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usa to uk

by jane / Posted 28/02/2011 / Updated 20/01/2014

I am stuck in the usa with my 4 year old, father is not a bad parent so I cannot say that he is not a big part of her life. Neither of us have the money for a custody case so we will both go into serious debt if we continue, Also that means that neither of us has money to show financial stability. I believe I will have to return to the uk to be able to fund this custody case and I am going to ask the courts for temporary custody with me in the uk (dont laugh, I just thought of it, i dont know if its possible) It just makes more sense to me, she would be in school now if we were in uk and thats the only time she would ever be away from me. If she stayed here with him she would be in daycare, which he says is the same. But to me school is mandatory, daycare is for when the parents are not there. I can be there for her in the uk. Please give me some advice. (just to add ive already left with my child and was returned by the hague,just when you thought it couldnt get anymore difficult)

Responses

From Lauri / Posted: 01/03/2011
So did you take your child to the UK without your partners consent? How long were you in the UK before being returned to the US? Why can´t you stay in the US and work to support your child there and fund a custody case? Why must you work in the UK to do this? Staying in the US allows both you and your ex to be in your childs life.
From Rebecca / Posted: 05/03/2011
Hi Jane, I have read your comments on other posts as well as this one and I have empathy with your situation as I have been through a similar situation. If you have already been returned to the USA via the Hague Convention then I believe your next step is to apply for Leave to Remove/Relocation Order through the courts. I don´t think it´s possible to obtain any interim orders for you to bring your daughter to the UK whilst you save up the money for a court case as she would already be here and that defeats the object. Although school is important, if your daughter is American, or being raised in America, then she will go to school there when the time is due, so you would not have any more right to return to the UK just so she could start school here earlier. The courts will not take into account that your daughter will be better off with you just because her dad would have to put her into day care either, as this is done by thousands of parents daily and not deemed to be detrimental to children´s welfare. If you are legally able to remain in the USA, then your only way is to find the money to go through the courts to relocate (unless your ex consents to you relocating with her and you get it formalised in a consent order). If you are British and your visa is dependent on being with your ex, otherwise you have to leave, then this may assist you. That was the only reason I was allowed to relocate to the UK with my son. If you come back to the UK alone to save up enough money then I think you will find that will go against you eventually as you will technically be leaving her to the sole responsibility of your ex and the ´status quo´ will be set. He will be likely to file for residency of her and will most likely succeed due to the fact that you left her with him. Your circumstances are very difficult I know, as I imagine that due to the break up of your relationship you are lonely and desperate to get back to your family here. Is there any way you can make a life for yourself there so that your daughter can have both parents in her life? Please contact some local support groups to build up some friendships and help, from my own experience this was a network that was invaluable to me and without them I don´t know what I´d have done. Whatever you decide to do, DO NOT leave the country without your daughter.
From jane / Posted: 20/03/2011
Reply to both commets: yes i did leave without his permission i left in july and was back by the end of november.I have been applying for jobs but without a high school diploma theres not much i can do, i wanted to work in a daycare or school so my child could be with me and id get discounts on care, otherwise i wouldnt bring home any money after paying for her daycare.
I want my child to have both of us in her life but right now its just not do-able, i need family support, and if it works out that i get some schooling in the ukj and am able to secure a good job in the usa then I will reconsider staying in the uk. I know i couldnt use the fact that shes starting school to help my case, thats more or a personal want. I dont actually know if im able to stay in the usa after divorce, i think so because we were married more than the required 2 years. me leaving her was a last resort and i would have never been able to go through it, i dont like being away from her for a day. Its alot easier in the uk to get support groups and the leave to remove cases are alot more well known, plus the actual case is alot easier if you were trying to leave the uk, Rebecca?? what happened in your situation, if you dont mind??
From Rebecca / Posted: 22/03/2011
We were a British couple with a British born child (aged 2) who moved to Australia on temporary visas for a two year trial, with the agreement that if I didn´t settle we would return home as a family. We split up 7 weeks after arriving and my ex refused to return to the UK and took legal action to keep our son in Australia. I returned to the UK against this order after a total of 19 weeks in Oz and was ultimately ordered back to Oz by the UK High Court as it was decided that Oz was now my sons country of habitual residence and their courts needed to decide where he should live. I returned to Oz in 2005 to a situation of homelessness and having my temporary visa cancelled as I was no longer with the man it was dependent on and it took me two years of court cases to get the right to relocate to the UK with my son. Much of this was based on the fact that the Australian Immigration wouldn´t guarantee me a visa to remain in the country if the courts made the decision to order that my son was to live there, so thankfully the judge applied common sense and allowed a Relocation Order, stating that if my ex wished to return to live in the UK to have an ongoing relationship with his son there was nothing stopping him from doing so. My ex decided to remain in Oz for the better lifestyle! The support I got was from a local Domestic Violence Service who provided me and my son with accommodation for two years, accompanied me to court for support, a local church and the Salvation Army who provided me with food and clothing, counselling and doing some voluntary work through the church for homeless people. These services all became my support network and I made friends who became surrogate parents to me/grandparents to my son, assisted me with childcare to give me a break and generally saved my sanity. I have been back in the UK for nearly 4 years now and I am still in regular contact with the friends I made as they were my lifeline. My son has to go back to Oz every year to see his dad, and has done so with no problem and come back again. I know how hard it is for you to be away from a family support network as I had no one over there at all, my ex was an abusive bully and threatened to make my life so bad that I would eventually take my own life out there and he would then get custody of our son. The support groups new this and did all they could to help me, and I´m sure you will find some support in the US too as people will empathise with your situation.
From Rebecca / Posted: 22/03/2011
I have to add Jane, that the outcome of my situation was not a ´win´ and by the time the court gave their decision in my favour I did not feel any emotion, I just felt empty and sad that the whole thing had come to this. In the two years I had been in Oz I had made a life for myself and wanted to stay there so that my son had both parents in his life (which is what he´d got used to for that two years as the court ordered weekend contact with his dad), but Immigration would not allow me to stay. My son was almost 5 when we returned to the UK and he has been and is still emotionally affected by what has happened and has had to have child counselling. He misses his dad dreadfully, and now that he is older he realises that his dad chose to stay in a ´nicer´ country rather than live in the UK and be with him. He says he feels abandoned. At school he is always sad that he has ´no daddy´ to come along and watch his sports day or Christmas play. Sadly, one of the children in his school lost their father to cancer some months ago and when I explained that that child hadn´t got a daddy to come along either, my son replied "yes, but his daddy died and he didn´t want to die, my daddy chose to stay in another country". It has all been very sad. In addition to this, the costs of the court case left me in severe debt and it was hard to re-build my life in the UK, although I have done so now. If I could have stayed in Australia I would have done. The journey to and fro each year is also sad for my son as he gets upset at leaving me and then gets upset at leaving his dad again. He won´t look at photos of his dad because he cries and says he misses him. If there is anyway you can build a life for yourself in America then consider it, because your child will suffer from all this believe me. My ex was an abuser yet my son misses him, you say your ex isn´t, so your daughter will definitely miss him. No matter what our ex partners are to us, our children love them unconditionally.
From Neil Humphrey / Posted: 20/01/2014
Jane - what are both your US / UK immigration status? If you´re not careful, one´ll be trapped across a border, without residence, permanently separated from living near the child! And vice-versa for him. Rebecca is offering good advice to stay for the child.

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