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Any opinions, or knowledge is appreciated.<br><br>
Ok, here's the thing.<br><br>
Divorce date was set for May 14th. Meanwhile, ex decides that he will be gone to the States (we live in Austria, he's American) because he can't find work here, and will be able to work some for his dad in Florida, until June 5th. So, first major change of plans. Hopefully the judge can set a date for sometime in June.<br><br>
Then, I agreed to send the kids - dd 8, ds 5 - over to his parents during July, with him staying here. They would come back and stay with him, in Austria, with me getting the odd weekend or so with them until two weeks before school starts again (they have 9 weeks total summer break), which will be mine with them, alone.<br><br>
He planned on moving to the States sometime in September (again for work reasons).<br><br>
So, not only two days in the States and he calls me to ask to please leave the kids there for 7 weeks (instead of 4, like we agreed). His reasons? He will only come back in June to give up the apartment, sell the car and move back to the States during the summer. Therefore, he will be over there, and not here.<br><br>
He sprung this upon me yesterday afternoon - of course on a Friday no less, with Tuesday being a National holiday - and already is bugging me today to see if I made a decision and is getting all pissy when I say I haven't thought it through all the way yet, that it was a big thing for me to always having to deal with his change of plans (he sticks to nothing for longer than a few days or weeks and always has some major drama accompanying the change of plans), and that I would let him know asap.<br><br>
I don't want to NOT see the kids for that long. And, will I forever now get cheated out of school breaks?! Will I forever be the one who has to do all the everyday life with them with no fun vacation time where we can just goof off for days at a time? I already am the one who's responsible for everything, I already am the 'mean and boring' mom because I always do the things that simply HAVE to get done with them.<br><br>
Oh, and of course he still wants joint custody (not physical). How do you have joint custody across the ocean???<br><br>
I'm really about to lose it. And we were going for an amicable divorce, so no lawyers involved.<br><br>
What would you do? Has anyone had to deal with visitation with a far away ex? How are these things normally done?
 

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I only have a few minutes at most so I'll be brief.<br><br>
Joint legal custody on different continents is no biggie... just keep the distant parent informed and involved in major decisions re: health, religion and education.<br><br>
However, be very very careful about letting the kids go for so long on a visit if your divorce is not final and their place of residence is NOT sanctioned by the court of jurisdiction.<br><br>
Also, if you do let them go without you, make sure you have a legal document specifying that the purpose is a temporary visit and that you have NOT consented to a permanent move. Have the document state the date of their return and who will accompany them on the flight (will you fly over to pick them up (safest option) or will their father return them). Etc.<br><br>
Make sure this document is whatever the Austrian version of notarized is. And signed by BOTH parents before you let them go. Keep an original copy. Also get an English translation, by a court-certified, sworn translator. And an affidavit from both of you that the original and translation are accurate reflections of your agreement.<br><br>
Get a lawyer involved if only for this part, to make sure the documents have the proper phrasing. And, make sure that lawyer has experience in Hague Convention issues.<br><br>
All of this is worst-case-scenario cover you ass stuff just in case he decides after they are in the States that he does not want to send them back.<br><br>
Have you already filed for divorce, as in officially started the proceedings in Austria? Make sure that is done before he leaves, too, if you want to be certain that the court of jurisdiction for your divorce is in your home country. If he files "first" from in the US, you could be required to fly to the US and hire a US lawyer for the divorce... pricy, and risky.<br><br>
The articles on this site (<a href="http://www.international-divorce.com/" target="_blank">http://www.international-divorce.com/</a>) may help some, especially the ones related to "strategic divorce planning", "international child abduction" and "international child custody". There is also an article specifically about Austria here: <a href="http://www.international-divorce.com/d-austria.htm" target="_blank">http://www.international-divorce.com/d-austria.htm</a><br><br>
Don't panic but don't be overly trusting, either.
 

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Ok, I have a few more minutes.<br><br>
My ex and I have joint legal custody. He lives in Europe. I moved back to the US with our daughter after the divorce.<br><br>
He has open visitation at our home (with a scheduling limit of the first half of odd months, with 15 days notice, in case of conflict over visit dates). And 5 weeks "overnights" with her in his country per year (equal to his official number of paid vacation weeks because he has to be able to take care of her and can't while working since she won't have daycare there set up), two every other Christmas and 3 or 5 weeks in July (depending on whether or not it is a Christmas there year).<br><br>
Our divorce agreement states that she will not fly unaccompanied by a parent before she is 15 or 16 (can't remember off hand) and that, unless agreed otherwise, he will fly to the US to pick her up and I will fly to Europe at the end of the visit to pick her up. We are each to pay our own tickets, and split the cost of hers. One of my family members is a travel agent, so we specified that I would be responsible for arranging reservations so that it would be easier to ensure that everyone is on the right flight.<br><br>
This is the first summer she is to visit there (we were officially divorced last July). Since the agreement contains the standard "unless agreed otherwise" clause, this year we have agreed that I would bring her there and stay for the duration, but that they would get time alone and we're going to attempt a week without me. But she's only 4 and a half, so she may not be ready for that. We'll see how it goes.<br><br>
Hope that helps. But, still, be careful to make sure that you have proof that you do not consent to more than a temporary visit away from you and that you do not consent to your children relocating permanently to the US.<br><br>
PS Do you (or does anyone) know how long it takes to establish legal residency in Florida? (Because you would not want to let your kids go for a visit that would allow your Ex to establish legal residency in Florida for the kids until (and perhaps not even after) your divorce and custody arrangements are final, binding, and certified by the court of jurisdiction....
 
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