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Old 02.01.2019, 17:16
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When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

I have been hesitant in posting this but am at a loss of what to do, maybe I wonít get new advice but emotional support is also welcome.

I came to the country in 2015, I was still married with 2 kids. In 2016 we got divorced, in the summer he took the kids by force, the police did nothing as we didnít have swiss papers.

I tried to leave things, I went to lawyers, we finally got to court july 2017 and they ordered a child psychiatrist to assess the kids. He only just started last month, itís not finished.

My ex husband was ordered in Jan 2017 to pay a pension/alimony. He doesnít feel like it, so currently pays only 800 a month.

The court gave me the free right of visit to the kids but my ex has to approve the visits, he says no. So I get the min 2 visits a month. My daughter is always lonely texting me and I canít do a thing to change it.

So weíre going on year 3 of fighting. I canít get a permit as my ex doesnít pay, I havenít been able to find a job as I was a stay at home mother and freelance photographer, I havenít a proper CV and my French is not great. Iím waiting for the refusal letter which I can appeal to, but having kids here is not a reason for a permit.

Weíre waiting on a paper from the UK to try to get some of the back pension money but he hasnít 70,000 in an account so doubt I get much. Work is not Swiss based so I canít get it from his employer.

Local office to help women who arenít getting their support paid wonít help as I havenít a permit.

Me and my kids are British. I'm told to go back to the UK. I have no family in the UK to go back to.

I am going nuts just waiting and no way to plan my life like this. I may have 1 child back, I may have both I may have it stay the way it is. No one can tell me or tell me when we shall know, maybe this year, maybe next.

Dating has been a disaster as well, not to mention with baggage like this, itís even hard to make new friends I admit.

People donít like to pay under the table here, so that ave for work has been limited. Iím not getting a lot of photography work in even if I know Iím a good photographer.

I have to sell my car to get surgery. Even health insurance has been a fight, I live here but no permit, it makes for difficulties.


All of my trouble leads back to the abusive husband I divorced having full control of my life.
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Old 02.01.2019, 18:27
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

That's very sad.

Photography as a profession is hopelessly overrun by amateurs and wannabes:

https://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/st...anken-26352173

AFAIK, the Gemeinde has to front any outstanding alimony - but you being non-Swiss and the permit-situation not being too clear, I guess everybody is hoping that you pack-up and leave, thereby letting somebody else pay for it.

Did I understand this right? The husband (and the kids) still live here in Switzerland?
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Old 02.01.2019, 18:48
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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That's very sad.

Photography as a profession is hopelessly overrun by amateurs and wannabes:

https://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/st...anken-26352173

AFAIK, the Gemeinde has to front any outstanding alimony - but you being non-Swiss and the permit-situation not being too clear, I guess everybody is hoping that you pack-up and leave, thereby letting somebody else pay for it.

Did I understand this right? The husband (and the kids) still live here in Switzerland?
If I was swiss or a C permit there is an office called BRAPA that would help. I have neither.

My ex asked for the amount to be reduced, the court said no. Now we're waiting on the UK to supply papers then we go to the poursuits office here, then he can appeal, go to court yet again. Can't go direct to his employer as it's not in the country.

he is claiming he needs min 12,000 to live on so he can't afford to pay me.

And yes I have been told to leave many times. To stop fighting for my kids, to stop fighting the system. I've even been told it's hurting the kids, me wanting to see them, I argue if their dad would stop fighting there is no "fight".

All of my problems stem from his inability to follow the divorce convention but thus far nothing has been done.
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Old 02.01.2019, 18:54
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

Where was the divorce filed, and is that the same country as his employer?

Don't give up.
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Old 02.01.2019, 19:02
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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Where was the divorce filed, and is that the same country as his employer?

Don't give up.
British divorce, swiss pending custody dispute and his employer is in the USA

Kids, me + him not swiss, but even if I got custody I have to stay here as they are in swiss schools therefore are now basically stuck here the lawyer says, but it's more crazy that as their mother I am told I am not needed here.

I have been advised other parents in these cases moved out of the country and commuted for visits. But how can I keep asking for custody like that? or even the normal every other weekend if I live abroad? This is also based on the fact I'd have the funds to travel so often.
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Old 02.01.2019, 19:17
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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British divorce, swiss pending custody dispute and his employer is in the USA

Kids, me + him not swiss, but even if I got custody I have to stay here as they are in swiss schools therefore are now basically stuck here the lawyer says, but it's more crazy that as their mother I am told I am not needed here.

I have been advised other parents in these cases moved out of the country and commuted for visits. But how can I keep asking for custody like that? or even the normal every other weekend if I live abroad? This is also based on the fact I'd have the funds to travel so often.
Could you survive here on what the divorce agreement awarded you?

Job one would be to get him to comply to the existing court order.
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Old 02.01.2019, 21:09
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

What permit do you have for Switzerland ?


When you divorced, why was it applied in the UK and not Switzerland ?


Right now, the focus would be on getting a job... and fighting on with getting your husband to pay...



Did you report domestic violence to any authorities ? Have you contacted a women's refuge ?
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Old 02.01.2019, 21:26
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

Well, not being proficient in French probably doesn't help in getting a decent job.

So, I'd say that getting better in French is likely job zero...

See what local activities the Gemeinde offers (that are (nearly) free), like Samariterverein etc.pp. and show up there. There's usually a lot to do and no pay, but also few contenders because of that - and you'll be able to talk to people and maybe someday somebody knows somebody else and a job comes this way.
If not, at least you get better at French. There's no replacement for talking French. Listening or reading is not enough.

Beats browsing EF, FB, Twitter and reddit all day....
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Old 02.01.2019, 21:59
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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Could you survive here on what the divorce agreement awarded you?

Job one would be to get him to comply to the existing court order.
Yes it is enough to live on.

Job is in the USA.

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What permit do you have for Switzerland ?


When you divorced, why was it applied in the UK and not Switzerland ?


Right now, the focus would be on getting a job... and fighting on with getting your husband to pay...



Did you report domestic violence to any authorities ? Have you contacted a women's refuge ?
I had applied for the B before the divorce, they want proof he's paying to issue, which I haven't got.

He has been told formally to not hit me by the local police, most of the DV was before, has been arrested in the UK, divorce was on grounds of abuse. Refuge said they only help to get out, not after.

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Well, not being proficient in French probably doesn't help in getting a decent job.

So, I'd say that getting better in French is likely job zero...

See what local activities the Gemeinde offers (that are (nearly) free), like Samariterverein etc.pp. and show up there. There's usually a lot to do and no pay, but also few contenders because of that - and you'll be able to talk to people and maybe someday somebody knows somebody else and a job comes this way.
If not, at least you get better at French. There's no replacement for talking French. Listening or reading is not enough.

Beats browsing EF, FB, Twitter and reddit all day....
I have improved with my understanding. But I still haven't a great CV as I was home for years. Some of those names I haven't seen here, I know there is help with formations etc, if you are in the system, but I am not.
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Old 02.01.2019, 22:14
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

Do NOT move out of the country. You have the right to your kids and vice versa. Get a better lawyer.

A big hug from me.
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Old 02.01.2019, 22:18
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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Do NOT move out of the country. You have the right to your kids and vice versa. Get a better lawyer.

A big hug from me.
Thanks for the hug

The permit office disagrees.

I have had several lawyers, this one has done more than ones previously. There seems to be nothing else "to do". It is just how the system is and it's slow I'm told, THIS SLOW is crazy but oddly no one in the system is shocked.

Wait

But what do you do while you just wait??? their reply

We don't know.
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Old 02.01.2019, 22:29
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

Wow - sorry to hear about your plight.

If you were both Swiss, it would be pretty clear-cut - the parents usually get joint custody of the kids unless there are proven circumstances which prevent this. If primary custody is given to one parent, then the other usually has the kids every other weekend. Works out pretty well for both kids and parents if the adults handle it in a good way.

Also, if the alimony / child support was decided by a court in Switzerland, then he has to stick to that agreement otherwise you simply file a poursuit against him - that goes fast. If you were Swiss, you'd also be entitled to financial support against his unpaid responsibilities until he pays up - which he I believe would need to refund ultimately.

You mention that that the Swiss court is responsible pending custody - then they should surely be able to intervene here.

Which court decided on the alimony agreement - UK or CH, and which court granted him primary custody? If you want to share, why was he granted this (but fully understand if that gets too personal). I have no idea of the UK divorce system (only of the Swiss one from personal experience in difficult circumstances), but he sounds like a complete asshole fully out-of-line.

Sure you've seen it but: https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce-parental-authority.

On the emotional support side, not sure if this helps but...

A few years back, I was granted full custody of my daughter over my (now ex) Swiss husband. It took careful monitoring and trust before I could feel fully comfortable with giving him the every other weekend due to his "special health" circumstances, but I did it consistently. He also quit his very high paying job to get out of paying alimony / child support. After being a stay-at-home Mom for 3 years (my daughter was 3 at the time), and no living family left, for a while accepted that my only choice could be a Frauenhaus, but started off at pretty minimum wage and got back on my feet through long hardworking days as employee and Mom quickly. And my daughter is one of the most well balanced people I've ever met a the now age of 24, just finishing her masters and already on a good student salary with guaranteed return to the same brilliant company if she wants. I like to think that I played a role-model in that.

They were very hard and long years, but it was worth every drop of sweat and learning.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you that it all turns out best for the children in the end!
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Old 02.01.2019, 22:39
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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Wow - sorry to hear about your plight.

If you were both Swiss, it would be pretty clear-cut - the parents usually get joint custody of the kids unless there are proven circumstances which prevent this. If primary custody is given to one parent, then the other usually has the kids every other weekend. Works out pretty well for both kids and parents if the adults handle it in a good way.

Also, if the alimony / child support was decided by a court in Switzerland, then he has to stick to that agreement otherwise you simply file a poursuit against him - that goes fast. If you were Swiss, you'd also be entitled to financial support against his unpaid responsibilities until he pays up - which he I believe would need to refund ultimately.

You mention that that the Swiss court is responsible pending custody - then they should surely be able to intervene here.

Which court decided on the alimony agreement - UK or CH, and which court granted him primary custody? If you want to share, why was he granted this (but fully understand if that gets too personal). I have no idea of the UK divorce system (only of the Swiss one from personal experience in difficult circumstances), but he sounds like a complete asshole fully out-of-line.

Sure you've seen it but: https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce-parental-authority.

On the emotional support side, not sure if this helps but...

A few years back, I was granted full custody of my daughter over my (now ex) Swiss husband. It took careful monitoring and trust before I could feel fully comfortable with giving him the every other weekend due to his "special health" circumstances, but I did it consistently. He also quit his very high paying job to get out of paying alimony / child support. After being a stay-at-home Mom for 3 years (my daughter was 3 at the time), and no living family left, for a while accepted that my only choice could be a Frauenhaus, but started off at pretty minimum wage and got back on my feet through long hardworking days as employee and Mom quickly. And my daughter is one of the most well balanced people I've ever met a the now age of 24, just finishing her masters and already on a good student salary with guaranteed return to the same brilliant company if she wants. I like to think that I played a role-model in that.

They were very hard and long years, but it was worth every drop of sweat and learning.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you that it all turns out best for the children in the end!
It was 50/50 when he took them but as he had them, physically the court doesn't want to move then until the shrink does his report, it's just taking almost 2 years. I have free right of visit, but he has to agree, he does not. The court wrote the order in an odd way the new lawyer says. But they refuse to change it until the report. He doesn't have full custody, it's pending this report.

The office here would have helped with the support, but I'm not swiss or a permit holder, so yes if I had been swiss, this post wouldn't be written.

We did a UK divorce as we agreed at the time. It is legal here, the change of the pension in swiss court was denied, he owes the full amount but says he refuses as he would be under the 12,000 min vital. He did offer to increase from 800 to 1200 if I signed papers. This is less than half of what the court awarded.

The fighting is hard on the kids but he has the option to agree, he doesn't. I don't see why I should just give in?!?!
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Old 02.01.2019, 22:47
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

12k/month or /year?

Tom
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Old 02.01.2019, 23:03
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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12k/month or /year?

Tom

12,00 a month of course. He argues it's the min vital. I know it's not correct, just giving his argument for not paying.

He said when he signed the divorce he hadn't included his taxes in his monthly budget, something to that effect. (it's being told to me as it's all it's french) The judge laughed and said he owes the full amount.

I'm receiving less than 10,000 a year and being told it's fine.
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Old 02.01.2019, 23:19
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

My parents got divorced, and as a few-year-old child, I did not care who would finally win the right to raise me. I just wanted everything to calm down and let me grow up as soon as possible so that I could show the middle finger to both parents and tell them how much they screwed my life.

I'm sorry your marriage broke.
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Old 02.01.2019, 23:23
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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My parents got divorced, and as a few-year-old child, I did not care who would finally win the right to raise me. I just wanted everything to calm down and let me grow up as soon as possible so that I could show the middle finger to both parents and tell them how much they screwed my life.

I'm sorry your marriage broke.
that is how my 1 child feels, the other just wants to be with me but she isn't allowed to
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Old 02.01.2019, 23:34
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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12,00 a month of course. He argues it's the min vital. I know it's not correct, just giving his argument for not paying.

He said when he signed the divorce he hadn't included his taxes in his monthly budget, something to that effect. (it's being told to me as it's all it's french) The judge laughed and said he owes the full amount.

I'm receiving less than 10,000 a year and being told it's fine.
Huh! Let me tell you that the existence minimum that the Betreibungsamt (poursuit in French) will allow him is a little over CHF 4000.- with children until he settles his debts to you. And they DO NOT take into account the amount owed on taxes at all!

12'000 min. - let him live in his own little fantasy world until his shyt hits the fan. And the only reason he is able to do this is because of your permit and work situation, and (I guess) the UK legal system. Wrong in every sense, especially considering the welfare of the kids and you as their Mom. Crazy , and difficult to imagine there is no legal recourse. Really feel for you.
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Old 02.01.2019, 23:46
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

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Huh! Let me tell you that the existence minimum that the Betreibungsamt (poursuit in French) will allow him is a little over CHF 4000.- with children until he settles his debts to you. And they DO NOT take into account the amount owed on taxes at all!

12'000 min. - let him live in his own little fantasy world until his shyt hits the fan. And the only reason he is able to do this is because of your permit and work situation, and (I guess) the UK legal system. Wrong in every sense, especially considering the welfare of the kids and you as their Mom. Crazy , and difficult to imagine there is no legal recourse. Really feel for you.
It took 18 months or so for the court to reject his request to lower the amount, he actually asked me to pay support to him as well!

So now waiting on this other paper to go to the poursuit office, he can appeal the court decision to reject the reduction, then can appeal the poursuit, can be years still.

When I had the kids, before he took them, he paid 4800 or so in total and when I said the bills where high he told me to learn to live differently.

His lawyer told the court I can work illegally, which I do a bit, but ummm if I had full time work, it actually doesn't nullify the court order for support, so the argument was without any grounds.

I dont know what min vital the poursuite office will give him. I know he can afford to pay for camp for the kids as he is working full time for part of the summer, when I'm here ready and willing to see them, he refuses to allow me more than the min access. Also he refuses to allow them to travel out of the country if I moved to France for work, he has no reason to be in Switzerland either, again, there is no working together whatsoever, which the court tells us to "fix" but he refuses.

The swiss expect people to act normally, but if they don't? There is nothing in place it seems
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Old 03.01.2019, 01:54
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Re: When everything goes wrong, any advice or support?

The police in Switzerland pretty much will only take children by force with the police if they are in actual, current, physical danger. It's not because you don't have a permit. The Swiss consider the police taking children to be traumatic to them and therefore not in their best interest.

If you are ever alone with your children, if you just don't return them to their father, they will not be taken from you by force. This will be especially true if your daughter tells everyone that she wants to be with you. And, since he has a history of abuse already, just throw in that he was hurting the children, too. Doesn't matter if you lie. File a Superprovisorische Massnahme as soon as you have your kids, saying you need emergency custody because your daughter is scared of him. Give lots of detail about how horrid and scary your ex is, and the court will award summarily, in a couple of days, against him without ever contacting him. Then he gets to play the waiting game until you go back to court. It's a rotten game to play, but truly it may be your only chance to get her back.

I'm not actually recommending it though, because it is immoral and may likely backfire in the long run. I wouldn't know though; it's the method my ex has used to this day with total success. The longer the children are with their father, the less of a relationship they will have with you. You will be forgotten and discarded. Their father can tell them whatever he wants about who you are, and you won't be there to defend yourself. Gaslighting and other subtle manipulations are the name of the game. The ephemeral memory of childhood works against you. And once your kids are over 12, then there really is absolutely nothing you can do if your kids don't want to see you. Even if your ex-husband has millions and you're on social welfare, you will be required to pay him, as both parents are considered financially responsible for the children. Your payments will just be added to your debt. (True for Bern, hopefully not for Vaud?)

Never, ever work black or tell anyone you work black. Both. You can be arrested for it. You can be denied the possibility of ever getting a permit. Just don't do it. As soon as his lawyer suggested that you could work black, you or your lawyer should have strongly, forcefully stamped that out as strictly impossible. The gall of suggesting you break the law! Black work is absolutely not acceptable. If you're caught working black you will only harm your case and lose you any sympathy, such as it is.

I fail to see why you moved to/stayed in Switzerland illegally. That really screwed things over for you in terms of seeking assistance. Apply for jobs as much as humanly possible. Don't just look for photography work. Apply for anything and everything. You need that B permit. But even if you have it, that doesn't mean it will help you see your kids, but at least you won't have to leave.

There is an organization in Bern called Infra Bern which employs jurists, lawyers, etc to provide legal information for women. You can get an appointment for free if you call. They do have English speakers.

Infra Bern
Zentrum5
Flurstrasse 26b
3014 Bern
031 311 17 95
Opening hours
Tue 6 pmĖ8 pm
Thu 9 amĖ11 am
Sat 11 amĖ1 pm

Keep records of every text, every email, everything from everyone. Don't communicate with your ex over the phone unless you record him and tell him you're recording. Your paper trail is all you have, weak though it is.

I hope your situation works out. I have found that the Swiss really hate to rock the boat, and so forcing your ex to change his behavior is unlikely. If the children don't seem physically or sexually abused, then too bad mom, just go away and stop making things difficult. As I was told, don't worry, when they're adults they'll come seek you out!

If I seem harsh and cynical, well, my ex took my kids this way, and even now with a Beistšndin there is little help or improvement. I was destroyed but no one cares. I just get sympathetic noises thrown my way about how things are "sad." We have 50/50 legal custody but that just means I get information. In reality, I have no say. So, my cynicism is at peak levels.

You may want to read up on "erased parents."
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