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Urgent help please - kids on holiday with dad in another country

(52 Posts)
FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 16:16:55

Divorced for 5 years plus. Ex-h has a history of violence towards me and the kids. No violence for a number of years. Volatile relationship with DC1.
Kids FaceTimed me with sunburn earlier. I told them to keep out of the sun. Ex-h tried to get them to go back to the beach and they said no and said I told them not to.
There has been a big argument between my kids, esp DC1 and their dad. According to my kids he tried to throw a tennis ball in the face of DC1.
Kids are very upset, ex-h sent me a very angry message about not interfering in their holiday, I called and he has got very cross with me and now banned all further contact between me and the kids while they are away with him.
Is he allowed to do this? Should I report it?
I thought of maybe giving him until the morning to calm down and be reasonable and then trying to discuss with him again and if still not success, then report.
Are there any rules about blocking contact?
My heart breaks for my kids.

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FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 16:18:38

Should have said, his mother is with them.

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JudithGrimesHat Mon 13-Jul-20 16:20:06

Is his mother more reasonable? Could you talk to her.

If he has a history of violence towards to kids how has he managed to have unsupervised contact? Is it court ordered?

Comeonmommy Mon 13-Jul-20 16:20:11

How old are the children?

FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 16:22:15

@JudithGrimesHat
He went on an anti aggression course and that was enough.

@Comeonmommy
The kids are 8 and 11.

His mum is an enabler so I doubt I would have much success with her.

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Mydogisthebestest Mon 13-Jul-20 16:23:54

I’m really sorry but I don’t think there’s much you can do.

Keep a record for your solicitor and see what they say.

At 8 and 11 I think you just need to tell them to put a t shirt and sun cream on.

FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 16:26:28

Thanks for the replies.

It’s not about the sunburn, it’s about the fact that they can not contact me.

Sorry if that wasn’t clear, I am upset too.

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Mydogisthebestest Mon 13-Jul-20 16:28:09

What does your contact order say about contacting when on holiday?

FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 16:32:41

@Mydogisthebestest
We don’t have a contact order. We have a general rule of every other weekend and one day midweek the kids go to him and that’s all. But this is all about to change massively anyway.
DC1 often ends up back at mine when he’s meant to be at his dads due to an argument with his dad (sort of relevant to this post because that’s one reason why I like him to have his phone with him).

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Freddiefox Mon 13-Jul-20 16:38:09

Does he want an argument? I would ignore for a day, then try to call, give him time to
Calm down. My ex takes great pleasure in ignoring my phone calls when he has dc’s. Gives him a little power over me.

Floralnomad Mon 13-Jul-20 16:40:49

It might sound a tad obvious but if your oldest child doesn’t even manage to stay at their dads for a night or a weekend who thought an actual holiday where there was no option to come home would be a good idea . Where about are they , is it feasible for you to get on a plane and get them home ?

MzHz Mon 13-Jul-20 16:41:56

Report to who? What do you think you can do when they are abroad with your ex and his mother who clearly is cut from same cloth? Is this holiday in a court order?

Ultimately he can do what he wants while he has them, you know this.

Your kids dad is abusive. Always was, always will be. They shouldn’t be left with him. At this age the only option you have is to seek legal advice but it’s unlikely that any contact order will not be changed until the kids are old enough to be heard in court and say they don’t want to go and you can’t force them.

If the court knows he’s been violent to them before and the anti aggression bullshit course was ordered by then, you may be able to take this back to court though, hence the need to take to your solicitor

Have you got proof of the sunburn? Is it bad? It’ll help if you can show he’s not providing safe care

MzHz Mon 13-Jul-20 16:44:04

Just seen your post.

Get them home, get legal advice on what you can do to protect them officially and don’t let them stay or be with them again.

Try not to worry, his mother should provide some level of sanity/protection..

FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 16:49:59

At what age do the courts listen to the kids?

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museumum Mon 13-Jul-20 16:50:20

I can see how this has escalated if they've said to him that 'mum says we are to do x, y, z' when he has made other plans.

Obviously he shouldn't let them get burned and should know they need to stay out of the sun but all he's hearing is you interfering in their holiday.

I know they're young but can they take some responsibility for e.g. putting on plenty of high factor suncream? or saying 'I've got sunburn can i stay in the shade' without mentioning you.
Or would he not let them? If he's so abusive he won't let them look after their own health then that's another matter and one for the courts.

MzHz Mon 13-Jul-20 16:50:25

We’ve had to stop contact between dsd and her m in the past, but this was because the m was deliberately upsetting and goading dsd to get into a state of panic to ruin her time with us and our holiday. It was relentless

Luckily Greek wifi is soooo unreliable.... wink the kids only had iPods at the time so it all stopped and dsd had a really chilled and happy time while away.

That wasn’t the end of it sadly. Some people really are that evil.

You can protect your dc from their dad! You really can! (((Hug)))

sergeilavrov Mon 13-Jul-20 16:52:01

Contact your solicitor, lot the issue - if they fail to make contact after a certain period of time and you feel uncomfortable, you can contact the embassy there and they will likely ask local police to check in as part of a welfare check. That usually scares/annoys people into providing contact. I would also suggest not agreeing to holidays in future on this basis, especially abroad.

MzHz Mon 13-Jul-20 16:52:14

FarquarKumquatsmama

At what age do the courts listen to the kids?

As far as I know it’s 12-13 years up that the courts start to take the dc opinion into account

Again, your solicitor will help. Make sure your lawyer is experienced in dealing with abusers it’ll really help you

labyrinthloafer Mon 13-Jul-20 16:55:36

In future you can refuse to allow them out of the country I believe.

As you have no court order and the eldest is 11 and not wanting to go, it is time for you to take advice. At 11 courts would listen to the child but may not solely leave it up to the child.

spottedbadger Mon 13-Jul-20 16:56:03

He shouldn’t be banning all contact but it sounds like he is reacting to the running commentary between you and the children which must be very intrusive. The children have a right to a relationship with their dad and their dad has a right to enjoy them without interference from you. If there is still a conflict between you and your ex, they pick up on it and use it to their advantage, likely to embellish things, tell them out of context or not tell you things you wouldn’t want to hear (for example, that they are having a nice time - and why wouldn’t they with their dad and grandmother, on the beach!!). Sunburn is not the end of the world, stop egging them on and leave them to it.

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 13-Jul-20 17:00:55

Well you’ve allowed them to go, there’s little you can do while they’re away. At 8 and 11 they’re old enough to put on suncream or put on a T-shirt if he’s not on it. I’m not sure I’d want you calling etc in his shoes, either he’s safe for the kids to be away with or he isn’t - you chose to send them so really I’d leave him to get on with it unless you honestly think they’re in significant danger - in which case I’d be seriously questioning why you let them go.

If your kids don’t want to see him, and there’s no danger to them, there’s a process of assessment to ensure they know and understand the consequences of that decision. Once they are 12 any decision making process would need to demonstrate that their views had been taken into account and given due weight, before then it’s more a matter of judgement of the court.

How long do they still have to go before they’re home?

FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 17:01:36

So you are all going to think this is a massive drip feed but I didn’t want to out myself. I realize you need some further context:

I am not based in the U.K. I am not that great at the language of the country I live in so I’ve never been able to fully understand how the law works (except to know that it does very much favour the dads’ rights - and rightly so in many cases).
I used a solicitor for the divorce but she did not deal with the arrangements for the kids, except a small clause that stipulates agreed amount of contact. She has since retired.

We are both registered a joint decision makers for the kids.

I saw a lawyer a couple of years ago about getting the kids out of the country and he advised me to wait a few years until the kids’ views are taken more into account.

In actual fact, ex-h has given the kids and me permission to leave the country for a fixed period starting next month. As soon as we move (this time to a country where I speak the native language), I will contact an international family law solicitor and take steps to stop this madness.

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AmICrazyorWhat2 Mon 13-Jul-20 17:02:55

This happened to one of my friends when her ex took the DC on holiday. Her DD (then 14) had an allergic reaction, leg swelled up and she was in pain...Dad told her to stop fussing and they went out sight-seeing. In the end, he had to take her to hospital as she was sitting on the ground crying with pain and he was finally embarrassed by all the onlookers coming up to her and trying to help.
She ended up in hospital on a steroid drip. angry

My friend couldn't do anything except keep in touch with her DC. If you're concerned about the sunburn, tell them to cover up and ask them to see if Grandma can buy them some aloe or aftersun cream to apply later.

It's shit, OP. sad

FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 17:03:15

And to all those who said I shouldn’t have let them go, I am really powerless to stop them. I saw a lawyer about stopping them from going on another holiday a few years back and I was advised to let them go.

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FarquarKumquatsmama Mon 13-Jul-20 17:05:17

@AmICrazyorWhat2
That is awful.
Bizarrely, I have a friend here to whom something similar happened.

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