO unfit. Any parent who can afford it but doesn’t want to pay it or begrudges it is an unfit parent in my book.

NorthernSpirit Sun 12-Nov-17 23:15:06

Woodforshound - The post isn’t about maintenance, it’s about the little girl seeing her father.

Maintenance and contact are too sepate issues.

I don’t disagree he has an obligation to pay. Agree completely that both parents should contribute. He wants to see her - that’s the issue to be addressed. Maintenance should be addressed separately.

As for your provocation to threaten access to maintaince - that’s against the law. Children aren’t pay per view.

newdaylight Mon 13-Nov-17 06:04:55

I do know of situations where dad's came back on the scene at 6 or 7 and actually remained committed from then on.

My advice. He needs to show his commitment. Start off with a contact plan, it will start by being supervised by her grandparent in x location for however many weeks for example. He needs to sort out maintenance as well. He needs to communicate clearly, and understand that initially he will just see her v briefly because it's all new for her.

Once he starts to show some regularity and commitment then it can the arrangements can change.

Unfortunately the first thing is explaining about her dad, there's some advice above on that.

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