Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.
DH controlling behaviour overseas - what are my options?(15 Posts)
I have not posted before but read regularly I am not a troll etc. I am living overseas and am really desperate for some help / moral support. We were living in Lincolnshire until this year, now living near DHs parents (retired expats whom have never really approved of me). I was a SAHM and really happy back home near my family. I basically did everything for the DCs right from the word go, whilst DH did next to nothing (despite a lot of requests)and basically got away with it for years. DCs were never close to DH and his family extremely close to my family etc.
We moved closer to DHs family for financial reasons. As soon as we arrived in the village, it was as though DH transformed into some kind of psycho in an instant and became a mouthpiece for his disapproving family. He started accusing me of being responsible for everything he considers to be wrong in our lives and keeps saying that I have failed as a parent because (variously) I never went back to work/ never let him smack the DCs/ breastfed/ stuck to routines for meals and bedtimes/ encouraged the DCs educationally. He says my bad parenting is entirely to blame for DC2s behavioural issues even though all I ever did was seek out information, resources and help and loads of people back home thought otherwise. I could go on.
He told the Dcs that my educational input has been worthless as I have failed to educate them in the school of life. As a result, the DCs have been shunning me and resisting even a 15 min reading session. for the first time ever, they are openly saying that they "hate" me and do not want to go out with me. They try to push me away when we go out as a family saying that they only want DH. DH is really milking it and taking them out for hours at a time without even asking me or telling me where they are going. This can happen several times a day. It has got to the point that as soon as I make a phonecall back home, I see him getting their shoes ready and ushering them out. His mother has been dropping massive hints that she does not want me around saying things like "let her go wherever she likes if she can`t cope living in our village, we shall look after the DCs here and there are always the school holidays for her to come and visit".
Yesterday DH says that his feeling towards me are ambivalent and that he stopped caring as soon as I reported him for small-scale DV a few years ago. This being despite the fact that he was completely in the wrong and I had him taken off the hook by withdrawing the allegation. He said that he only stayed for the DCs even though he would not even get off his backside to take them anywhere, teach them anything or even interact with thjem.
I am just so desperately sad and spend more and more of the day crying in an empty home to which I do not even have the key not knowing what he is doing with my precious children (and their minds) and wondering if they really hate me all of a sudden (and if so, why) and whether they will come round or i will end up being driven out by myself.
I want to take them back home but he has pushed all sorts of forms under my nose to sign in a foreign language to strengthen their residency here (even though they are British and we have not been here that long). Also, I no longer have a house (my parents cannot keep us for other reasons, I could rent i suppose. I am worried he would somehow remove them from the UK unless there was something I could do to prevent this; he has behaved terribly towards them for a while prior to adopting this Mr Nice Guy act.
I cant believe that this is happening to me. I am so much more effective as a parent than he is, yet he is discrediting me on every score. I dont know what to do with myself. There is no guarantee that he will drop his act or they will see through it. And he has so many people who would support him here regardless of his incompetence.
Just come home? You are all British aren't you? Just come back if so
well DCs and I are British, he is not. He did something stupid in the UK which is really why we left in the first place but it cant really get more unpleasant than it is atm. I cannot bear the thought of living like this until DCs are adults. I honestly think it would finish me off.
Did something stupid? So he's from the country you are in?
Terrible situation. Do you have passports and money?
Yes - I have both - I even have a window of opportunity soon when he is going abroad. I am a bit worried about outing myself in RL wrt what he has done that is stupid - it was something to do with his road rage with dcs in the car and someone reporting it re this although it did not go beyond that and I feel that it was malicious rather than grounded in genuine concerns.
I have just spoken to my parents and tried to explain to them that I cannot carry on compromising with a bully because it is rapidly looking as though I will have nothing left by the end of it.
When he's away, just get on a plane with your DCs and come home. Get them back here and go from there. Good luck.
sorry but the advice you have been given is not good legal advice. you state that you have been living abroad for some of this year - you are therefore probably resident in that country as are your DC - your nationalities are irrelevant. this means that the courts of whereever you are living probably have the right to decide where the DC should live and with whom. if you return to England you may well find yourself on the receiving end of an application under the Hague Convention on the Abduction of Children - there are defences under Article 13 but they are very difficult to prove in reality. you may also be committing a criminal offence in the country from which you are leaving.
in addition, if you are in an EU country [save for Denmark], the Brussels II Revised Convention also applies which means that the English courts would return the DCs within a very short time to the other country so that the courts of that country can rule on their welfare. you need to take very specialised advice asap as to your position - have a look at the reunite website which has a list of specialist solicitors both in England and also abroad - good luck
thanks - it has not been that long - back in the uk we wer expected to come back - what is the cut off point? maybe i could still make it?
Thanks for the support - today he was mentioning something about getting social security cards made up for the DCs to his mother. I asked him about it later and he said that it was just in case they need medicines etc - However, he never mentioned anything about having one made up for me and he knows we all have EHICs
Do not just up sticks and get in a plane, the British courts will look very poorly on that.
You need to speak to a local solicitor about the rights you have to remove the children from the country, but first you really need to access local support. There will be somewhere a women's service, an immigrant women's service. There will be someone in your husbands country who will give a shit about you, you just need to find them.
Probably one of the best things your family in the UK can do at the moment is help you find a solicitor locally, and use the internet to tap into the local women's support network. They can also look at sending prepaid credit cards to help you with cash, that will not be noticed by your husband- train tickets to the solicitors, that kind of stuff.
There are people, experienced people, good people in your husbands country who understand what you are going through, who can help you navigate the local system, who are set up to help women in your situation, who will believe and understand you. You need to find them.
Start simple, google something like "women's service" "your town/local large city/country" start emailing. Set up a new email address that no-one knows about. Start getting angry, and start making your preparations to leave, just leave legally.
What an awful situation. Seems clear to me you need to get back to the UK with your dcs but babybarrister is right you must get specialist advice to avoid a very nasty situation. Definitely if you can pay for advice from a solicitor as soon as you can.
which country are you in? please go onto the reunite website it has lawyers in UK and abroad who are the most specialised you are going to find
You must not sign any forms they give you what so ever. By signing these forms, you could be surrendering any power to your children you have or something which will restrict you from doing something else. It sounds like this is being set up to try and get you to leave without the children, therefore when they realise this will not work other tactics could be used - so you need to try and sort yourself out asap.
Where are your and your children's passports ? If you have them, keep them on you at all times , in a safe place and do not let anyone know where they are. This also counts for birth certificates if you have them.
Which country are you in? Or which area of the world are you based in - many countries have different laws on whether you can leave with your children or not so this is something else you need to find out.
It sounds like you are not happy in this country, and that it is not good for you to remain there with the children. Have you got money to leave if you have the opportunity ? Do you have family in the UK to help you?
See if you can see a solicitor in the country - go into the main towns and see someone there, away from the village. BabyBarrister is completely right so this is a good way to go about it.
Check out reunite.org for more advice. It does seem your husbands change in character and family behaviour mean that they want you to leave, and the children to stay, so be very careful - look after yourself .
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.