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Can an emmigrating father force his children to visit in Australia?

(9 Posts)
looneymum Fri 09-Oct-09 12:20:40

Hello. I am distraught. I am newly divorced and my ex is soon to emmigrate to Australia. I have two DDs aged 7 and 5. Me and my ex do no communicate other than e-mail. My girls are reluctant to see their father although I have provided him with generous access. His emmigration has been on the cards for some time and particularly the DD1 has said she does not wish to visit him when he goes. I have told her that she does not have to if she doesn't want to. I have now received an e-mail from him, saying I am to expect a solicitors letter and that I am to let the children visit. He says that we should work together to make them visit him. This is the horror of a father who has left us with nominal maintenance and who refused to carry on paying for the private schooling he insisted they have prior to him leaving me. I am beside myself. I have no more money to pay for solicitors to fight this monster and only want the best for my children. If they were happy to go I would support it but should I just ignore their wishes and make them go? xxxx PS He intends to pay for their flights and that he will return to accompany the children or that his mother (who I don't think could manage the flight) would take them to Aus. xx

piscesmoon Fri 09-Oct-09 22:35:41

I don't know the answers but I will bump it up for you. If you can't afford a solicitor I would pop along to the CAB and ask about the legalities.

looneymum Sat 10-Oct-09 23:02:37

Thx Pisces. I do need to go to the CAB. Just thought others might have pearls of wisdom about how I actually stand legally. x

mowbraygirl Sun 11-Oct-09 23:06:24

I presume your DD's have passports and they are in your possession they will need visa's to visit Australia and unless rules have changed a letter from you saying you agree to the girls visit some airlines require this. Also where is DH getting money for airfare if he can only give you nominal maintenance? I am sure the CAB will be able to give you all the answers you require. He hasn't even got to Australia yet and he is instructing his solicitor to write to you that you are to let the children visit him.

looneymum Mon 12-Oct-09 09:04:38

Hi Mowbray. Thanks for posting. I do have the DDs passports (although one will expire soon). I have not received the solicitors letter yet, but think it may ask for my authority to let them travel. Yes, he must be loaded to be able to pay for return tickets for himself and the DDs. I paid the equivalent of a desposit on a house in legal bills to a lawyer to sort out the finances yet my ex got away with paying next to nothing and left me with the mortgage so I am not suprised that he has tons of cash left. I am tortured. My DDs returned from a weekend with their father and his parents, clutching a kangaroo and saying they are now very keen to travel to Aus. I just don't know what to do he has obviously massively influenced them and sold the dream whilst I just want them to be happy and safe. x

savoycabbage Mon 12-Oct-09 09:22:12

I think that I would be rather tempted to tell him that it is fine. Yes, your children can of course come and see him in Australia. It would be a joy for them.

He is going to have to find a house that is bigger than he needs for his everyday needs. Rents are high here in the cities. He is going to have to buy beds and bedding and toys. All of which requires effort as well as cash.

He is going to have to pay for their flights and for a ticket for either you or him to fly with them.

He sounds like a bit of an arse for getting a solicitor's letter etc. before he has even gone. There is quite a possibility that he is doing all of this to spite you or scare the bejeebers out of you - and that when it actually comes to it, it just won't happen. Is he the sort of man who said "right I am going to sort out that garage after work on Friday"?

We moved to Australia in January and my sister's children, who are 6 and 4, wanted to visit almost as soon as we left. She 'deals' with it by saying things like 'but it is Daniel's party next week' or sports day or going to Grandma's or whatever it is. They are still happy to think that they are indeed coming one day, although it probably won't happen for a long time.

itsmeolord Mon 12-Oct-09 09:27:59

Agree with the above poster, agree to it, smile sweetly safe in the knowledge that if it does happen it won't be for a long time yet.

Emigrating is expensive, he won't have the cash to fly the children over plus an adult on return tickets as well as have suitable accomodation for a while yet.

Bucharest Mon 12-Oct-09 09:30:52

As far as I know, the wishes of the children are taken into account wherever possible....If his behaviour in the past has been "reasonable" then it's possible he could take you to court to have the access to the children he wants.....

Try not to get too upset about this before it happens....get legal advice and keep hold of your dd's passports.

looneymum Mon 12-Oct-09 18:06:25

Hi Everyone. Thanks so much for all your pearls of wisdom. Went to the CAB this morning and although I got some helpful handouts, don't feel any further forward. Have got a free appointment with a solicitor and have just heard today from my matrimonial solicitor that he has received a letter from ex's sol with massive demands for the kids to go over for 7 weeks next summer. They have not been away from me for more than 2 weeks at a time so I just don't see how this can be in their best interests. Will await legal advice but by that time I have no doubt ex will have instigated court proceedings to force the issue. He is a bully. xxx

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