My child's father is coming back to the state for a visit after being gone over a year with no contact. What do I do?

Ashley - posted on 12/19/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughter is now four years old. I am married to a wonderful man who has been a great dad for my daughter. Her biological father moved to California over a year ago (We are in Missouri). He has not had contact with us except for one time over the phone not long after her left. Since then we haven't heard or seen him. She is involved with her fathers family occasionally, but we try not to talk about her father often because it was making her sad, she did'nt understand why he had left. Now he is coming back, but only for a short visit. My question is how do I handle this? Do I just let him see her, should I make it a supervised visit or just not let him see her at all? I want what is best for her but in this situation I see bad a good sides to every option. I'm stressing.

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Jodi - posted on 12/20/2013

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He could take it to court and order a DNA test, so the birth certificate means nothing. All he has to do is prove he is the biological father. So yes, he still will have rights to some form of visitation.

I agree it will be hard on her to have him in and out of her life, and you can just explain to her that her daddy lives a long way away so it makes it difficult for him to see her very often.

As she gets older, she will make her own judgements about her father. My son sees his dad only very occasionally, and has had times in his life when it has been up to 10 months between visits. He still very much looks forward to seeing his dad when he does (he is now 16) and has a good relationship with him these days. He knows his dad is flaky, but he still loves him and enjoys what time he can spend with him.

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Ashley - posted on 12/20/2013

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He is not on the birth certificate, he has no rights. I have done my research I know all about mother and father rights. Custody isn't my question though. I am not the type of person to keep a child from their father at all. Like I said before when he was around I always made sure he was able to see her when ever he wanted, even if it wasn't as often as I would of liked it to be. I want her to know him I really do. My problem is, with her being so young and knowing it will really be hard on her to have him just pop in after over a year and then disappear again. There is no telling when he will be back in her life.

Jodi - posted on 12/20/2013

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Unless he has signed away his rights, or there is a court order saying he can't come near his daughter, he does have rights to her.

Ashley - posted on 12/20/2013

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He does not have any rights to her. When he lived close he didn't really get involved until she was a year old. No matter what went on between him and I, I always aloud him to see her. After he left it was really hard on my daughter. He called once when she was three, made promises to her and then never made contact again. I'm more worried about stirring up emotional issues with my daughter than anything else. If he were to move back I would never think of keeping them apart. With her being so young and not understanding why her dad left and him only coming back for a short visit I worry about her emotional well being. Does that make more sense?

Ev - posted on 12/19/2013

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You should not deny the child a visit with her father for the chance to know him or have a relationship. If he has visitation then he can enforce it so he can see her. You should double check your custody and visitation orders to make sure of how this is supposed to go. If he still has the rights to see her, then you would be in violation of the orders of the courts.

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