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British mother in Maldives trying to get her child to the UK but Maldivian dad says no

by Distressed mother / Posted 09/10/2012 / Updated 04/01/2013


I am a British citizen, once married to a Maldivian in 2005. I was granted a divorce in Maldives courts in March 2012 after a 1.5 year battle. My problem is I have a 6 year old daughter with my ex-husband and we are all still living in Maldives.

The courts granted ´equal sharing´ of our daughter to both parents on alternate days. Terribly unsettling for my daughter. My lawyer here in Maldives has told me that if i attempt full custody i will most probably loose and my daughter could go to her father altogether as i have since remarried and this is seen to be a huge negative factor. My current husband has 2 children of his own from a previous marriage, and all of them get along so well as of the same age. Unfortunately my ex-husband, probably through jealously that i am finally happy in a new life, is painting me out to be a bad mother who harasses and harms her child! I am just so fed up with it all.

My problem is, since i originally approached my husband for a divorce in February 2010, he snatched my daughters passports away from me (both British and Maldivian passports) and he has refused to let me travel with her since. 2.5 years have passed since then with him denying me the chance to go on holiday to see family with her in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter. It is so heartbreaking for all of my family.

I would like to point out that my daughter was born in UK in 2006 and we moved to Maldives in 2009 when she was 2.5 years old. In order for me to be granted with the divorce, the court told me that i can not leave the country with my daughter without the fathers consent. Of course, out of spite he is never going to let this happen and has told me she cannot leave the country with me until she is 18!! That is 12 years away, not to mention the 2.5 years i have already had to painfully have to put up not travelling with her. It just feels like a prison sentence to me and i just feel trapped and helpless. I just don´t know what to do.

Can anybody tell me if they have experienced a similar situation? All i want to do is go back to the UK with her on a vacation during her school holidays once or twice a year. My lawyer here has told me that even a court order is not possible in Maldives if the father still does not permit to let her travel. It just seems to be a no-win situation for me and that i will be under the control of my ex-husband forever - that´s exactly what he wants, to feel that he still has power over me and it drives me insane!

I would be grateful for any help or advise anyone can give me.

Many thanks

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