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Ex wants to leave the country with our children

(36 Posts)
Lucielocket42 Mon 24-Nov-14 22:38:58

We split 3 yrs ago, we stayed in the same apartment for 1 year until he finally gave his permission for me to leave Sweden with our children and go home to my family after months of emotional tourment and putting up with his drunken nights out and his aggressive behaviour towards me and the kids.
He made a fuss a few months later because he couldn't afford to pay to come over very often and pay to stay in hotels so I made a deal with him that he could stay in my home providing he kept to an agreement of a visit once a month and stuck to it. Then in January I met someone and then it got difficult I had to give up my bed to him and stay with my partner as sofa wasn't any Good for sleeping on, come back next day and spend time with them etc but then he got comfortable and wanted me out of the way completely so I tried to give home more space. In the summer him and his mother had paid for us all to go on a family holiday although we erent together we thought we could manage it, up until the holiday we had an understanding that we never say anything negative or horrible about each other to the kids, now they spent the whole holiday interfering and not so much as letting me talk to them or tell them what to do, I hated it and there was so much disloyalty going on that my opinion has changed.
Their father went to Borneo after and the visited end of October, announcing that he wants to take them for Christmas the whole week and every other year, I said no I don't want to spend Christmas without the kids and that he was welcome to come and spend Christmas here like last year, now he has warmed to the idea, he announces that he will come 23-27th Dec and take them to Sweden for 8 days after.
I don't trust him he's already planned it with his mum, he didn't ask just told me, when is said no he said you have to I have rights. My children are 5&9yrs they don't want to go and my youngest won't last two days without me and he doesn't really know them. Plus he does dumb things like let my 9 yr old take her sister to the local shop so I don't trust him either.
I'm wondering what my rights are do I automatically have sole custody as we have been in the UK for over 2 yrs, they still have Swedish passports. Can he take them, what if I agreed and he never brought them back? I think they are too young is my argument, when they are older I will let them go with him but now is not the time.

Please any advice, can I get anything set in stone with a lawyer? What would you do?

KristinaM Mon 24-Nov-14 23:15:13

I would see a lawyer .

TywysogesGymraeg Mon 24-Nov-14 23:17:58

He's their Dad. Surely he has the right to take them to meet their family? How would you feel if the tables were turned?

EssexMummy123 Mon 24-Nov-14 23:18:57

Hide their passports and see a lawyer

NeedABumChangeNotANameChange Tue 25-Nov-14 00:18:32

He is their father. He should get half the Christmases(?) Is he a good father? Their relationship shouldn't suffer just because you and he don't like each other. And yeah most fathers would fight to not have their children removed to another country!

textingdisaster Tue 25-Nov-14 00:23:40

after months of emotional tourment and putting up with his drunken nights out and his aggressive behaviour towards me and the kids.

I guess a lot hinges on this. Is his aggressive behaviour on record and what is he like with your dc now?

VanitasVanitatum Tue 25-Nov-14 00:24:21

The children have rights to see their parents, not the other way round.

If you have genuine concerns about his care of them speak to his mother, she raised him safely so she will maybe be a safe bet to keep an eye on him at first? Have a chat with him and/or the kids about safety, not going off alone etc.

WannaBe Tue 25-Nov-14 00:26:08

he is their father. and yes, your youngest will last without you, it's only a week. He would have parental responsibility in this country and if he wanted to take the children to see his family for a week he could apply to the court for an order to do so and there is no valid reason wy he shouldn't.

Sorry op, but the fact that you are no longer together means that there are times when you will need to accept that the children will spend time away from you and with their father. You took them away from him and now you're complaining that he wants to spend time with them? you are being very unreasonable IMO.

You need to agree a schedule which works best for the children, and I would question why it is that the eldest doesn't want to go, what have you said to him?

They are five and nine not babies. They are perfectly able to spend time with both parents, and under most contact agreements the children would spend alternate christmases/birthdays with each parent. This is life, and you're going to be here for another ten/fifteen years so best get used to it.

EarthDays Tue 25-Nov-14 08:04:58

Did some if you miss the part where OP said he was aggressive towards her and the kids?

WannaBe Tue 25-Nov-14 08:16:41

it depends though what form that aggression takes on? the op is happy to have this man staying in her home while he is here, so clearly they are not at risk.

If the op believes her ex to be a risk to his children then she needs to go to court to get supervised access only. Just claiming that to be the case isn't enough.

jasper Tue 25-Nov-14 08:20:45

he is their father and has as much to see his kids as you.
I am Assuming the aggressive stuff no longer applies as he stays in your home.

diddl Tue 25-Nov-14 08:28:04

When you stayed at your partners, were the kids with you or your ex?

FrancesNiadova Tue 25-Nov-14 08:31:02

Get legal advice quickly.
Have I got this right.. They have Swedish passports & he wants to take them home to Sweden?
What rights would you have, in Sweden, to remove them from their home & family, to come back to the UK to you?
Keep their passports locked away so that they don't go, "missing," & talk to a specialist solicitor ASAP.
Good Luck flowers

DaisyFlowerChain Tue 25-Nov-14 09:14:56

Children are not pawns, they have a right to a relationship with both parents.

Given you lived with him after the split and he was willing to sacrifice frequent contact so you could return home he's not a monster. After he made that huge sacrifice you really begrudge him a few days with his own children and family. He could have made your life very difficult if he had contested the move.

You were adult enough to have children with this man, so now need to live by that decision and let him parent.

slowcoach44 Tue 25-Nov-14 09:59:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TywysogesGymraeg Tue 25-Nov-14 12:29:15

Keep their passports locked away?? *Frances" he's their Dad FGS!!!

The OP originally took the kids away from him. Surely he can have them for Christmas?

PoppyField Tue 25-Nov-14 13:10:29

Get some advice about what would happen if he took them to Sweden and didn't want to bring them back. Sweden is in the EU and am sure it would be a signatory to Hague Convention.

You are obviously worried. I'm not saying you need to be, but I would arm myself with the facts about the worst scenario just to make you feel like you are prepared and possibly reassure yourself.

The charity Reunite - easy to Google - deals with this area and they have a helpline. 0116 2556234. Why don't you have a chat with them if you are worried.

Knowledge is power. You may have to swallow the fact that he has a right to have them for several days at a time and it is healthier for the DCs to support their relationship with their father, unless he is actually unsafe or dangerous. You may feel his mother is a scheming cow, but on the other hand at least there is a supportive family there and they're not just going to be on their own with him. It is actually nice for children to have 'other family' that love them and are interested in them.

It sounds like you have gone out of your way to accommodate him previously. But like you say, not a very permanent solution if you get yourself another partner etc. You can't carry on having joint holidays either - as you found out. This all needs to get sorted out.

There must be a better way of making arrangements for everyone concerned. I think you are having trouble letting them go, and that is natural... but it is just one of those shit things you might just have to accept. That's what goes with being a separated parent. It's horrible but unless you have a really good reason for depriving him of his rights - that is just how it is.

Twinklestein Tue 25-Nov-14 13:33:45

I would be very very careful OP, speak to specialist lawyers in the UK and Sweden (Reunite website should have a list).

If he doesn't bring them back you've got a fuck of a fight in your hands.

ElsieMc Tue 25-Nov-14 14:22:41

Not everyone gets half of all christmases as stated upthread and I speak as an unlucky regular in the family courts. When the court is asked to decide, it decides in the best interests of the child not because someone thinks they should get this or because others do.

I pick up from your thread that your instincts are telling you not to let your children go. Instincts are there for a reason and you say you and the children suffered aggression and drunkeness for twelve months before you managed to come home to the UK with his agreement.

Whilst you are getting the inevitable criticism on the thread, you know your ex partner better than anyone and I think you need to think very carefully about letting him take the children out of the UK for eight days based on his past conduct.

The court forced a holiday abroad upon us and even with the order in place, a letter was sent from the airport demanding extra time whilst they were there. It clearly had already been arranged against the court's wishes. I decided not to make a fuss and get my GS back safe before making my views very clear.

Whilst it is clear you are not against contact in principle and indeed have done your best to facilitate this, I would be tempted to say no and let him take it to court where you can raise your concerns. Any order made would then be actionable should a non-return or late return occur. Check up on the Hague Convention situation.

Just don't let anyone tell you you are being unreasonable when your instincts are telling you otherwise.

WannaBe Tue 25-Nov-14 16:13:05

this is all getting a bit hysterical. The op was the one who left the country taking her children with her and now people are trying to scare the op into thinking that her ex is going to take them away and not bring them back? hmm

And no, I don't believe that mother knows best etc etc the op is saying that her children are too young, that her youngest won't cope without her etc, unless he has some sn that's simply not true - millions of children spend a week at a time with their other parent and they do actually cope, even enjoy it. As a mother none of us like to be separated from our children for any length of time but separation changes things. And separation from a parent who lives in another country makes this doubly more so.

The op is lucky that her ex didn't take legal steps to prevent her from leaving Sweden, but he didn't.

Bogeyface Tue 25-Nov-14 16:25:41

I would be inclined to let it go to court because at the moment it is all "he said/she said" which wont help you if he does start playing silly buggers.

Having it down in a court order will make things much easier if he refuses to return them.

Also, where is he staying when he visits? I think you need to knock it on the head with him staying with you, it further complicates matters.

MimiSunshine Tue 25-Nov-14 16:31:02

I think you're right to be worried but try to keep calm. No way should you be forced out of your bed so your ex can move in for visits so stop that happening again, he can sleep on the sofa or make other arrangements.

With regards to Christmas, I'd be going back to him and suggesting:
A) he comes over for Christmas and no Sweden visit
B) he doesnt come over and you split their school holidays i.e. they fly out just after Christmas to spend a few days with him but they need to be back on X date to get ready for school.

Don't let them travel on their Swedish passports and have written (email) communication of travel details and dates.

springydaffs Tue 25-Nov-14 18:58:45

all this 'he's their dad' shit. Honestly! PC gone barmy. This guy looks to be a significant threat, you can't be wheeling out PC shit when he's threatening to take the kids out of the country. Get real, people.

It doesn't look like he'd bring them back - listen to your gut OP. He has no right to 'announce' he's taking them to another country, there are strict guidelines around this. Get some legal advice - try Rights for Women as a first port of call, who should point you towards specific legal advice for your situation. Not least if Sweden is part of the Hague Convention - even then it can be a rigmaroll to get them back if he does take them. I believe you that your youngest wouldn't last 2 days without you, pay no attention to those who don't.

And stop letting him stay in your house getting cosy and pushing you out of the - your! - nest. You don't have to feel guilty that you have a new partner - ok, don't rub it in his face but don't step back and let him take over. Which it looks like he intends to do.

cestlavielife Tue 25-Nov-14 22:23:14

He is "threatening" to take them to Sweden for eight days.... Hardly the same as abduction.
He regularly spends time. With them in uk.
They are 5 and 9 plenty old enough to spend time away with dad and grandma.
On face of it, doesn't look like op has much of a case but she shod speak to a lawyer....

springydaffs Tue 25-Nov-14 23:26:53

You know these women who are killed by their partners/ex's - 2 a week? The majority very probably didn't think they would be killed. By the same token, the majority of women whose kids are taken by an ex didn't think that would happen.

Don't be daft, he has form for taking over and pushing a deeply inappropriate agenda. He's practically hoisted up a banner that he doesn't intend bringing them back - or at least intends to make you nervous that he won't. In situations like this, the slightest anomaly sends a very clear signal that you can't afford to ignore.

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