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Old 24.05.2021, 18:32
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Child custody

Hi everyone!

I am a victim of domestic violence and I am 5 months pregnant.

1) My biggest concern is about child custody if my husband is violent again to me.
2)I have fear that i will take away my child from me. What can i do now to prevent this from happening?

He is swiss and I am currently still in naturalisation citizenship application.

I have been to domestic violence office in Schaffhausen but they cant provide legal advice. He controls all my financials. Anyone has any legal tips or recommendations on where I could get free legal advice?

Many Thanks!!!
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Old 24.05.2021, 18:52
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Re: Child custody

https://fsgb-sh.ch/wie-wir-unterstuetzen/

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. According to the Schaffhausen website, they can guide you to where you can get legal advice. I would ask them again for references on where you can get free legal advice and representation.
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Old 24.05.2021, 18:53
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Re: Child custody

Did you follow up on the advice people gave you in 2018??
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Old 24.05.2021, 19:39
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Re: Child custody

Ernieceline, please go back to the Frauen advice center - their mission is to help women in your situation.

From your previous threads it seems you are under a great deal of physical, mental, and social stress.

Now it's not just you at risk, so is your baby. For your baby's sake, YOU HAVE TO MAKE A PLAN TO GET OUT.

Can you leave the house on your own? If so, please do not let fear of your husband stop you from taking this first step. Call the folks at the link Olygirl gave and ask for urgent - as in today - help.

Do you have a trusted friend who can accompany you?

I know it is difficult to discuss what is happening to you, especially if you do not share a mother tongue with the counselor. That is why a trusted friend supporting you can help you get your story out, help you find practical help.

If you cannot get out of the house, you need to contact the police. That is the best way forward.

IIRC in another thread you mentioned being afraid that your husband is well connected locally and that the harm to you was being ignored. If you still have that fear, call a different police department.

---

ETA: Oops, I linked the wrong canton, Here is the page from Schaffhausen on domestic violence:
https://shpol.ch/CMS/Webseite/Schaff...230375-DE.html

I'll leave the SG page linked , just in case someone else needs it.

---

From the SG Polizei website, here are additional resources for domestic violence victims:
https://www.sg.ch/sicherheit/haeusliche-gewalt.html


----

Are you allowed to go to your prenatal appointments alone? Your Gynecologist should be able to help you get the ball rolling as well. If your husband insists on accompanying you, can you write the office ahead of time, ask the doctor to make an excuse to send yur husband away to give you an opportunity to speak privately? I know a woman who was not able to get out alone but ultimately was able to get help this way.

If all else fails, go to a hospital emergency room. The professionals there will help you get help.

Take the first step, no matter how hard it seems, for your baby's sake. And in the meantime, pack a 'go bag' with your essential documents and a change of clothing, and make a plan to get out.

Wishing you, and your baby, safety, health, and all the best.

Last edited by meloncollie; 27.05.2021 at 12:36.
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Old 24.05.2021, 20:36
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Re: Child custody

Thanks everyone for the tips.

I still love my husband. That is why I did not take action to report or leave him. Our time together has been temperamental, sometimes very sweet, sometimes not at all. He is often very apologetic after violence and nice for a few days.

I would still like to have a happy family with him but at the same time, I would like to know the implication of leaving him if he is violent to me or our child. Anything that I could do now so that I dont lose my child to him?
Will a contract for sole child custody helps in my case?


He can be manipulative and often threatened me that i am a foreigner, everyone will side him because he is swiss. I am quite sure he would threaten me with the child, if i don't obey him at any point.

Many Thanks!
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Old 24.05.2021, 20:48
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Re: Child custody

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Thanks everyone for the tips.

I still love my husband. That is why I did not take action to report or leave him. Our time together has been temperamental, sometimes very sweet, sometimes not at all. He is often very apologetic after violence and nice for a few days.

I would still like to have a happy family with him but at the same time, I would like to know the implication of leaving him if he is violent to me or our child. Anything that I could do now so that I dont lose my child to him?
Will a contract for sole child custody helps in my case?


He can be manipulative and often threatened me that i am a foreigner, everyone will side him because he is swiss. I am quite sure he would threaten me with the child, if i don't obey him at any point.


Many Thanks!
As long as there's hope things will get better, you won't leave. Now it's even more difficult with a baby on the way. Every year, you will feel more insecure, more worthless and your child will see how the father treats you. And the vicious cycle will continue.

To be honest, I wish you could go back to your home country and stay with your family to raise your child. You will not be happy here and your child will not have a happy household if things don't change.

I understand why you can't leave him... it has to do with insecurities on your part. He wants you to stay insecure to feed his own insecurities. He has power over you which feeds his own ego. It's a vicious cycle that only you can break.

Your husband is an insecure bully and he's found a victim. Hugs to you.

PS: No one will side with him just because he's Swiss. He belongs in jail for his abuses as any Swiss would agree with.
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Old 24.05.2021, 20:49
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Re: Child custody

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Thanks everyone for the tips.

I still love my husband. That is why I did not take action to report or leave him. Our time together has been temperamental, sometimes very sweet, sometimes not at all. He is often very apologetic after violence and nice for a few days.

I would still like to have a happy family with him but at the same time, I would like to know the implication of leaving him if he is violent to me or our child. Anything that I could do now so that I dont lose my child to him?
Will a contract for sole child custody helps in my case?


He can be manipulative and often threatened me that i am a foreigner, everyone will side him because he is swiss. I am quite sure he would threaten me with the child, if i don't obey him at any point.

Many Thanks!
At this point "I love him" is pointless, you know that, don't you? Not everyone will side with him because he's Swiss. That's so manipulative.
Look for qualified help. Document everything. Be strong.
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Old 24.05.2021, 20:52
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Re: Child custody

There are some tough decisions to be made right now and I would be very careful.


Would you have the support of your family if you returned back to your home country ?



If so, I suspect that you could, in theory, get on a plane and go home and lodge your application for separation from there.


If you think your prospects as a battered wife are better in Switzerland, then your rights are certainly protected.


https://www.bif-frauenberatung.ch/


Please call them, at a safe time, to get further advice...



The general understanding is that the violence will not end after you have a baby - in my culture, violence against a pregnant women is the worst possible kind, so if he is able to be violent in that situation, he shows zero limits at all.



You are right to feel scared. This is no good situation for a baby. You may feel trapped, but you actually have a lot more options right now than you will once the baby comes...


The cycle of violence is always a cycle - of course he is 'nice' sometimes - if he was always violent, he would be in jail by now...



On a 'positive' side, I worked with a family where the husband was controlling and threatening. When the child protection system got involved, and really sat him down and explained his obligations as a husband and father, he got a big warning and shock, and he made better choices after that - but I am sure that I would not tolerate the continuing relationship but in this case she is quite limited in power, and will tolerate it now... she is no longer afraid.


Is there anyone in his family who can see the real situation, or do you have any friends who are supportive and can protect you ?
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Old 24.05.2021, 21:10
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Re: Child custody

Understand that here the norm is for joint custody of any children, unless there are circumstances which warrant granting only one parent sole custody.

"How is custody organised?
The divorce court settles the rights and obligations of parents, in particular concerning parental responsibility and the child’s residence, contact or the sharing of parental duties, and the child support contribution. Normally, the parents are given joint parental responsibility.

Sole custody is only awarded to the mother or the father in specific cases. The child’s welfare is the main priority. If the child’s interests require specific protection, the court awards custody to only one parent.

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/

Would him being violent to you be enough to grant sole custody? That would depend on the court. The fact that you haven't reported him or made any effort to leave him may result in a judge rejecting any claim for sole custody on the grounds that there's no proof he has been violent to you. It would just be your word against his, if he denies being violent.
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Old 24.05.2021, 21:33
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Re: Child custody

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I still love my husband.
Good. That does not mean you should put yourself in danger.
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That is why I did not take action to report or leave him.
Ah. If he's violent, he has to be stopped. Violence tends to escalate. If he's violent to you, he may end up being violent to your child. People die from domestic violence. It's not a little thing.

You love him. He has to be stopped for his own good. Therefore report him. (Notwithstanding - get all the support and help you can).
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Old 24.05.2021, 22:00
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Re: Child custody

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Violence tends to escalate. If he's violent to you, he may end up being violent to your child.

True. Things will get worse when the baby comes. The stress from taking care of a newborn can easily escalate the situation. Even if the child is not harmed physically, he/she will still be mentally affected by the toxic environment.
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Old 24.05.2021, 22:14
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Re: Child custody

Why did you decide to get pregnant with such a man? Unless he forced you to get pregnant?
Either way I don't see any love in your relationship, atleast not what I class as love.
Frankly, I feel sorry for the kid. What a shit start in an already shit world
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Old 24.05.2021, 23:02
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Re: Child custody

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Thanks everyone for the tips.

I still love my husband. That is why I did not take action to report or leave him. Our time together has been temperamental, sometimes very sweet, sometimes not at all. He is often very apologetic after violence and nice for a few days.

I would still like to have a happy family with him but at the same time, I would like to know the implication of leaving him if he is violent to me or our child. Anything that I could do now so that I dont lose my child to him?
Will a contract for sole child custody helps in my case?


He can be manipulative and often threatened me that i am a foreigner, everyone will side him because he is swiss. I am quite sure he would threaten me with the child, if i don't obey him at any point.

Many Thanks!
What you've described sounds so much like classic narcissistic abuse. They typically act apologetic afterward in order to maintain control over their victims and use abuse tactics to break their victims down, essentially, so that the victim is afraid to leave. Their Jekyll and Hyde type of behavior can often leave their victims in a state of cognitive dissonance -- feeling very confused -- which essentially only weakens them all the more, emotionally and psychologically.

Telling you that everyone would side with him because he is Swiss is extremely manipulative, on his part. And it sounds to me like it's one more way that he is trying to keep you feeling helpless and weak.

Please do some online research regarding spousal narcissistic abuse and "narcissistic abuse syndrome" and see if there are any red flags that resonate with your situation.

Also, have you ever discussed this with your family doctor? Perhaps your doctor could refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. It sounds to me like you really need someone objective (and informed) that you can talk to about all of this, privately, and perhaps they could also assist you with finding out what your rights are, your options, etc.

I sincerely wish you the very best.
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Old 25.05.2021, 00:31
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Re: Child custody

I'll leave this here as material to see how many verbal forms abuse can take:

http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/verbal_abuse.html

No one needs to hit you to seriously damage you.... the sooner you leave, less damage will be there to repair.

I hope your maternal instincts will kick in soon and you'll realize that for two of you (you and your unborn) only good way to the future is out of those door.
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Old 25.05.2021, 12:53
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Re: Child custody

Thanks everyone for the tips!

Yes, you all are right. I should quickly leave him!

I could go to my friend's house to stay temporarily and find a more permanent place to move.

- If I leave him now, who will get the child custody?
- Will there be any financial help after childbirth, if I were to send my child for daily childcare after my maternity leave? My current salary will not be enough to support the daily childcare and daily expenses.
- Will my naturalisation citizenship be rejected if I leave him and do I have to leave the country immediately?
- Is it illegal for me to bring the child abroad, since he is still the father of the child?

Many thanks in advance for your advices.
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Old 25.05.2021, 13:03
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Re: Child custody

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Thanks everyone for the tips!

Yes, you all are right. I should quickly leave him!

I could go to my friend's house to stay temporarily and find a more permanent place to move.

- If I leave him now, who will get the child custody?
- Will there be any financial help after childbirth, if I were to send my child for daily childcare after my maternity leave? My current salary will not be enough to support the daily childcare and daily expenses.
- Will my naturalisation citizenship be rejected if I leave him and do I have to leave the country immediately?
- Is it illegal for me to bring the child abroad, since he is still the father of the child?

Many thanks in advance for your advices.
As said, joint custody is the norm here unless there are reasons not to do it. You would probably be the main carer, i.e. day to day stuff, but for other things you'd have to decide between you.

Depends on how your doing the citizenship. If it's based on being married to him, then I guess it could be rejected if you divorce.

And yes, unless you're granted sole custody - and even then that might not be enough - you would need his permission to take the child out of the country.
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Old 25.05.2021, 14:59
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Re: Child custody

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I could go to my friend's house to stay temporarily and find a more permanent place to move.

- If I leave him now, who will get the child custody?
- Will there be any financial help after childbirth, if I were to send my child for daily childcare after my maternity leave? My current salary will not be enough to support the daily childcare and daily expenses.
- Will my naturalisation citizenship be rejected if I leave him and do I have to leave the country immediately?
- Is it illegal for me to bring the child abroad, since he is still the father of the child?
.
Ernieceline, I am very glad to hear you are starting to take steps towards a safer and healthier enironment for you and your child. I know this is very difficult - just concentrate on one step at a time.

Your questions are exactly the reason I urge you to get in contact with the Fachstelle für Gewaltbetroffene Schaffhausen again. I don't know what happened last time, but their entire raison d'être is to help victims of violence like you navigage their way through questions like these towards a better life. Please contact them again, taking along your friend for support.

I think there may be special permit considerations for victims of domestic violence, but fulfilling legal criteria is key. This is where the FGBS can help, they are experts in these kinds of questions.

But for now, forget about all the 'what ifs' and permit worries - all that will work it's way out eventually. Now your first priority is to get to a safe environment for you and your baby. And then seek help from the experts as you make realistic plans for all the rest.

Remember - you came here as a PhD researcher, on your own two feet, by your own talent. That's an impresive feat! You've had an awful time lately, abuse of this kind messes with one's very being. But you are still the same smart capable woman - you can do this!

Sincerely wishing you all the very best.


ETA:

I found this document from Canton LU which nicely lays out issues and conditions around the topic of permits for non-EU victims of domestic violence after the end of a marriage. Yes, it is from a different canton, but references federal decisions, so I'd guess application might be similar everywhere. I'm linking this because so far it's the clearest document I've seen discussing the issues. Once you are in a place of safety - priority one! - you might take some time to look this over as you prepare to speak to the FGBS.

https://gewaltpraevention.lu.ch/-/me...n.pdf?la=de-CH

Last edited by meloncollie; 25.05.2021 at 15:24.
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Old 27.05.2021, 19:54
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Re: Child custody

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your support and advice.

I contacted with BIF Frauen but it went to voicemail, asking for telephone number for a call back. I have very limited private time and space due to home office for both of us and I am fearful that my husband could hear my conversation.

Today, I received a letter from the Swiss Federal stating that they approved my naturalisation citizenship and that I would be able to get the Swiss passport within 3 months.

- What is the implication of being Swiss in my case? Even if I am not Swiss, I will not be able to leave the country because of my baby anyway due to shared custody with my Swiss husband. Or can I leave him and Switzerland since the baby is not born yet?

- If I divorce my husband, could my Swiss passport be retracted immediately and will I have a black record in my profile in immigration?

- If there is no benefit of being a Swiss, can I or should I reject the Swiss passport?

Many thanks for your advice!
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Old 27.05.2021, 20:14
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Re: Child custody

I am not a lawyer but I believe that if you were able to travel right now and your baby was born in another country, this would have a great impact on how any custody arrangements will be done. You can travel pregnant up to 34-35 weeks no problem. Then you could not be expected to travel until many months after birth. All separation etc would happen remotely. If you have the full support of your family 'back home' or can set yourself up independently to last at least 1-2 years, and then you would need to fight it out in the courts.


If you try this after your baby is born, it would certainly be treated as a child abduction....



You are working - I assume you are working independently of your husband - so you simply need to ask your employer to deposit your salary into your own bank account...and continue working remotely from whatever country you go 'back' to - I understand you have a UK and a Thai passport already - why do you need a Swiss one ?



Can you even get out of the house ? Do you have access to your passport ? Do you have your swiss ID/permit card ?
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Old 27.05.2021, 21:56
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Re: Child custody

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your support and advice.

I contacted with BIF Frauen but it went to voicemail, asking for telephone number for a call back. I have very limited private time and space due to home office for both of us and I am fearful that my husband could hear my conversation.

Today, I received a letter from the Swiss Federal stating that they approved my naturalisation citizenship and that I would be able to get the Swiss passport within 3 months.

- What is the implication of being Swiss in my case? Even if I am not Swiss, I will not be able to leave the country because of my baby anyway due to shared custody with my Swiss husband. Or can I leave him and Switzerland since the baby is not born yet?

- If I divorce my husband, could my Swiss passport be retracted immediately and will I have a black record in my profile in immigration?

- If there is no benefit of being a Swiss, can I or should I reject the Swiss passport?

Many thanks for your advice!
If you got your passport via being married to him, i.e. facilitated naturalisation, then yes the Swiss authorities could revoke it if they see the marriage simply as a means for you to gain Swiss citizenship. If you obtain it independent of him then, there shouldn't be any problem having it.
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