“My Fiancé Pays Too Much Child Support to Have a Baby With Me”


I am 49 years old and and my fiancé is 36. I have three grown children, all from the same father, but I’m having a problem dealing with the existence of my fiancé’s 14-year-old daughter. My fiancé was 21 when she was born and signed the birth certificate for a child who wasn’t his, and now he has been ordered by the court to pay $650 a month in child support until she is 19. I don’t feel we can move on with our life because of this added responsibility. I am in love with him but resent this girl; I don’t want to see her or spend time with her. My fiancé and I were wanting to try to have a baby together but how could he take care of us and pay child support, too? I am frustrated by the whole thing. On top of this, he signed away his parental rights to a now-6-year-old son that was his…and, to be honest, the 6-year-old’s mother was having the same issue that I’m now having. I don’t know what to do. — Resentful of His “Daughter”

You need a big dose of reality, so I’m going to give it to you and I’m going to try to be kind, but firm:

1. First, you’re 49. The likelihood of you conceiving a baby at your age is very, very slim. The likelihood of you conceiving a baby and then carrying it to term AND it being healthy and without chromosomal issues…well, the odds are not in your favor. It sucks to think about aging and our fertility decreasing and the missed chances that might mean for us, so I urge you instead to think about how fortunate you have been to already be blessed with not one, not two, but THREE children in your life. What a gift that you’ve been able to experience the joy of motherhood three times over.

2. A person does not need to be genetically related to a child to be his or her parent any more than a person who is genetically related to a child is automatically family. Your boyfriend’s parental history proves both statements true. For whatever reason, he signed a birth certificate for a child whom you say is not biologically his, making the girl his daughter and his responsibility. That’s not going to change. And if you can’t accept it, you need to move on. Resenting the girl, who is completely innocent in this scenario, is immature at best and downright cruel at worst, and, if you can’t stand the idea of her, then dating her father is probably futile.

3. Your boyfriend signed away his rights to his son. And you’re entertaining the idea of having a baby with him? In life, it’s a gift to be given some insight into what kind of partner or parent our significant other might be in the future. Much of the time, we have to guess based on only what we know of our own relationship with him or her thus far. But sometimes, having knowledge of their past relationships can give us some clues. Knowing that your boyfriend signed away his rights to his son gives you pretty big clue what kind of father he might be to a future child, even if you were able to conceive a baby with him at your advanced age. (Again, I know that isn’t a phrase that’s easy to hear, but, when it comes to having a baby, you’d be considered at an advanced age even if you were ten years younger than you are). In addition, you know that your boyfriend’s ex/baby mama had the same issues with him that you’re now experiencing/feeling. What makes you think the outcome would be ANY different for you?

You need to accept that having a child with your fiancé isn’t — and really shouldn’t be — in the picture for you. And considering you can’t stand the idea of his 14-year-old daughter and have no desire to see her or spend time with her, it’s probably in everyone’s best interest if you call off your engagement and just move on. Find someone whose life/lifestyle is a better match for you and with whom you can see yourself being happy without the addition of a baby.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Sunshine Brite says:

    WWS, she’s much kinder than I’m feeling right now. Are you thinking of adopting? If so, then your husband’s signing away of his parental rights of the 6 year old is going to block that. Frankly, I can’t imagine wanting to start over with a baby when it’s about time for the grandbabies to start.

    1. Avatar photo something random says:

      WWS and WSBS. I can’t help wondering if the letter writer is one of those people that wants a baby to anchor her relationship. At 49, I can’t imagine wanting to start over again. Does she just plan to work until she drops dead? Or does she think because her fiancé is so much younger he’s going to take care of everything? I know it’s sexist because men have babies with younger woman all the time. But it seems like the younger women are usually the ones doing a lot of the heavy child-care lifting because the older men poop out. This guy had to be court ordered to pay for one kid and probably signed over his rights because the other ex had found someone who wanted to adopt and actually be there for the other kid, instead of hiding out. I guess damaged people find each other because it’s really horrible to blame a 14 year old girl for being alive and daring to want support from the man who signed her birth certificate. I promise if the girl had a say she would have picked a different man to have claimed her. By the way, 21 isn’t 16, letter writer. And neither is 29. Face it, he’s a deadbeat and you come across as really desperate.

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        I don’t know if it’s fair to call the guy a deadbeat. We don’t know why he signed away his rights. It could be that the ex found someone else and got married, and the guy wanted to adopt the kid and be his father. I mean, the fiance DID sign on to be the dad to this girl who isn’t even his, and appears to have some kind of relationship with her (or else the LW wouldn’t be complaining about having to see her). So it seems weird that he’d just ditch his own kid for no good reason.
        Anyway, regardless of whether the fiance is a deadbeat or not, you shouldn’t be marrying someone whose daughter you can’t stand. That’s not acceptable, at all. This girl is his daughter whether you like it or not. You either accept that and treat her as a loved one, or you move on.

      2. Avatar photo something random says:

        It’s true, we don’t. But we do know he was 27 when he had his younger baby and his child’s mother was having the same “problems” with him that the letter writer is having now. I guess that means financial. So that tells me he probably didn’t give his son up right at birth and ended up signing over his son later in his son’s life. Maybe it was for the best. But it doesn’t bode well for for him to decide to have another baby less than six years later.

        As for the other daughter, it sounds like he has been forced by the court to pay a percentage considered “fair”. We don’t know if he actually has been seeing his daughter up until now. Maybe he has seen her a lot but it seems like the letter writer would have written more about it. To me it sounds like the lw and her fiancé have wanted little to nothing to do with the girl. I think it is horrible when a women knows a man might not be the biological father and doesn’t disclose this information when a man is stepping up to be a dad. But if a man has stepped up and claimed a child as his own, I don’t think he gets to pretend like that child no longer exists if it comes to light that he is not the biological father. I realize it is unfair because perhaps the law wasn’t as clear when some men decided to declare themselves fathers. But there are worse things in life than continuing to parent a child (that isn’t your genetic offspring) for eighteen years. And if the fiance doesn’t agree, maybe that says something about his parental instincts and coupled with the history of his other kid, maybe he needs to think a lot harder about taking on the role of fatherhood again. Regardless of whether he is technically a deadbeat, I’m going to venture that he has failed to think through the consequences of his choices on his kids up to this point.

      3. I agree with you on a lot of this, but I don’t think holding court-ordered child support against anyone is fair. My husband’s child support is court ordered too. Its to protect him, the kids and his ex. I think most child support is court ordered. Now, if he was court ordered and is purposely not paying it or hiding income to not pay as much or whatever, then yes. But just because a court is involved doesn’t mean he had to be forced into paying it. It just means the involved parties were smart enough to ensure that everything was put into writing.

      4. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

        I think child support is usually determined by the court. I can’t think of anyone I know who voluntarily chooses their child support level except parents who are married to each other.

      5. Avatar photo something random says:

        This is good to know. I guess I assumed most child support had to go through a court but I didn’t know the phrase “court ordered” was commonly used to describe routine support.

        “and now he has been ordered by the court to pay $650 a month in child support until she is 19.”

        To me it sounded like he was recently trying to get out of paying for his daughter. But maybe they didn’t have an official agreement in the first place and now they do. So if I misjudged the situation and he has been paying all along perhaps I was too harsh.

        I think we all agree that the letter writer has no buisness marrying this man and being so resentful over the support he is providing his daughter.

      6. I have acquaintances who went to the Calif. state website and made their own child support agreement based on state levels of minimum support. They wanted to keep the court out of it.

    2. At LW’s age, my Mom was already a grandmother TWICE over! This guys is no prize and she should MOA!

    3. Monkey's mommy says:

      Not to mention there is a limit placed on the range of age between you and the child. I have a friend in her 50s with an adopted 10 year old who dealt with that.

  2. Unwanted_Truth says:

    Wendy good advice. Said it a lot nicer than I would have , for sure.

    BTW, I thought the daughter is 14, not 16?

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Yes, 14, sorry for the typo.

  3. Is this real? Because its disgusting. Neither of you should have any more kids. And you should really explore how you can be jealous of a 14 year old girl and her dad.

    1. Agreed. Anyone jealous of a 14 year old girl and her parental relationships has serious issues.
      Newsflash to everyone out there…. if you can’t handle a significant other’s past relationships or children from said past relationships, don’t date, get engaged to or marry someone that once had a life before you. Seriously. Just. WOW.

      1. When I see my husband with his daughter, especially if its one of those sweet moments, I don’t get jealous. I smile and realize I chose a good one. I couldn’t imagine being jealous of that relationship.

      2. Avatar photo something random says:

        That’s because your a good person.

  4. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

    I’m not feeling particularly kind today because this is so stupid selfish horrible beyond my comprehension as a rational adult. So much of me knows that this is not.at.all about a 14 year old girl receiving child support. This is about a grown ass woman trying to make her younger man stay home and take care of her.
    LW, you need to get into therapy to figure out WHY you are trying to have a child at 49 with a man who is not really taking care of the other kids in his life. Like WHY do you want to have a baby? As Sunshine Brite said, most women your age are becoming grandmothers & I imagine your own kids are probably on the way to having their own children. Personally, I think when the kids you birthed are old enough to marry and have their own families, it’s time to shut down your own baby making factory (I’m looking at you Duggar family).
    Is this about you not wanting to get older? That you can prove to your boyfriend that you aren’t old. Or is this about you wanting to anchor him at home so you know where he is? Or is this about you wanting someone to take care of you financially and you think a child is a way to leverage that? Whatever your issue is…DO NOT bring a child into this situation.

    1. Avatar photo something random says:

      I agree. I think kids (that you bother to raise) really age you. I think it’s one thing to save up your money and establish a career and *start* later in life, but its another thing to cling to youth and refuse to mentally move forward past stages you’ve already done. The grandparents I’ve known who have ended up raising their grandchildren always seem overwhelmed, especially when the kids start getting older. What seems doable in your mid-fifties can seem too much just five years later.

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        On the grandparents being overwhelmed, I think it’s also whether you’re “in the zone” or not. Like my dad was an orphan, and his grandparents took all the kids in when their parents died. But the grandparents still had kids at home, some of them younger than my dad (french canadian family, fifty years ago, this was common). So they just kept doing what they were doing. I’m sure it was hard, of course. But it’s extremely different from raising your kids, waiting 20 years, and then going back to dealing with newborns.

      2. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        I see this a lot with my parents vs my sister’s in-laws who had a “woops” baby when mom was probably like 46-47… so she basically has a 20 year old daughter and then her oldest kids are 34, 32 and 30. Anyways she is so much better/more active/more able to keep up with my niece and nephew (her grandkids) who are almost 2 than my parents who haven’t been around kids that little in 25 years and get tired a lot easier/aren’t as “in the game” as she is.

      3. Avatar photo GertietheDino says:

        Some family friends had what we affectionately call a “menopause baby” – her 9th at 49. Good Catholic family. There is a 34 year age difference between the oldest and youngest.

      4. RedRoverRedRover says:

        So she had her first when she was 15?!?! Holy crap!

      5. We call them ‘change of life babies’ around where I’m from. My nan had one as well. Sadly the youngest ended up being the first to pass away.

      6. I have an ex-boyfriend that has a nephew a couple years older than his younger brother. But that was because his dad was married and had a daughter, and then he remarried and had more kids 20 years later when his daughters was having kids.

      7. RedRoverRedRover says:

        In my dad’s case it was because he was the oldest, and both his parents were oldests too. So his mom (my grandmother), for example, was born to my great-grandparents when they were 16/17. That was a common age to have a first kid back then, this would have been in the early 1900s in a rural community. My great-grandparents were still having kids (they were 34 and 35) when my grandmother got married at 16. She had my dad pretty much right away, and her mom was still having kids. They were Catholics with no birth control, so yeah. Same thing happened on my grandfather’s side. So my dad ended up with two nephews who are younger than him.

      8. Sunshine Brite says:

        True, but aging tends to happen eventually. My husband’s father is 80 now and it shows big time even though he’s doing much better after a surgery. He’s significantly older than Mr. Ginger’s mother and my parents and it really limits what we can do with them sometimes even though we’re still grateful he’s around at all.

      9. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

        I know for me, my kids are teens and the expectations that they have for us (my husband & I) to keep up with them is crazy. They are at that age where they are involved in A LOT of stuff but not old enough to drive, so we have are always driving our kids (as well as other kids) to somewhere or pick them up from someplace. I couldn’t even imagine being in my 60’s and having to do that every day.

      10. Avatar photo something random says:

        My dad was in his late 40s when he had my youngest sibling. My dad was always more of a “provider” than a nurturer and his role didn’t change much. My mom was super happy and would have had more if she could have had more, well into her 40s. But they had also been married 18 years by that time and had children at home. And my siblings and I were often the ones to read our baby books, get him to sleep, give him rides, drop him off and pick him up for appointments, do his homework with him, etc.

  5. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

    I hate to be ageist but if you had a child right now, chances are you would maybe live to see it graduate from college. Other chances are the majority of the brunt of caring for you, when you are old and have who knows how many health issues (alzheimer’s, dimentia, cancer, als, diabetes-literally anything) would fall on to the shoulders of your young 20 something kid since your older children would be a lot older at that point and probably not as capable of taking care of you. I just think its selfish. Yes lots of people have children older and its awesome but lots of times, it sucks and is really sad and isn’t a great situation. And this is all assuming you have a healthy child, which like Wendy pointed out is not a high probability at your age.
    As far as the rest of it– I completely agree with others who have said if you are jealous of the 14 year old daughter, and his relationship with her you shouldn’t be dating and considering marriage to someone who has kids. Is your fiance jealous of the love and support you give your children? You should treat his no differently. If anything you should be disgusted he signed away his rights to his 6 year old son, which is basically the height of abandonment. Even a lot of the more deadbeat dads I know wouldn’t do that. Says a lot that this a) doesn’t bother you and b) you kind of sound like its what you wish he would do with his 14 year old daughter.

  6. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

    I am appalled by this letter for so many reasons. There. Are. No. Words.

  7. Out of curiosity, was it the LW who put daughter in quotation marks in her signature?
    Because regardless of her biological parentage, the LW’s fiance is her father.

  8. Avatar photo juliecatharine says:

    I’m just praying this is a fake letter. If not, good god, LW, pull your head out and do not attempt to bring a child into this mess. Where is your empathy lady? You resent a 14 year old because your fiancé is a father to her?? Why not resent your fiancé for not being in his son’s life?

  9. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

    Wendy did you delete, “but look much younger” after the LW gave her age? Because I feel that oozing from this letter.
    FTR, ‘but I look much younger’ and ‘He treats me like a princess’ are my red flag lines in any letter. When either of those lines are in a letter a bunch of tomfoolery & delusional thinking are about to follow.

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Lol @”tomfoolery”. Love it!

    2. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Ha, no I didn’t, but I agree with you!

    3. CJ, I’m 49, but I DO look much younger, a LOT younger, and you just need to deal with it!!!

      1. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

        And your wife treats you like a prince!

  10. LW, I am thrilled all of your children are from the same father. Let’s keep it that way. No more babies, please.

  11. LisforLeslie says:

    I’m in complete agreement with all comments – if this was your first kid, I might be more sympathetic, but only for the missed opportunity because you’ll be in your seventies when the kid is in college. Are you really expecting a son or daughter to come live in your active-senior community on winter breaks?

    Also, I’m not saying that $650 is a pittance, but are you really telling me that at 49, this is a make or break amount for your budget – then maybe, at 49, you shouldn’t be even considering taking on an expense that, at 49, you are unprepared for.

    If you really really really need a creature to bond over – I’d recommend getting a dog but a dog isn’t going to save any relationship. Maybe get a nice fish. Or a plant.

    1. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

      LisforLeslie, this is what my first thought was too. I couldnt even properly address the letter earlier, I was so disturbed by this woman wanting to be taken care of after having a baby at the age of 50. Im still so taken aback by this letter, all I can do is mentally shake my head.

    2. Monkey's mommy says:

      I was thinking the same! At 49 (and 36) if 600 bucks breaks the bank, you cannot afford a child! Especially one that may require special care after being born to a mother too stupid or unselfish to realize the risks of advanced geriatric pregnancy.

  12. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    “My fiancé and I were wanting to try to have a baby together but how could he take care of us and pay child support, too?”

    Leaving aside your age, because you probably can’t have a baby, I find it very telling that you have the expectation that if the two of you have a baby your fiance will be the one providing all of the support. You don’t say how would we take care of us and pay child support. He can’t provide all the support so you must make up the difference yourself. That’s the real world in which you live. If the two of you can’t financially do this together you can’t. His daughter exists and will continue to exist and whether you like it or not she deserves to have the financial support of her dad. I think the real unspoken question here is how to dump the financial obligation to his daughter and the answer to that is you don’t and if he would be willing to do that he isn’t the man to father your baby.

  13. pamplemousse says:

    Ugh – please tell me this is a fake.

    Chromosomal issues aside, and I know people don’t like to talk about this, but if you are 49 you have a high likelihood of having a special needs child (autistic or otherwise developmentally disabled). There’s nothing wrong with this, but one might consider it morally irresponsible to try to get pregnant at this point in your life if you are not logistically and financially set up to care for a special needs child. If you cannot afford to have a baby simply because your fiancé has a child support payment, you would really struggle to support a special needs child.

  14. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

    From the LW:

    “The mother did not seek child support legally until the kid was 13 and that was after the alleged father had proposed to the future stepmother; the mother waited so long to pursue child support so the father would have no legal right to paternity test!!! He’s always seen her and provided but this mother also has 3 other children that have 3 dads; 4 children, 4 fathers; the 6 year olds mother has been in numerous relationships before and after, but was resentful of the 14 year old having priority over her son. I have never stopped him or discouraged him from seeing his daughter…..and I have tried to get to know her but she continually brings but his exes…,she pours, she us ungrateful and never happy although he tries to do things for her….she’s very spoiled.
    He signed away his rights because on the 6 year old because his’funds’ were drainwd by legal fees fighting the mother for his custodial rights; I still don’t understand letting the biological child go and paying for the one that’s not his; as far as my age, I am a very healthy 49 year old…the 14 year old is as manipulative as the mother and only uses him for $$$. She has 3 other sisters that all have different fathers.
    I wanted to have a child with him to give him that normal family that he has never experienced…. I don’t need him to support me, I have always worked and had a good job…and financially we have been doing better and better; if he had not been in court for 2 years over 2 kids, would have been better for everyone..but some women are greedy….and then there is jealousy…I think the guy that ‘fired the shot’ should be making the payments…it is all based on a lie by 1 woman and covered up by many… But will come to light one day… It is being talked..lies always come out”

    1. Sunshine Brite says:

      Wow. Just wow. This update makes you seem even more ridiculous. I’m trying not to get mean, I truly am.
      How presumptuous… How judgmental…
      Why are you so obsessed with these other women having different fathers for their children? It does absolutely nothing for you but to look down on them for seeking their legal rights. Plus, you want your boyfriend to be someone who has 3 children with 3 women. How is that any different?
      It might be an awful ex, manipulative etc, but I have trouble believing that you’re not equally as manipulative. And of course, the 6 year old’s mother was pissed that your boyfriend wasn’t paying an equal amount of attention to her son. To me, that doesn’t read as bad as being jealous of the 14 year old vs being jealous that the 6 year old isn’t getting the same treatment.
      If he doesn’t like that she’s spoiled then he needs to parent her out of it by showing her positive attention for positive things and being consistent. All 14 year olds want money, you give them what you want to and say no if you don’t. That doesn’t make her as manipulative as her mother. She’s a dependent, she’s supposed to depend. You don’t understand him signing away the 6 year old because it’s bullshit. I know in my state and other states, the money is a separate issue from seeing. He didn’t want to pay for his son, that’s what that boils down to.
      Just because you’re a healthy 49 doesn’t mean you’ll have a healthy baby or won’t have a decreased chance of being dead by the time they would get out of high school in comparison to other parents of their peers. I know people with older parents and there is a feeling at times of not being fair in comparison to the little time they will get with them. Plus, the motivation to have a “normal family” disgusts me. You’re giving a baby a job, one they’re unlikely to fulfill because of your age to be super normal. He’s just as unlikely to step up for your kid as his other 2. You’re so obsessed with his exes it’s absurd. You just need to save for retirement instead of onesies.

    2. Anonymous says:

      but some women people are greedy

      Fixed that for you. What makes this a woman/man thing?

    3. Also, if there has been no paternity test, it doesn’t sound to me like you can KNOW for sure that the 14-year-old daughter isn’t his biological child. And yeah, 3 kids with 3 women (one of them now abandoned)…and 4 kids by 2 men? Pot, meet kettle!

  15. wobster109 says:

    LW, the 14-year-old is a child growing up in an unstable and uncaring family. How can you blame her? She’s a child. How can you say one child is more important than another just because of who their father is?

  16. LisforLeslie says:

    Nope nope nope nope. None of this justifies the original letter filled with resentment and jealousy for a 14 year old girl that is far from being an adult. All of these updates are trying to justify pathetic behavior of both adults involved. Him for weasling out on the life of his son, and hers for thinking that if she could just make all of his past disappear – they could have the perfect family. Blargh.

    LW, you have to think whether or not you could do this alone, because this guy doesn’t have a great track record for sticking around. Are you really prepared to be chasing after a toddler in your 50’s, after a tween when you’re closing in on 60? And I don’t give a rat’s ass how young you feel – you will be close to 70 god damn years when that kid finishes high school. You know who is 70 at high school graduations? The grandparents.

    1. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

      And I don’t give a rat’s ass how young you feel – you will be close to 70 god damn years when that kid finishes high school. You know who is 70 at high school graduations? The grandparents.
      Best line ever!!!!

  17. ok, long time lurker, chiming in.. I was the ‘oops’ baby, my folks were 45 when I was born- I’m lucky, my family is great, and we are all pretty close- I say “pretty close” simply because my oldest brother, at 21 years older, was already away at college, along with the second oldest, a 19 year age gap. Listening to the 4 older ones, they had so much fun, great stories, memories- the big trips to see the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, etc- well, yes, my parents were done with that! They love me, the worked hard, longer than they would have, to get me to the best schools they could afford, and so much- yes, I do get jealous that my sibs had the ‘young’ parents.. so, aside from all the other crazy going on here, an infant at 50 is no joke- that kid’s life may be as messed up as you claim the 14 year old is, simply because you may get ‘tired..’ and look for easy ways to deal. like tossing money.
    hope that made sense, back to lurking 🙂

    1. Nobody can lurk on deleted thread day!!! Go confess!!!

      1. dangit! 🙂

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