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Old 21.04.2020, 16:10
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child custody

Hi,

I am the father of 2 children and I am divorcing in Canton Vaud. The swiss german mother agrees now to a shared custody model (split -week, 50% each) but she says she might move back to Swiss german side after 1,2 years.

As I am fully against this, the swiss law says the issues will be solved by the Judge:
https://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifi...dex.html#a301a

I fear the judge will favour the mother (also because she is swiss citizen and i am not).

But I wonder... the children will not be asked? I heard they will be asked only if >12 y. old but I think - at least the older one - is now well integrated here.

I find it very unfair that the mother can take away the children whenever she will feel like. The children were born and raised here.
If so, I will have just 2 visits per months and half holidays or I have to move to swiss german side as well and follow her??

Question: Will a lawyer help me on this situation, whenever it occurs? Can I do something about it now or later?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 25.06.2020 at 17:52. Reason: user privacy
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Old 21.04.2020, 16:22
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Re: child custody

Maybe this would help

"If there is a significant change in circumstances, a reassessment can be made of who should be assigned parental responsibility. If the parents agree, the child protection authority is responsible for this assessment, and if the parent cannot agree, the court decides."

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

I would assume moving across the country would be considered a significant change in circumstances regarding your agreement to share them 50/50.
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Old 03.05.2020, 03:34
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Re: child custody

Based on bitter experience, i canít stress the importance of finding a solution with the mother of your children, if that is in any way possible. I read that she has already agreed something with you and thatís already a positive for you. Unless it is simply so unreasonable that you cannot do it (as opposed to do not want to do it).

If you end up going to the family court there is no doubt, as the father you will end up getting screwed over. Their decisions can have no basis on any logic whatsoever. They do not consider anything that has gone before, they just make a ruling and if you are on the wrong side of it tough, itís the law. Do it or risk to ultimately go to prison. Doesnít matter how right you believe you are, they are not interested, a law unto themselves. Their focus is solely on what they believe is in the best interests of the child whether you can live it, pay for it or not. And if you het a judgement against you then be prepared to have your future options reduced by 99% and to wonder what the hell hit you and how on earth they made the decision that they did. And if thatís not painful enough, put 20- 30k CHF aside as a financial provision to pay for this part of it. BTDT.

You have a wonderful opportunity, take it. You can always discuss it with the mother again if indeed she does return to Germany. At least you have your foot in the door so to speak. You really donít want to play high stakes poker with the family court.

Bonne chance

SS
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Old 22.06.2020, 13:20
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Re: child custody

Rather than start a new thread I thought I would hijack this one.

I will try to be as brief as possible, my Situation is as follows:

- Divorced with a son. Custody is Joint with my ex-wife.
- I have visitation every second weekend.
- I have many concerns around my childs upbringing with his mother and her new partner.
[details removed]

Mediation is really not an option with my ex. She is quite sjmply impossible.

So depending on how things turn out with the School and what they decide to do I am leaning towards applying for sole custody of my son.

Does anyone know based on the above what Kind of Chance I might have?

Trust me I have been through the System many times and know the Unfairness of the KESB, KJZ etc....

Last edited by 3Wishes; 25.06.2020 at 17:55. Reason: user request
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Old 22.06.2020, 13:35
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Re: child custody

I would suggest that you try to gradually increase the time you can spend with your son - 4 days in 14 is not 50/50. It will be quite inconvenient for you - it will mean ensuring you have childcare and other systems in place when you need to work.


For the school related issue (lack of clothing) I would suggest on the one hand, ensuring he has adequate clothing and extra for when you are caring for him, and I would strongly tell the school to either address it directly with the child's mother, or to report it to child protection, as you do not have any power to change this situation right now. Did they address it with both parents or just to you ?



Certainly, you can be providing additional clothing for him - unless your ex does not allow your child to wear things from you at her house ?
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Old 22.06.2020, 14:12
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Re: child custody

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I would suggest that you try to gradually increase the time you can spend with your son - 4 days in 14 is not 50/50. It will be quite inconvenient for you - it will mean ensuring you have childcare and other systems in place when you need to work.


For the school related issue (lack of clothing) I would suggest on the one hand, ensuring he has adequate clothing and extra for when you are caring for him, and I would strongly tell the school to either address it directly with the child's mother, or to report it to child protection, as you do not have any power to change this situation right now. Did they address it with both parents or just to you ?



Certainly, you can be providing additional clothing for him - unless your ex does not allow your child to wear things from you at her house ?
Thanks.

They have not addressed the issue of his clothing with her as yet. I think it will happen this week.

To clarify I dont believe the Schools concern is when he is with me but rather than when he is with her. It cant be with me I Always make sure he is nicely turned out with clothes that fit him. In fact I told the School I am very embarrassed by how he is dressed when I have to pick him up from KG or Hort.

I even sent them on Friday the excerpt of my divorce filing from 4 years ago where I had expressed concern about it back then just so they are certain it is not something I am neglecting. Ive Always been complaining to the ex About it. She didnt Change.

So sole custody would not be valid here as yet then? Rahter try to get an increase in time with my son?
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Old 22.06.2020, 14:47
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Re: child custody

My feeling is that unless it's dramatically proven abuse or neglect, you are very unlikely to get sole custody. You may even risk having custody taken by the state if there is a lot of parental conflict.


The current laws are aimed at 50/50. At the moment, you don't have close to that (4 days in 14 is a long way from 50%). Is there a reason why you did not try for 50/50 ? Was it before the laws changed ?



This means, though, that you can't drop your kid back to your ex if it's inconvenient because of school holidays, working etc. I saw someone try this, it did not work out - the father pushed for 50/50 but then kept trying to schedule with his ex whenever it was inconvenient to him - it had a big impact on his work - as he needed a backup plan if the kids were sick, or it was school holidays, so he could still work...



You are highly unlikely to get sole custody...regardless...and it's not seen in the best interest of the child to cut off access to either parent. Instead, I would recommend that you build up more and more time with your son.



I think you missed the point with the clothing - if your son does not have adequate clothing, send some with him back to his mother's house. I have no idea how tough she is doing, but I dare say she earns much less than you do...
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Old 22.06.2020, 14:48
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Re: child custody

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So sole custody would not be valid here as yet then? Rahter try to get an increase in time with my son?
Lawyer now.
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Old 22.06.2020, 15:16
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Re: child custody

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My feeling is that unless it's dramatically proven abuse or neglect, you are very unlikely to get sole custody. You may even risk having custody taken by the state if there is a lot of parental conflict.


The current laws are aimed at 50/50. At the moment, you don't have close to that (4 days in 14 is a long way from 50%). Is there a reason why you did not try for 50/50 ? Was it before the laws changed ?



This means, though, that you can't drop your kid back to your ex if it's inconvenient because of school holidays, working etc. I saw someone try this, it did not work out - the father pushed for 50/50 but then kept trying to schedule with his ex whenever it was inconvenient to him - it had a big impact on his work - as he needed a backup plan if the kids were sick, or it was school holidays, so he could still work...



You are highly unlikely to get sole custody...regardless...and it's not seen in the best interest of the child to cut off access to either parent. Instead, I would recommend that you build up more and more time with your son.



I think you missed the point with the clothing - if your son does not have adequate clothing, send some with him back to his mother's house. I have no idea how tough she is doing, but I dare say she earns much less than you do...
Its aimed at 50/50 regarding Joint custody as I understand it. Not physical custody. I applied for 50/50 physical custody but the ex refused. Then we got sucked into a long drawn out court battle which got finalised in 2018. Its basically a game of Roulette then - try to get a deal and move on or roll the dice and leave it up to the Judge. I sometimes wish I had have done so.

Alternating my work plan is not an issue for me if I had more time. Ive been doing that for 6 years now.

On the issue of the clothes you would really Need to understand my exes mentality to fully get it. I send her 1,500 a month for our son to pay for Things such as his clothes etc....On top of that when he is with me I buy additional clothes. If I sent him back to her in the clothes I buy for him I would never see them again and would effectively be paying twice. Child support is there for a reason - to support the child. Not to make the Father fork out over and over. She is not doing bad at all. She has far more Money than me and owns her own home. The School know she isnt "doing tough" She is simply stingy in the extreme.
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Old 22.06.2020, 16:11
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Re: child custody

In my experience, with regard to divorce, legal custody, residence of a child and visitation time to/by a parent, the professionals involved are generally hoping to encounter reasonable, sane, calm, rational people who aim at compromises. These hopes are often dashed. Therefore, as one advocate said: "Our first aim is to try to figure out which party is The Crazy. Sometimes both parties are, but we hope that it is only one of them."

Within that context, the best thing any parent can do, when contesting things about a child, is to be reasonable, do nothing overboard, and generally present themselves as the polite, reliable and sane one. This is often measured in how accommodating the person is willing to be.

In Switzerland specifically, the law aims (but does not always succeed) to evalute a child's situation, and to take decisions, according to one central criterion above all others: "What is in the best interests of the child?" The principle is that both parents are responsible for promoting and protecting the child's best interests, and I take Swisspea's ideas about the child's clothing in this light.

Without a doubt, it is in the best interests of the child to have clean clothes that fit. That is clear, irrespective of the financial agreements between the parents, or their respective income or spending patterns. It cannot be in the child's best interests to wear clothes that are too small, so much so that the school staff notices.

While I do appreciate that children's clothing is not always cheap, there are many offers of second-hand clothing. Online, for example on tutti or anibis, and in second-hand shops (in German called "Brockenhšuser") and there are children's clothing exchanges (in German "KinderkleiderbŲrse") sometimes held at churches or at community centres such as the GZ (in German "Gemeinschaftszentrum").

Much as I sympathise with any parent, father or mother, who is trying to gain more access to their children, and much as I find it terribly sad when the process to settle the arrangements drags on for years, the guiding principle is that what's fair for the child takes precendence over what may be fair or unfair for either parent.

It seems to me that any parent acting in the child's best interests would provide clothing for him/her. Other than in the case of desperate poverty, it seems like proper, caring parenting, to provide clean, fitting clothes for one's child.

Last edited by doropfiz; 24.06.2020 at 10:26. Reason: grammar
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Old 22.06.2020, 16:18
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Re: child custody

Perhaps some of the discussion in this recent thread might help:
https://www.englishforum.ch/family-m...dy-matter.html
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Old 22.06.2020, 16:38
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Re: child custody

Moving to another country is a no-no.

Moving to another canton is no problem.

Tom
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Old 22.06.2020, 18:16
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Re: child custody

While my post was about applying for sole custody to be completely honest I’m at the point now where If the KESB, KJZ or school don’t take any action over this latest issue then I’m actually thinking of applying to the court to give HER sole custody.

That is how exasperated I am with the system in this country.

Trust me I’ve been through it all from A-Z and back again with alll institutions. Nothing happens
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Old 22.06.2020, 19:26
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Re: child custody

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While my post was about applying for sole custody to be completely honest Iím at the point now where If the KESB, KJZ or school donít take any action over this latest issue then Iím actually thinking of applying to the court to give HER sole custody.

That is how exasperated I am with the system in this country.

Trust me Iíve been through it all from A-Z and back again with alll institutions. Nothing happens
So you're happy to continue child maintenance payments even though it may be you never see your son again? Or are you thinking her having sole custody would mean she'd still allow visitation rights?
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Old 22.06.2020, 19:33
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Re: child custody

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So you're happy to continue child maintenance payments even though it may be you never see your son again? Or are you thinking her having sole custody would mean she'd still allow visitation rights?
Sole custody with visitation.

Joint custody can only work if the parents want it to. When there is a difficult parent as in my case she can rock the boat and disturb my life as much as she wants and the system does nothing to protect against it.

Which I’m very tired and weary of. So maybe standing back and letting her get on with it is the best thing to do

Last edited by Swish; 22.06.2020 at 21:56.
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Old 22.06.2020, 23:54
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Re: child custody

Do you think that if you give up parental authority over your child, thereby leaving all the major decisions about your child to your ex, (including where she and he live), that that will
  • cause your ex to become less focussed on "trying to disturb [your] life as much as she wants"?
  • result in her providing the child with properly fitting clothing? and
  • really work out to be in your child's best interests?
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Old 23.06.2020, 08:23
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Re: child custody

You say that your wife neglects your son (dirty too small clothes) and you are concerned about her partner and how he punishes him? From what you have said, for me alarm bells went off about the well being of the child with this man.

Given the information you have provided, how could you consider giving up all rights to step in to protect your son should the way the partner punishes the child increase in severity or the mother's neglect worsens.
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Old 23.06.2020, 08:34
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Re: child custody

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Do you think that if you give up parental authority over your child, thereby leaving all the major decisions about your child to your ex, (including where she and he live), that that will
  • cause your ex to become less focussed on "trying to disturb [your] life as much as she wants"?
  • result in her providing the child with properly fitting clothing? and
  • really work out to be in your child's best interests?
In all honesty the answer to all those Questions are no.

Dont get me wrong. In my opinion I have a very strong case to win sole custody. But I have been through the System and back again. No one does anything. I feel totally helpless. Exasperated.

As unorthodox as a solution as this is, it is the road I have been led down. The System doesnt protect. The core Ethos is supposedly "the childs interest are put first". I can say in all honesty thats a complete falsehood. It has not at all been my experience.

If an Independent Person was to read my divorce papers and the sex of the mother and Father were hidden and they were identified as "Person A" and "Person B", and were asked at the end which Person the child should live with Im absolutely confident that that Person would be me in the vast majority of cases.

On the three Points you mention above they arent happening anyway with or without my influence. The ex does as she wants. The School, the KESB, the KJZ have done nothing.

I also have a new Baby with my new Partner. I have to consider them and the effect this has on them which at the Minute for my Partner is huge. It consumes a vast amount of our realtionship which is very unfair on her. And for my new child I worry the same for them as they get older.

I realise People will Point the finger and say how can he even think of that. I accept that. But unless you have been through the System Im not sure it can be fully understood.
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Old 23.06.2020, 08:36
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Re: child custody

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You say that your wife neglects your son (dirty too small clothes) and you are concerned about her partner and how he punishes him? From what you have said, for me alarm bells went off about the well being of the child with this man.

Given the information you have provided, how could you consider giving up all rights to step in to protect your son should the way the partner punishes the child increase in severity or the mother's neglect worsens.
See my message above. I wrote it before I saw your reply.

In short - no one is doing anything anyway. What can I do?
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Old 23.06.2020, 10:38
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Re: child custody

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Sole custody with visitation.

Joint custody can only work if the parents want it to. When there is a difficult parent as in my case she can rock the boat and disturb my life as much as she wants and the system does nothing to protect against it.

Which I’m very tired and weary of. So maybe standing back and letting her get on with it is the best thing to do
I think you're very wise. I think as soon as she finds a partner herself (yes, prepare yourself for that moment too if it didn't come already...) she will warm up to more "equalitarian" arrangements.

Don't forget the system will protect the Swiss parent first and foremost, besides she's the mother and the law does seem to favour mothers.

Time will solve many things that appear very complicated now.
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