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Y’all. I am nervous


Scarlett
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3 minutes ago, Farrar said:

It sounds like a mess. I'm sorry.

I hope maybe your dh and dss can maybe get closer through this experience. It's certainly not the way anyone would have wanted that to happen, but maybe it will be a small bright point.

Interesting to me that dss chose to go to his mom's house when he moved out of his apartment.  His mom is a cheater.....and he was pretty disgusted when he figured that out at about age 21. I wonder if it has occurred to him he chose a wife like his mom?   But yes I too hope dh can get a better relationship with his oldest son. 

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I second the earlier suggestion of a paternity test. For this reason:  my cousin married under similar circumstances, she divorced him, and then when the child was four years old announced that he was not the father.  Testing proved that to be true, and my cousin lost not just custody but visitation rights.  If that might happen it’s better to know ahead of time.

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3 minutes ago, Danae said:

I second the earlier suggestion of a paternity test. For this reason:  my cousin married under similar circumstances, she divorced him, and then when the child was four years old announced that he was not the father.  Testing proved that to be true, and my cousin lost not just custody but visitation rights.  If that might happen it’s better to know ahead of time.

My stomach just turns to even think of this.  Not sure how to even suggest it.  I do see strong resemblance to my dss's side of the family......but I have been doing genealogy and dna testing long enough to know looks don't really matter.

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I’m so sorry, Scarlett. I feel so sad for your stepson, and for that innocent little baby. 😞 

On the other hand, if she was going to end up being a wife who wanted to have sex with other men, it is probably a blessing that your ds’s discovered this now (and that she was open about it.) It’s just a shame that a baby is stuck in the middle of this mess.

I will third the recommendation for a paternity test. 

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cheating before marriage?!? that rarely bodes well for how a marriage will go.  If she won't do counselling, I would have your dh urge dss to seek legal counsel and proceed with a divorce.  It seems like the only way this is going.

 

Edited: because apparently while holding twin newborns I can't type 

Edited by hjffkj
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On the paternity test, I think I would say go ahead with that, too, but with caution when you bring it up. DSS may not be enthused about it at first.

You may know, too … legally, it may not make a huge difference. In our state, discovering that one’s legal child is not one’s biological doesn’t necessarily mean one will lose visitation, custody, or child support obligations. It may depend on the age of the child, though. I don’t recall all the details. I vaguely think after 8 yrs (?) it made no difference, so this concern may not apply to a baby. 

It may not even matter to your DSS, though. In his heart, regardless of DNA, this may be his child and paternity may or may not matter. Love is love. 

Still, though, I would gently encourage him to do it. If nothing else, if it’s more palatable to him, he might mentally frame it as genealogy research, and info that he can share with baby later. 

I’m just so sorry. Your DSS has a hard road ahead. Hugs.

 

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I am sorry about the whole situation, for everyone. This happened to my son and his (now) XW and 18-month old. He was working long hours because she had a dream of owning a makeup studio, and he was trying to make money for that. Then, she decided to go to college instead of working. So, he worked long hours for that. We were providing free babysitting. One Sunday morning, before we left for church, he drove up, and he sat and cried. She wanted a divorce - wasn't happy, didn't want to be married, it was too hard, wanted shared custody so she didn't have the baby all the time, wanted to live her life. Basically same reasons as you wrote.

Now, it's been five years and grandchild is 7. Things are better. We are able to attend activities, both sides of the family including step-grandparents, like the modern blended family. Both my son and his XW are now in their early 30s. XW has remarried and did open up her makeup studio. Now she wants to be a bartender. Go figure. But she is more mature and a good mom but still likes the week on/week off arrangement. My son went through some real PTSD issues. He has had two serious relationships and several girlfriends, but he really needs to quit thinking all women are just going to hurt him and take money. He swears he will never remarry or have more kids. But at least the anger is better and they do great a being parents separately. My grandchild still stays with us so much though that I am basically helping to raise her, and we walk a fine line between parental and grandparental decisions. It's hard, but we feel that it gives my grandchild stability. She is with us full time the last two weeks as her dad has been exposed at work, and now her mom and step-dad have COVID.

It's not the way my son was raised, and I know he yearns for a stable relationship. I have posted here before about the difficulties young men face nowadays because things are so different. I have three sons and none can find anyone to marry or have a monogamous long term relationship with. My middle son just went through a bad breakup. Why? He wanted to get married. She wasn't interested. Just wanted to buy a house but not have a legal commitment. My middle son said no and left. He still bought a house for himself though. Very proud of him. My youngest son is 24, and he says he's always "friend zoned" so has given up dating at all. Lately, he shared with me that he plans to buy a house and adopt as a single man. He wants marriage, he wants kids, but "no girls want me, mom." So, he's working, saving money to buy a house, and plans to adopt by age 30.  

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1 hour ago, Spryte said:

On the paternity test, I think I would say go ahead with that, too, but with caution when you bring it up. DSS may not be enthused about it at first.

You may know, too … legally, it may not make a huge difference. In our state, discovering that one’s legal child is not one’s biological doesn’t necessarily mean one will lose visitation, custody, or child support obligations. It may depend on the age of the child, though. I don’t recall all the details. I vaguely think after 8 yrs (?) it made no difference, so this concern may not apply to a baby. 

It may not even matter to your DSS, though. In his heart, regardless of DNA, this may be his child and paternity may or may not matter. Love is love. 

Still, though, I would gently encourage him to do it. If nothing else, if it’s more palatable to him, he might mentally frame it as genealogy research, and info that he can share with baby later. 

I’m just so sorry. Your DSS has a hard road ahead. Hugs.

 

I know he will still love this baby but I do believe the truth should be known.  

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47 minutes ago, Sweets said:

I am sorry about the whole situation, for everyone. This happened to my son and his (now) XW and 18-month old. He was working long hours because she had a dream of owning a makeup studio, and he was trying to make money for that. Then, she decided to go to college instead of working. So, he worked long hours for that. We were providing free babysitting. One Sunday morning, before we left for church, he drove up, and he sat and cried. She wanted a divorce - wasn't happy, didn't want to be married, it was too hard, wanted shared custody so she didn't have the baby all the time, wanted to live her life. Basically same reasons as you wrote.

Now, it's been five years and grandchild is 7. Things are better. We are able to attend activities, both sides of the family including step-grandparents, like the modern blended family. Both my son and his XW are now in their early 30s. XW has remarried and did open up her makeup studio. Now she wants to be a bartender. Go figure. But she is more mature and a good mom but still likes the week on/week off arrangement. My son went through some real PTSD issues. He has had two serious relationships and several girlfriends, but he really needs to quit thinking all women are just going to hurt him and take money. He swears he will never remarry or have more kids. But at least the anger is better and they do great a being parents separately. My grandchild still stays with us so much though that I am basically helping to raise her, and we walk a fine line between parental and grandparental decisions. It's hard, but we feel that it gives my grandchild stability. She is with us full time the last two weeks as her dad has been exposed at work, and now her mom and step-dad have COVID.

It's not the way my son was raised, and I know he yearns for a stable relationship. I have posted here before about the difficulties young men face nowadays because things are so different. I have three sons and none can find anyone to marry or have a monogamous long term relationship with. My middle son just went through a bad breakup. Why? He wanted to get married. She wasn't interested. Just wanted to buy a house but not have a legal commitment. My middle son said no and left. He still bought a house for himself though. Very proud of him. My youngest son is 24, and he says he's always "friend zoned" so has given up dating at all. Lately, he shared with me that he plans to buy a house and adopt as a single man. He wants marriage, he wants kids, but "no girls want me, mom." So, he's working, saving money to buy a house, and plans to adopt by age 30.  

Dh said as dss was leaving last night he said, 'well Dad,  I did my best, but it just wasn't good enough.'

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Dh said as dss was leaving last night he said, 'well Dad,  I did my best, but it just wasn't good enough.'

It's not that his best wasn't good enough; it's that she wanted someone else.  Nothing he did would have been good enough.  It's not him; it's her.  

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So I poked around a child support calculator today for our state.  With their current incomes and DIL getting the child for 81% of the time and dss getting him for 19% of the time (every other weekend, 1/2 holidays and 2 weeks in summer) his cs obligation would be 550.  If they do 50-50 parenting time his obligation drops to 219.  

You can bet she has already ran the numbers too.  So potentially, if he doesn't stand up for himself, he will be left paying double money and seeing his son less than 1/4 of the time.

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If he sees a lawyer I'd think the lawyer would suggest a paternity test, so that you don't have to be the one to bring it up. Also, he really needs to be in counseling to help him figure how to stand up for himself as they move forward, and how to avoid getting into a similar situation the next time. 

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I'm so sorry for you all, and your ds and his child especially.  He didn't have a good role model in his mother, it sounds like.  He's doing the best he knows.   And it sounds like she's too focused on herself to be helpful in a relationship.   In that situation, all you can do is love him and his child.  Be a steady and loving person in his life.  I know that probably doesn't seem like enough, but it might be just the thing he needs.

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24 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

If he sees a lawyer I'd think the lawyer would suggest a paternity test, so that you don't have to be the one to bring it up. Also, he really needs to be in counseling to help him figure how to stand up for himself as they move forward, and how to avoid getting into a similar situation the next time. 

I would not think an attorney yet would suggest a paternity test in this situation….but who knows.  

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2 minutes ago, Wishes said:

If they do divorce and he wants it, he should try for 50/50 custody. Many states prefer 50/50 but many dads don’t ask for it.

That is exactly what I am saying to him and to to Dh……they both just keep looking at me kinda blankly.  

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I'm sorry he is going through this.  I would suggest that he look for an attorney.  In many US states, the default is 50-50 unless the parents agree to a different arrangement or 1 parent can show that the other is unfit in some way.  And honestly, at least in my state, the bar for what is unfit is so high that's pretty hard to get a court to give one parent the bulk of the time and the other minimal time.  This is actually why a lot of DV survivors stay- they don't want their spouse to have unsupervised access to the kids.  There's also solid case law in the US that parents have the right to make their own childcare arrangements on their own time so the fact that he works more shouldn't be used against him should he wish to get 50-50.  

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10 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

I'm sorry he is going through this.  I would suggest that he look for an attorney.  In many US states, the default is 50-50 unless the parents agree to a different arrangement or 1 parent can show that the other is unfit in some way.  And honestly, at least in my state, the bar for what is unfit is so high that's pretty hard to get a court to give one parent the bulk of the time and the other minimal time.  This is actually why a lot of DV survivors stay- they don't want their spouse to have unsupervised access to the kids.  There's also solid case law in the US that parents have the right to make their own childcare arrangements on their own time so the fact that he works more shouldn't be used against him should he wish to get 50-50.  

Thank you.  This is what I am thinking too.  I don’t think it has ever occurred to dss he could have half time.  Even 13 years ago when Dh was divorced by his ex wife the standard was definitely EOW for the dad.  
 

She is currently saying he can see the baby whenever he wants.  And she seems to be going through her own young 20s crisis of some sort…..so she may agree to a 50/50 schedule and like you say it will be on him to deal with his childcare on his own.  

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18 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

She is currently saying he can see the baby whenever he wants.  And she seems to be going through her own young 20s crisis of some sort…..so she may agree to a 50/50 schedule and like you say it will be on him to deal with his childcare on his own.  

If she’s saying that, I’d recommend he take her up on that. Otherwise, she could certainly tell a judge that he had complete access and only used it x% of the time.

(Says someone with an ex who decided a weekly overnight cut to much into his “me time”. The resentment that builds doesn’t go away!)

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42 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

If she’s saying that, I’d recommend he take her up on that. Otherwise, she could certainly tell a judge that he had complete access and only used it x% of the time.

(Says someone with an ex who decided a weekly overnight cut to much into his “me time”. The resentment that builds doesn’t go away!)

Right.  And in his defense his job is crazy.  He is working 10 days straight and now 7 days a week, sometimes goes in at midnight, sometimes goes in at 4 pm.  He really needs to switch jobs.  

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3 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Right.  And in his defense his job is crazy.  He is working 10 days straight and now 7 days a week, sometimes goes in at midnight, sometimes goes in at 4 pm.  He really needs to switch jobs.  

Yup, if he is going to be a single dad he needs a job with better hours so he is around when his son is awake. 

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I joined a FB page for my state for fathers rights. The entire system is a joke.I am starting to be completely amazed that my situation worked out as well as it did.  I wouldn’t even know how to advise my dss other than stay out of court at all costs.  
 

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I think your son needs to get his ducks in a row now.  You can get a paternity test in a drug store, so that's easy peace of mind.  He needs a day job that's conducive to raising a child and an apartment near his son's daycare.  He needs to get everything in place before she lands on the next man and starts getting petty with access to the kid.  In some situations, 50-50 custody means nobody pays child support.  If she has an inkling it could go this way she might start putting more and more limits on his time with the baby.  I don't think a judge could overlook a 4-midnight schedule if he wanted to.  When did they ever have a chance at spending time as a family?

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2 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

I think your son needs to get his ducks in a row now.  You can get a paternity test in a drug store, so that's easy peace of mind.  He needs a day job that's conducive to raising a child and an apartment near his son's daycare.  He needs to get everything in place before she lands on the next man and starts getting petty with access to the kid.  In some situations, 50-50 custody means nobody pays child support.  If she has an inkling it could go this way she might start putting more and more limits on his time with the baby.  I don't think a judge could overlook a 4-midnight schedule if he wanted to.  When did they ever have a chance at spending time as a family?

They didn’t. I think that is part of the problem . 

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