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Advice Needed about OW, OC, and contact

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fournlau posted 1/7/2020 06:32 AM

Here is the situation as it is now. OC was born in May but OW has yet to file for paternity. After speaking to an attorney we were told that WH had nothing to do with OC until it was born and paternity was established.

OW at that point was constantly contacting WH with updates, doctors appt.s, discussing baby names, sending sonogram pics etc. Once we had a better understanding of where we stood legally, we called her and let her know there would be no more contact until paternity was established period! If she continued to call/text they would all be ignored. She was not happy let me tell you! She became belligerent and angry on the phone, accused my WH and me of being cowards blah blah blah. I'm assuming her little fantasy of sharing this "magical" experience with my WH blew up in her face.

Anyway, the advice I need is what to do now because although she has yet to file for paternity, she continues to send WH updates on the child, including pictures. Last night was the latest one. Thus far we have continued to just ignore her attempts. I don't know what her intentions are because like I said, she has yet to file for paternity (although my WH said she isn't a whore, to which I answered "I had no idea you two were in a monogamous relationship , she now has 3 children with three different fathers, and trust me, I think we all know what kind of woman she is). There is ZERO chance she gets any $ without that legal proof!

Is it OK to go completely NC at this point? Yes, I realize that if the child is my WH's then there is at least a financial responsibility there. However, I sure as hell am not going to push for a paternity test if she isn't. Maybe she isn't sure either and still hoped WH (or some other idiot she's told the same thing to) will come through with some $ or more. I can't speculate on what her mind set is. I really don't know what to do. Should we contact her again and tell her absolutely NO MORE and block/change number or keep doing what we're doing now and ignore? It's just, when she contacts him it's like ripping off a band aid and it's very painful. Like death by a thousand cuts. I want to push for NC and blocking her out of our lives for good. The only thing stopping me is that the child has no fault, and there is that high probability that it's WH's.

Has anyone else been through this? Any advice would help. Thank you!

cocoplus5nuts posted 1/7/2020 06:40 AM

You're not going to like my opinion. Your CH needs to step up and do the responsible thing. He needs to determine paternity. If he's the father of this child, he needs to take care of the child. The child deserves that. S/he is innocent and should not be made to suffer (and a child without a father does suffer).

I am sorry he has put you in this situation. He has been a complete ass. It's time for him to do the decent thing.

2ManyMigraines posted 1/7/2020 06:52 AM

I agree with Coco.

But if your husband doesn't want the paternity to be established, you need to block her and go completely no contact. Have her contact your attorney if it's necessary once she ever establishes paternity.

Sounds to me like she's not sure who the father is. And she also sounds to me like she IS a whore.

landclark posted 1/7/2020 06:58 AM

I guess I would want to know the paternity sooner than later, and would force the issue now. I agree with not giving her any money until itís established, but if as you said thereís a high likelihood the child is his, the child deserves a father and shouldnít be punished. What are you afraid of? That he will leave you if the child is his?

Notmine posted 1/7/2020 07:27 AM

Have your attorney write her a cease and desist letter. If she establishes that the child is his, have the attorney write out the game plan for how contact will be made once paternity has been established. There really is no need for any contact until the baby is born ...and then only financial. No $$ until paternity. Period.

What are you afraid of? That he will leave you if the child is his?

This is an insensitive comment. Not helpful. Not relevant. Please remember that the majority of the people on this site really do try to be helpful and kind. You and your husband need to decide how much contact you are comfortable with if the child is your husband's.

DragnHeart posted 1/7/2020 07:35 AM

The child has been born correct?

OC was born in May but OW has yet to file for paternity

Wouldn't this allow her to collect back pay IF he is the child's father?

Do you have children? If you do isn't it in your child's best interest to file for coverage first so she isn't entitled to as much?

Sorry I'm not very helpful....

Chaos posted 1/7/2020 07:45 AM

This is one for the attorneys.

And you have a right to direct all correspondence from OW through yours.

If OC is his - have your attorney set up an iron clad agreement (whatever is decided) and have it set up that all correspondence with OW go through the attorney.

If OC is not his - have your attorney type up some cease and desist letter for OW that she never attempt contact again. Also - arrange it that OW does NOT put his name on the birth certificate.

Either way - do not personally engage. This woman is a piece of work.

landclark posted 1/7/2020 07:47 AM

I don't really see how my comment is insensitive, and it certainly was not intended that way. I also think it is relevant. We always tell people on this site to let go of the outcome. Pushing off paternity if it's done out of fear of the outcome is certainly not that. I think questioning why you either don't want to know, or why you're trying to push the ownness on the OW and not the CH is worth looking at. If they wait years, and it's established then, then I believe the state can go back to the dad for years of back support. So it's in their best interest to find out now.

The OW can't establish paternity without some cooperation from the CH. Yes, it can (and should) be done through lawyers and courts, but she can't do it without genetic material or written acknowledgment from the husband.

[This message edited by landclark at 7:50 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

IHatePickingName posted 1/7/2020 07:49 AM

I agree. He should push for a paternity test. If he is the father, the child is entitled to both financial support and to have a relationship with his or her father, regardless of the manner of conception. This is one of those ugly consequences of his actions, unfortunately. And like many of the other consequences, it hurts people other than himself the worst.

If he isnt the father, then he can go NC and be done. If he is, then he can set up child support payments and custody/access through the courts. It could require hand off occur through a neutral third party to limit contact, and he could choose to abdicate legal custody so she makes all parental decisions.

The1stWife posted 1/7/2020 08:24 AM

If the OW has done nothing in six months to establish paternity I think itís b/c she may know more than she is telling.

Multiple kids by multiple fathers - not a good sign.

I would contact an attorney to write a letter. All contact is to stop until paternity is established. Period.

He (via his attorney) should demand a paternity test. If she refuses then the attorney can take legal action to force it. Or she can provide a written statement that states she knows heís not the father.

And I agree the attorney should make it clear there is to be no contact between the parties. Only the mother and attorney.

fareast posted 1/7/2020 08:28 AM

fournlau:

I am sorry. You never asked for any of this to be dumped on your life, or to have to agonize over constant contact from the OW. None of this is fair to you. But I agree with those who advise he needs to step up for the childís sake and establish paternity one way or another. I also agree with Chaos, once this is done, whether he is or is not the father, future obligations and contact can be handled through a formalized structure. Good luck.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/7/2020 08:57 AM

My personal advice follows, as an attorney who used to represent kids who were wards of the state - note - this is NOT legal advice. If your WH does not intend to move to establish paternity himself now, seek advice of counsel immediately. And I wholeheartedly agree that once paternity is established that communications could go through counsel, at least until things get sorted out, if your WH wants any contact (as the court can force him to pay, but cannot force him to be involved). Here is why I say that:

What may or may not happen depends on what state you are in (if you are in the US) or the jurisdiction in which the child resides (yes - the child's residence almost always determines what law applies - but again, that could vary too). That being said, in the wrong jurisdiction, your WH may lose paternity rights if he does not step up w/in a certain period of time BUT STILL BE LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE. What that means is the OW could establish paternity 5 years from now, move for back child support, get it, and the longer it's gone on the larger that sum would be, and your WH could find himself subject to a court ordered garnishment of wages or a lien on property he owns, AND your WH would not have any legal recourse regarding what is happening with his child and would have no legal custody or the ability to get it in the future (no ability to make medical decisions, no ability to have any say in the child's life later on). Your WH could be found responsible for medical bills, and in some states, could even be found responsible for paying back any state related assistance that the OW received on behalf of the child, even if the OW didn't move to establish paternity. In some states the state will actually subpoena your WH for a paternity test if the OW seeks state financial assistance (this happened to my sister in a non-infidelity situation where she didn't want the father involved - the state involved him anyway against her will). That child could establish paternity on its own 40 years from now and would still be a legal heir to your WH's estate in the event of his death just like any of his other children etc. and would have rights whether or not you or your WH wants that to happen.

You may not care about any of this now...BUT people change their minds. Years from now your WH may wish he had established paternity, or he may find out that his child is in harms way due to OWs behavior and not be able to do anything about it. He may find he is subject to court hearing years from now...or, he may have to face a hurt and angry child coming to him and asking him why he abandoned it.

From a moral position I think your WH is doing the WRONG thing. He decided to do this - to make it a possibility...and if the OW is a "whore" in your mind (she's not, unless she was charging him - otherwise she's just garden variety liar and cheater just like your WS and mine) then your WH is acting like a "john" and shirking his responsibility to his offspring like someone who used a fake name and paid to have sex with a stranger and disappears into the night. And regardless of the underlying situation, nothing good ever comes from this type of behavior.

And based on my personal experience in representing kids who came from less than perfect homes - this 1000000 times over:

Your CH needs to step up and do the responsible thing. He needs to determine paternity. If he's the father of this child, he needs to take care of the child. The child deserves that. S/he is innocent and should not be made to suffer (and a child without a father does suffer).

Sadly, this is no longer about you or your WH or the OW - this ia first and foremost about an innocent child. My own half-sibling is the child of an affair and luckily for her, her father (who was married at the time - my mother was single and the OW) stepped up and took an active role in her life and she is ALL The better for it.

But, if you are not concerned about the child, then by not moving to establish paternity now, you could be setting yourself up for a bunch of legal problems in the future. Pretending like the child isn't his will not make those issues go away. He needs to establish paternity at bare minimum so he knows if he is indeed the father, and accept the consequences of his actions. Unfortunately you have to deal with the aftermath, and for that I am truly sorry as I'm not sure I could stick around in your situation, but pretending the child doesn't exist until the OW forces you to do otherwise is rugsweeping of the highest order.

I'm sorry for your position but from a legal standpoint I would never advise a client to bury their head in the sand. Also, as an aside, your texts/emails that say "no contact" could be seen by a court as your WH trying to actively avoid responsibility for the child - which would likely not help his position in court if it led to that.

Again, all this is my personal opinion based on what I have seen in my jurisdiction practicing law - and it is not legal advice - but it is a strong suggestion to seek legal counsel.

Oh, and Landclark - your comment wasn't insensitive. IT was reality. My post here is a big 2X4 because that's what needs to happen in this situation as unfortunate and f-ing horrible for the original poster. I do feel for her, as I'm sure you do too.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 10:07 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

DevastatedDee posted 1/7/2020 09:03 AM

I always think that it has to be so incredibly hard to view the OC as a human being instead of a painful reminder.

My aunt had an affair with a married man and got pregnant right out of high school. The man ghosted her and had nothing to do with her ever again. The resulting child was my 1st cousin whom I grew up with and absolutely adore. She is one of the most amazing people I have known. She's one of those one in a million people you meet and are just grateful that you know her. She is an individual who far surpassed the parents she came from in every sense. It hurt her to not have a father and she made up all kinds of fantastical scenarios as a child about who he was (they never told her) and what could have kept him from finding her. Her father abandoning her is a wound that she will always carry. She deserved so much better than the parents she got.

You and this child are the true victims of your husband and his AP's stupidity. I am so sorry that you're having to deal with this pain. If paternity is established and he is the father, he has a responsibility to this child.

hopefullife posted 1/7/2020 09:32 AM

although my WH said she isn't a whore, to which I answered "I had no idea you two were in a monogamous relationship , she now has 3 children with three different fathers, and trust me, I think we all know what kind of woman she is

Do we have the same OW? Mine has 3 children too from three different fathers. Now I won't judge her for that, except the 3rd is a married man which she knows. Now that is particular flaw in character.

fournlau, speaking as someone who's husband fathered a child with another woman, push for a paternity test even if OW doesn't want to, heck even if CH doesn't want to. As everyone said, the child deserves it and so do you. Also think of you, if not for the child. Can you really let go not knowing? Can you honestly live with the what if or what if not? For your peace of mind, know it so it won't haunt you. You'll make better decisions once you know.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/7/2020 10:20 AM

I have been thinking about this a bit more and I wanted to add to the whole "no contact" issue. If your WH says NC until we prove paternity and says he wants to do a paternity test, then that would only help him (and by help him I do mean looking like the more rational and responsible individual in front of the judge). Saying don't contact me and blocking her sends a very different message. This may or may not matter...but I do know this having spent years in family court - Judge's have an innate ability to cut through the bullshit and call it like it is. They are simply too busy to deal with a bunch of nonsense. Their thought process generally is: "You decided to have sex with this person and you knew this was a possible outcome, therefore I do not feel sorry for you being in this position."

On the other hand, the judges generally side with the children of these messes created by adults. The Judge will likely not care about the affair except how it will affect the child's life going forward. If your WH ever wanted to consider any kind of custody arrangement (and people do change their minds as time passes - all the time) be sure NOT to say anything - and I mean NOTHING nasty to the OW in writing (email, text, letter - video - NOTHING). Keep those whore comments to yourself - seriously (and I'm not saying this based on my personal opinion - but from a purely legal perspective - the more vindictive and nasty you are, the more unreasonable you appear and that can ONLY hurt your position going forward in court).

Basically, there is a LOT to potentially be lost by blocking the OW and the child and not establishing paternity one way or the other sooner rather than later, and not much to be gained aside from some sort of peace based in denial.

And I will say this again - I feel horrible for you. I don't think I could stick around with a husband who had fathered a child with another woman during our marriage. But I do know that I could not stand for a husband who would vanish from his own child's life - it seems totally counterproductive to reconciliation. Reconciliation is about owning your choices and the consequences of those choices - by supporting his decision to abandon a child he brought into this world it seems to me you are supporting his continued decisions to run and hide from the consequences of his actions. Not a good leg to stand on if you want an honest relationship going forward.

All that being said - this isn't about you being a good or bad person. You have been stuck with the ultimate shit sandwich and I would hate to be in your shoes even more than my own. I subscribe to the theory that yes, some infidelity is worse than others - varying degrees - and you fall into that horrible place and for that I am SO VERY SORRY. But....you've got to face the cards you've been dealt and seriously, taking no action from a legal perspective is too risky IMO.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 10:23 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

Catwoman posted 1/7/2020 10:29 AM

I would seek legal advice at this point.

If paternity is not established until several years down the road and your WS IS the biological father, then he will likely owe back child support (and it adds up fast), plus the fact that his own child could view his non-involvement as abandonment and have concerns and potential issues as a result.

I would encourage him to seek the establishment of paternity LEGALLY immediately. That way, all of you know what the situation is.

If he is the father, he will owe child support and there will be the question of what sort of relationship he should have with this child. If that is the case, I would suggest you pursue counseling as a couple to deal with this.

Cat

ChamomileTea posted 1/7/2020 10:43 AM

I agree with everyone else about needing an attorney. But, I don't agree that it's on you to establish paternity. I'd respond to last night's email by telling her to "put up or shut up". IOW, make it clear to her that she either establishes paternity through DNA testing or that she cease and desist with any further harassment. There should be no meetings for providing DNA samples. This should be done separately at a professional location. Leave the ball in her court, wait 30 days for response, then change every scrap of your contact information. After that, just set up a separate legal fund in your savings account in case you ever need it and forget about it.

OWs sometimes LIE about the paternity of their children. Hell, one of my WH's OW lied about being pregnant altogether. Not saying that's what's happening here, but until/unless paternity is established, you and your WH have ZERO responsibility. It's on the OW to prove paternity and if she's unwilling to do it, likely it's because she's shady.

((hugs)) So sorry you're going through all this.

Catwoman posted 1/7/2020 11:08 AM

But, I don't agree that it's on you to establish paternity. I'd respond to last night's email by telling her to "put up or shut up"

There is significant risk in this approach. First, the OW could seek to establish paternity down the road and if the child is the WS's, back child support would be levied.

Secondly, there is the emotional toll on the child that they had a parent that refused to be involved in their lives.

I would seek legal advice and seek to put this matter to rest sooner vs. later for those two reasons alone.

Cat

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/7/2020 11:17 AM

Please don't take the majority of this advice - especially the second sentence - as well meaning as it may be. As Catwoman said, there is SIGNIFICANT risk in doing this, especially if you have not talked with legal counsel in your jurisdiction. As I have also said there is significant risk in making statements like the second sentence as it can be interpreted badly.

I don't agree that it's on you to establish paternity. I'd respond to last night's email by telling her to "put up or shut up". IOW, make it clear to her that she either establishes paternity through DNA testing or that she cease and desist with any further harassment. There should be no meetings for providing DNA samples. This should be done separately at a professional location. Leave the ball in her court, wait 30 days for response, then change every scrap of your contact information. After that, just set up a separate legal fund in your savings account in case you ever need it and forget about it.

I will agree there is NO need to meet personally for DNA sampling/testing - in fact that's not how it's done.

I'm not sure where the 30 day waiting period came from cited to above but when I represented clients I would laugh with one side would issue a self-imposed deadline. The law simply does not work like that.

You don't have to force the issue of paternity...but IMO you should do it and get it over with. But the NC and ignore path - BAD idea IMO financially not to mention emotionally.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:18 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

fournlau posted 1/7/2020 11:29 AM

I had no idea I would get so many replies so fast. Itís all a little overwhelming but insightful and helpful in that it at least gives me some options to look at.

We did consult a lawyer (the OW and OC reside in Florida) in that state and were told that there would be no back child support even if it was 5 years after the child was born so Iím not really worried about that. Unfortunately, like many of you have stated, my WH is indeed trying to run away from his responsibility here and I have let him know that I have lost respect for him for that. I do admit, it isnít easy for me to consider giving up any of our finances that will be taken away from my own children. I have also asked WH to discuss setting up child support for our children before paternity can be established so that our children will be taken care of first. He has yet to do that either!

landclark Iím with you as well, waiting for that other shoe to drop is not good for me or us and just leaves this hanging over our heads knowing it could drop at any second, even years from now.

What are you afraid of? That he will leave you if the child is his?

This is not something that I am afraid of. We are now in a different state and honestly, he has shown that he wants nothing to do with OW or OC at all. Iím the one that keeps bringing up the fact that he is running away from this responsibility. While this statement did hurt, since it appears that some feel I am condoning and actively participating in rug sweeping, it is not accurate. Perhaps I am not pushing very forcefully, and for that I will take the blame (I donít want that constant reminder in my face). I will not apologize for trying to heal as much as possible before attempting to deal with this very difficult situation. However, it does seem that sooner, rather than later, may be necessary.

I suppose the consensus is to seek legal advice. I also suggested that we retain an attorney and have them correspond with OW, but again, WH has done nothing to address this situation. I wonít lie, I donít want anything to do with OW or OC, the idea of raising that child in my home, even part time, makes me ill. I know the child is innocent, but that doesnít make it any less a symbol of the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Of course I would never take those feelings out on an innocent child, it is the two irresponsible POS adults that created this mess! However, I could better stomach a financial arrangement as long as the lawyers dealt with OW and not us. If WH wishes to have any contact with OC that will be up to him, but like I said, he has no inclination of doing so. I know that a child needs a father but this one, right now, would be a resistant one that might end up resenting the child and that is not good for the child. Perhaps he will change his mind later. Iíve seen some BWs who have been able to integrate OC into their family, I am most certainly not in that frame of mind.

Iím of two minds unfortunately and I suppose that might make me a bad person. Part of me wants to shut OW out, and that includes OC, for good. The other part of me, the part that loves children and knows they deserve the best possible life, wants WH to step up and do whatís right. As one of you said, OC and I are the victims here and we will both be paying for this for the rest of our lives. So, I suppose I am selfish in a way, wanting to protect my family above OC. I am not proud of that, but it is what it is. Either way, the suggestions to seek legal advice seems like the best thing to do. At least we will know what all possibilities might be and we can start preparing for them.

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