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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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Too late for Hague Convention? Daughter taken to Germany from UK and desperate!

by Piers / Posted 01/08/2011 / Updated 01/05/2015

Hello helpful people,
So many sad stories on here and mineīs no different. 20 months ago my German wife packed up and went back to Germany with our 1 and a half yr old daughter. She was pregnant at the time with our second child.

There was no justifiable reason for leaving and I was very against the idea. I told her so on many occasions at the time, orally and by email.

I was advised to bring her back under the Hague Convention but since I loved her and she was pregnant I didnīt feel it was honorable or kind to subject her to court treatment. Those advising me said that if I didnīt I would lose my children and always be at her mercy. I didnīt and they were right.

We are nearly two years on now and I have recently filed for a divorce since I am totally fed up with her unreasonable attitudes. She expects me to pay her maintenance, she wants 75% of the matrimonial home and expects me to pay all contact costs.

Meanwhile, I hardly ever see my daughter and have seen my son only 3 or four times in his one and a bit years.

She blames me entirely, saying if I dont see them then its my fault since I should come over to Germany more often. I run a small business and am mortgaged up to the eyeballs with a massive country family house. Most people know that with the current economic crisis, that is a lot to manage. Not her, apparently.

I am completely at my witīs end. Desperate. Somebody needs to explain or show her that I have a right to have better contact to my children. But I dont know what to do, or how to do it.

If anybody has any words or pointers for me Iīd be very grateful.


From Rebecca / Posted: 13/08/2011
Sorry to hear of your situation, it does sound very hard for you. One of the things I read about to try and keep contact with children separated by distance was to buy two books the same that are age appropriate for the child. You film yourself reading the book, transfer it to dvd and then post one of the books along with the dvd to your child. If the other parent co-operates, they give the book to the child and put the dvd onto the TV and the child can watch you read the story out to them and they follow along looking at the book that they have. When filming yourself, be very animated and show the pages to the camera and point out different pictures or words that you want to bring to your childīs attention. Then, when you speak to them on the phone you can also read some pages to them from the book that you keep with you and get them to read another page back to you (obviously yours are a bit young for that at the moment). Another suggestion was to create a īcollectablesī box, where you send your child a large, colourful box with a lid and every now and then you send them something about what you agree to collect. This could range from postcards/fridge magnets or anything that is small and cheap to post. One parent I knew used to go to lots of concerts so he would send his child the concert ticket along with the latest CD of that particular artist and the child would keep a collection of all the concert tickets his dad had been to and kept a notebook of the dates etc. They then had a similar interest in music to talk about. It is also important to write to your children, send them cards for special occasions, postcards from when you go on holiday and letters about things you have been doing in general. Keep copies of them too. If your wife never passes these on to them and brings the children up making out you donīt care then you have proof that you have tried to keep in touch all along. Parents can control their children to a certain point, but when those children reach their teens they will want answers and will probably actively try to seek out their missing parent. The other obvious matter is to try and visit as often as you can afford to. As they get older try and get your ex to agree to skype or webcam contact. As part of your divorce settlement can you not ask your solicitor to include contact orders which would make it lawful that you have contact with your children as specific times. My ex partner is overseas and we have a court order which means my son can live with me in the UK but has to travel overseas to see his father every year for six weeks. Hope you find some of this helpful.
From Cammie / Posted: 20/09/2011
Whilst I cannot give you any advice as such, I want to offer you my support in your endeavours. As a mother who suffered abductions twice, I can only give you encouragement that you are aware of this website and the assistance Reunite can offer you. I wish I would have known about Reunite back in 1999. The second abduction would never have occurred and the first one would not have dragged out (under Belgian Law) for nearly three years. You seem to be so caring and concerned for your children and that is so comforting to me. My children have none of that - on the contrary. Just be strong and trust in the fact that you CAN win IF you stop being too considerate to "the other parties". I made that mistake for sooooo many years. Remain strong and carry on!

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