He can't see his kids - what to do? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 63 Old 09-08-2009, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
Seie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My BF is an extremely responsible, caring and decent man. I just want to make that perfectly clear before I move on.

The reason I am posting is that he has lost contact with his two children ages 5 and 7.

Their mother is sick and during bad times she would be abusive and controlling. She has effectively prevented him from having contact with the kids after he left her 3 years ago. In the beginning he kept it up - trying to pick them up at school, for visitation like court had ordered but she would just refuse any contact and told school to call her when he tried to pick them up. Court did nothing. Eventually he had so much debt with lawyers while she had all her bills payed for and would just drag the case endlessly. Any contact he tried to make would trigger her to be abusive and hang up the phone if he called or even rip the phone from the kids if they answered. She told him he would never ever see them again. Eventually he gave up - he thought it was better for the kids not to have to witness all that. He felt he has exhausted his options - and it hurt too much I guess.
He sends presents for birthdays and christmas but doesnt even know if the kids get them and if they do if she tells them its from him. When his parents send gifts, they are returned by mail.

The legal system in the country she is staying in doesnt leave him any options and any contact with her is very hard on him emotionally. She knows him very well and will be deliberately hurtful whenever he talks with her.
What should he do? If he writes them letters most likely they wont get them, or she would read through them. Ideas?

(remember its not the US so he really is out of legal options. Even though court has granted him visitation, she just doesnt allow it and the system really doesn't care)

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

Seie is offline  
#2 of 63 Old 09-08-2009, 08:56 AM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,837
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I don't have much advice for now, but what about when your boyfriend sends cards and gifts being mailed so that they have to be signed for, and then your boyfriend will have a reciept, and a statement saying whether she received it or refused to sign for it, as "proof" that he didn't give up on contacting his children. That way, if it comes to him never seeing them again during their childhood (), when they're adults, they will know he tried, so maybe the relationship wouldn't be permanently over?

I wish I had more advice for now, when they're little. I can't imagine how your boyfriend must be feeling.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is offline  
#3 of 63 Old 09-08-2009, 01:15 PM
 
DocsNemesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: I make milk..whats your superpower?
Posts: 3,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I cant really help either. Thats so sad.

Were they in the other country when they split up? Is that where the kids were born? I'm just wondering if there would be any possible way to get the US courts involved.

I'd also be rather worried if she is sick like you say having her have them to begin with. How can he be sure she isnt being abusive? Whether physically or emotionally. I mean, preventing them from seeing their father for no reason other than she's mad is rather extreme. What if they make her mad, will she not let them have food? Will she lock them in their rooms? It'd scare me, to say the least.

I do think sending mail/gifts certified is a good idea. Maybe even taking a pic with the gifts before sending them off as a reminder. I mean, she could be giving them the gifts and saying she bought them, you know? I'd also suggest maybe keeping a journal-something he can write in, saying how he misses them, etc.

Reassure him that their relationship doesnt have to end. I mean, dad's that really do abandon their kids are still often forgiven. Heck, my dad left before I was born and I've met him maybe 4 times in my entire life. I still dont hate him-I dont really have much love for him either, but if he were to show up and say I'm sorry, I'd like to be a father now, I'd welcome him. Your bf has the benefit of showing he tried, he wanted to be there, he sent them things, he missed them. Who knows, they might end up hating their mother for all of this-I know I would.

I hope you can figure something out though.

Cari-mama to Eriq, Lile, Paikea, Kaidyn, and Mieke is here!! 2/9/10
DocsNemesis is offline  
#4 of 63 Old 09-08-2009, 01:25 PM
 
mysticmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 6,183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, what country is she in with the kids, and what country is he in?

hh2.gif

mysticmomma is offline  
#5 of 63 Old 09-08-2009, 01:42 PM
 
Thisbirdwillfly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
...and any contact with her is very hard on him emotionally. She knows him very well and will be deliberately hurtful whenever he talks with her...
Why is this a factor? What could she possibly say to him that would be harder on him emotionally than not seeing his children?
Thisbirdwillfly is offline  
#6 of 63 Old 09-09-2009, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
Seie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Its all so complicated. I would prefer not to get into too much detail in this public setting but will try to answer some of the questions as best I can without giving away too much.

She has a chronic mental illness and is doing ok when medicated. During pregnancies she had to go off meds and abusive behaviour was linked with going off meds. (apart from the part where she refused him contact with the kids - when he left she was back on meds and stable, but very hurt/angry that he left) BF says she was always a loving mother. I know he feels he could do better himself but thats not really an option now.

She is in the UK where they were married and the kids were born. After he gave up on seeing his kids he moved back to his home country (where I also live) - a different european country that is. UK laws are such that because he was earning all the money and she was a SAHM she can get support to pay lawyers -and he cant. And considering a lawyer is easily 500$ an hour then all she really had to do was drag the case endlessly and eventually he was in so much debt he had to let it go. Court already decided for him to have visitation but she just refused - his only option to respond to that was to take her to court again. And the same thing could happen over and over. Also that was not the only court issue she was fighting him on. She also refused to share assets (she is still living in a house that is partially his - and that he payed for) and refused to divorce him and expected him to fight her on those things too. Eventually he felt it was completely hopeless to keep fighting. He knew that once assets were shared she would have to leave the house with the kids and all the money he would get from it would go towards paying lawyers. He felt the kids would be better off being able to grow up in the house rather than her finding some shitty appartment for them to live in and him spending all the money to pay off lawyers. And even after all that he would still have no quarantee that he could see his kids. That would still depend on whether she would let him. So he left it all behind. Including a shared savings account with quite a lot of money in it and the house that he has payed for (in full).

As for what she will say to hurt him - well she does enjoy rubbing it in how he "abandoned his kids". Ofcourse that is not true, but BF being very responsible feels guilty nonetheless.

Right now he is sending the kids presents for birthdays and christmas but apart from that I think he is trying to block it all out. He does keep a picture of them on the wall in his appartment, but only one. He says its too painful to be confronted with it all the time. I think for the same reason he hasnt been writing them letters or the like.

So yes, its a pretty tragic story. And despite all that she has done to him and the kids - he has always spoken respectfully of her - with empathy and compassion. How he does it is beyond my comprehension. :

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

Seie is offline  
#7 of 63 Old 09-09-2009, 07:16 AM
 
tiffani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,886
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How long have you been seeing this guy? I'm not doubting his story, double checking that you are positive his version is accurate... if it is, that's really sad, and I would think that there must be some way for him to address the issues without paying a super expensive lawyer -- is there really no other way to report non-compliance than to go back to court with lawyers?

this sounds like a sad situation all around -- she is obviously really hurt and unstable, and the kids are suffering (as well as your BF)... I don't have any answers, but maybe he can find a way to continue to fight for visitation if he really wants to be a part of their lives.

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

tiffani is offline  
#8 of 63 Old 09-09-2009, 10:59 AM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,304
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel for you, watching someone you love go through this. My husband was in a very similar situation - here in the US - and for years, our courts didn't care, either. Ultimately, he got just the right judge who gave him sole custody.

Overall, I will just take your word for it that there's nothing else he can do. I am certainly no expert on European family courts. (Just one thought before I move on from there: My husband was advised by 3 different attorneys there was nothing he could do, either. He also spent all his savings. But he plunged on, sometimes without representation [which eliminates most of the cost]. In any event, your BF should still keep abreast of the laws and the case-law, rather than deciding to give up forever, no matter what. He may learn someday that his kids are being abused and need to try again to intervene, for their sake. How it makes him feel to communicate with his ex shouldn't be a factor. If there's really nothing he can do, that's one thing. But an adult doesn't give up on their kids simply because it's too upsetting to try.)

I like a PP's idea of sending things by certified mail, so he can prove to his kids when they're older and independent that he tried. Along the same lines, I'd suggest he keep a journal that he can share with them later, with some of the thoughts and reflections he'd like to share with them, as a parent. It would prove he thinks about them on a regular basis. He should definitely try to reconnect with them as soon as they stop living with their mother - even if they resist at first.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is online now  
#9 of 63 Old 09-09-2009, 02:26 PM
New
 
New's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 70
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post
How long have you been seeing this guy? I'm not doubting his story, double checking that you are positive his version is accurate...


Lots of guys say "she won't let me" to excuse abandoning their kids.
New is offline  
#10 of 63 Old 09-09-2009, 06:21 PM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Honey, I'm in the UK, and I've got a pretty good basic knowledge of the family court system. If I can help in any way, please let me know.

Please, protect yourself and your family and be cautious around this man. From the information you've relayed, it looks like he's either not fully explored all of the legal avenues available to him (is there a language issue there?) or he hasn't been entirely honest with you. He seems particularly vague on what the requirements for divorce are, and generally, the first step for a parent to see their kid is a contact order. This can be enforced with a police warrant where necessary, which is not an agonisingly expensive procedure.

In particular, I'd be very careful about sharing finances with him- I just can't see any way that you'd be able to own a house here outright and be that concerned about the cost of a solicitor, because house prices in the UK are astronomical- the average house price is £160,000, just over a quarter of a million dollars. That's a lot of money to walk away from, especially knowing that he may still be liable for child support. As he's still in Europe, I believe the CSA could yet catch up with him. That's 25% of his earnings for two kids, until they turn 19 or leave school.

: Take care, mama. I get the impression that he isn't divorced yet, and most of this stuff will generally be resolved with the decree nisi. Children, money, the works. Until then, take care of yourself, okay?

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
#11 of 63 Old 09-10-2009, 05:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
Seie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was kind of expecting people to be suspicious. It's the general reaction when I - or he - tell the story.

I left a verbally abusive partner whom I'd been with for 7 years. I am EXTREMELY aware of any kind of red flags. Nothing in the world makes me more suspicious then someone putting the responsibility on someone else - disregarding their own responsibility - or playing victim or hero. He has never ever done any of that. He even blames himself more than he should. I cannot tell you how almost breathable his pain is when it comes to these things. And yes - he actually is a guy who will walk away from a 400.000$ house because he honestly believes his children are better off this way. As mentioned - yes he could spend his part of the house value on lawyers, but that would mean the kids would have to move out and into a smaller place with their mom and he likes to know where they are and that they have a good place to grow up. He doesnt want to take that away from them and throw it after lawyers. He did what he felt was in their best interest - knowing that she would never rest on the figthing.

He is not the aggressive fighting type person. I know how guilty he sometimes feels for not wanting to, but that is part of why I love him.

He doesnt think the kids are suffering being with their mother. According to him she is a good mother - only he does know that her preventing them from having contact with him obviously isn't such a great idea and he feels horrible thinking how they may feel about that later on. Getting a contact order - he already has one of those but she just prevents the visits or contat to happen. And then he needs to take her back to court. So the law says he can see his kids - but noone was enforcing that law. I researched it and it seems there are some additions to that law that have taken effect from 2008. Its possible he doesnt know about that. I'll tell him. He may want to check that out further.

Oh and ofcourse he is paying childsupport. He is not a person to walk away from responsibility! Especially for his kids. He will take care of them any way he can - and not being able to see them he feels the best way he can take care of them is by leaving her with the house and the savings.

What is a decree nici? I was kind of wondering about what will happen as yes, legally they are still married (even that she wanted to fight him over) and legally he is still the owner of half the house and half the savings. I believe you can have an automatic divorce after 5 years or something? Not sure how it works though. I do know that right now he is still paying almost all of his earnings (and he has a good salary) in debt that he acquired paying for lawyers.
I know for a fact that he is not hiding anything from me. For language barriers that is not a problem. He lived his entire adult life there (14 years) and is highly intelligent. We've been together 9 months and dont live together yet.

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

Seie is offline  
#12 of 63 Old 09-10-2009, 09:31 AM
 
SleeplessMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
From my reading of the Economist, divorce laws vary greatly by country in the EU. Since husband resides in one country, wife in another, there is a CHOICE, maybe, of where a divorce takes place. Basically the husband can choose the best country to file in, and the custody order will be enforced by the UK.

My advice? Stay away from married men. Not living together is a good thing right now.
SleeplessMommy is offline  
#13 of 63 Old 09-10-2009, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
Seie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SleeplessMommy View Post

My advice? Stay away from married men. Not living together is a good thing right now.
Sorry can't do Im utterly and completely in love with him And since he feels the same way about me then.. He hasn't even seen her for three years. In my world that counts as a divorce. (I only left my ex 18 months ago - who would I be to judge him?) We've discussed all this and we both feel that we belong together. This guys is - as good as they get. Promise

I didnt know he could do anything from here legally speaking. Do you know anything more about that? That's interesting.

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

Seie is offline  
#14 of 63 Old 09-10-2009, 02:01 PM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Based on our experience, where he files is irrelevant because any court with any sense will look at the file, see that there are children involved and send it off to the children's local court who knows the services available.

The decree nisi is the first step of the divorce and is followed by a decree absolute six weeks later, which is done more or less automatically. With the nisi, there should include a statement of financial arrangements and a statement of arrangements for the children. So, for instance, they could agree that the home remains in joint names until the youngest child turns 19, at which point it is to be sold and the value split 50/50, and that could be stipulated in court. There's other options in here, y'know?

I read your second answer, and I'm still telling you to be careful, honey. Just in case. Watch your back.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
#15 of 63 Old 09-10-2009, 06:50 PM
 
tiffani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,886
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can't really see why he wouldn't keep fighting this -- surely if the mother isn't abiding by the court ordered visitation, that wouldn't be a lengthy or complicated matter for the courts -- I would think he could even represent himself. I understand what crippling debt feels like, but I'm sure the courts there are reasonable enough to see what is going on, if in fact it is as he says it is... I really hope for your sake that he is who he appears to be, and that you have a wonderful life together, WITH his kids as a part of that life...

best of luck!!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

tiffani is offline  
#16 of 63 Old 09-10-2009, 07:43 PM
 
orangefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oxfordshire UK
Posts: 3,091
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I divorced my ex-husband and applied for a residence order I filed papers here in the UK and they were served on him in Mexico. I had to supply every address I knew of where the papers could be sent and he would be given them. It took him 5 months to get himself back here to sort it out and they waited until he arrived.

I can't see why it should be any different the other way round. If a contact order is already in place then he has every right to go back to the court (in writing if not in person) and they should enforce the order.

The courts here ordered that I should meet my ex at a police station to hand the children over and collect them so that there should be no intimidation in his part when he saw me. It didn't always work but at least they were trying to find a solution.

If he backs away from an existing contact order he can go for another one but risks the court wondering why he didn't pursue the old one. If he has all the paperwork from previous proceedings it isn't hard to go back to court.

I too would be wary of anyone who has not persisted with contact with their children. IME I only had hassle from my ex when he had a new girlfriend who thought that it was outrageous that he didn't see his children. This happened twice and once I was dragged through the whole court palaver again, the other time I had him following the children home from school and then banging on my door.

I'm sorry to say that you sound exactly like those women who pushed my ex to 'fight again' without knowing exactly why I had left him in the first place.

Left to his own devices he really couldn't give a monkeys about the boys and now we haven't seen him or heard from him for 4 years. I'm sure there is another girl out there somewhere who will pop up and tell him he has rights and he should be seeing the children........
orangefoot is offline  
#17 of 63 Old 09-11-2009, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
Seie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I give up. Some of you are obviously determined to believe that he must have done something wrong. If you aren't willing to take my word for it that he is not "one of those men" and that I am not "one of those women" I wont waste my time trying to convince you.

I would still like constructive inputs. But back off the suspicious attitude please.

For the divorce issue then I bet that's all very simple if both agree to be divorced, but since she didnt it's a whole other story. It's simply another thing to fight over.

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

Seie is offline  
#18 of 63 Old 09-11-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Teenytoona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3,904
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post
I can't really see why he wouldn't keep fighting this -- surely if the mother isn't abiding by the court ordered visitation, that wouldn't be a lengthy or complicated matter for the courts -- I would think he could even represent himself. I understand what crippling debt feels like, but I'm sure the courts there are reasonable enough to see what is going on, if in fact it is as he says it is... I really hope for your sake that he is who he appears to be, and that you have a wonderful life together, WITH his kids as a part of that life...

best of luck!!

You'd be surprised. I'd like to think that's the case, but life's opened my eyes a bit. There are alot of things that seem to anyone who'd "have common sense" that have to be duked out in courts and end up being "not such a big deal" to the right judge, or technicalitied away by a ruthless lawyer.

signature currently in transition
Teenytoona is offline  
#19 of 63 Old 09-11-2009, 12:07 PM
 
dubfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: In My Urban Garden
Posts: 2,180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seie View Post
I give up. Some of you are obviously determined to believe that he must have done something wrong. If you aren't willing to take my word for it that he is not "one of those men" and that I am not "one of those women" I wont waste my time trying to convince you.

I would still like constructive inputs. But back off the suspicious attitude please.

For the divorce issue then I bet that's all very simple if both agree to be divorced, but since she didnt it's a whole other story. It's simply another thing to fight over.
Well, you say that he has only ONE picture of his kids, and he doesn't write them letters or talk to them on the phone. It sounds to me like he is choosing this, not the other way around. I know that isn't what he is telling *you* but that is exactly what it sounds like. There is nothing, NOTHING that would stop me from writing/calling my kids. That is not normal behavior for an 'involved' parent.
dubfam is offline  
#20 of 63 Old 09-11-2009, 12:15 PM
 
dubfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: In My Urban Garden
Posts: 2,180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seie View Post
Sorry can't do Im utterly and completely in love with him And since he feels the same way about me then.. He hasn't even seen her for three years. In my world that counts as a divorce. (I only left my ex 18 months ago - who would I be to judge him?) We've discussed all this and we both feel that we belong together. This guys is - as good as they get. Promise

I didnt know he could do anything from here legally speaking. Do you know anything more about that? That's interesting.
If he wants to see his children then why isn't *HE* the one researching to find out what he needs to do to make that happen? That is what isn't making sense to me. I'm sorry but it doesn't sound like he is doing everything he can to see his kids.

I am not saying that to be hurtful. It comes across plain as day in the things that you posted. Any advice you get here are things that your boyfriend has had YEARS to figure out if he was interested. You should really be careful. Especially since you haven't heard the other side of the story.
dubfam is offline  
#21 of 63 Old 09-11-2009, 12:31 PM
 
the_lissa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 13,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
Well, you say that he has only ONE picture of his kids, and he doesn't write them letters or talk to them on the phone. It sounds to me like he is choosing this, not the other way around. I know that isn't what he is telling *you* but that is exactly what it sounds like. There is nothing, NOTHING that would stop me from writing/calling my kids. That is not normal behavior for an 'involved' parent.
Yes he clearly abandoned his kids, and it boggles the mind if one can't see that. I can see how this relationship will play out down the road.

Jam 7, Peanut Butter 5, and Bread 2.

the_lissa is offline  
#22 of 63 Old 09-11-2009, 12:54 PM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seie View Post
For the divorce issue then I bet that's all very simple if both agree to be divorced, but since she didnt it's a whole other story. It's simply another thing to fight over.
No. That's the point. He puts in the form saying that he wants to be divorced from her on grounds of unreasonable behaviour. Give five reasons. She can either say yes, she agrees to the divorce, or no, she contests. If this happens, the judge then looks at the paperwork and decides whether to grant the divorce anyhow (I was told this happens 90% of the time or more, the fact that your DP has a contact order in place WILL inform the judge's decision.) Did he even file?
For more info, google Jordan and Peter Andre, they just did this. The absolute worst case scenario is waiting five years for separation without mutual consent, and if it's been three years since he last saw her, he must be getting close to that point now.

Honestly, the system is not as difficult to navigate as you are being told.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
#23 of 63 Old 09-12-2009, 01:58 PM
 
McFeelings's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
To the original poster, I think you would be well advised to replace the phrase "he can't" with "he isn't willing." Your partner isn't willing to go through the legal hoops and/or expense to finalize his divorce. He isn't willing right now to remove his kids from their home. He isn't willing to battle with the mom over visitation. He isn't willing to go broke to fight a legal battle. I'm not saying this to demonize him...just to make it clear that he IS making choices here.

Your role as his girlfriend is to either accept his unwillingness to change this situation or to help him surmount the obstacles to his willingness. You can provide the funds so he doesn't go bankrupt. You can help him rebuild his self esteem. But in the end, he may just be unwilling to go through the emotional rollercoaster of a custody battle or even just the rollercoaster of joint parenting. These aren't small matters and your boyfriend isn't necessarily evil for not wanting to push the issue.

But sooner or later he will need to address the consequences of his choices. The kids will ask where he was all those years. Any kids you have together will wonder why they don't see their brothers and sisters. Other people will judge you without knowing all the facts. Life marches on but things don't disappear. Even if he just writes letters and calls that is something. If letters are returned, save them so one day when the child is an adult they can have them.

There's always two sides to the story but you will make yourself crazy if you don't accept that your boyfriend is making choices that have resulted in this situation--he isn't the innocent bystander who has no options.
McFeelings is offline  
#24 of 63 Old 09-12-2009, 05:03 PM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,304
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Seie,

I don't have time to read all posts, so sorry if this is redundant.

My husband, too, received a lot of flack from people who assumed that if there's a court order for visitation, the only reason a man wouldn't exercise it is if he doesn't care to. And I can assure everyone that even where the letter of the law says visitation orders are enforceable, sometimes they still are not enforced - by the courts or by law enforcement officials. Sometimes even when the orders and laws are clear about a father's rights, school officials either won't bother to read the orders (or won't understand them) and will follow the instructions of the mother, who tells them to defy the orders and keep dad from school or keep him from picking up the child after school, for visitation. In some cases, even the school system attorney will support the confused school officials and will not advise them on what the orders mean and tell them to follow them. These things have happened in my own family, even though my husband does not shirk confrontation and conflict and is the most relentless s.o.b. in the world, if he thinks he's right and someone's keeping him away from his beloved child. So, I understand your frustration.

I also understand a father not forcing his ex to sell the marital residence so the kids don't have to move or downsize. Surely other people get that? But especially since he still has part ownership, there's no reason for him to forego an arrangement that would give him a fair share of the proceeds whenever Mom decides to sell or the kids grow up and move out.

Having been in your shoes, let me strenuously say two things, now that I've read a little more about your situation:

1- I agree with you that if a couple have been split up for several years, it is not the end of the world for either of them to begin a new relationship, or for someone to get involved with one of them...IF they are actively involved in divorce proceedings. When the courts allow a divorce to drag on for years and years because judges won't enforce their own orders and allow endless continuances, I don't think it's fair to expect that neither party will find someone new in the interim. But if this guy has decided - for whatever reason, be it financial or practical - not to pursue a divorce, then you are asking for a mess for yourself and your children, getting involved with him. If he wants a new wife, he needs to COMMIT to not being married to his old one. If he's not sure, then what can he offer you? Indefinite limbo. You don't need that, with 3 little kids in tow.

2- If children have 2 loving parents who both want relationships with them, if Parent A intentionally blocks the kids' contact and involvement with Parent B - and especially if A encourages the kids and other influential people in their life to believe that B "abandoned" the kids, doesn't want a relationship, or is too "bad" to parent them - that. is. child. abuse. Even if your BF's ex is sweet to the kids while they're around her, it is screwing them up to think that their father can get used to living without them. Kids want and deserve to think their parents would scale mountains to avoid being torn apart from them. Several of your comments suggest that your BF may have some additional options open to him and his failure to fight for his parental rights might have more to do with him not liking to fight and his ability to disregard how his ex is harming his children by denying them a relationship with him. IF that is true - if he just doesn't want to fight anymore, if it's just too upsetting to him to have to confront his ex - then shame on him and you need a better step-dad for your kids.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is online now  
#25 of 63 Old 09-12-2009, 05:16 PM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,304
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Speaking of redundancy...I do not know how my posts sometimes show up twice. Sorry!!!

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is online now  
#26 of 63 Old 09-12-2009, 11:50 PM
 
SunShineSally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: In the land of NO punctuation.!,?':
Posts: 2,970
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Seie,

I remember you started to see your boyfriend about a few months after my stbdh and I got together! You were asking when is the right time to have him meet the DC! I am happy to see that you two are still together! I have no advice as I am in the US but still wanted to say Hi and that I am happy that you finally found someone to treat you right isn't it wonderful : I am sorry he is being denied contact with his children and hope that you two figure something out so he can see them

Glenn bouncy.gif 11*09 Joe 4*04 peace.gif Me praying.gif & Hubby geek.gif

 

Quote:
 

 

SunShineSally is offline  
#27 of 63 Old 09-13-2009, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
Seie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Goodness. Im speachless and that dont happen often.
On one hand I feel I should defend myself - and him - from the very wrong assumptions that have come up here. But really it isn't worth it. Could the responses here just stop please. Or could a moderator please delete the whole thing. I feel many responses are deliberately hurtful and very far from my original request.
As for his choices I know exactly what choices he has made and I support them. The reason I posted here in the first place was in order to be able to do that. I was not asking about your opinions about him or his choices. I have my own opinion about all that - and I am in quite a better place to have opinions about what he did or didn't do than anyone here so I am not going to debate that.
Goodness!

ETA: There really are a lot of assumptions - incorrect ones - in the posts above. Assumptions about what he told me, assumptions about his motives, assumptions about the legal steps he took or didnt take, assumptions about me. Those who like to label him (or me for that matter) and judge him only know a tiny fragment of the information I have. I dont blindly trust a man. Sure I checked his stories. What do you think Im stupid? I did my homework and I kind of assumed you would take my word that I did.

Thanks for the caring responses I have also gotten. I realise many of you do mean well and I appreciate that.

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

Seie is offline  
#28 of 63 Old 09-13-2009, 09:03 PM
 
orangefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oxfordshire UK
Posts: 3,091
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry mama but you asked this question in a forum where almost all of us have BTDT with ex partners who we thought were OK for the first few month/years we were together but eventually realised were not what they first seemed to be.

This informs the kind of responses you get to this kind of question and our concern for you comes from a place of concern not meanness.

My ex is very charming and lovely but he is also a serial abuser and I don't want to think about how many more children he may have now or how many other women he has treated in the way he treated me.
orangefoot is offline  
#29 of 63 Old 09-14-2009, 04:23 PM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,642
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yup. That. I'd rather you hated me for warning you now when your escape routes are still open, you don't have kids together and your kids don't think of him as dad than two, three, five years down the line when the shit hits the fan.

You're asking what you can do to help. What you can do is to get him to get that divorce finalised and legal, with a proper statement of arrangements for the children and financial arrangements settled, with all relevant court orders for the kids in place. Then build on that once you know the paperwork is in line.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
#30 of 63 Old 09-21-2009, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
Seie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I dont know if I even dare open this up again. I request anyone who answers to be respectful - if you can't be respectful of my choices or my BFs choices please dont reply here. I dont need people judging me or him. The situation is hard enough as it is now.

I have had a very long talk with BF about all the above. I have taken your concerns seriously and have brought them up with him. I too assumed some options he could have chosen - such as fighting to have the house sold and use that money to pay lawyers and court fees. Well that is not an option as in the UK the wife usually gets to stay in the house at least till the kids are grown up. My BF already went to court a lot of times to resolve divorce, costudy etc.
He as mentioned before did get an order saying he could see his kids every other weekend. But she would do whatever to make sure he didn't. He would inform court and they sent out a warning and that happened several times. She didn't agree to the divorce - he tried to get divorce on grounds of unreasonable behavior - after he did this she stopped all contact he had with the kids. His company went bancrupt and he build up a debt that he will have to pay off for the next ten years - half of his salary. And the case was no closer to an end. At this point the bank wouldnt loan him anymore money. Even IF he could somehow come up woth the money and continue to fight there would be no guarantee that she would comply with visitation (she had told him she would never ever let him see them again) Even his lawyer (who would have made a lot of money if he had been able to keep at it) adviced him to quit.
After that he kept paying mortgage on the house (now payed in full) and he kept paying childsupport - and is as mentioned still paying childsupport.

I know on paper it looks easy but in real life things are quite a lot different. Even now to have a divorce seems pretty impossible. If she still contests (and she will just to spite him) it will have to be brought to trial again and he will have to pay expenses - not just for a lawyer but also all court fees.

I know the thought many of you will have is - he could be just telling you all this, dont trust him. But so far every single thing he has told me and I have double checked has proven true. He has never spoken badly about his ex. He always talk about her respectfully and fairly. A red flag to me would be if it was all badmouthing. But it is very far from it. He keeps his story down to facts and stays on his own court. I have no reason whatsoever not to trust him.
Just this responce to a question about contested divorce confirms the information I have from my BF. Contested divorce UKGoogle contested divorce UK to find out more. I have told him I expect him to try when he reaches the 5 year mark sometime come spring, but honestly - I want a life with him and if we are to start over - maybe get a little house or something - then he can't aquire even more debt. If I thought it would mean he would be able to see his kids, I would encourage him to go through the mill all over again. But from the information I have from him and his family (he has a great family - very responsible, sweet people) and from the stuff I have researched online about the UK court system in cases regarding custody and divorce, I dont belive he stands a snowballs chance in hell against her, so I trust the decisions he has made so far. But it sucks. For him more than me.

ETA: And to correct another misunderstanding then no, he doesn't just have one picture of his kids. He only has one UP. The rest are packed away for reasons mentioned earlier. Ofcourse he keeps drawings, pictures - all that stuff. It should go without saying.

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

Seie is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off