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Children's order- the dc are against it

(12 Posts)
lavenderhoney Mon 22-Feb-16 07:04:26

My exdh insisted on a court order to take the dc abroad to see his family. He has 4 weeks access a year, lives abroad ( not in the same country as his family) this is due to begin Easter. The DC (8 and 6) don't want to go at all, and are venemently opposed for various reasons. I have remained neutral and encouraging but not dismissive of their opinions, unlike ex dh.

At what age can they decide not to go? Ds is admanant he won't get on the plane, dd cries about it. And do I have to let them go? im also worried he won't bring them back and instead take them to his country of residence which is outside The Hague convention, but I can't prove he might attempt this.

Ex dh had them over Christmas but refused to have them overnight, except for Christmas to Boxing Day at his hotel but he dropped them back unannounced Christmas Day as he'd had enough and they wanted to come home. He knows they don't want to go and says I should lie to them about how great it will be. I don't know what to do.

lighteningirl Mon 22-Feb-16 07:10:58

You should be working really hard to reinforce the relationship at that age you are their main influence. I would be jollying them along and telling them they will love it, a relationship with their father and his family is important unless he is cruel or abusive. My dc would rather have been with me moaned about going to their dad's but they had to go as I was setting up my own business and quite frankly I needed the time, Now they have a great relationship with him because that stage passed. I am not saying your ex will step up and become a great dad but your dc deserve the chance to give him that chance. You may not believe it but you are the biggest influence here.

wannabestressfree Mon 22-Feb-16 07:13:09

I agree with lightening.

lavenderhoney Mon 22-Feb-16 07:21:41

I am encouraging - he speaks to the DC once a month maybe and the DC have had no relationship with his family ever- they aren't interested despite my trying and the language barrier.

It distresses me to see the DC so worried and upset, ( his brother threatened me and them last year, and attempted to remove the DC) which ex dh pretends didn't happen and tells the DC they are liars - they get very frustrated with him.

I would like them to have a nice time with their df, but their wants and needs are not of a priority to him. I assume when the DC are older he won't be able to force them to do things they don't want to.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 22-Feb-16 07:28:38

It will be years before anyone takes notice of their wishes, at least until 11.

If you think he's going to take them to a place you can't bring them back from can you take steps to prevent this? Does the court order not say 'France only' ? If he took them to Dubai and it said France only surely the govt would intervene?

What does your solicitor say?

ToffeePenny Mon 22-Feb-16 07:38:14

Get legal advice if you have any concerns he may try an abduction - non-Hague countries are almost impossible to deal with if you are only supported by a custodial order in one country so you would need a second order there awarding you custody (made and dated before he could apply for one) and in some countries this is impossible for a foreigner. I would also look for legal advice in the country they are holidaying in, to see what is possible to prevent him from taking them out of the country (other than home to yours). Is there any chance you could take them there and pick them up so your exdh does not ever have possession of their passports?

The previous posters are right in principle, you should encourage their relationships with the rest of the family as this is very important to your children's lives and sense of self, but do not ignore your own gut feelings. I saw three cases of fathers taking their children to live in their home country growing up (expat brat) and the only mother successful in getting them back within less than 3 years was an American lady (and only then because the father was stupid enough to take a holiday to Vegas where the US authorities caught up with him).

lavenderhoney Mon 22-Feb-16 10:51:52

Yes the orders got it all locked down but he could go anywhere with them in reality. He is elated he will finally get his hands on their passports.

I don't have a solicitor anymore as I can't afford it, and this has always been a worry anyway which is why the order is explicitly worded. I suppose I'll just have to trust he won't try anything.

bibliomania Mon 22-Feb-16 17:06:20

If you think abduction is a real risk, there is some good advice on www.reunite.org. They have a helpline and a forum.

titchy Mon 22-Feb-16 17:13:51

No experience whatsoever but is it possible for the country he has permission to take them to to issue an all ports alert so their passports would be flagged if he tried to exit that country for a non-Hague one? The embassy might help.

lavenderhoney Mon 22-Feb-16 17:48:25

Thanks - Ive filled in the reunite forms already (!) under the guise of playing spies and taking fingerprints, distinguishing marks etc. I'm hoping I'm just paranoid but we are in court a week or so before over finances so it couldn't be worse timing. Ex is very hot headed and once suggested we " take a DC each" shock

Familylawsolicitor Tue 23-Feb-16 00:09:44

Did you raise concerns about him taking the children to a non Hague country in court or did you agree to this order? You don't have to prove he will take them just that it is a reasonable concern and the courts should take concerns as to removal to a non Hague country extremely seriously as it can be virtually impossible to recover children once gone.
There should be tight safeguards in place such as a financial bond in this country and mirror orders depending on which country you fear that he will take them to.
Get legal advice prompto and before he goes if you think there is any chance of this. It will be too late if he does not return them.
Get advice from a London solicitor who deals with child abduction cases weekly not a provincial solicitor who might do a few over their career. Reunite have a list online - PM me for recommendations

lavenderhoney Tue 23-Feb-16 03:24:26

I can't prove that it's a concern I suppose, just that he might do something like that. I don't know. I doubt it most if the time then I worry he might. I didn't know about bonds and things. He has London lawyers.

I can't afford legal advice at all. I'm self representing.

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