My feed

to access all these features

Find financial and money saving discussions including debt and pension chat on our Money forum.

Money matters

What should I do......... long, apols

39 replies

ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 08:27

I divorced my husband when he was unfaithful to me when our fourth (planned!) child was months old. He was very unhappy about being divorced but did come with me to France to help me settle the children in. All went ok for the first year or so.

Then he discovered the joys of batchelorhood - wine women and song, big time. And stopped paying child support or seeing/contacting the kids. He would ring me to boast of his latest conquest(s) but not ask or want to talk to the kids....When I remarried the calls calmed down; there had been weeks when he would ring daily, sometimes very late at night.

When I filled in my French tax return I stated that I had received no child support. To support this I had to press charges against him, see a judge, engage a lawyer etc etc.

The wheels of French justice have turned now and the final decision is that it is too difficult to get money from him and that, and I quote " he is not not paying child support intentionally!!" WTF? Oh, and because he said he couldn't afford a translator, the statement was considered to be legally not of good standing. The UK refused to co operate "against a British citizen". To stop me having a claim against him, he gleefully gave up work and told me this was why he was doing so.

He is living in Portugal with a girlfriend, in a smart Algarve appartment. He is a trustafarian and has over a dozen houses in the north of England from which he receives a revenue. I understand that he has started up a business in Portugal. He drives a new four by four and has a top of the range BMW motor bike. The last time he was here he spent his time with the children dragging them round clothes shops, frantically buying presents for his girlfriend.

He has not seen the children since 2002. He has not paid child support since then. He says it is my fault that he does not see the kids as he cannot afford a hotel room in Bordeaux and I am obviously uncaring as if I really wanted him to see his children, I would offer him a room in my house.

He owes about £20,000 in unpaid child support and is laughing, having pissed on us from a great height. He says if I hadn't divorced him, life would be hunky dory for all of us, so again, it is my fault he does not pay a penny towards their care.

What can/should I do? France has been a dead loss. Do I find a Portuguese/French speaking lawyer? UK lawyer living in Portugal? Portuguese lawyer here in Bordeaux?

Please, does anyone have any ideas. It is all so unfair.

OP posts:
ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 13:43


OP posts:
Blackduck · 20/03/2006 13:49

ggg - sorry no ideas (but sure someone on MN will have) just wanted to offer support (is the book published yet BTW?)

ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 14:06

thanks Blackduck - yes, am hangin gon in there waiting for someone to have a brilliant idea as to where to go from here.

As for the book, am also hanging on in there, waiting for something/anything to happen. Wink

OP posts:
Blackduck · 20/03/2006 14:13

I take it you have finished it? Is it a publisher issue?

Re ex dh - how come men can be such a*seholes? They seem to think punishing the partner by withholdig from their children is so clever...(got a friend whose husband refuses to pay maintenance, and is pleading poverty despite the fact he's bought a new house and a top of the range BMW)

ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 14:16

Yes, BD - have a fandabbydoozy agent and it went to the London book fair a few weeks ago so here's hoping...

And yup, - can't some parents be arseholes. when you walk up the aisle holding that tasteful bouquet, you never imagine in a million years that it will all end in tears.

OP posts:
meowmix · 20/03/2006 14:18

could you try talking to your MEP about it? won't be able to do anything direct but as its cross-border he might have advice?

Blackduck · 20/03/2006 14:19

its called? (or is that top secret!?)

ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 14:19

I'm in France Miaowmix.... but thank you and any other ideas very welcome!

OP posts:
ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 14:19

Top secret BDWink

OP posts:
Blackduck · 20/03/2006 14:21

well make sure you make a BIG announcement when its unleashed on your waiting public Grin

edam · 20/03/2006 14:23

No idea re legalities but MEP sounds like a good starting point since is cross-border. Presumably you've tried his parents? Is there anyone from his family or friends you could enlist - godparents? Who would point out to him what a selfish a*se he is and embarrass him?

If he's a trustafarian, is there actually a trust, and what are the terms - maybe it has clauses about his own children? Worth contacting his lawyers to find out.

edam · 20/03/2006 14:24

Does he go on friends reunited, or is he in touch with any old schoolfriends? If so, you could embarrass him by posting there. Since you've got sod-all to lose anyway what with the no money, no contact...

Freckle · 20/03/2006 14:24

You seem to have managed fairly well without his support, so is there any purpose to pursuing him now? You could be putting yourself through years of ongoing stress and problems without any guarantee that you'll get anything from him.

Why not just ignore him completely and get on with your lives? Your children will see him for the complete *rse he is when they are old enough.

SaintGeorge · 20/03/2006 14:32

Have been googling like crazy but all I can come up with is REMO (reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders) which the UK, France and Portugal are all signed up to. Not sure if it is of any use since you need to have an agreement in place first.

Some details \link{\on this website}

ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 14:32

Yes, not ignoring the other posts, Freckle - but we have discussed just dropping it but it stuff like I have just heard that the baliffs were round at my old house as he tore up the E111 claim forms that were sent to him in 2001 and point blank refused to reply to the French authorities re the fact that the kids were insured in his name. He gave them my name and address - which really pissed me off as he didn't even have to PAY anything at that stage, jsut sign to say they were insured, and he didnt which means that now they are looking to recover thousands of pounds of charges. Crap like that that he is getting away with and tells my friends in the UK that he does and will keep doing, to make my life difficult. He moved to Portugal and gave up work so that it became nigh impossible to chase him for the money and he leaves mocking messages on my answerphone from far flung beaches to say what a great holiday he and his current gf (s) are having....

He has said to everyone that I will drop it because he is holding all the cards. My dh has taken on full responsibility - parental and financial - for my children and our family. But xh is a tosser who is getting away with it - because he can.

Does that make sense?

OP posts:
ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 14:33

Thank you for that St George - but I think that is the route that the french authorities went down and the UK authorities refused to co operate!

OP posts:
WideWebWitch · 20/03/2006 14:47

Fucking hell, HOW unfair, you're right. Oh I wish I had some good advice but I don't. Is there anyone who has any influence over him? Is there really no legal recourse in the UK, what about the CSA? I know,prob useless but it seems so unfair that he has income and gives you nothing. Bastard.

WideWebWitch · 20/03/2006 14:50

Ooh, he thinks he's holding all the cards, how nice of him to tell friends this. I hope they told him he's being an unreasonable shit. Having skimmed over this I'm veering between saying I think you ought to drop it, as per Freckle's advice (best revenge is living well and all that) and thinking you ought to find a way to embarrsass/shame/force him into paying up.

CountessDracula · 20/03/2006 14:53

Could you contact a pan-european family law firm if such a thing exists?

He sounds like a total arse and IMHO it would be worth writing off £20k just to never have to see the pig again.

ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 14:54

Yeah, WWW. He said that to a friend who he asked to accept his internet shopping parcels for him (he needed a UK address) - stuff to furnish his new love nest. She asked him how he could spend a fortune on himself and his girlie and not a penny on his kids and he said that it was my fault for divorcing him and as he was holding all the cards, it was his way of getting back at me, by making my life as difficult as possible.

Which is why I can't drop it.Sad

OP posts:
Blackduck · 20/03/2006 15:03

ggg I can see the dilemma, but all the time you pursue him he gets the opportunity to p*ss on you from a great height AGAIN. I'd be inclined to say let it go. Don't pursue it and just ignore him as much as possible. You can't let this man continue to have a say in your life..

ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 15:12

The money isn't the issue as such, neither is the revenge. I do feel though that my children have the right to be supported by their own father. It would also remove the financial burden from my dh - even though he carries it willingly (we share financial responsibility for the children) and is not struggling to support us. Why the hell should xh just be able to walk away and leave another man to pick up the slack?

OP posts:
Freckle · 20/03/2006 16:17

I do see why you want to pursue it, but I just feel that he is also getting his revenge on you by forcing you to spend money, time and energy on trying to squeeze a tiny drop out of something which is already dried and shrivelled.

Can you change your phone number so that he can't keep sending you texts, etc.? Block all contact from him so that you are truly free of him. Yes, your children have a right to be supported by their biological father, but they probably don't understand that concept and, by the time they are old enough, probably won't care as they will have no feelings for him as a person anyway. They will have far more respect for your dh who sounds a fantastic person and much more of a father than your ex is capable of being.

Blackduck · 20/03/2006 16:23

I agree with Freckle - the more money, and more importantly time and emotion you spend pursuing him, the more he 'wins'. I totally see where you are coming from and why you feel like you do - and, yes, it isn't bl**dy fair, but why waste another second on the nasty miserable piece of work...

ggglimpopo · 20/03/2006 16:26

Yes, maybe a voodoo doll would be more satisfying and effectiveWink

Unbelievable that I am actually talking about my children's father here.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.