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#1 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been a very long time since I posted anything. You all have been so helpful over the past couple of years and I'm always amazed at the strength of the women here.

 

A little update: My divorce was finalized last spring and my ex husband is still in the Middle East and can't get a visa to the U.S. The judge gave me custody and him visitation with reasonable notice and he is not allowed to take them out of the U.S.

 

He's finally realized that I am not going to change my mind about the divorce. He had various members of his family call and I told them all the same thing, so the message finally got through.

 

My ex is now asking if I would bring the kids to meet him in Mexico since he can't get a visa. I don't want to do this because it seems like it might be pretty easy for him to disappear with them. He's never threatened to take them, but I just have a bad feeling. I've read that Mexico is very slow to respond to international kidnapping, etc.

 

My older son really wants to see him. My youngest doesn't really care ... he was too young when we split up to really have much memory of his father.

 

Am I being too paranoid? Would you risk such a visit?

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#2 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 08:15 AM
 
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it really depends, your intuition about it is the biggest sway of yes or no. you know him and what he is capable of. would he agree to a completely supervised visit?

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#3 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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This is what I plan to buy if the day ever comes that my ds goes to visit my ex without me.

 

http://www.langtoninfo.com/showitem.aspx?isbn=5060188130017

 

I would seriously consider it in the situation you described. It's really expensive but I agree with you that it is a really big risk to be taking.


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#4 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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I wouldn't, but I'm paranoid.


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#5 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 09:29 AM
 
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Does he have to be unsupervised? Couldn't you go and insist on supervised visits?


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#6 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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the key point here is your question. 'am i being too paranoid?' everything depends on this. this is the middle east we are talking about. has all the kidnapping stories, the governments scare bulletins made you scared? or is this a gut thing.

 

because while it might be easy to get your sons away from you at mexico, i am guessing it wont be that easy to take them out of the country without any papers. he would have to forge passports or know the right people to bribe or have the money to live in mexico. does he have enough clout to be able to do that? does he truly love and want his sons to that degree. does he really hate you and would love to watch you suffer even at his cost. is he truly a sociopath?

 

so is it truly your intuition talking or the generalised constant hype you see everywhere that is getting to you?

 

only you can tell.

 

so i dont really know what to tell you. based on your oldest wishes i wish i could make it happen. i like that watchGPS. its a great idea - even at that price. i would make it all supervised visits. 


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#7 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not really sure about him at all; that's the problem. He has problems with substance abuse and mental instability, which make me feel unsafe even though he's never done anything to me. However, he has talked about slapping a previous girlfriend and during our divorce proceedings I found out he'd been arrested for domestic violence with yet another woman. So? I just don't know how to judge the situation.

 

We were in his country for a few months prior to the separation and divorce and there was a lot of family/tribal violence going on and I saw members of his family do things I would have never expected of them in order to maintain family honor and loyalties to their extended tribe. Again, this was radically different than my first stay in his country so I really don't know what to expect of him or his family members.

 

He has a nephew who was raised in the U.S. who has been dropping hints about my ex's possible thinking whenever he calls to check on/talk to his cousins. (The nephew is a grown man with children of his own, so he seems more like an uncle to my kids.) The nephew asked if I thought my ex would try to come over the border and I told him it wouldn't surprise me. He said, "It wouldn't surprise me either." The nephew and my ex's brother came to visit the boys last month and the subject of me allowing the kids to go back to their father's country or moving there with them came up. I said, "No, that won't be happening. When the kids are 18 they can decide if they want to go to their father's country, but I won't send them there and I can't live there." I explained that my ex has copies of all the paperwork explaining his rights under the divorce decree and the nephew said out of the blue, "I don't think he'd hurt you." I hadn't mentioned anything about being afraid of him, so it seemed like a strange thing to say.

 

If we were to go to Mexico, it would definitely be supervised visitation. I wouldn't let him be alone with the kids simply because of his substance abuse and instability. However, I'm not sure I'd feel all that safe myself being with him. I really don't know how his mind is working.

 

Finally, I know it would be hard for him to get out of Mexico with the kids, but it wouldn't be too difficult for him to disappear with them and make it very hard for me to find him.

 

My gut instinct is to say no because of all the weird red flags, but I don't know that it would hold up if he took the matter to court. The reality is he likely will never get a visa to the U.S. and I will not travel to his country and am under no legal obligation to send the kids -- at least as far as the U.S. divorce decree is concerned; his country may/may not recognize the divorce.

 

Thank you for your time and energy on the responses, everyone.

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#8 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 05:24 PM
 
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I'm paranoid too and would not allow it unless you were present for the entire visit.

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#9 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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A court is NOT going to give you a hard time for not wanting to travel out of country (to a place where you are not a citizen and have no rights) so that your children can visit your ex.  Thats why the divorce decree says visitation in the US only.

 

ETA - for your oldest, what about skype?

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#10 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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aaah missgranger i remember you writing about your visit. i thought i'd mention it in my post but didnt.

 

so let me walk with you about the red flags.

 

domestic violence, substance abuse, hitting - doesnt sound like a man capable of running away with kids. at least that's what i think. 

 

seeing stuff his family did. ahh you got to see the inside. remember they have a lot of clout where they are - because of politically leanings and the law. not sure if they could muster the same clout internationally - kwim. what you saw or experienced could happen in any one of those countries from that whole continent. its the underground we asians dont talk about. you'd have to be someone quite big to have that kind of clout that big - so far away from home country. 

 

since you know about the domestic abuse i wouldnt find his cousins' statement that out of place. unless you felt he implied death instead of hurt. 

 

do you have a lawyer? could you ask them? can you find an international lawyer and do a half hour consult. can you call the embassy and find out? can you have a friend go down with you to mexico to be a second pair of eyes. can there be any legal papers signed over this? 

 

i am so sorry you are going thru all this. 

 

are you in touch with any of the local arab groups. could you go and talk to any of them?

 

how about canada? would he be able to get a visa to visit canada? or an european country that is if you can afford the flights. 


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#11 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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No way in hell would I do that.  I'm not trying to be overly cautious either but Mexico is not the safest place right now anyway.  I can't imagine taking that risk.  Why not Canada?

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#12 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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I absolutely would not. You would have to be there with your LOs every single second and not even turn your back for a second. All he'd have to do is grab them and run. I wouldn't risk it. Yes, it sucks for the older one who wants to see his dad, but that's not your fault. Why can't he get a visa anyway, do you know?


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#13 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some answers to some of your questions:

 

1) Why not Canada? He tried to go to Canada a couple years ago (without a visa, thinking he didn't need one), was arrested and deported back to his home country. So, unfortunately, that doesn't seem like a likely option.

 

2) His visa status. He was arrested for DUIs and forging prescriptions in the U.S. when he lived here. I suspect that is why he was refused a visa, but he won't tell me the specific reason he was turned down.

 

3) Skype. They do use a computer and web cam to talk. It's not the same, but at least they can see each other while they talk.

 

4) Arab groups locally. No, I'm not really in touch with any. There's not a big community where we live.

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#14 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missgranger View Post

Some answers to some of your questions:

 

1) Why not Canada? He tried to go to Canada a couple years ago (without a visa, thinking he didn't need one), was arrested and deported back to his home country. So, unfortunately, that doesn't seem like a likely option.

 

2) His visa status. He was arrested for DUIs and forging prescriptions in the U.S. when he lived here. I suspect that is why he was refused a visa, but he won't tell me the specific reason he was turned down.

 

3) Skype. They do use a computer and web cam to talk. It's not the same, but at least they can see each other while they talk.

 

4) Arab groups locally. No, I'm not really in touch with any. There's not a big community where we live.


When you see things like this in black and white, you wonder how your judgment could ever lapse that much. That's why I don't trust my instincts about him or anything involving him at this point.

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#15 of 25 Old 12-23-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missgranger View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by missgranger View Post

Some answers to some of your questions:

 

1) Why not Canada? He tried to go to Canada a couple years ago (without a visa, thinking he didn't need one), was arrested and deported back to his home country. So, unfortunately, that doesn't seem like a likely option.

 

2) His visa status. He was arrested for DUIs and forging prescriptions in the U.S. when he lived here. I suspect that is why he was refused a visa, but he won't tell me the specific reason he was turned down.

 

3) Skype. They do use a computer and web cam to talk. It's not the same, but at least they can see each other while they talk.

 

4) Arab groups locally. No, I'm not really in touch with any. There's not a big community where we live.


When you see things like this in black and white, you wonder how your judgment could ever lapse that much. That's why I don't trust my instincts about him or anything involving him at this point.


I know EXACTLY what you mean by that. You look back and think, "What on earth was I thinking?!" I understand completely. I'm pretty much in a similar situation right now. When I actually look at some basic facts about him "in black and white" it's amazing to me just how badly my judgement lapsed, as you said. So I take that to mean that I shouldn't trust myself to trust him. I think it might be a good idea if you do the same. I know it's such a simple thing to say but, honestly..."better safe than sorry."

 

It's his fault that he can't get a visa. Not yours, not your childrens'. His, completely. How old is your older DS? Do you think he's old enough to understand? You don't have to give details...just some basic, "Daddy made some mistakes and because of that he's not allowed to come back to the US for a while and we don't know when he'll be able to." 

 

But I would not take the chance...it's his fault that he can't come into the states and you shouldn't have to risk things because of that. Sure, he may not at all be the type to run off with them, but you don't want to find out the hard way, ya know? 

 

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#16 of 25 Old 12-24-2010, 04:28 AM
 
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No, no, no, no no.

 


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#17 of 25 Old 12-24-2010, 07:34 AM
 
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Mexico?? No way.

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#18 of 25 Old 12-24-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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What about Canada? If he can get a visa to Mexico, he's likely to be able to go to Canada as well and it's much more US friendly. DO NOT give him your children's passports under ANY condition. If you are staying in Canada, he will be unable to leave the country with them if he doesn't have the passports. Can someone from your family go with you?
 

I wouldn't risk it either. Any way you guys can set up Skype or something so DS can see his dad somehow? And what's the problem with the visa? People from the middle east are able to come into the country - it just takes time.

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#19 of 25 Old 12-24-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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No. No. No. Trust your gut, and No. 

 


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#20 of 25 Old 12-25-2010, 08:22 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't do this, not in a million years.  If I recall correctly, didn't he have friends/classmates living in Mexico? I wouldn't trust him not to enlist those folks in an attempt to kidnap your DCs.

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#21 of 25 Old 12-25-2010, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, everyone. I just needed to hear from others not involved in the situation to see if my reaction was normal or seemed overly paranoid.

 

Speaking of Skype, he was talking to the kids yesterday and kept asking if they wanted to come see him and then would follow up with, "well, talk to Mommy," making me the bad guy when I say "No."

 

Again, I just want to thank everyone for the support and good advice over the past couple of years. You're a wonderful group!

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#22 of 25 Old 12-25-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missgranger View Post

Thank you, everyone. I just needed to hear from others not involved in the situation to see if my reaction was normal or seemed overly paranoid.

 

Speaking of Skype, he was talking to the kids yesterday and kept asking if they wanted to come see him and then would follow up with, "well, talk to Mommy," making me the bad guy when I say "No."

 

Again, I just want to thank everyone for the support and good advice over the past couple of years. You're a wonderful group!

 

You're welcome! I love this group of ladies as well. :)

 

On the note of what he said on Skype...if it were me, I would write a nice email (or whatever form you use to communicate most) and tell him directly that under NO circumstances is he to play that "mommy's the bad guy" game with that again. The custody agreement says that he is not supposed to take them out of the states. So how does that make you the bad parent? You're just following the agreement. He's the one who made mistakes that make him unable to come into the US. If you *were* to meet him in another country, he should have to pay for that (therefore it's not a matter of "talk to mommy"). I would let him know that either he stops playing those games, which HURT the children and only the children, or you won't be doing skype anymore.

 

But, you know, that's just me. :) Best of luck, mama!
 


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#23 of 25 Old 12-26-2010, 05:13 AM
 
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"..if it were me, I would write a nice email (or whatever form you use to communicate most) and tell him directly that under NO circumstances is he to play that "mommy's the bad guy" game with that again. The custody agreement says that he is not supposed to take them out of the states. So how does that make you the bad parent? You're just following the agreement. He's the one who made mistakes that make him unable to come into the US."

 

Seriously. If he pushes that I would want to tell the children something age appropriate but honest. At some point when they are older maybe, they deserve to know that the court won't let him take them out of the country, and won't let him IN.  It would be so tempting to say something like "daddy isn't allowed to come back because he did something wrong, isn't that sad? You must miss him so much" I suppose that would be too much for small children though....but it's something to consider if he keeps it up.


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#24 of 25 Old 12-26-2010, 07:38 AM
 
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I am going to assume that his country of origin is NOT a signatory of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. And as such is under no obligation to recognize the validity of and much less enforce your US custody order.

 

I am also going to assume that if he or his family has the clout in his country of origin that was alluded to in this thread, that it would most likely be a fairly simple (or rather easy enough to actually do it) matter to obtain passports (and citizenship, of course) for the kids from his country of origin.

 

Last assumption: it would be possible for him to get court orders in his country of origin giving him full custody of the children.

 

In this case (assumptions true or become true), he could very easily get the kids out of Mexico traveling on non-US passports with a non-US custody order. Easily. And once back in his country of origin with the kids, you would have virtually NO recourse if the courts in the country of origin do not recognize your US court order. Which they wouldn't, having already issued their own orders and not being in a Hague Convention country. 

 

Then, you'd have a costly and pretty much hopeless battle on your hands in a foreign country, foreign court system, somewhere where your ex and his family have political clout. Where I'm assuming that "due process" has a rather fuzzy/flexible definition compared to what we are used to in the developed West.

 

There's your (almost) worst case scenario. 

 

It comes down to how much you trust him.

 

I think you've mentioned enough real read flags given the legal nightmare that could ensue without too much of a stretch of the imagination to say "Hell NO" to your question. And have that not be paranoia.

 

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#25 of 25 Old 12-26-2010, 10:26 PM
 
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I think I would tell him that the next time he scapegoats you for him being unable to see him the Skype communications will end for a while.  That is NOT cool!

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