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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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where is the light at the end of the tunnel?

by Claire / Posted 28/07/2008 / Updated 04/02/2017

I left my partner a year ago. We live in Germany.
I want to return to my home in New Zealand with our son and am trying to achieve this in a ´fair´ and legal way - by applying for ´leave to remove´ through the German courts. Father is German and strongly opposes the move.
I left my relationship to take our son and me away from his anger & his controlling & manipulative behaviour but, because we still live in the same city and the court process is so slow, my son & I remain exposed to ongoing verbal abuse, harrassment & threats whilst we wait for the court date.
I have no family in Germany, limited language ability, little money & I feel constantly under pressure by my ex. I am afraid and alone. I feel emotionally exausted from this and every day is a struggle.
There are two sides to every story and child abduction is wrong. But being forced to live in fear, to struggle and to beg the court for the chance of a better life for your child and yourself - with little hope of success with the current legal opinions towards the rights of the child - is also wrong!
I can find no legal support to help parents and children in my situation. The best advice I have had here is ´get a backbone´. But as I am sure many of you know, where domestic abuse is concerned, it is not that easy!
So, with the idea of simply taking the law into my own hands and leaving the country totally out of the question, I feel I am forced to remain a victim. In this sense, The Hague Convention is inadvertently in collusion with a perpetrator of domestic violence.
If anyone else is going through or has been through ´´leave to remove´ procedings, I would like to hear from you.
Do all good things come to those that wait?

Responses

From Suzanne / Posted: 11/08/2008
Dear Claire, I was and sadly still am in the same position as you shockingly after having put up with 4 years of harassment, physical and psychology torture and threats and so on from the Italian father of my two sons. Thus also I went patiently through the courts, mainly at the beginning to stop the constant non-conformity of Court Orders by the father. My story is though that all the courts have done is constantly reward the father over the years giving him forever more time with the children, almost as if this will make him behave better.... to tell you the truth they have ignored by pleas, despite once having to go to hospital, and chosen to support the Italian father,discriminating greatly against me, the English mother. All I can say, is that today I am still forced to live in Italy and by asking the courts for permission to "leave to remove" was punished, along obviously with my children, by now seeing them less than the father sees them and my poor sons, who are under 10 years old, have a court regime that any adult would find impossible let alone 2 young children.....we are victims of a lack of backbone by the authorties themselves...I do believe you have more than enough backbone like I believe i do too, otherwise we, in these terrible situations and under such appalling circumstances, would not survive.... as regards to your questions... do all good things.... I am still waiting and in the meantime, it´s a matter of survival. LIke you Claire and so many others, our lives are on hold - for me the Italian authorities and Social services are ruthless, spineless and discrimatory... hopefully in Germany where you are it´ll be another and different story. I hope to God it is. I´m rooting for you and hope that you find the very best solution for you and your son.
From naeema / Posted: 11/08/2008
I am so sorry Claire to hear about your unfortunate circumstances.It took me two years in court to stop my ex from getting permission to take my girls to his home country. I dont know German law but here in the UK you just need to make sure all the abuse is reported and although it is time consuming and mentally exhausting all the abuse is documented and evidence is important to.I kept my faith in god and with support from friends and family carried on fighting. I know you dont have family just keep trying and we will all pray that you succeed in getting justice.
From MM / Posted: 17/03/2009
You have to stay and fight in the courts there. And if you have the ability to find work there then you should. There aren´t many laws favoring parents taking a child away from another parent who wants to be in the child´s life. If he is an abusing partner, as you have said, then document this and approach the court. You said that you feel threatened Can you not get some kind of court order that forbids him being near you. There is no legal support for getting a parent to leave with a child because she has no parent or family in a country. Courts cannot undo decisions that adults make, which is to have children under these circumstances. In the meantime, document the abuse and hopefully you can use it against him. Do not leave the country with the child without his consent, though.
From Molly / Posted: 30/03/2009
I find myself increasingly cowed by my husband, he tells me it´s me - not him. That; I´m a bad mother, horrible wife and put everyone but him and "our family" first. It is becoming increasingly hard for me to stay focused on my job and to keep my temper when all I want to do is pack up and leave and am in fact starting to believe that he is right - that I am all those things he tells me I am. I feel that I should leave him and the kids (in USA) and return to the UK. I know if i do this however that he will never allow them to see me, and will poison them against me. I don´t know what is the hardest, staying where there is no love and no support, he´s managed to get rid of friends, and family is far away, UK for me and other states for him. And I don´t know what is the best thing to do for me and the kids, then theres the Hague Convention, and I can´t just abduct the children. I am seeing a therapist and we are together seeing one as I left him last year and went to a shelter with the kids. That I´m not allowed to forget. I feel that I am going mad!
From lynn / Posted: 07/04/2009
I too applied to the Australian courts to relocate from Australia back home to the UK where we could all live with the help and support for both parents and child. However as the father of my child did not want to go back to the UK my son and I have to remain in Australia. It has been 5 years of hell and my ex is still nasty to my son and I , my son who is 9 cries when he goes to his dads and then cries when he gets home to say he does not want to go. Once his father won the case the CSA payments reduced from $100 per week to $6 per week (3 pounds) The ex is taking me to court for the fifth time to get me to pick and drop his son for contact and to have less time with his son as it does not benefit him $$$$$ anymore. These type of men like to be seen as been the father but are not good fathers at all. My son´s life is a living nightmare and so is mine. If I was back home in the UK with my family and friends the ex would not dare treat us the way he does. However he does it because he can. My son will sleep with me in my bed the night after he has been at his dads. NOW I THINK I KNOW WHAT IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF MY CHILD NOT THE COURTS WHO HAVE NO IDEA OF THE LIFE WE HAVE HERE ON OUR OWN .Its like a prison a prison sentence with no visitors and a life of bullying and manipulation from the ex to my child and myself.Wish i had some words of hope but my experience is more of less the same as yours.I wish everyone all the best we have to be strong but it´s hard some days.....
From Anthea / Posted: 14/05/2009
You are not alone in this horrific boat. Keep strong, easier said than done. I hear you girlfriends. I´m a cut off mum (victim of abusive ex husband). Do what is best for you & your son. Get the social, medical, $ & legal help you both need. In my case the ex husband & in-laws is yet to comply to any legal or moral orders. They’ve got control issues.I was their slave so I cut them off (divorced him when my children & I returned back to Australia from Hong Kong). It was the only way to survive move on & develop a healthier family with hubby #2 while we wait for the return of my son & daughter. Will mandatory therapy help your ex?
Take care.
From Angela / Posted: 02/08/2009
Wow, it´s amazing. I knew that I wasn´t the only one this boat.
Claire, I endured mental and physical abuse during my marriage and left Belgium to return to the USA with my kids. Although my children were born in the States, their place of ´habitual residence´ was Belgium. My Belgian husband used the courts to get the children back to Belgium. Of course, I later returned to Belgium to be closer to my children who are now 8 and 9. I have been living in Belgium now for 3 years this time around and realize that I am pretty much stuck. The verbal and mental abuse from my (ex) husband still continues. The courts have pretty much ruled in his favor so I do not see my kids as often as I like. I am living a hell here in this country and can´t get out. I try to remain strong in appearance, but when I go home I break down and cry. I fear for my mental stability and health.....
From jackie / Posted: 02/08/2009
hey guys go on the research on this page and read the cases on leave to remove these cases will give you hope and the strength to fight whats best for yourself and child. Lynn i received my order to leave Australia and return to the Uk in Feb 2008, you need to apply again as your son is old enough to say what he wants and the courts will do a family report and will lie heavily on the recommendation, my emotional welbeing was a major factor of me being made to remain in Australia and this would be no benifit to my daughter (she was 8 when the report was done). To give you hope i had my order given after only 3 months of the application, get a good lawyer and as much support for yourself and son, Domestic Violence where a fantastic help and support for myself and daughter. Childrens welfare is paramount in these cases and the ability to maintain their welbeing can be increasingly difficult if we are not happy and content in ourselves. We are all capable mothers and we know what is in the best interests of our children we just have to do it legally as being returned to the country we run from can be more harmful to a child. I only say to you all, dont think you have to accept the next mention date is months away, i consistently challenged the time scale the judge wanted to take in my case, this was not benificial to my children, therefore i had 4 mention dates and a trial all within 3 months. My ex is now dragging me through the Australian courts again for custody, but i have the strength to deal with it now im home and have the support of my family and friends. And YES it is like being held hostage in a country where you know noone, the Hague realy does need to put a maximum time limit on leave to remove cases, especially as they agree the childs welfare is paramount.
From Peter / Posted: 03/08/2009
How many women use this excuse to permanently remove their children from loving fathers, to many to count I suspect.

I suggest some of you consider the long term damage that your actions bring to the children, by selfishly destroying their relationships with their fathers
From jackie / Posted: 05/08/2009
Peter
Every case is different and i´m sure no one on this site remove their children from their father unless it was in the best interest of the child. Everything I read is from sincere concerned mothers and father not vindictive parents doing it for pure revenge, however i am sure there are parents out there who have this is mind, I´m certain they would not be on this site if that was the case. It is not ideal for a child to have limited contact with any parent, however surely the safety of the child has to be a priority, whether its physical or emotional abuse.

There is no need for children to lose their relationship with their fathers, orders are agreed to ensure the best contact under the circumstances for the child. Although not always ideal for one of the parents however we didnt have children to then break up the family unit, unfortunately this has happened in all our cases and all has to be done to in the best interest of the child.
You dont go into detail your circumstances, i hope you can resolve your concerns
From Adrian Marsh / Posted: 15/08/2009
Claire
I wish you well with your LTR in Germany & Suzanne your case in Italy.
Claire the dynamics of your parental situation with the father is not healthy for the child. Your partners behaviour needs to be logged correctly & the true level of abuse relayed to the Court.
From Adrian Marsh / Posted: 15/08/2009
Claire & Suzanne
My heart drops when I hear of the abuse & discrimination you feel that you suffer. I am not sceptical at all with wh
at you write about your circumstances. My daughter & I have just had to endure a LTR to Russia. The behaviour of the mother has been deplorable, I have suffered years of false allegations, shown them all to be malicious. Has one Judge described the allegations "easy to make & difficult to rebutt". Behaviour & abuse is not dominated by one gender, there are poor perceptions of this in society has a whole.
From Sean / Posted: 24/08/2009
After reading various articles on the interent and coming across this forum, I have just been given the news that my ex partner wants to move back from the UK to Czech Republic with my son. I´m absolutely heartbroken and cant bear the thought that my son will be taken away. We have been apart for almost two months now, and we mutaually agreed that I would take him every weekend. I just love the times we spend together, and am always devasted when i have to hand him back. His mother now sends me a text saying that she has no support, family or friends in the UK and that should something happen to her she has no-one to fall back on. I have repeatedly acknowledged her concerns and told her that i would still support her the best i can. My next step is basically waiting to hear from her solicitor, after she informed me last night, that two weeks ago she started proceedings. Do i have a leg to stand on should this matter go to court. I am on the birth certificate and do have parental responsibilities. She doesn´t work and has made no attempt to work since January. She had no interest of taking my son to a mother / toddler group due to no-one speaking Czech, although her english is excellent. She want to go back to her mums two bedroom flat, were her brother and mother share a room when she´s over..she sleeps on a sofa bed and my child gets a cot in one of the rooms. I also have a large loving family here in the UK with children around, sunday lunches every week and a great family environment. I´m just really worried that courts dont see this as enough evidence to stop her from taking him away. Any advice would be much appreciated.
From Sharlyn / Posted: 27/08/2009
My Daughter as benn takin to Poland by my Girlfriend,as been 7 week i don´t see her ,am thinking to go there and bring the baby back with me my self the Lawyer tell me to wait 2,3,4,5,6 weeks but nothing as move the baby ask me every day when i go and see her or when she will come back home and i don´t know what to say to the poor think ,i can suffer any more,i had in off of her people sayng u have to bee stronge,i didn´t do anything to let this girl take my baby away from me like this.this is war that a father as to fight for no reason what so ever,i hop for all of us with this problem God would give us Hand
From Claire / Posted: 27/08/2009
Hello everyone.
I have now been through my LTR case, and lost. So, i´d like to share some of my experience with you, a little. Who knows, maybe it helps.
So, firstly, (in response to many of your posts) I´d like to say that in my case, the abuse in my relationship and directed towards our son (both physically & psychologically), WAS documented and WAS confirmed through the psychological report, presented to the court. But, in the end, this did not influence the Judge´s decision at all!
As MM wrote above ´ There aren´t many laws favoring parents taking a child away from another parent who wants to be in the child´s life.´ In my case, because of the way in which reported abuse is handled by the current legal system ,there were none.
What I have learned from this experience is: Primary to the ´best interests of the child´ mandate is the principle that ´a child shall retain a legal right to EQUAL access to both parents´ and this principle overrides pretty much any argument to the contrary. (By which I mean, e.g. even after repeated arrest for Domestic Abuse a parent will be awarded visitation).
In my case this meant that, despite the proof and recognition by the court of an on-going abusive situation and, regardless of my personal difficulties with culture, financial prospects, isolation etc, etc, etc, these arguments count for nothing, and it was ruled in the child´s best interests that we remain in Germany where our son could retain regular contact with his father.
Indeed, the deciding factor in this ruling did not rest on anything I presented to the court, but rather, simply upon the father´s statement that: should I be allowed to leave Germany and return home with my child he would not retain contact with his son. Full stop. End of discussion. For an abusive parent it is that easy.
Because of this, it is important for me to put forward my opinion, here, in this forum. In my opinion and experience, the current legal understanding of the ´best interests of the child mandate in combination with an LTR case, means that Court judges are powerless to protect protective parents; through being legally bound to ensure a child´s right to both parents they simultaneously give a ´green light´ to abusive parents, even going so far as to covertly condone such behavior. This happens despite extensive research into the validity of abuse allegations and despite the factual recognition of the long lasting psychological damage to children and families living within abusive and controlling environments .
Since my own LTR case began I have met scores of women (no Men yet but that doesn´t, of course, make this into a gender thing) in similar situations. Many are battling Hague cases. These are women who have fled abuse only to be returned right back into it - hundreds of thousands in debt!
And it just doesn´t stop! Since losing my own LTR case, in March this year, I have been forced to return to the same judge 3 times, on other custody related issues.
The injustice of it all leaves me speechless.
It has never been my intention to keep my ex from our son, or to drive him out of our son´s life because of my own anger/revenge issues or whatever one may imagine. My motivation was (and still is) to free my family from the intimate cycle of domestic abuse. And, to be able to provide a healthy, safe and happy environment for our son to grow up within. Oh, and of course, a large part of my motivation has been simply a wish to go home! I make no apologies for that! :-)
But the point is, because of the court´s decision in my case I am literally left powerless to protect my own son. I can not protect him from the constant anger & conflict, the manipulation and controlling behavior and from being a witness to the systematic degradation of his mother etc, etc, etc.
For me, (and for other people in this situation) the decision to refuse an LTR case is almost as emotionally painful, unacceptable and damaging as the abuse itself. And it makes me more angry than I imagined possible.
I wish I had the power to demand that the family court reassess the ´best interests of the child´ mandate´. Because I truly believe, in many, many cases they get it wrong!
I wish you all the best of luck with your own journeys.

Take care,
Claire
From Martin RUSHTON / Posted: 18/09/2009
Firstly let me say that I have no doubt that there are some fathers who are malicious parents. There are also some mothers who are malicious parents. On my part, my ex-wife could have written a very similar account to those that I have read above, but I know for a fact that the account would be false.

What is my point? Malicious parents are often devious, sympathy seeking ´victims´ who look to convince the authorities (Courts, schools, social workers etc) of their fictitious plights. The resources that the ´authorities´ need to allocate to get into the middle and get to the bottom of what are the real issues are simply not there.

One thing I can say, again quoting based on my own experience, my ex wife out of nothing more than malice emotionally abused my children to such an extent that I signed for them to relocate back to the UK with her (despite having all of the Court decisions in my favour to say that I did not have to do that). Why did I sign? I signed because I knew she would never stop her malicious campaign and that the legal system is powerless to stop that chinese water torture of emotional abuse. The pain of not being with my children is with me for every minute of every day. Why not relocate to the UK yourself you might say? My response is: the malicious parenting of my ex would continue regardless. All who post on this Forum should be putting their children first. From what I have read, that is most certainly NOT what may are doing.
From David / Posted: 18/09/2009
I have just gone through leave to remove proceedings myself. I have moved to the USA and the court has allowed me to take my daughter from the UK to live in America as this was opposed. It is a long process but my solicitor was very helpful in pointing this out to me. If you need to talk about this further let me know. I hope that you get permission to take your son back to New Zealand.
From june c / Posted: 15/10/2009
please help, my sons girlfriend has taken our first grand daughter to la reunion. she is very unbalanced we have sent an order to return but i have been told she can ignore this any info would be great.
From Dave / Posted: 20/10/2009
Sean - I am in a frighteningly similar situation to you. My ex has recently threatened to remove my children to Ecuador. I´d like to hear from any British fathers who have successfully appealed against a removal request through the courts - what were your circumstances and how did you win the appeal? Thanks.
From BDM / Posted: 01/12/2009
Claire - I am sorry to hear what you are going through as the pain has got to be the same for a mother as it has a father hasn´t it....my wife decided that she didn´t want to be with me anymore when our daughter was a matter of a couple of months old...that was June 2008!...she is emigrating to the states with her family and I have had to fight through the courts to see my daughter now 21 months...I know that if the court makes the decision for them to go then I will not see my daughter very often if at all...this is a very difficult situation and I cannot imagine what it is like in an abusive relationship but our children need both a father and a mother in their lives don´t they....they are the one´s that suffer long term...shouldn´t we as adults try and be the grown up and put the best interest of children first...I hope that you child isn´t affected by this longer term...
From BM / Posted: 04/12/2009
David interested in hearing your story as my ex is looking to take my 21 month old daughter to the US
From Phil / Posted: 23/12/2009
Hello
To all of you .
I too have posted in the past on this site.
We all suffer in this situation and if that is what the partners want to do that is what will happen and nothing one can do stop the other one from behaving badly.
Personally I have to go for my second meeting at the Family Meeting Centre in Spain (on the first visit my ex and daughter did not turn up)again there is nothing to gaurantee that she will attend on the next occasion,but I am expected to travel thousands of miles to keep the appointment,whats more I have been instructed to bring an interpreter with me at my own cost,as I do not speak Spanishm
It seems that the authorities will do anything they can to make the process as difficult as possible,and to make matters worse the staff who are dealing with the case are all young inexperienced staff,whereas my case is as difficult as any of parent alienation.
Comments are welcomed.
From Summer / Posted: 08/03/2010
Dear jackie I am going through LTR proceedings in Australia to return my two children to my home country several years post divorce. There is proven history of domestic violence both during the marriage and post divorce during contact - and now he by his own admission is mentally ill in need of hospitalization. I have given up any thought that my children s father has the capacity to help care for my children and I can´t do this on my own forever. I have been in the process to go home, for now about 16 moths without a judge even assigned to the case as of yet. My ex has done absolutely everything he can to slow the process. Can you pls tell me how you managed to get yours heard so soon??? And what was the final outcome re future contact?? The problem I see is that if the court accepts the existence of abuse and the father cannot have unsupervised contact with the children now - which I can prove - than how do they decide regarding future contact once we are allowed to leave? Anyway, it is on-going and the children are getting older every day. I am legal aided and so my lawyer is not the most aggressive and I do alot of his work for him hence my questions to you or anyone for that matter who knows how the matter can be expedited faster besides the obvious of applying for it. Anyways, like everyone on this site it seems like - has a different story and they are all so sad. I tell all the young ones that I meet - including my daughters - NEVER marry a foreigner - you never know what the future may bring. I have been raising these children on my own for several years now. Its amazing the strength that you have when you don´t have a choice. Any and all advice re Australia re LTR´s is greatly appreciated.
From Rebecca / Posted: 16/03/2010
Hi Summer,
I got a Relocation Order granted so that I could return to the UK from Australia, but this was all down to visa status in the end. I was only ever in Australia on a temp 4 year visa, as way my ex and my son when all our HC was going through the courts. During the process my ex got his permanent visa, but due to our separation I never got mine. My solicitors subpoena´d immigration to court (this was a first for immigration in these circumstances) so the judge could ascertain my rights to remain in Oz if he granted an order for my son to live there. Immigration could not give the judge any assurance I would be granted a visa to permanently remain, so upon that basis I was granted a Relocation Order - the justification behind it being that my British ex partner could return to the UK to live if he wished to see his son regularly. My ex decided to stay in Oz and once the court case was all over immigration cancelled my temp visa anyway and I had to leave or face deportation! In my experience, the women I´ve become friends with from Australia through this forum have been denied Relocation Orders if they have permanent visa´s. My court proceedings were in Adelaide, whereabouts are you?
From elaine / Posted: 21/03/2010
I really feel for you but at least you have your son in your life. Court systems stink. My 2 young sons were returned to their British father in Abu Dhabi with an order for ongoing contact. As the Emirates are outside the Hague Convention then I am stuck. I never see my sons and my contact wiv them is erratic. I miss them like hell and would love at least to be in a situation to fight this but due to circumstances I get no chance. Good luck wiv everything and take care. E x
From Summer / Posted: 31/03/2010
Hi Rebecca Im in Sydney, I actually have citizenship in Aus, but my ex doesn´t know that. I am pretty sure that I will get my LTR though. As time goes on, my ex keeps screwing up his case and its one of those - give´m enough rope situations. Its just a matter of time. Actually I don´t think we will even make it to court because my ex is too much of an idiot to keep it together long enough to impress the court. I think we will settle prior. I have had a couple ´wins´ on the board lately and he will fold soon I think. He isn´t clever but he knows it is not in his best interest for this to go to hearing - I have too much dirt on him. Re your situation - it sounds like it is really frustrating for your son to be away from his Dad. Although at least your home now and you can move forward on your own stomping ground.I have never gotten used to being a away from home. Your son will be able to one day go live in Aus if he chooses and whilst it is hard to see him sad - it is his father that makes the decision and has to answer him when he gets older. Take Care. Summer
From ac / Posted: 22/04/2010
Hi Claire, Millions of people (not sure they should be called this) call themselves parents and haven´t a clue about parenting. They treat a child like a possession, calling children ´my´ children instead of ´our´ children - I have yet, in modern time, to hear of an immaculate conception. Majority of the people on this site are the hard done by ones. Sadly the law is firmly on the side of the abuser and these people never stop to think about the consequences on other, including their own children. The type of abuse you´re getting, if we are to take everything you say as true (sorry for being detached) is not acceptable. And nor should it be acceptable under any circumstance in any way, shape or form. So as everyone says, document each incident for reporting. However, be careful about complaining too often ... people (including judges who normally have the patients of a child themselves) get desensitised and may be less willing to give you a break or see reason. Perhaps meditation can help too cos I´m sure it can´t certainly be emotionally easy with what you´re going through. Thats all I can say in addition to what has already been well documented in the posts above.
From David / Posted: 14/05/2010
Hi,

All the people in this place have concerns. They sound like for the most part people who let their fears drive them. My ex has said some of the same things the women in these postings are saying. My ex felt trapped and secluded from her family. We lived in Melbourne my daughters whole life. She wants to move back to Adelaide to be around her friends and family.. Let´s get real about this. When you have a child and you live somewhere. You don´t just uproot them cos you feel lonely and made decisions in your life that you regret now. It´s about the child and their stability, not you and your friends and family. So many selfish people around it´s not funny. If you think you being around your family is more important that your child their immediate family and having a relationship with their father, then I have to say you´re not really fit to be a parent, cos you´re taking your interests over the kids...

In cases of abuse, fair enough. It´s a different story. But I have to say my experience has been with someone that has acted totally irrational. All I want is for me to watch my daughter grow up, love her and guide her. It makes me angry cos she has claimed a lot of the same things to me about harassment .. If you call trying to arrange for me to see my daughter harassment, then yeah I harass her all the time. Me being calm and trying to do things the right way, got me separated from my daughter, 1 week away from her and she fled no idea or inkling where they are. Contact via e-mail have been pointless, never answers her phone. Doesn´t think I have rights at all, just amazes me every time I think about it. It´s been over a month since I seen you . I love and miss you little magic! I hope you are well :) and I will see you soon.
From Summer / Posted: 09/07/2010
Dear David, I am a mother who has lived in a foreign country for much longer than I should have to. I have moved mountains to keep my children safe from an obviously un-well person (Australian father) - it still took seven years before I could legally withhold contact due to on-going abuse. I have NO idea how in the world your ex is keeping your daughter from you. The Australian courts are soooo on the fathers side. You must know that. Contact her in writing and if she ignores you - make a Application to the Family Court for Contempt of Contact Orders. You don´t need a lawyer. All the information is to your availability. If she has no good reason to hold back contact, she risks going to jail. And the courts take it very serious. Re her taking the child back to Adelaide - if you are involved in the child´s life at all - and you fight her - than she doesnt have a chance in hell of moving I think. BUT if you don´t fight it - well, then you have to deal with whatever she dishes. My children are a bit older now. I know now that there is NO way to ´brain wash´ a child - they all figure it out in the end. They figure it out sooner or later. I know reading these pages, women/men who complain of domestic violence might seem like we are playing victims - but if you allow your ex to make all the decisions for your daughter than you are playing victim as well. Get some advice and stand up for your parental rights - cause god knows - Australia Family Law is totally ´father favored´. Good luck David.
From CAS / Posted: 01/09/2010
My ex husband and I are British nationals and we have a daughter, also a British national she was born in Scotland. We lived in Spain for 18 months before separating when my daughter was 6. I did have a successful business but my Husband contacted most of my clients to tell them that I had ‘stolen’ the company money and ‘run away’ – completely untrue so the business folded and I was unable to support myself financially in Spain any longer

I returned to the UK with my daughter but was forced to return her to Spain after a few weeks.

I did have contact with my daughter for some of the time initially but my husband in the end moved house and changed all his contact numbers. I managed to talk to her at school but in the end my husband put a stop to that (private school and he was paying the bills)

I had no contact with my daughter for 5 months and had not actually seen her for 8 months – My ex worked overseas 4 -5 weeks at a time and my daughter was left with his new girlfriend. I went to Spain to try and find her but they simply disappeared on holiday until I had to return home as I had run out of money.

I got myself a job in the UK and hired a lawyer – My first court hearing took place and the decision was made by the Spanish judge that my daughter should be returned to me in the UK. 6 weeks later I was finally told that I could go and collect her from Spain. This was the first time I had seen her in almost a year.

She ran straight to me and we drove to the airport – as my ex husband had ‘lost’ her passport we managed to get on a flight with her birth certificate.

The final hearing was several months later – during the wait my daughter visited him in Spain – this was part of the court order, what was not part of the order was the telephone contact with her father which I allowed – I bought her her own mobile and also the extended stay in Spain over the summer which again I allowed at my husbands request.

The result of the hearing was that the Judge awarded me a divorce and permanent custody of my daughter with visitation rights for my ex husband. I have told him that I will be flexible to allow longer visits with him during the summer holidays than the judge ordered.

I want my daughter to have a relationship with her father – however his behaviour is disgraceful. He kept her away from me with no contact for the best part of a year whilst he left her with his girlfriend to go to work. It broke my heart – I didn’t even get to speak to her on her birthday.

In return I have allowed telephone contact – something the court did not ask me to do – I also allowed a 5 week visit in Spain in the summer – the court had only ordered she have to go for 3 weeks.

My ex husband refused to give me any notice of when he would collect her at Easter and didn’t give me the details until the day before.

He has now appealed and we have to go through this again......

This is not about what is best for my daughter but more about continuing to have control.. It is so sad when people use children as weapons
From Phil / Posted: 11/10/2010
Hi
As a previous poster on the site I can fully identify with your situation.
I will not bore you with my details but they are very similar to your own.
From vikki / Posted: 24/06/2011
I am shocked although a little bit comforted that I am not alone in this. Is anyone still going through similar things? Mine has been going on for 2years, and am awaiting my appeal, as I was refused transfer of my son to the UK, they have awarded joint custody to the father, and so now both my child and I are devastated, but for the moment, there is nothing that can be done. The Spanish law, and I see other coutnries the same, take preference and protect their own nationals.
From paul / Posted: 17/08/2011
ive recently went through court myself in fighting to get my rites to see my daughter and i got them.I also got a step probation order to stop my ex takn her bk to poland my ex didnt turn up i got my order but ive found out that she is in poland now so am seeking legal advice and the police are on to this now even doh i did everything by the law i seen to be the 1 thats suffering shes done wrong and i feel useless all i can do is hope that the polish authories see sense and send my child back but i dnt hava lot of hope left all i can do is pray i miss her so much please is there any1 that can help me out there????
From Katie / Posted: 22/09/2011
When is the Hague Convention going to be revised? It seems to do very little to protect against genuine abduction... but lots to aid vindictive parents.
From Mag Mc / Posted: 25/02/2012
Courts do not move fast enough when it is the mother who is the abductor. In Italy, a mother was allowed unprotected access to the children after the court appointed psychologist found her to be a psychological danger to her children! When she lost custody, she violated the court decree and kidnapped the kids to Russia.
Now who is protecting them!

 http://bringflorentinekidshome.wordpress.com/
From aj / Posted: 05/03/2012
we should all write these comments into 10 Downing street!!!
From ena / Posted: 23/04/2012
record everything, keep evidence. Be strong.
From Anne / Posted: 27/07/2012
Rebecca - you have given me hope. I am in a similar situation where I now have no legal right to be in the country where I am. This is an avenue i have been reluctant to follow due to my fear that I would be deported but it is now an avenue that I will follow. Thank you so much. Your story has helped.
From Neil Humphrey / Posted: 20/01/2014
You said, "I want to return to MY home in New Zealand with our son", whilst the father and your son are HOME. Your unilateral decision is rightly opposed. The law protects access and contact with the child. Germany was presumably OK, until you decided to end the marriage? Have you thought his "anger" and "controlling", are genuine angst you want to massively reduce his access and contact with his son? Parents need to learn to share, and in this case, it´s better done with you staying in Germany, or going home alone. Why don´t you mediate a binding agreement, which would be grounds for return if you breached it?
From Quenadatedetenga / Posted: 01/05/2015
Every situation is different. In my case I was myself a child taken from an EU country to South America, because my mom realised she could not provide the kind of loving family environment we deserved. I was 8 a didn´t see anything wrong with our life in a rich, western country, until we moved. From that moment I realised we had been totally isolated and that my main identity was "immigrant". Now I had a big strong family and friends that gave me a sense of self, a history, a culture: My place in the world, feeling connected and loved. Not all families are this great, but in my case the benefits of growing up in community was more important that seeing my dad every day. BTW we saw him when ever possible and have a great relationship today.
From Marius / Posted: 12/07/2015
Sorry to tell you that I do not believe your story. After you married him and gave him a child he became violent all of a sudden. You sound exactly like my wife who took my son away from me. You dont understand that a man yes becomes angry when the woman threatens or takes his child away from him. The woman need to learn to deal with this situation and accept that the child belongs to the father too not only hers!!! This is what you dont understand. Go back to him, be a wife, support him and he will become better as well... A child wants to be with father too. DO everything you can to achieve that!!

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