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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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Suspension of contact order

by David / Posted 20/11/2014 / Updated 27/11/2014

Hello everyone,

I desperately need help and I am very grateful for any advice anyone can give me and I will also give advice on the Hague Convention in Spain as I have been through this process.

It has been just under four years since my successful application for the return of my children to Spain under the Hague Convention. My (now ex) wife had taken our children to the U.K. on holiday but refused to bring them back to Spain accusing me of abusing the children and applying for residency of the children in the U.K. She was also pregnant with our third child at the time. This application of residency was unknown to me at the time but fortunately I had contacted the Spanish Authorities who made an application to the Hague Convention which overruled this. My Ex-wife, after receiving the court order, made an appeal via 13(b) of the Hague Convention saying that she and the children were at the risk of returning to an intolerable situation. Despite this, she didnīt give any evidence other than hearsay and letters from family and friends supporting her claim (some of whom I have never met) and was criticised by the Judge at the time for such a lack of evidence (having not reported any abuse to any authority in England or Spain before the court hearing). The Cafcass report was also critical of her (saying there the children may have been coerced in making claims against me in their interviews). Fortunately, the appeal was dismissed and the children were due to return a short period after the birth of our daughter. This verdict was due to the great help I had from Reunite and the solicitors employed by the Spanish Government who were also listed on the Reunite website.

However, things afterwards did not go plain sailing. My ex wife, instead of returning to our (still jointly owned) house on the Costa Blanca or at least staying a short distance away, decided to move to the Costa Del Sol, 500 miles away. I was distraught because I thought I would be able to see the children but now they were several hours away by car!

Naively in the wait between the court verdict and the return of the children I didnīt do anything but wait, imagine my horror at not just this happening but a court summons for divorce proceedings in Malaga. I decided to go and see the children, but I could only see them supervised by my ex wife and her mother (even though I have not been proven guilty of anything) but agreed to it as I had not seen them for over six months. The visit, made by me and my family, was awful and I felt like a criminal - being watched at every moment and having to be careful what I said. I had another visit six weeks later, by which time I had fortunately had my Divorce case transferred back to the Costa Blanca. However, by the time the case had got to the preliminary hearing, it had cost me 20,000 euros, which I was unaware of and I now know that the solicitor had broken Spanish Legal law in doing so - and this nearly broke me financially. Fortunately I found another local solicitor who sorted the rest of the proceedings. Before I was due to go to court, a psychologist was due to interview me, but at the last moment cancelled giving no reason why. She had interviewed my ex wife, our children, even some of her family members, but not me nor my family. In court, she said that she thought the children were better of back in the U.K. as the mother would give them better care (even though she never interviewed me, she only met with me to look at our house but didnīt ask any questions about my relationship with the children). Also in court, my ex wife levelled allegations of abuse against the children again. But this time she said that I beat her as well. Again, these allegations were made without grounds nor evidence. Her mother was also told off by the judge for being evasive under oath and for contradicting herself (whilst she claimed she saw me hitting the children whilst on holiday from the U.K.)again there was no evidence nor any complaints made to police nor social services in either country at any time. Fortunately I was given joint parental responsibility, but the judge thought the children would be better off with the mother in the U.K. especially with a new child. In retrospect it was probably the right decision for the children as I had to work night and day to pay off the debts caused by this situation (and the economic crash), as did my family who lent me a lot of money.

Subsequent visits to the U.K. and bringing our two sons to Spain have been fraught with problems. After dropping off my sons whilst in the U.K. later that night one of my sons ended up in hospital, where I was refused access to see him as I had been once again been accused of abusing him. We were interviewed by Social Services who realised my ex wife was lying, whom told her off but did nothing else (then she asked me for a lift home from social services, which I obviously refused not wanting to be accused again). Each time I see them or ask to see them there are problems, excuses, children being too sick to see me, being away at cub camp (when they werenīt) and when bringing over our daughter to Spain and staying in Benidorm (20 miles away), refusing to drop her off and wanting me to use my time with her to drive and pick her up.

Two years after our divorce and I thought things were getting better, I was able to see the children without much bother and I decided to come over to see them at the end of last month (October 2014) for a few days in the school holidays. Everything went great, I had a great time with all the kids and no problem with my ex wifeīs family. I have also talked to them all on the phone every few days until today. But, today I received a letter saying that my ex wife has applied for a suspension of my contact because I had physically assaulted my two sons and neglected my young daughter, during my last visit to the U.K. It also said that because my divorce settlement and custody arrangements had not been officially recognised by Brussels II and that the children had lived in the U.K. for over 12 months, that custody and visitation rights had transferred over to the jurisdiction of the U.K. courts (so that the Spanish court order was not effective anymore).

I am at my whitīs end as I have just recovered from debt financially and now I may have to go back to court again! And again there will be no proof. But I was planning to spend Christmas in Spain with my sons (the first time in five years as they had refused the last few years) and my daughter was of legal age (by Spanish Law) to travel to Spain with me for Easter.

I really need help, I am sick and tired of having to prove my innocence time and again against some of the worst accusations you could level at another person. I will have to look forward to more months of sleepless nights and not eating then again! I love my children but I am fed up with these games and I am fed up with three innocent children being played as pawns. I wish I could make an application of Perjury but I donīt know if this is possible (it would also bankrupt me again and wouldnīt be good for the kids). Her solicitors are making an application on Monday, but I really donīt know what to do. Fight it, clear my name again, then have more allegations against me next year or the year after (and more court costs)? Fight it, and have my kids say I beat them again (like in the last Cafcass interview, which they fortunately didnīt believe), and possibly someone this time does believe them and I do not see them again. What should I do?

Thank you so much for reading this, I hope someone can help.

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