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Advice Needed about OW, OC, and contact

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Catwoman posted 1/7/2020 11:32 AM

Please understand that the establishment of paternity is a LEGAL process, and you need to understand your LEGAL position. This is why it is so important to have LEGAL representation for this. A family law attorney will know the ins and outs of establishing paternity in your jurisdiction (and no, it's not ordering a DNA test online and taking it--don't do that!).

Please get legal advice for the legal stuff and consider counseling for the emotional stuff.

Cat

k8la posted 1/7/2020 12:01 PM

He will owe back child support if/once paternity is established. However, you can do some things to mitigate how much she's able to collect if you have young children and file for support first. Check with an attorney to get legally established as first in line for his income. Then block her. You don't want her getting ahead of you for child support.

ChamomileTea posted 1/7/2020 12:21 PM

I suppose I am selfish in a way, wanting to protect my family above OC.

You are NOT at all "selfish" for taking care of your own family or for not wanting an OC involved in your life. It hasn't even been established yet that your WH is the actual father. Has it even been established that she's the actual mother? Hell, one of my WH's OW sent photos of her niece's ultrasound claiming it was hers. Cheaters LIE and the truth isn't true until it's checked out and verified.

And please don't let other people make you feel guilty like you are responsible for any of this. You're not. The mother of that child is the one responsible, not only for the care and safety of the child but also for providing a father (or not).

childofcheater posted 1/7/2020 12:44 PM

I would ignore and block/change number. Her her worry about it later if she decides to file for paternity.You've already told her so obv she doesn't care to listen you telling her again is just poking the bear.

sewardak posted 1/7/2020 12:48 PM

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!

so he has a OC and continues to betray you. Why are you staying with him again?

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/7/2020 12:50 PM

I am condoning and actively participating in rug sweeping, it is not accurate.

I did not mean to indicate that YOU are a part of the rug-sweeping at all. Your WH is the only one who can control that - unfortunately you and the child are the ones stuck in this mess. Also unfortunately your marital assets are part of that mess as well. As I said before, at bare minimum, that child would be entitled to inherit, etc in a case where no will existed and there are other benefits too that cannot be taken away from them (even via adoption in some states) that a child as they get older might want (military benefits if your WH was a member of the military for example).

I would also encourage you to look up retroactive child support laws in Florida as it's not as cut and dry as I think you believe it to be (my sister's son - the one I spoke of - was born in Florida so I am more familiar with FL law than most states on this issue). Under Florida child support law, a parent has the right to seek retroactive child support. For instance, if a child is born out of wedlock and paternity was proven when the child turned 12 years old, the court can order the father to pay retroactive child support in Florida to the day it was born (and this is complicated as to how much they can get, for how long back, etc - it's not a simple issue one way or the other). See Florida Statues 61.30. Additionally, a parent may be able to sue for retroactive child support even after the child turns 18. See the FL case of Campagna v. Cope as an example. This can only occur after paternity is established, but the mother on behalf of the child, or the child in some circumstances (with representation or after adulthood) can force a paternity test and can sue for retroactive child support. Honestly, if a father abandoned a child, I can see children who are pissed off taking this route later in life .

Florida is (or was years ago when my sister went through this) one of those states that does not take mom's word for who the father is, meaning that unless the father consents to having his name placed on the birth certificate, he is not considered the father. However, there is nothing stopping the child, via mom, from doing that. And once that ball starts rolling, it's near impossible to stop. In the case of state assistance the state will often (more often now that DNA testing is so much cheaper) force a DNA test to establish paternity and then order benefits to be repaid to the state. There are uniform laws in place to make it darn near impossible for a father to avoid this simply by moving out of state - out of the country is likely possible.

In a nutshell, aside from mom terminating her parental rights and the child being adopted, there is nothing I know of that would 100% allow your WH to avoid financial responsibility if mom and/or the child wants to pursue it. Going NC will only make it more clear that WH wants to run away from his responsibilities - and for what it's worth, courts generally hate that. In some states driver's licenses can be suspended even - the avoidance of responsibility for a child is something that the states frown upon...

I feel bad for the child - seriously I do. I do know that my half-sister benefited greatly from her father being involved in her life, and still has. And although in the beginning it was no picnic for anyone involved, it got easier, and her father's now ex-wife and her get along well. Time is a great healer...

I remember when my half sister was born - and I learned one of the biggest exercises in empathy in my entire life that I have carried with me to this day. My parents had a nasty divorce and really disliked each other to say the least. I was 11, and I was pissed off at my mom for being a liar (I knew this was an infidelity related child, even though my own parents were divorced before the affair happened), for the monkey wrench this new baby was putting in our lives, and while my mom was pregnant I HATED my unborn sister and her father. It was so bad that for the month my mom was due my parents sent me to a camp so that my mom could deal with what was happening and I could get away from it.

When I came back from camp my sister had been born a few days before, and my Dad picked me up. We got into the car and stopped to have lunch and my Dad told me I had a new sister. I said something along the lines of "I don't care. I already have a sister and I don't need another one. I hate her and I hate mom." My Dad stopped me in my tracks, slid my plate away from me and said sternly, "This is not your sister's fault and you need to stop punishing this new person. She is your sister and needs your love and support. It is not her fault things turned out this way but it's your job as her oldest sister to show her the way to being a good person, and the only way she is going to learn that is by you actually being a good person. You need to find a way to love her and to help your mom as it's one of the most important things you will do in this life."

Bam. My Dad, who didn't need to help out my mom or my sister in this way showed me in that moment what it meant to put yourself aside for a minute and look at the bigger picture. I can see that you are that type of person and I'm sorry your WH isn't willing to do that now.

So all of this is more of an FYI than anything...ugh, I'm sorry that you are in this mess - I really am - as it sounds like, aside from divorcing your WH to separate your marital assets now, there is little you personally can do.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 1:28 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

free2016 posted 1/7/2020 12:55 PM

So, I suppose I am selfish in a way, wanting to protect my family above OC.

If you are selfish than count me as another one too. I do not even understand where this wisdom of "WH must take responsibility for OC" comes from. Yes, the child is innocent but he/she is a product of A, and this is the consequence of his 'parents' decision, not yours.
His mother chose such circumstances for OC to be born in, she should be dealing with any traumas OC experiences later on.
What about the trauma and shame your children will experience learning of the side sibling? You do not know how this will affect them, not to mention financial resources. You, as a wife, has a right to demand NO CONTACT with OC at all. Additionally, you make him a huge favour allowing to stay in your family, and please set up a child support for your kids so that OC's claim comes after that

Slowlygoingcrazy posted 1/7/2020 13:11 PM

The way I see it, there are two possible courses of action and both require a lawyer.

1. Your husband files to establish paternity. If he’s the father (big if by the sounds of it) then be prepared to support the child (financially at the very least).

2. You give OW your lawyer’s contact information and tell her to send communication involving paternity there. No more emails, no more photos, be done with her. Block her and let her go to your lawyer to establish paternity. As far as I can tell, the state of Florida has a limit on the amount of back child support she can claim. You won’t be liable for a huge chunk of cash unless she establishes residence in a different state (you can judge how likely that is). Your lawyer can definitely give you a ballpark.

Either way no reason for the OW to contact you two personally. Lawyer or nothing until it is established that your WH is actually the father.

Just my 2 cents.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/7/2020 13:21 PM

Sorry, I was going to try to keep my opinion on a more professional note but this comment actually upset me more than anything I've ever read on this forum outside of accounts of physical abuse...

Seriously, you don't understand this "wisdom":

I do not even understand where this wisdom of "WH must take responsibility for OC" comes from. Yes, the child is innocent but he/she is a product of A, and this is the consequence of his 'parents' decision, not yours.
His mother chose such circumstances for OC to be born in, she should be dealing with any traumas OC experiences later on.

Why is that exactly? Because my womb is the incubator for my and a man's future child that it is only my responsibility later??? Holy ____! My head is spinning. I simply cannot fathom that type of thinking. Look out women, if you get pregnant and a guy leaves you, you better be 100% sure that you have done nothing wrong to "make him leave" or it's your responsibility and yours alone to deal with the aftermath. My WH cheated on me with a married woman - and if she had gotten pregnant from him and he even hinted for a minute that the child was 100% her responsibility I would lose my mind 1000 times worse than relating to the infidelity. Is this the dark ages?!?!?! Lucky guys in your world - they can be cheating scumbags but the aftermath isn't their problem. Wow. Just wow.

And see my own life experience above to address this issue:

What about the trauma and shame your children will experience learning of the side sibling?

It is only shameful if you make it that way. I'm sorry but there is ZERO need for it to be shameful - it could be joyful. I love my half-sister (who was the "affair child") - why on Earth would you teach your children shame about that?!?!?! My gosh, this type of 1950s thinking incenses me to no end.

Sorry for the TJ - that just blows my mind that anyone thinks that way. Talk about making a bad situation worse...

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 1:25 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]

LLXC posted 1/7/2020 13:26 PM

I do not even understand where this wisdom of "WH must take responsibility for OC" comes from. Yes, the child is innocent but he/she is a product of A, and this is the consequence of his 'parents' decision, not yours.
His mother chose such circumstances for OC to be born in

What on earth? I do not understand this concept at all. The child's PARENTS made the choice. Cheating husband had sex without a condom, despite being married, despite having children.
As in, the child's father also created the circumstances for the child.

The problem is that because his cheating resulted in a child, any involvement with the child may hurt his wife. His WIFE has every right to not want a thing to do with that child. At the same time, that child has the right to his or her father.

Cheating husband created this mess.

OP, just get paternity established. Why doesn't your husband want to get it done? That disturbs me. If he is not the father, block her. Block email, social media. Talk to the postal service and see if you can get mail not delivered from that person - or maybe you need an order of protection.

If your husband is the father, then you need to figure out what YOU need. If your husband has no contact with the kid, just pays child support, are you ok with that? What if he sees the kid, but resentfully? What if he loves the kid?

Your husband has put you in a horrible position and i am sorry

Phoenix1 posted 1/7/2020 13:56 PM

Having gone through this, twice, I understand your feelings. Based on what I went through, regardless of jurisdictional differences, get paternity legally established as soon as possible. Once you know that, THEN you can map out a plan going forward. UNTIL paternity is established, you are speculating and worrying about everything, and possibly for no reason. If it is determined he is NOT the father (always a possibility), then you can breathe a huge sigh of relief and get on with your life and block OW from every avenue. If he IS the father, then you plan accordingly.

Kicking the can down the road waiting (and worrying) for OW to take action is not wise for a myriad of reasons.

Catwoman posted 1/7/2020 14:03 PM

I do not even understand where this wisdom of "WH must take responsibility for OC" comes from. Yes, the child is innocent but he/she is a product of A, and this is the consequence of his 'parents' decision, not yours.

I agree that the OP bears no responsibility in this scenario, but her husband did choose to have unprotected sex with this woman, so in choosing that action, he also chooses the consequences, which, in this case, includes a potential OC.

Unless I'm missing something, no one put a gun to this man's head and forced him to have unwanted intercourse with this woman. Both players in this game are equally responsible for this new life.

His mother chose such circumstances for OC to be born in, she should be dealing with any traumas OC experiences later on.

I agree that the OW bears responsibility as well, but it's not necessarily her responsibility to make up for a parent who doesn't step up to the plate. Yes, she chose this course of action, but unless someone put a gun to HER head, he is equally responsible for this new life.

The only victims here are the BS and the child. I don't understand encouraging one half of the child's DNA to abandon his responsibilities because there was an affair involved. If he didn't want said responsibilities, he didn't have to engage in sex with this woman.

Plain and simple.

We're here to help the OP try and make heads and tails out of a very serious legal and emotional situation.

Cat

landclark posted 1/7/2020 14:43 PM

A DNA test would go a long way here. If he’s not the father, then block and 100% no contact ever with no worries. You can move forward. If he is the father, then an action plan is made and you’re still moving forward (even if it’s not the ideal scenario). That doesn’t have to include visitation or shared custody. I personally could never imagine not being part of my kids life, but that’s me.

Not getting the DNA test is going to do more harm than good. Getting a DNA test could also help take some power and control back.

And yeah, this idea that the WH has no responsibility is just weird....

Marie2792 posted 1/7/2020 15:37 PM

This is an awful position to be in and I was afraid to I was facing an OC four months after dday. This is what I was prepared to do:

1. File for CS for my kids immediately so the money remained in my household. OW on our case was on all sorts of public assistance and her other 5 kids were in foster care. I
2. Get a paternity test as soon as it was feasible.
3. If my husband was the OC’s father, I would end the marriage. I would not respect him for ignoring the fact and abandoning a child he created, which is what he would have done. I also didn’t want to share him with OC and communicate with OW.

Keep in mind that lawyers say a lot during free consults. I spoke to two lawyers who told me that because OW was legally married to her husband (whose baby she swore it is although only one of the 5, now 7, was his) the child would automatically be considered a child of the marriage unless her husband went to court to dispute it. Well that wouldn’t happen because he didn’t have two nickels to rub together for an attorney but the state surely would have come after my husband eventually.

You can also buy DNA kits in the drug store, my sister did. Maybe a small investment for a peace of mind. That she isn’t going after money can suggest she knows it isn’t your husbands child or at the very least there is another suspect.

Phoenix1 posted 1/7/2020 16:59 PM

I spoke to two lawyers who told me that because OW was legally married to her husband (whose baby she swore it is although only one of the 5, now 7, was his) the child would automatically be considered a child of the marriage unless her husband went to court to dispute it.

Every jurisdiction is different, which is why legal advice is critical. I can tell you the above scenario is EXACTLY how it was with Xhole's first OC. OW was married, OC1 was by law automatically considered a child of the marriage and OW's husband was the legal father. Xhole was not legally responsible to pay CS (though he did, under the table, because he is an idiot and let her blackmail him but that's another story) and that would ONLY change if the OW's husband petitioned the court to challenge paternity and Xhole had been determined to be the father. OW's husband did not want to dispute paternity as the OC only knew him as his father. Xhole has never been part of that OC's life.

But, since OP's OW is not married, this is a moot point. I just wanted to clarify.

Catwoman posted 1/7/2020 17:06 PM

You can also buy DNA kits in the drug store, my sister did. Maybe a small investment for a peace of mind

DO NOT DO THIS. Please seek legal advice.

Cat

sassylee posted 1/7/2020 17:47 PM

fournlau:

SI has a “Dealing with OC” thread in the I Can Relate forum. Many members have walked this path before. Have a look to read the words of women who’ve had these same struggles:

You can find it here:

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=612814

cocoplus5nuts posted 1/8/2020 09:06 AM

What if the OW petitions for paternity? My son's exwife got pregnant by another man while married to my son. My son did not petition for anything. She did to prove that he was not the father.

Can Not Believe posted 1/8/2020 09:24 AM

Fournlau

PLEASE - regardless of the outcome - if you do nothing else, see a lawyer about establishing child support for your own children NOW!

It is true - that the first person to file for child support WILL get the lions share of your husband’s income - up to 25% _ PLUS daycare or childcare expenses added in separately.
Depending on your state - that could impact 40% of your husband’s income REGARDLESS of the fact that he is married to you and have other children older than the OC.

IT DOES NOT MATTER if you are a stay at home mom or not with 1-2-3 plus children. If your children are not in the system first, they WILL NOT EVEN BE CONSIDERED (depending on the state).

So regardless - YOU MUST SEE A LAWYER and establish support for YOUR CHILDREN before the OW does. The truth of the matter is, that OW will request child support at some point, And especially if she perceives your husband is avoiding her and shutting her out.

I implore you, see a lawyer and whatever you have to do - get your kids in the system first.

The old OC threads had SO MANY stories of wives with children getting LESS of their husband’s income because the OW got into the court system first.

One Ow went as far to request college expenses for her OC and got it, and the husband and his wife could not afford college expenses for their own children of the marriage.

I remember this happened in New York State.

They lost their homes and cars and way of life because the children of the marriage were not considered at all in the child support settlement for the OC.

I would do this TODAY!

Can Not Believe

hikingout posted 1/8/2020 09:24 AM

You are NOT at all "selfish" for taking care of your own family or for not wanting an OC involved in your life. It hasn't even been established yet that your WH is the actual father. Has it even been established that she's the actual mother? Hell, one of my WH's OW sent photos of her niece's ultrasound claiming it was hers. Cheaters LIE and the truth isn't true until it's checked out and verified.

I think this is the biggest reason to retain a lawyer and also seek paternity. You could be putting yourself through additional emotional distress that may be based on lies. Why go around believing he has a child that ends up not being his?

And, secondly, I think there is a huge obstacle here - the fact your husband is not making any steps is putting more duress on you. To me this screams someone who is maybe not R material. Sure, he is staying away from her and doesn't want anything to do with her. But, if he was empathizing with you, he would be actively working to resolve it instead of you continuing to be under more duress over his terrible decisions!

I personally do not think you are a bad person for any feelings you have because you didn't ask for any of this. You didn't impregnate her, this is not your responsibility. The conflict you feel must be unbearable and he is adding to that by his fear and inaction. I think if I were to tell anyone to put up or shut up, it would be him.

The other consideration is when it comes to your own children, they are going to eventually know about this other kid. That is going to make the decisions you have to make more painful, but that aspect does perhaps influence direction.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:27 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)]

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