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Father's Rights - Page 2

post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Except not every Father has thousands of dollars lying around to fight for rights that are just given to the Mother naturally.

Well, here's the thing... There is usually at least one person (if not more) who actually see the child exit the woman's body - it is obvious who the mother is. Very rarely is there anyone except the woman and the man present when the child is conceived. So the father could be any man the woman had sex with during a certain period of time. So it isn't really that odd or unfair that the father needs to go an extra mile or so to prove that he is the father - especially if they are unmarried.

At the end of the day, there's enough blame to go around as to who should have done what and when. None of that helps the child, who has the right to know both of her parents. Now that it's out there, he should leave the blame beside the door, find out if he's Dad and go from there.
post #22 of 72
I'm always a little disturbed by the attitude that, even though a man was sleeping with a woman when she became pregnant, and therefore could have gotten her pregnant, the baby has nothing to do with him unless it can be proven that his is the sperm that fathered the child. I mean, if you're sleeping with her, close enough, right? I don't know- I guess that's how I would feel. It's a kid, not a car accident. The child needs all the support it can get. This is out there, but I think that if we really cared about kids, then everyone who was sleeping with mom at the time of conception would help with the child.
post #23 of 72
"This is out there, but I think that if we really cared about kids, then everyone who was sleeping with mom at the time of conception would help with the child."

And I guess I'm "out there" in the other direction, because I think a woman who is interested in having a coparent should have to take a specific action - marriage or other formal legal agreement - in order to establish legally binding paternal right/responsibilities.

Women are the ones who have babies. In our society, they can even decide NOT to have a baby after becoming accidentally pregnant. I'm all for fathers - I have one, my kids have one - but I don't think chasing down some guy a woman used to sleep creates a father figure. I think it often creates a nightmare. If the state has to chase him, the child is better off without him.
post #24 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Women are the ones who have babies. In our society, they can even decide NOT to have a baby after becoming accidentally pregnant. I'm all for fathers - I have one, my kids have one - but I don't think chasing down some guy a woman used to sleep creates a father figure. I think it often creates a nightmare. If the state has to chase him, the child is better off without him.
To your bolded statment... what about in cases where the Father never even knew the possibility that he was a Father? That isn't the exact case in this particular situation...

But my BIL and his ex split up. There was no mention from his ex before the break up of even the possibility of her being pregnant.

He ran into her three years later with a young toddler in a stroller that looked a lot like him and he started questioning her. She still denied that she had ever been pregnant from him, and that the child was her current BF's.

Well, a year later her and that current BF were no longer together and she decided to go to domestics and get child support. She then gave my BIL's name as a possible Father.

So the state had to track him down and he took the paternity test... and lo and behold he is indeed the Father. He got handed an order for retro-active support for the past three+ years as well as continuing... he fought for vistation rights and now has a relationship with his son that the Mother kept from him for three + years.

So I don't think it's as black and white as "if the state has to chase him down the child is better off" I can gaurantee that this little boy is happy and glad that he finally knows who his real Dad is and the Dad is happy to finally know the truth too.
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
nightmare. If the state has to chase him, the child is better off without him.
Except for little details like money, this might be true. Personally, I don't think guys should be let off the hook as easily as all that.

Given that we have the biology we have, there is no way to be absolutely, perfectly fair to everyone in any custody dispute. We just have to stumble along, trying to suss out the best interests of the child. I truly do not think those interests are served by just saying that if a guy can skip town or be hard to reach for a bit, there's no point using the legal system to get him to give his children anything.
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Our contemporary cultural practice of automatically assigning paternity rights outside of marriage makes me INSANE. Why on Earth would I guy I had sex with once have a 50% claim to a baby I had nine months later?
Pretty much for the same reason you have a 50% claim on HIS baby... You didn't create it all by yourself... if you want to have a baby and never run the risk of ever having to share it with anyone else, you probably shouldn't get pregnant by having sex. Both people who made the baby should at least be given the option of participation in the child's life, unless they've specifically said they are donating their half of the necessary ingredients with no interest in being any part of the possibly resulting child, and the person using the sperm/egg is agreeing to let that person opt out of parenting forever (as would be the case with sperm or egg donation).
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
Pretty much for the same reason you have a 50% claim on HIS baby... You didn't create it all by yourself... if you want to have a baby and never run the risk of ever having to share it with anyone else, you probably shouldn't get pregnant by having sex. Both people who made the baby should at least be given the option of participation in the child's life, unless they've specifically said they are donating their half of the necessary ingredients with no interest in being any part of the possibly resulting child, and the person using the sperm/egg is agreeing to let that person opt out of parenting forever (as would be the case with sperm or egg donation).
Yes. This.
post #28 of 72
Big difference being, in this society HE can't make a baby with me without without my full, wholehearted, ongoing consent. (There are certainly other countries where my husband could rape me and then force me to carry his baby and then divorce me and get full custody, but we are taling about American policy here, so I'm using American laws/customs.)

Whereas, as JsMa points out, there are situations in which a woman who is willing to tell one whopper of a lie can have a baby without the knowledge of the guy who was her HUSBAND at the time the bay was conceived. And in that case, yes, it may well be that the child is better served by the state tracking down the biological father.


But that's an edge case, and social policy, which can never be perfectly just in every single case, needs to be geared toward the majority case which is "this guy is ducking his paternal responsibilities" or "this woman knows right from the get-go that she does not want this man in her child's life." I really do believe that kids with deadbeat fathers would be better off with NO father, and that woman who want to continue an unplanned pregnancy and raise their baby alone should have that right. I'd rather contribute to the support support of fatherless (or motherless, it goes both ways) kids with my tax dollars then track down mom's former sex partners and subpoena their DNA.

It just. doesn't. matter. to me who sired the child of a single woman. I do not think that that biological tie is a morally sound basis for assigning legal rights and responsibilities. If a single woman wants to keep her baby, I support her. If she needs financial assistance as a single parent, I support her. If the guy she had sex with wants to be a father, then he can marry her OR make an agreement with her to provide formal support and be given parental rights OR he can go out looking for a woman who would like to marry or otherwise contract with him to co-parent their future children.

I wish nobody ever had sex without both parties being fully in agreement on would happen if a baby resulted, but since I can't make that happen I'll settle for social policy that recognizes the vast difference between a sexual relationship and a marital relationship. The latter is (among other things) an enforceable commitment by a man to provide for the needs of the children he has with his wife. The former is should not be, IMO. For better or worse, both men and women have sex with people that they'd NEVER choose to parent with, and I fail to see the benefit in pushing either party into a coparenting relationship.
post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
He just got served child support notice yesterday for a child he has never even met, who is about a year and a half old now.
... It's not right to be made to pay for a child that you have been denied any relationship with.
It looks like you've already gotten some sound legal advice here. (I'm not sure what a "proto" lawyer is, but she generally knows what's going on!)

Morally, I agree the situation is infuriating: if the Mom considers your friend enough of a father that he should pay child support, why did she think she had no responsibility to let him develop a relationship with the child, until she needed money? It's despicable.

I also feel frustrated with mothers who are ready to take their ex to court and push for him to be thrown in jail over any hint of deviation from the child support orders, but who do not comply with their ex's visitation rights. But the same moral principal that applies in that case applies to your friend: child support is about the child's needs, plain and simple. If, indeed, your friend had relations with his wife which produced a child, then that child has needs which require money. It is not the child's fault that one or both of his parents were foolish. If - rightly or wrongly - the child's mother paid for everything for the first 18 months, but now she's destitute, it may be in the child's best interest to have Dad not only start paying support, but start making up some of the support he - by rights - should have paid the first 18 months. That Mom is a jerk and created her current financial mess, by trying to keep Dad from knowing the kid until now is a separate issue.

The fact that Mom probably won't be penalized in any way for her prior secrecy, yet Dad will be regarded as a "deadbeat" by anyone who knows he has an order for back child support... is also a separate issue. A very, very regrettable and unfair separate issue!

Under the circumstances, I say he should definitely find out if the kid is his before he invests himself emotionally or financially. (Unless he's one of those saints who's willing to be a father to this kid even if it's not his, just because the kid has no other Dad in the picture. In that case, kiss him for me!)
post #30 of 72
"Morally, I agree the situation is infuriating: if the Mom considers your friend enough of a father that he should pay child support, why did she think she had no responsibility to let him develop a relationship with the child, until she needed money? It's despicable."

It's infuriating no matter what the details turn out to be, but I would not be surprised at all to find out that the Mom has applied for some sort of public benefits, rather than suddenly getting a bee in her bonnet about getting child support from her old boyfriend who might be the father of her child. I feel sorry for him, but about a million times sorrier for his maybe-kid who now has the government looking around for a guy he's never met to award that guy parental rights and stick him with a huge bill. It's a real recipe for a stable and happy blended family - not.
post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
It looks like you've already gotten some sound legal advice here. (I'm not sure what a "proto" lawyer is, but she generally knows what's going on!)

Morally, I agree the situation is infuriating: if the Mom considers your friend enough of a father that he should pay child support, why did she think she had no responsibility to let him develop a relationship with the child, until she needed money? It's despicable.

I also feel frustrated with mothers who are ready to take their ex to court and push for him to be thrown in jail over any hint of deviation from the child support orders, but who do not comply with their ex's visitation rights. But the same moral principal that applies in that case applies to your friend: child support is about the child's needs, plain and simple. If, indeed, your friend had relations with his wife which produced a child, then that child has needs which require money. It is not the child's fault that one or both of his parents were foolish. If - rightly or wrongly - the child's mother paid for everything for the first 18 months, but now she's destitute, it may be in the child's best interest to have Dad not only start paying support, but start making up some of the support he - by rights - should have paid the first 18 months. That Mom is a jerk and created her current financial mess, by trying to keep Dad from knowing the kid until now is a separate issue.

The fact that Mom probably won't be penalized in any way for her prior secrecy, yet Dad will be regarded as a "deadbeat" by anyone who knows he has an order for back child support... is also a separate issue. A very, very regrettable and unfair separate issue!

Under the circumstances, I say he should definitely find out if the kid is his before he invests himself emotionally or financially. (Unless he's one of those saints who's willing to be a father to this kid even if it's not his, just because the kid has no other Dad in the picture. In that case, kiss him for me!)
Except that even if she gets support she still has no obligation to let him see the child because access and child support are two completely different matters. And as a single mother going through this I think its dispicable that any woman would say that a mother trying to get what is rightfully her child's in the way of support is dispicable, everyone whose had sex or been through a health class knows what the consequences can be, its not like she hid her pregnancy from him, she told him from the get go and he chose not to pursue it. My son has a dad, and he has a sperm donor that has a financial responsibility to my child regardless of whether he wants a relationship with him. My son may be better off with out him but the least he could do for his child is pay for his college education because that's where any money that I'd be getting from him would go. And I told him a week after I found out that I was pregnant. He continued to call me a liar, deny my son, and it turned out he was the father by a greater possibility than 99.999999% so yeah you bet I'm gonna go for what I can go for in the full amount. Just to prove a point that you stick it in and I get pregnant, you have responsibility to help me care for this child that you helped me create and knew full well what the consequences would be.
post #32 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
It looks like you've already gotten some sound legal advice here. (I'm not sure what a "proto" lawyer is, but she generally knows what's going on!)

Morally, I agree the situation is infuriating: if the Mom considers your friend enough of a father that he should pay child support, why did she think she had no responsibility to let him develop a relationship with the child, until she needed money? It's despicable.

I also feel frustrated with mothers who are ready to take their ex to court and push for him to be thrown in jail over any hint of deviation from the child support orders, but who do not comply with their ex's visitation rights. But the same moral principal that applies in that case applies to your friend: child support is about the child's needs, plain and simple. If, indeed, your friend had relations with his wife which produced a child, then that child has needs which require money. It is not the child's fault that one or both of his parents were foolish. If - rightly or wrongly - the child's mother paid for everything for the first 18 months, but now she's destitute, it may be in the child's best interest to have Dad not only start paying support, but start making up some of the support he - by rights - should have paid the first 18 months. That Mom is a jerk and created her current financial mess, by trying to keep Dad from knowing the kid until now is a separate issue.

The fact that Mom probably won't be penalized in any way for her prior secrecy, yet Dad will be regarded as a "deadbeat" by anyone who knows he has an order for back child support... is also a separate issue. A very, very regrettable and unfair separate issue!

Under the circumstances, I say he should definitely find out if the kid is his before he invests himself emotionally or financially. (Unless he's one of those saints who's willing to be a father to this kid even if it's not his, just because the kid has no other Dad in the picture. In that case, kiss him for me!)

These are all good points. I also agree that your friend had ample opportunity to go to the court in Michigan and submit a paternity test even without being able to get a response from his ex - girlfriend.
post #33 of 72
He needs to counter sue for custody/visitation.

What sucks if he is found not the dad the child support he pays he will not be able to see back.

I have a friend's whose brother was in this situation. Mom was mad when judge said he got to visit, she told the judge never mind about child support if she had to allow visits. He had a gradual visitation plan until she repeatably didn't have child available. She ended up loosing custody. She was the one that had(has) issues.

One of my dh friends didn't find out he was a dad until his son was 17. She tried to get back child support but a sympathetic judge denied it. He manage to still have one of the letters were she said the kid was not his. This was in the days before DNA. He did pay for college and now has a great relationship with his son. The son has not forgiving his mom for lying all these years.

Some states it is hard for a dad to get a paternity test unless the mother (or state) ask for it. In the states that do allow it, there is not much education that a possible dad can request DNA.
post #34 of 72
FTR - I have never nor would I ever deny my son's dad access, but I feel supervision is in order due to the many things I found out from his ex, long after I was already pregnant. That being said if a mom denies a dad access just because she doesn't want it to happen that's dumb.
post #35 of 72
I think one thing that would help is at the time of birth. Instead of no/I don't know, mom needs to list dad or potential dad's so it can be looked in and those dad can be notified sooner.

If she answer I don't know she looses out anything retro if she later decides to claim a guy is the father.

Potential dad's have an opportunity to clear up the matter a lot sooner.

This requires the mom to be responsible also on who she has sex with. I know people disappear and allowances should be made for those cases. By why wait until state aid is needed? Wouldn't sooner be better for all parties?

I think we need a little more --- be careful who you sleep with all the way around. And also think we need to do a better educating guys their rights and ability to get services through Plan Parenthood.
post #36 of 72
It took me a year to find all the information I needed for him so that I could apply for child support.

I never put him on the birth certificate for 2 reasons, I can't get a passport without his permission if I have him on the birth certificate, and in canada a father has to sign the birth certificate if his name is on it, he never attended the birth so I never put him on.
post #37 of 72
"I think one thing that would help is at the time of birth. Instead of no/I don't know, mom needs to list dad or potential dad's so it can be looked in and those dad can be notified sooner."

... or, she could have a box to check that says "sole parent." That way, she doesn't create a looming custody risk and whoever the biodad is doesn't incur a looming financial risk. And wouldn't it be handy a few years down the road, when the man who actually WANTS to be a father shows up and nobody has to go to court for TPR?
post #38 of 72
I vaugely remember you posting about this at the time.

I don't recall the advice, but I would imagine that it was for him to check paternity. Or was it to ignore the situation?? I really can't imagine that it was.

Good chance he ignored it then, good chance he will ignore things now.

He needs to step up and do his own research. Don't enable him.
post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetmama26 View Post
...as a single mother going through this I think its dispicable that any woman would say that a mother trying to get what is rightfully her child's in the way of support is dispicable...
Let's be clear!

I said that if indeed the child is his, then the child deserved financial support from him from the beginning. And now that he knows about the child, he should definitely begin paying support. In some cases (if the mom were doing OK financially), the judge could use his discretion and cut the dad a break on some of the back payments, since he didn't even know about the child until now. But if the Mom's struggling, the Dad should help the child, not only by starting regular support payments, but also catching up on the money the child deserved to receive from him, the first 18 months. You're right - the child was always entitled to that money. I did not suggest otherwise, in my previous post.

What I think is despicable is a mom who understands enough about parental responsibilities to pursue the father's obligation to pay support, but who ignored her own responsibility to facilitate her child's relationship with the father.

Yes, I stand by that position. Except in rare and extreme cases where the dad is truly dangerous or the child was a product of rape (or the mom conceived the child through a sperm bank, so the dad had full knowledge that he'd father children he didn't know), I do think it's despicable for a mom to unilaterally decide that her child and the child's father may not know each other.

If men had the capacity to do this to women, we would think that was despicable, too.

FTR, I do realize there are despicable Dads who genuinely don't care about having relationships with their kids and when that's the case, of course it shouldn't be all on the mom to pressure them into it. But in this case, it does not sound like anything prevented the Mom from saying to her ex-husband, "Oh, BTW, you may have assumed this baby was my lover's, but I'm pretty sure he's yours..."
post #40 of 72
And there was nothing to stop him from finding out from get go. Let's use my case as an example. I had contact with the father of my child until July of the year he was born, when I brought up child support. I originally only asked for $150 a month, he then said no and denied him. I found his ex on facebook and decided to get information from her so that at least my child and her child could know each other because they are siblings and I want that. All the while I continued to try and be civil to my son's father. He decided to continually call me a liar. I THEN OFFERED HIM, to get a DNA test and that I would pay for it, I told him though if I went to court with this if we could not come to a civil agreement, I would go for the full amount I'm entitled to and also he would have to pay for the DNA test because if it got to the point where I had to drag this issue into court I was not going to be nice anymore, I tried to be nice to him and it backfired. So in my opinion in that kind of a case, it is not my obligation or my responsibility at that point to foster a relationship between my child and his father, if he wants a relationship he can go to court and make it happen. I will not make the first steps as he has made it clear that he doesn't want a relationship. And now that he found out that I was telling the truth all along and that he will have to pay child support he's threatening to go for full custody, which I replied if he cared that much he would have gone FAR sooner then when he was told he needed to pay child support.
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