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This forum offers parents the opportunity to voice their own experiences of international parental child abduction, and related issues, and to share useful information with others in a similar situation.

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Abusive and secretive ex partner

by Bina Shears / Posted 14/03/2011 / Updated 16/04/2011

I was divorced nearly 4 years ago. I recently re-married and moved in with my current husband.
My ex husband (as you can imagine) is not happy and is now seeking a shared residency order, on the grounds that he is being ´marginalised´. Yet he is also seeking, from the courts, to see the children less, he wants me to spoon feed him information that he can obtain for himself. He doesn´t call the children between his scheduled contact times and he even drops his weekends claiming that he is ´too tired´, ´M25 traffic´ or ´has to work´. I have never denied him access to the children (ages 12 & 9). He is a controling, manipulating, poor excuse of a father and I don´t know what to do. He is now, taking the children to the US, yet when I have asked for documented details of flights and accommodation he sends me a random email (written by himself)....how do I know he is actually booked on those flights and hotel. Am I being too over protective at the fact he may flea the country to some place else and I won´t ever see the children again?

Responses

From Agnes / Posted: 15/03/2011
Wow, I´m so glad to find you here. My ex is the same, abusive, and secretive. He moved from a European country to one outside of European law without even telling me for months. He gets really ´secretive´ about his address, holiday whereabouts etc. and I´ve felt the same way as you, not knowing whether to fear abduction or not. I also have the feeling he´s more interested in controlling my movements and finances than in seeing the kids. He´ll complain he´s being left out and demands information he could easily get for himself. I´ve never denied access, but he still says I´m making it ´difficult´ for him to see them. I could go on.
In answer to your question. I´ve been on the verge of reporting abduction a couple of times and then everything turned out all right in the end, and the vagueness and secretiveness just turned out to be him being disorganized and uncaring. But, like you, I´m never sure what´s going on.
I tend to make sure there is a ´paper trail´ of my suspicions by mentioning it to the solicitor, doctor, school, whoever will listen. Then, if it comes to an abduction, I should hope, you would be taken more seriously because it´s not coming out of nowhere.
From Rebecca / Posted: 15/03/2011
Hi Bina, I would have alarm bells ringing if a father that never really bothered with his children on a regular basis suddenly wanted to take them abroad. OK, he may genuinely want to take them on holiday to Disney Land etc, but I would expect a responsible father to let you have all the details of the flights/hotels etc and have nothing to hide about where he is taking the children. Who is currently holding the children´s passports? If it is you, then you could withold them until you are satisfied with the information he gives you and you have seen confirmation of the outward and inbound flight details so you know when your children are due back. If you have concerns that your children are going on a one-way trip then you need to get in touch with a solicitor quickly to get a prohibited steps order so that he cannot take the children out of this country. Your children are old enough now to form opinions of this situation - do they want to go? How have they been ´sold´ this trip? Is it a holiday, is it a trip to see friends/relatives? Have they been shown the hotel in a brochure or on the internet? Does he have work options in the US that would make it easy for him to relocate there? There are lots of unanswered questions, but don´t think you are being too over protective, it´s better to be this way than wish you´d done this/that/the other when it´s too late - because this sort of thing does happen.
From Nicki / Posted: 15/03/2011
Don´t take any chances. It happens. Take any steps you can to protect you and your children. I´ve not seen my daughter for 8 months now and its a huge fight.
From AC / Posted: 23/03/2011
Since when did a child need ´protecting´ from one parent or the other [except of course in cases where abuse is evident]?

Isn´t the ´protecting´ parent not committing a crime by withholding a child from its other parent?

This is how the wars begin in the first place. Thereafter there is only one path - the path to suspicion, accusations and ´protection´ in the name of ´protecting´ "your" child.

Does anyone ever contemplate what the parent without their child goes through?
From Nicki / Posted: 11/04/2011
Children unfortunately do need protecting from parents who think it´s ok to take them abroad and away from their mother and siblings. In my case just to be bitter because he is being investigated by social services and the police and blames me for that. I didn´t say anything about witholding the child from the other parent...
And yes I know exactly what it feels like to have my child taken away from me. That´s what has happened in my case. You can take precautions and protect your child without breaking contact. I wish I had had suspicions like the opening poster did, and had taken steps and then I wouldn´t have spent 8 months with zero contact with my daughter, worried sick where she is and whether she is safe, and had had 15 court appearances over 2 countries to date. Despite charges pending here to do with neglect, abduction and some photos found of s sensitive nature of my daughter, no one seems to be getting a move on with her return or even checking she is safe.

I would do anything I could to protect my child.
From katrina / Posted: 16/04/2011
oh nicki.. ur story and so many of the stories are heartbreaking and touching. having had my childrens father take them away.. I really feel for everyone. What u must be going through dear.

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