Telling paternal grandparents about their grandchild

Carrie - posted on 05/13/2016 ( 8 moms have responded )

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When the father of my daughter (born 12.6.14) found out I was pregnant he initially wanted to be involved. After 2 weeks he made a complete 180 and begged me to terminate. I kept my daughter knowing that her biological father didn't want her or anything to do with her or myself. He kept it from everyone and acted like it never happened. When my daughter was almost 2 months old I came across his mother who I knew from the time during our relationship and she commented on how cute my daughter was not knowing she was also her granddaughter. I called her after I left and asked to her to call me later so we could talk about something. She immediately called her son to tell him and he begged me to not tell his mom. He would do anything to avoid having to tell them. I refused to keep it a secret so he made the decision to tell his parents. She was very hurt and upset and promised she would get back with me once she had time to think about it. She spoke to him and ended up changing his mind to where he called and asked to be in his daughters life. He met her on 3 occasions when she was 2 months old and one of those times was with his mom and stepfather. He had moved on and started dating someone just a few months after we split and the new GF was not happy with me being present for visitation. He ended up telling me he would not see his daughter again until I would allow him to see her without me being there. I told him that wouldn't happen without a court order. We were going through DHS for a DNA test and they refused to get involved. Problem being I was recently divorced and state law said that since my divorce wasn't final more than 300 days they considered my ex-husband her father. This gave her bio dad a way out. He jumped on and told his family that my ex was her father and there was nothing he could do. My ex-husband is listed on her birth certificate as her father and I will have to take her bio dad to court to correct it. He has threatened me that if I force him to take a DNA test to prove he is her father he will hire an attorney and fight for as much custody as he can get. During our dealings with DHS he was told he was looking at child support of about $1,000 a month so that is when he started talking about pursing custody thinking it would reduce his child support. He isn't doing it for the my daughters best interest. I haven't decided if I will pursue getting her birth certificate corrected for the risk that he would fight me. He does not pay child support and has in no way supported her. I run into his family because we live in a rather small town and it breaks my heart every time I see them knowing they have been lied to and have no idea she really is their granddaughter. Do I talk to his family? Do I force DNA with the risk of splitting custody with someone that doesn't want her?

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Ev - posted on 05/16/2016

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{{My fear wouldn't be that he wouldn't give her back because I think he honestly doesn't want to have to even help raise a child. My fear is that he isn't capable of caring for a child. He has no other children and for my daughter who isn't even 2 this person will be a stranger to her. It will take some time to get her comfortable enough with this person to be left alone with him.}}

~~~~~How do you really know what this man is capable of or not? Just because he says he wants nothing to do with the child or taking care of her does not mean that after a few visits he might change his heart towards his first child. Its a shock to anyone not planning a child and in a relationship but want to eventually have a child. It is also more of a shock to two people who did not intend to have a child in the first place. The guy will feel it differently than the woman. He does not get the chance to bond with the child until after birth and sometimes feels like he is being overwhelmed about things. It takes time to get used to things. It can even take years. Do not underestimate the chances of his changing his heart and mind. It can happen.

{{I didn't want to take him to court to get DNA and set up custody & child support, I only wanted to correct her birth certificate to get my ex-husband's name off. I have never asked for child support from him or ever expected him to be involved in her life.}}

~~~~~Here is where I need to make a few points while I do understand you feel as you do you need to consider these points: 1) Getting DNA testing will prove he is the father in the eyes of the court. 2) You would be best at setting up custody, visitation and child support. a)custody protects all of you. It sets the standards of what is expected of both parents and protects the relationships of the child and the parents. b) child support--he is as much responsible for her upbringing and care as you are. If you can get buy without the money then place it in the bank to grow for her future. If you need it, its there for use for her needs. c) visitation--sets out a schedule for when a parents gets to spend time with the child. Do not underestimate that he might want this eventually.

{{His support could change if he started providing for her and started having over night visits with her. He knows that I have a 50/50 agreement with my ex-husband for our son and he doesn't pay support. We share 1/2 of all expenses and time with our child and her father has told me before he wanted the same deal.}}

~~~~~In most states, child support is based on the income of the non-custodial parent. ~~~~~Not all 50/50 agreements in all states eliminate child support. Just because you have that set up with your ex for your son and have come to some sort of agreement that works for your son's case does not mean it will work in this one. Each case is different. Getting the same deal would depend on the judge and the circumstances of the case.

{{He can fight for custody but he is only willing to do that if I force the issue. If I do nothing he will do nothing and not have to acknowledge her. I tried to get him to sign an acceptance of paternity which would keep us out of court and not force him to pay child support but he is refusing.}}

~~~~~Regardless of his fighting for custody or not, I really believe you should do the DNA testing and get child support, custody, and visitation set up for him. It is important because he could change his mind as I have said before about wanting to be part or her life. Remember you have been through a custody venture with your son's father and he has not been a father before. You just need to take this to a judge.

{{I understand he doesn't have to pay support but he has known since the day she was conceived she is his and he has never made an attempt to provide for her.}}

~~~~~He does not have to pay support if he is not proven the father and it is not court ordered. It does not matter that he knew that she was his from the time you found out and he never made attempts to support or provide things for her. It has to be court ordered.

{{Judges here are very pro 50/50 relationships so unless I could prove he is unfit he will get some form of visitation and potential custody.}}

~~~~~A lot of states are pro dad anymore. More men are getting joint custody or even up to full custody depending on the circumstances. I allowed my kids to be living primarily with their father in a joint custody venture because I could not put them through custody off and on the rest of the time they had to live at home. It was not fair to them. None of us liked this but it had to be done because he would have fought me for them to get out of paying support. Your baby's father is trying to have his cake and eat it too and you are almost allowing it to happen.

{{I was raised by my mother with a biological father that didn't want a relationship with me and his family was given an opportunity to have a relationship with me which they chose not to. I now have a very good relationship with my father but not with any of his family. I wouldn't want my daughter to grow up and think I kept her from her extended family. If any one of them wanted a relationship with her I wouldn't prevent it. I just don't want to force a court case to fight for custody with him knowing the only reason he is fighting or threatening to fight is to keep me from going this route and not for my daughters best interest. I have told him from day 1 that I would be willing to let him see her as often as he wanted and I never expected him to pay any child support.}}

~~~~~I am sorry you grew up with an absent dad. But that does not mean this man will be. You have to give it a chance and work with him to have a relationship with his child if he becomes willing to. He could up and say he wants a DNA test that proves he is the father and that he is being kept from his child and that would not go good for you.
I think you might be letting what happened to you in childhood make you think some of what you do. Also you are not forcing an issue with getting the custody and other things taken care of, It is your daughter's right to have a chance at a relationship with dad and you, a right to be provided for by both parents, and both of your rights and his rights to have things worked out to that end.

Do not deny your daughter anything because he won't cooperate with you. Do it for her.

Maybe this advice will help you more so. I hope so.

Sarah - posted on 05/16/2016

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The right thing is to at least fix the birth certificate. You don't want her kids to accidentally marry a cousin, right. Genealogy is important. Also you are both obligated to support her, if you don't need the money bank it for college. Good luck

Carrie - posted on 05/16/2016

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Thank you for responding Sarah!

First off I didn't lie on her birth certificate. I listed her biological father but made the mistake of mentioning my prior divorce to the person helping me fill out my paperwork. She went back to her office and looked up my divorce and questioned me about the timing of my divorce and told me that state law required my ex-husband to be listed on the birth certificate because our divorce was not final for more than 300 days and wouldn't allow me to leave her biological father listed. If I had the choice I wouldn't have listed anyone at all.

I do believe his parents wanted a relationship with her initially and I think he has lied to them about the situation. His mother knows how to get in touch with me and has made no effort in contacting me since the initial meeting.

I'm still not clear on what is the right thing to do.

Sarah - posted on 05/16/2016

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First, you should not have lied on her BC. But what is done is done. You need to correct it. She needs proper documentation of her parents. He is scared and making empty threats. If he wanted to parent her he would have tried before now. So, proceed with apply for child support, it is his obligation as well as her right to be supported by both parents. She is also entitled to benefits if he becomes disabled or dies, but only if she has the proper BC. If he wants to see her, then that is a good thing, she should know her father. And it seems like her grandparents would like to get to know her. No one will rip her from your arms and hand her to him. Whether or not the testing will lead to shared custody, you need to do it as it is the right thing to do.

Carrie - posted on 05/16/2016

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Thank You for responding Evelyn!

My fear wouldn't be that he wouldn't give her back because I think he honestly doesn't want to have to even help raise a child. My fear is that he isn't capable of caring for a child. He has no other children and for my daughter who isn't even 2 this person will be a stranger to her. It will take some time to get her comfortable enough with this person to be left alone with him.

I didn't want to take him to court to get DNA and set up custody & child support, I only wanted to correct her birth certificate to get my ex-husband's name off. I have never asked for child support from him or ever expected him to be involved in her life.

His support could change if he started providing for her and started having over night visits with her. He knows that I have a 50/50 agreement with my ex-husband for our son and he doesn't pay support. We share 1/2 of all expenses and time with our child and her father has told me before he wanted the same deal.

He can fight for custody but he is only willing to do that if I force the issue. If I do nothing he will do nothing and not have to acknowledge her. I tried to get him to sign an acceptance of paternity which would keep us out of court and not force him to pay child support but he is refusing.

I understand he doesn't have to pay support but he has known since the day she was conceived she is his and he has never made an attempt to provide for her.

Judges here are very pro 50/50 relationships so unless I could prove he is unfit he will get some form of visitation and potential custody.

I was raised by my mother with a biological father that didn't want a relationship with me and his family was given an opportunity to have a relationship with me which they chose not to. I now have a very good relationship with my father but not with any of his family. I wouldn't want my daughter to grow up and think I kept her from her extended family. If any one of them wanted a relationship with her I wouldn't prevent it. I just don't want to force a court case to fight for custody with him knowing the only reason he is fighting or threatening to fight is to keep me from going this route and not for my daughters best interest. I have told him from day 1 that I would be willing to let him see her as often as he wanted and I never expected him to pay any child support.

Ev - posted on 05/13/2016

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{{ He had moved on and started dating someone just a few months after we split and the new GF was not happy with me being present for visitation. He ended up telling me he would not see his daughter again until I would allow him to see her without me being there. I told him that wouldn't happen without a court order.}}
~~~~First off with your daughter so young you should be there I think but he should be able to have a few hours with her on his own unless you fear he will not give her back but then as you stated lower down in your post your ex husband is considered her father and so he would be kidnapping her at that rate because of state laws.

{{ We were going through DHS for a DNA test and they refused to get involved. Problem being I was recently divorced and state law said that since my divorce wasn't final more than 300 days they considered my ex-husband her father. This gave her bio dad a way out. He jumped on and told his family that my ex was her father and there was nothing he could do. My ex-husband is listed on her birth certificate as her father and I will have to take her bio dad to court to correct it. He has threatened me that if I force him to take a DNA test to prove he is her father he will hire an attorney and fight for as much custody as he can get.}}
~~~~He can threaten all he wants to but if you want to take it to court and get DNA done up so that you can prove him the father of the child to get custody and child support and visitation set up do so. As for him saying he would go for custody, he can file for some sort of custody. He has that right.

{{ During our dealings with DHS he was told he was looking at child support of about $1,000 a month so that is when he started talking about pursing custody thinking it would reduce his child support. He isn't doing it for the my daughters best interest.}}
~~~~Regardless of who has primary custody, if he has to pay that percentage in child support having even a partial custody might change his payments or if it is 50-50 custody it could reduce it depending on laws. Do not quote me on it. In a lot of states it is based on the income of the non-custodial parent and there is a percentage that the state considers the support needed to provide for the child on the part of the non-custodial parent.

{{ I haven't decided if I will pursue getting her birth certificate corrected for the risk that he would fight me. }}
~~~~~He can fight for custody. It is his right. Regardless of his threats or worries over the correction of the birth certificate.....just do the right thing.

{{He does not pay child support and has in no way supported her.}}
~~~~The reason there is no child support is the fact that there is no court orders for it and he can not be made to pay support until that comes about.

{{ I run into his family because we live in a rather small town and it breaks my heart every time I see them knowing they have been lied to and have no idea she really is their granddaughter. Do I talk to his family? Do I force DNA with the risk of splitting custody with someone that doesn't want her?}}
~~~~It is heart breaking to know that he lies to his family about her but that is his doing and he will suffer those consequences for his lies. As for talking to his family, I would talk to them as this is their grandchild, niece, cousin etc and she should know both sides of her family. Force DNA testing? Yes have it done. Your ex husband would then be put on child support for a child not his because of a stupid state law stating that if a divorce is not 300 days old or more that the man is the father when he is not. The father needs to give you some support for her care and needs. He helped to create her. As for the risk of custody being split, the judge decides how that will take place and what is going to be in the court orders. It is not up to you. He may not want much to do with her now, but he might change his mind when he sees how his family is with her and might want to have that chance to parent. You can not decide if she has a relationship with him or not. She needs the chance for that. Only a judge would be able to keep him from being around her for reasons of endangerment or abuse. And since those things were not mentioned here there is not going to be anything holding the judge from setting him some sort of visitation and even some portion of custody up to and including half time when the time is right.

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