Ask Ms. Vicki: How Do I Find My Child's Father?

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Dear Ms. Vicki,

I'm a single mom and I believe my child's father is in the military. I know he was at one time but I don't know since I last had contact with him if he has gotten out.

How can I try to make contact with him and have a DNA test done? I would like for him to pay child support but after how our relationship ended I don't want him around my child.

I have heard that if you pay child support you have to have visitation rights. I don't know if I should pursue my attempt to find her father or just let the past lay in the past.

I just don't want to be able to tell my daughter the truth when it comes to her asking about her father in the future.

Thank you,

M.J.

Dear M.J.,

First of all, it sounds like you want to establish paternity. I think that's the most important thing if and when you find him. There's no reason to for you to have the anxiety of meeting up with him and what he will do regarding visitation if your child if he is not the biological father. I cannot say what the truth is when it comes to visitation rights and child support. Many state laws vary.

However, it sounds like you may have some fear of this man, by saying you don't want to be around him. With this said, let's say you find him and you both go to court, he pays child support and he also establishes visitation rights. It's really his right to see his child, even though he has been absent in her life so far and obviously has made no contact to reach out to you and his daughter.

As your daughter becomes older and more inquisitive she will want to know who her father is. For this reason, I think it's important for you to try to help establish a relationship between them. On the other hand, if he's abusive I would not contact him.

Have you tried to contact his family members or friends? Do you know any of them? If you know the name of the last unit he was in you can find information online. You can call and ask if he is still in the unit, on that base and perhaps where he transferred. Again, a quicker way is to contact his family members or friends for his whereabouts.

I really hope this works out for you. Please keep in touch with me and let me know what happens.

Sincerely,

Ms. Vicki

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