My Child’s Father wants to Have her for an Overnight Visit, But my Child Barely Knows him, What Should I Do?

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“I am a single mother, and I live at home with my parents. My daughter’s father and I have not been together since I was three months pregnant. He was at the hospital when I had her, and I made sure that he was the first person, besides me, to hold our little girl. He has a four year old by another woman, and he picks her up at least two weekends a month to spend time with her. I want my daughter to know her father, but he never calls and never even tries to see her. On the rare occasions he does actually come over, he sits around talking to my parents, and pays her very little attention. One day I actually broke down and called him and asked him to come see her. He said he would come that next Saturday. He never showed, and never called. Every time my daughter has seen her father, she hides behind my dad, whom she called daddy for the longest time. She is scared of her dad, and will not go near him. Well, the last time I spoke with him, he said he wanted to pick her up one weekend. I do not feel right about that. Am I wrong for asking him to come over at least like one day a month so that our daughter will get used to him being around before I allow him to take her off? He said he doesn’t like to come over and visit because it leaves his new girlfriend “out”. All I ask of him is to get to know our wonderful little girl before he tries to throw another complete stranger on her. How do you think I should handle this situation? Is what I am doing now wrong?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

A parent that has the desire and ability to parent should have a chance to do so. Just because you and he do not communicate, does not mean he should not have a relationship with his daughter.

Find a mediator or someone to work out a parenting plan. It might start out with a four hour visit to the park and lunch every other Saturday. Then after 3 months of that, 12 hours. Then 6 months later overnight on alternate weekends from Saturday to Sunday. And so forth.

Both parents should be comfortable with the plan. It sounds like he wants to be part of your daughter’s life, but he does not feel comfortable around you. You and he are not going to be a little family for your daughter. It also sounds like he has some parenting skills because he already has time with his other child.

If you and he can work it out, great. If not, find a mediator to discuss and set out a long term parenting plan. If you really want to get him to see his daughter, file a paternity action to set child support, custody and visitation. This would encourage him to seek time with her for sure. Besides the parents, it is really children that have the right to association with a mother and father that have the desire and ability to parent. Give your daughter that chance.



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Author: House Attorney

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