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Old 20.04.2015, 18:12
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Hague Convention - abuse of

Hello,

Has anyone had any experience of the Hague Convention and Swiss legal/parental/divorce situation with children involved (obviously)?

If anyone has been through, or is going through a similar situation, then I would be grateful for any input on their personal experience/advice.

My ex is a Brit and before I came to CH I was living in UK (on a Brit passport) - where it would be better all round if I returned to - some family support for me & children, roof over our head until we get on our feet, I can get a good job and study again to improve all round living standards to what they were.

My ex has children with 2 other women but rarely makes the effort to see our children - even though I facilitate this constantly (at my cost - should be his according to the divorce doc). He doesn't follow the court agreement on child support payments or visitation.

HOWEVER he will not allow me to leave either!! This should NOT be the case as we could have a much better life than we have been left with since the divorce.

I do not speak anything other then English so jobs are limited (although I do want to work), I do not qualify for any benefits from what I have been told (although I should not even have to be in this position, but I am). I do not have enough money for a lawyer to enforce the visitation he SHOULD have & the money he SHOULD pay. Due to the HC (Hague Convention) I have to stay in CH in a diabolical situation - I have never claimed benefits anywhere in the World nor would I know how to.

I am sure there are people out there that have wanted to leave CH but dur to the Hague Convention are not allowed to do so for the wrong reasons (IME).
Please let me know if you ar ein, have been, or know someone in a similare position. Thanks
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Old 20.04.2015, 18:22
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

Who has custody of the children? You solely or has he claimed joint?
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Old 20.04.2015, 18:34
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

I have sole custody (or as much as it 'translates' into Swiss terms. I DO have to have his consent on a few things health, school etc but still I NEED HIS consent to leave CH with children. I would never stop him seeing his children where ever I lived (he is British and has family in the UK) nor have I ever. He never chooses to see them...so why should I have to be BOUND by the HC (Hague Convention) when he is too busy with his life to his them or pay for them as he should & can?
Why doesn't he just let me go...it is not like I would even want a penny from him IF I left!!! If I can leave, and HE does actually pay anything it will go straight into the childrens account - I don't want a single thing from him (except to leave of course...not to stop him seeing our children...but to be ABLE to continue our lives on the level that he TOO is accustomed too and I am not longer able to for our children).

Surely we deserve to be able to provide a better lives for our children POST divorce???
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Old 20.04.2015, 19:02
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

'Why doesn't he just let me go'

Have you tried asking him that one?
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Old 20.04.2015, 19:37
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

Well you do have some recourse over the maintenance payments.

"If maintenance is not paid


If your ex-husband or wife neglects their maintenance obligations:
  • The cantons provide a free service to help the person entitled to maintenance to recover the payments and can make advanced payments to tide you over until the amount is paid. In most cantons the child protection authority is responsible for this service.
  • In certain circumstances you can apply to the court for a debt recovery order to have the outstanding contribution taken directly from the salary of your ex-husband or wife and transferred to you.
  • If you are owed maintenance payments you can initiate debt recovery proceedings at the credit agency of the person owing contributions.
You can also initiate criminal proceedings against the person who neglects their maintenance obligations even though they were in a position to pay maintenance."

https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce-and-mai...contributions/

As he's not paying up maybe you could go back to the court and point out that you want to leave and go to the UK so that you can support yourself and the children, but your ex is not letting you do this, but also is not providing the necessary support to allow you to do otherwise. Point out that he's effectively ignoring not only you, but his children as well and you see no point in trying to make a life here when it would be much easier for you to do so in the UK. Make your case that the children will be better off there.

"The primary concern is the well-being of the child."
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Old 20.04.2015, 20:00
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

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As he's not paying up maybe you could go back to the court and point out that you want to leave and go to the UK so that you can support yourself and the children, but your ex is not letting you do this, but also is not providing the necessary support to allow you to do otherwise. Point out that he's effectively ignoring not only you, but his children as well and you see no point in trying to make a life here when it would be much easier for you to do so in the UK. Make your case that the children will be better off there.

"The primary concern is the well-being of the child."
I would argue he waves his right for visitation by not paying support and also would not have the write to demand you stay there if he is not paying or visiting the kids. Depending on the age of the kids some young kids do travel between countries to visit their other parent but it seems he isn't interested anyway
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Old 20.04.2015, 20:27
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

And on the other foot, why should a man pay alimony when the ´ex won´t let the guy see his kid, or even on arranged visits, sometimes months in advance, and when he does get to see the kid it´s a case of having him for an hour before he has to do: Homework, go to church, go to sports, getting visitors yadda yadda yadda, or being flatly refused the visit after a 450 Kilometer one way Basel-Augsburg, no chance to telephone unless "She" is standing next to him, not allowed to own a computer or a cell phone.
Ok so this is a rant, sorry but it gets me riled when it´s always the man that is the bad guy, I for one simply refuse to pay a Cent until I can see him, have holidays or even talk to him without interruption.
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Old 20.04.2015, 20:28
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

How long ago did you get sole custody of the children via the divorce? I'm just wondering if he could try and gain joint if it was less than a year ago.

"Can joint custody be claimed retrospectively?
From 1 July 2014, parents who lost custody on divorce will have one year to request joint custody from the competent court. The divorce must not have been granted more than five years previously."

https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce-parental-authority/

If he can't then unless he really wants to fight you in court I hope you have a good case for getting the court's permission to take the children and go back to the UK. His lack of response to either the children or his financial responsibilities should give you a strong case that you can't make a decent life for you and the kids here and you really need to move back to the UK. As he's British it's not as if he couldn't come and visit them in the UK easily if he wanted to. He's not going to struggle with getting visas, etc, just to enter the country.
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Old 20.04.2015, 20:46
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

It is not completely always excluded that children are never allowed to leave a country with one parent while the other stays in another. The only thing is you'll have to take it to court.

You really need to speak to a lawyer who can help you with this. You have to start documenting every missed visit and every missed payment and show any and all disinterest from your the children's father while showing that you would be able to build a better life for them in the UK.

It does happen. But it has to happen in the courts. Otherwise that is when it's considered child kidnapping and then you'd create big problems.
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Old 20.04.2015, 21:16
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

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I would argue he waves his right for visitation by not paying support
Alas, it doesn't work that way.

Tom
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Old 20.04.2015, 23:03
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

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Alas, it doesn't work that way.

Tom

In some parts of the world it does, maybe not where the couple is located, if a man has the ability to pay but disregards his obligation, in some areas they can't have their visits. Makes sense no?

Why be angry? why should he not be paying if he can? kids aren't free
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Old 20.04.2015, 23:47
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

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Why be angry?
Umm, because people don't pay when they can, and expect full rights?

Tom
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Old 21.04.2015, 14:31
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

@porsch1909 - He won't let me leave just for control purposes and he is in a situation to stop me - so he does.
@medea fleecestealer - Thank you. I can't afford to go to court right now. With the monies owed I will be able to pay legal/court fees to argue the case to leave. I recently found out about SCARPA some g'vrnment dept. that gets the money back directly from him so I don't have to go via expensive lawyer route. I don't know how it works yet though e.g. if it is free or not. And as you rightly mention "primary concern is for the kids". I totally agree - I can better provide for them my self if I can leave.
@BLP - I facilitate/make visits for the kids happen. It would be wrong for them not too. I have to make him see the kids now so I can't imagine him going out his way to see them IF I can leave.
@Slammer - sorry for your situation. Not all women are like that & should not be for the sake of the kids.
@medea fleecestealer - Good point raised about the Joint Custody Retroactive claim. We divorced 2012 - but if he barely bothers with visits now then I can't imagine him fighting ful joint custody. As it is he should have visits every other wkend & 1/2 the hols - but doesn't.
Of course I want court permission to leave. I wouldn't just go without it - hence starting the post asking if any has been through similar already in CH. Otherwise it would become a HC (Hague Convention) issue & we would just be dragged back...not good for the kids.
Not sure what constitutes a strong case in such a situation - so if anyone has any experience I would love to know - I drove the kids to him +2hrs every 2 weeks to ensure visits (not any more), and at my cost (court docs state it should be at his). He has a car & more money than me but simply chooses not to make the effort.
@minimia - I know I have to go to court & I can't afford to right now - hence my original post - I was hoping someone had some experience that they could share with me.
@st2lemans - Indeed! Some people can pay & visit but sadly choose not to.
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Old 21.04.2015, 22:42
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

I don’t quite understand how this:
[QUOTE=righttheworld;2378092 I can't afford to go to court right now. ....
I know I have to go to court & I can't afford to right now ....[/QUOTE]
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...it is not like I would even want a penny from him IF I left!!! If I can leave, and HE does actually pay anything it will go straight into the childrens account - I don't want a single thing from him (except to leave of course...not to stop him seeing our children...but to be ABLE to continue our lives on the level that he TOO is accustomed too and I am not longer able to for our children).
go together.

If I’ve understood you correctly, you are saying that
a) you DO now want to receive maintenance payments from him while you live in Switzerland, but that
b) you will NO LONGER want to receive maintenance payments from him if you live in the UK.
Are you able to demonstrate in what way that arrangement could be good for the children?

Whatever you do, in trying to get permission to leave, you will need to demonstrate that you can provide or organise everything that they need in the new country.

I’m not saying anything for or against either option, just that any change you suggest will always be evaluated - as Medea Fleecestealer has said - against that yardstick of the Swiss law which strives to put the best interests of the children first.
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Old 23.04.2015, 12:09
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

Yes that it what I am saying.
Staying in CH I DO need him to pay maintenance regularly and as defined by the court (which doesn't happen currently).
If I can leave e.g. to UK then I would be able to support myself & children more than sufficiently - which I cannot do here as I only speak English & can't find jobs easily here. I would work in Ikea, I don;t care, but due to the language issue and being over/under qualified I am not accepted for the many jobs I have applied for (and yes I can prove in court job apps).
And yes I do think it is far more beneficial all round for the children to be moved. We would be in a more stable living/housing situation for one, we have had to move multiple times (not good for the kids) as I am not eligible for housing support, ex doesn't pay often so have had rent issues, had sub-letting issues as a single mother with 2 kids & infrequent work (when I can I do), therefore had to move schools multiple times etc etc. I have some family in UK that can help me with kids to/from school and I could most definitely get a decently paid job so that we could stay in one place long enough to make it a stable home - that we all want & much need. The kids know the family & miss them. We don't have access to that here. I am alone, struggling to provide a decent standard of living for them here. (and before anyone comments - yes they are always properly fed/watered/cleaned/dressed - I would go without before any child of mine would.

So I think I could make a fair case for permission to leave - but I would have preferred any insight from anyone having gone through a similar situation in CH before I go to court.
So, yes I whole heartedly believe that it would be in the best interests of the kids - I don't much care for the UK, no offence to anyone intended.
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Old 23.04.2015, 12:16
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

Is it correct to say from what you have posted there are in place the following court decisions:
1) He is to pay maintenance?
2) He is to pay child support?
3) You are to remain living in a certain location?

The above sound "normal" to me.

If any of the above are nothing being maintained the other party can petition the court for action - in the case of the first 2 this would go as far as having the money take directly from any salary.

You will get no further unless you visit a lawyer.
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Old 23.04.2015, 12:47
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

If what you say is correct and you can not get him to amicably allow you to leave with the children, you'll need to document all of this and ultimately you need to petition the court to allow you to move the kids to the UK without his consent.

At the end of the day, sadly, you're going to need a lawyer.
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Old 24.04.2015, 19:28
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

There is a Permanance Juridique in Geneva. This is a group of lawyers who can answer any legal questions you need answering.

9 rue de la Terrassière
1207 Geneva

Tel - 022 735 81 83

You have to call to make an appointment, the initial cost is 50 francs for a first consult which lasts about 45 minutes. So have all your paperwork with you.

If you need someone who speaks French to help you, PM me. I live very close to their offices. They do speak English and Italian.
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Old 24.04.2015, 19:54
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

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There is a Permanance Juridique in Geneva. This is a group of lawyers who can answer any legal questions you need answering.

9 rue de la Terrassière
1207 Geneva

Tel - 022 735 81 83

You have to call to make an appointment, the initial cost is 50 francs for a first consult which lasts about 45 minutes. So have all your paperwork with you.

If you need someone who speaks French to help you, PM me. I live very close to their offices. They do speak English and Italian.
Excellent advice. The relevant remedies are here (in French, you can use Google Translate) http://www.guidesocial.ch/fr/fiche/117/

Once you apply for government benefits the government becomes subrogated* to your claim. In America they send the guy to jail. In the UK they take 4% of what you are paid, and charge your ex 20% of what he pays. A profit centre. I heard it on Radio 4 Women's Hour I think.

*Like an insurance company. Or those guys who buy nonperforming credit card debts for pence in the pound (pennies on the dollar) and then sue you and are happy to settle for half.
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Old 24.04.2015, 20:10
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Re: Hague Convention - abuse of

Have a look at this Web site: http://unjobs.org/duty_stations/gva

It shows UN jobs and knowledge of a language other than English may not be required.

I remember once working with one of the librarians on a research project. He said he was a German citizen married to a Swiss, had been working there many years but only after his retirement (a year or so later) would he seek naturalisation. So perhaps foreign citizenship is an advantage.
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