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Dad Considers Asking His Teen Daughter To Take A Paternity Test To Help With His Divorce Settlement

Peter Dazeley/ Getty Images

Finding out that your parents are not who you thought they were is heartbreaking.

Finding out that one of them is not even your real parent is even worse.

The important thing to remember is you can love someone just as much, even if they’re not biologically related.

Redditor JerryTheHVCguy encountered this very issue with his daughter. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.

He asked:

“AITA for asking my emotionally fragile daughter (16f) to take a paternity test to help me in court?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My wife and I are finally going through a divorce after living separated for almost 4 years. We didn’t do this sooner because we both separated our finances and coparented amicably and didn’t want to waste the money.”

“We originally separated after I confronted her on multiple affairs, but I wasn’t mad, just happy to be done with it.”

“Our daughter was not fazed too much by the transition at first because we tried to make it as easy as possible on her.”

Things started to get complicated.

“However, just 2 months after I moved out my wife moved a boyfriend into our house and made daughter very uncomfortable, so she decided to live with me the majority of the time instead. My wife has since been very irresponsible about bringing men around my daughter.”

“When the pandemic hit my business boomed while my wife lost her job and had to start working at a grocery store instead. Wife decided to finally file for divorce and take me for what I was worth as I was now making way more than her.”

“I’m not going to lie, things went from mediation to a hostile divorce very quickly when she requested more custody and money than I thought she was entitled to. Ultimately, wife was unwilling to admit to her affairs and I threatened to get a paternity test for our daughter to prove her infidelity.”

OP’s ex wife took it upon herself to complicate things.

“I had suspicions before about the paternity of my daughter, but never acted on them because I didn’t want to lose her.”

“Well this was a big mistake because this caused my wife to reveal to daughter that she was an affair baby. Moreover, she told our daughter that if I found out that she was an affair baby then I would do unspeakable things to her.”

“Wife told daughter all this to try to get her out of my home and drive a wedge in a relationship. This has caused my daughter to be distant to me and paranoid and emotionally a wreck for months and I didn’t know why.”

OP doesn’t know what to do.

“After talking to my lawyer and getting assurance my parental rights would not be affected by a paternity test I decided to ask my daughter to take it.”

“I sat her down and explained it was just to prove her mom’s infidelity and that she was still my daughter. Unfortunately, before I could tell her much of anything she had a full on panic attack and locked herself in her room. Eventually her favorite aunt (my sister) came to pick her up and now she is living with her family.”

“My sister is the one who informed me of the things my wife said.”

“Daughter and I have been going to counseling and daughter plans to come to live with me again. The court also ordered my ex wife not to contact my daughter and my lawyer thinks we will do well. But my sister thinks I’m an asshole for asking my daughter for the test.”

“But the time to prove wife’s infidelity was running out and I thought my relationship with my daughter was stronger than just genetics.”

“AITA for asking my emotionally fragile daughter for a paternity test?”

Daughter and I never took test, but I was able to prove infidelity in other ways.

Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Most Redditors were conflicted.

“Me reading the title: Yes, you obviously are.”

“Me reading the whole post: Holy heck, no, no you are absolutely NTA.”

“Lesson learned? Read things properly people!” ~ -Y-a-s-m-i-n-

“This is not a question for reddit. It’s a question for the therapist and the therapist only. Light YTA for not talking to a professional in a very, very delicate situation.” ~ Fredredphooey

“Even then, I don’t think OP is the asshole.”

“He asked if she would help her in court, completely unaware of what his ex was putting in her head. I think the most accurate way to describe it is he unknowingly triggered an abuse victim, because I would absolutely qualify what the ex was doing as emotional abuse.” ~ fallen_star_2319

Some argued OP’s daughter should have been eased into the conversation.

“You don’t cold open a conversation about how your child might not be yours biologically by asking for a DNA test. That’s pretty much the most aggressive a frightening way to go about it.”

“Even without the mother, it’s pretty reasonable that she panicked and thought he didn’t want her anymore when he starts it like that.”

“The reassurances come before you bring up the possibility of not being genetically related, and completely separate from asking for a DNA test to help your side in a divorce.” ~ terraformthesoul

“But he didn’t cold open it. He said he first told her about how he loved her and nothing would change.” ~ 133112

“He said she was having a panic attack before he could ‘explain much of anything.'”

“Again, the paternity test should not have been anywhere near the first conversation. Generally when men are getting paternity tests to prove they aren’t the father, it’s because they’re trying to get out of any responsibility for the affair child.”

“Even in this best case scenario, he’s still ultimately trying to use her existing as public proof he was personally wronged. That’s not going to be easy on a kid, and should definitely not be how the discussion starts.” ~ terraformthesoul

“He did say she was still his daughter and it was to prove her infidelity in court, nothing more. There’s not an easy way to say that but the situation had an extenuating circumstance he wasn’t aware of.”

“If her Mom didn’t put those things in her head to begin with, they probably could’ve gone through the whole conversation without her having a panic attack.”

“I’m also assuming she’s aware about the divorce, from his perspective, and that it’s not amicable. If she didn’t have her Mom’s words swimming around in her head, then she’d probably understand her Dad’s intention.” ~ madewithweed

I’m glad OP is working on his relationship with his daughter.