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Old 19.03.2007, 13:58
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My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

I thought it would go in intros, but figured there might be some advice which followed, so i felt it was best in family matters.

I have just read a few of your posts, which suggest to me you could offer me an opinion.
I am English and married a Swiss 10 years ago, quite
soon after we met in south east England, where I had recently moved to pursue a carear in music.
We were two very similar characters with non traditional ideas. Creativity was the centre of our lives, and we decided from the off that keeping up with the Jones's and living in suburbia wasn't the path for us.
As the months passed by, after listening to the increasing ratio of swiss visitors who encouraged me to have a go at bringing my music to Switzerland and living there, we moved.
Within 2 months of living in Switzerland my wife told me she was pregnant, which I admit was unplanned.
This was a real shock to me, not only because we had discussed and seemed to understand that not only financially children were not an option, also with my music leaving me working most nights and sleeping most days.
I weighed things up, in all honesty the music was going downhill in Switzerland, each day that passed left me more disconnected from my roots until the thread was lost.
I decided we could make it work, and found a job as a painter and decorator (the only skill I have outside of music, a skill I learnt in England as a partimer to make ends meet)
To cut a long story short, I spent the next 2 years painting full time, in a team of foreigners who could barely communicate. During the evenings I was left caring for my son, while my wife went to yoga.
By now I had become very bitter, I blamed switzerland for my music failing,I blamed the system which kept we working with foreigners, with no possibility of learning the language, I was angry and now I was feeling something else beeing taken away.
I decided very swiftly that if I am going to be the single bread winner of the household its going to be done on my terms.
So I moved the familly back to England, began to get in contact with the music scene and started working as a painter, self employed.
Within months my wife moved back to Switzerland with our son, against my will. Shortly came a phone call saying she was pregnant.
I tried to keep things a float in England. Eventually living alone in our large familly home and the heart break i was causing my son became too much, I boarded a plane to Switzerland, shortly before my daughters birth.
When I arrived I was horrified to see how comfortably my wife was living, all from social benefits.
During this time our relationship had weakend but for the sake of the children we talked of ways to keep the familly together.
It wasnt working and I took a job as a waiter (thinking it a good compromise of working in a social atmospere and rapidly improving my German) and moved out.
This time she filed for divorce, which has now, last Friday come to court .
The outcome is, she has custody of the children,(despite the fact she is not at home three nights of the week) lives with a new man, which makes my children uncomfortable especially my son. I have been ordered to pay 800.- per child and 600.- to her monthly. My average wage in the last 10 years is only 2500.-
I now share a flat with my girlfriend, who goes to stay with her mother once a fortnight when the children stay with me.
I am too proud to ask her for help, I struggle to survive, I have put my girlfriend through immense stress, have lost my job, cant keep up my payments to my wife and worry for my children.
Short of waking up tomorrow into a dream job paying 4500.- for unskilled labour, and hoping that in any future relationships a woman could accept that they would be my third priority, financially and time wise, behind my exwife and children. The only solution I see is to give up the one sided battle, go back to England and pray my children will forgive me when they are old enough to understand.
Thanks for listening.
E
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Old 19.03.2007, 14:40
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

Hi Expat,

Not a happy tale. Thanks for sharing that with us (I think). I don't know what response, if any, you want or expect.

I'll tell you what I think. Your children are the most important (funny how your wife gets pregant each time she comes home). You are correct, your children will suffer, but whether they would suffer less if your stayed in Switzerland is anyone's guess. Is your new girlfriend Swiss? If so she will find it hard adapting to life in the UK. I know many Swiss woman living in the UK, but those who settled are usually those who were running away from something here.

On the bright side: you will at least be a much wiser man when you come out of all this...
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:20
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

Thanks, I guess a lot can be taken from my story, to those in multinational/cultural relationships.
Perhaps I am searching for a beacon, someone in a similar situation, who is further down the line?
I am not the first and wont be the last.

Yes my girlfriend was raised in Switzerland, though she has mixed race parents, I would never expect her or any foreigner to settle in the UK, nor would I use her as a tool, to clean up the fall out from MY mistakes.
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:47
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

Takes deep breath, and jumps in with both feet.

Based on the email you've written (and it is clearly one sided; reason for divorce, none in evidence, her wants needs and passions - none in evidence etc) that you should consider going back to the UK asap.

Firstly, 800 + 800 + 600 is 2,400 CHF, your income is clearly not enough if manual labour pays only 2,500 pcm so therefore you will either fail to pay her, the kids or the rent, or starve. THIS SITUATION IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE. Waiting will just make it worse and your outstanding debts worse. Get on a plane and go to the UK with what savings you hopefully have left, stay with your parents and get yourself on a course for plumbing, computing or something that will actually make enough money, 2400 CHF is only 1000 GBP which is half the average UK wage so it should make things better. Ask your ex-wife for a suspension on payments (if this is possible?) and tell her its short term so you can fix your position and longterm options.

I don't know how much plumbers earn in the rest of the UK but they cost 100GBP an hour in London, which, if my maths is correct, means in 10 hours work you've pulled in enough to pay your ex-wife, 14 hours if you decide to pay some tax too :-)

Obviously you are not wanting to be a plumber for the rest of your life and you haven't explained the importance of the current girlfriend but I would advocate some short term pain vs long term failure. Your girlfriend and your music-based-future will only then become a possible.

Good luck.

Oh, and if you think 600 pcm to the ex-wife is unreasonable, it might be best to pay it compared to what might happen if she comes whining to the British CSA… so I wouldn't broach that argument if I was you.

And really really lastly,

Women, eh! Phhhh
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Old 19.03.2007, 15:54
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

Hi Expat,

Somewhere between 3000 and 3300 is the official poverty line in Switzerland. While many of us are busy trumpeting about how rich we and the rest of Switzerland in general are, we often forget that there are a very large number of people living below this poverty line. Of course this poverty line is very high, but this makes sense when one considers the cost of living here.

But in any case, the court has ordered you to pay almost 100% of your pre-tax income, so something isn't right here. Has the court told you how it intends to make you pay something you don't have?

My first suggestion would be to visit the local welfare department of your local community and ask them for advice. You may qualify for welfare assistance, or at the very least some advice!
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Old 19.03.2007, 16:01
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

Thanks for your time and useful advice.
Sure its one-sided, its my story!
As for passions and grounds, I would prefer to keep those private to protect the identies of those involved.
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Old 19.03.2007, 16:22
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

A court can NOT just decide on a whim or so how much you have to pay for the wife and kinds,usually you have to hand in the 'Lohnabrechnung' ( the monthly letter you get about your salary from your employer) in case of self employed people they can ask for example for the last two tax years, tax bills as they are also an indicator about the average income.

Then, there are rough guidelines of how these alimonys are calculated, so in your case it's 25-27% in total for two kids that you'd have to pay from your monthly salary,but you can read up on that yourself, following that link http://www.svamv-fsfm.ch/index.html?...l=2&page_id=45 ( then follow the link to kinderalimente-bemessung)

It's also taken into consideration HOW much the parent, that is NOT looking after the kids, earns !!

If you didn't have to hand in one of the above mentioned papers to the courts and they decided on that amount to pay 'just like that' you stand very good chances to win an appeal against this decision and may get the amount you have to pay reduced.

I understand your frustration very well, but please reconsider your idea about moving back to the UK. You ARE a very important person in your childrens lives and I am sure would be greatly missed by them.

Rather than be a daddy that can throw money around for expensive gifts etc; be a daddy that's there for the kids and is interested in them ,believe me this is much more important.

My eldest daughters dad was/is a guy that had lots of money,paid her support and visited her once a month only ( if he then did ) as she was part of the bargain ,in the meaning of I pay for her ,so I see her to get some of my moneys worth.
The result,my daughter has written a long letter to him when she was 16,that she does not want a dad that buys her stuff, but was/is not interested in her as a person and she has now cut the contact to him!

Last edited by EastEnders; 19.03.2007 at 16:57. Reason: editing mistakes+clarifying on amount to pay for 2 kids,was misleading the way I wrote it,need native english tutor:)
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Old 19.03.2007, 16:36
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

many thanks for the link.
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Old 19.03.2007, 17:07
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

I think this is even more sad than the original story. On some occasions the fathers are "shut out" of a relationship with their kids by an aggrieved partner and are made to feel as the only role they have is to pay, and pay, and pay: financially and emotionally.

I'm not suggesting this is the situation in your case, but there are two sides to this. I've known people in relationships where the woman gets the kids, the house and the money, doesnt work, even though she could, and refuses to share looking after the children (in any case its precluded by that person having to work serious overtime to meet the alimony).

dave


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My eldest daughters dad was/is a guy that had lots of money,paid her support and visited her once a month only ( if he then did ) as she was part of the bargain ,in the meaning of I pay for her ,so I see her to get some of my moneys worth.
The result,my daughter has written a long letter to him when she was 16,that she does not want a dad that buys her stuff, but was/is not interested in her as a person and she has now cut the contact to him!
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Old 19.03.2007, 17:37
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

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I think this is even more sad than the original story. On some occasions the fathers are "shut out" of a relationship with their kids by an aggrieved partner and are made to feel as the only role they have is to pay, and pay, and pay: financially and emotionally.

I'm not suggesting this is the situation in your case, but there are two sides to this. I've known people in relationships where the woman gets the kids, the house and the money, doesnt work, even though she could, and refuses to share looking after the children (in any case its precluded by that person having to work serious overtime to meet the alimony).

dave

Now, you know what's even more sad??

I was NOT married to the guy,was a single working mum that supported herself and the kid,considering that I am handicapped and was working shifts in healthcare,it was a struggle,but i am proud that I managed it.
Before he even paid a single penny for his child, he wanted a paternity test,as if I was some maneater with lots of partners...

We took great care in sending 'daddy' cards for his birthday or from occasional trips we made, when he got a girlfriend and later on two kids of his own,my daughter always had some presents for them on their birthdays and xmas,this was never reciprocated by them!! It was really important to me that my child had an upbringing as normal as possible and I tried this way to sort of make it easier for her to deal with the situation by creating a sort of ease.
As she grew into a teenager,my daughter tried over the years many times to talk to him and make him see her feelings,thoughts etc. and when she started saying i don't want to go and see Dad anymore she had to deal with it on her own!
I was not interfering or being her messenger, I never wanted the burden on my consience of having prevented my kid from seeing her dad or using her as a pawn in a 'problem between' adults,thats simply not me and I am proud to have achieved that!

You see there are women out there who are not like you mention above,but sometimes men behave badly too and have to sort of pay for their ignorance.
Children have feelings too and are not a toy that can be picked up and played with when one likes and then tossed away when one has something better to do .

I hope I haven't come across as aggressive to you , if I did, then I am really sorry, it's not my intention!
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Old 19.03.2007, 17:45
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

This really wasn't aimed at you personally, but as the other view which is sometimes ignored. Family break-up is usually devastating for all involved. I was using sad in the upsetting sense of the word.

dave

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I hope I haven't come across as aggressive to you , if I did, then I am really sorry, it's not my intention!
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Old 19.03.2007, 18:14
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

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This really wasn't aimed at you personally, but as the other view which is sometimes ignored. Family break-up is usually devastating for all involved. I was using sad in the upsetting sense of the word.

dave

I know DaveA and I took no offence,and I know that sadly more often than not, these things happen the way YOU mention!
I've seen it too many times in my enviroment, thats why i tried to prevent my child from going through this.
And cases like mine are not those, one talks about,I wanted to show that there are also some women who are and act not like the majority of women might.
My comment about sounding aggressive, is simply because english is NOT my mothertongue and sometimes ( i have been told) I come across quite harsh! Which is not my intention at all!

cheerio
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Old 24.03.2008, 14:56
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

quote "The outcome is, she has custody of the children,(despite the fact she is not at home three nights of the week) lives with a new man, which makes my children uncomfortable especially my son. " (don't know how you all do that quote thing!!)


who looks after the children when she is at the boyfriends house?
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Old 24.03.2008, 17:37
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

please write me a message, a job offer for english speaker
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Old 24.03.2008, 17:42
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

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please write me a message, a job offer for english speaker
You do realise that all of the above was from a year ago, and the OP hasn't been online since? Hoping he's managed to sort his problems out.
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Old 24.03.2008, 17:56
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

silly me..
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Old 24.03.2008, 18:08
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

hey....i too realised it to now...the thread was posted a year ago.hope he could sort out his probs...i am extremely sorry to hear it though.
well.lyena..a job offer in continuation to this thread???
regards..insel
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Old 29.03.2008, 21:06
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

Sorry I am new to Switzerland and cannot offer any technical advice. But have my sympathy. May be it would be a good idea to go back to England instead of throwing yourself into another relationship so soon with your present economic situation.
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Old 01.03.2010, 11:13
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

Well, my story is similar but probably even worse ... I come to know my wife cheated on my since last year (june 2009) with her boss ... I come to know this by reading a chat they had (about 8 hours reading....) where she almost got pregnant by him (I found a pregnancy test in her drawaer), they went for nice vacations togheter (that I paied ... and I got pics of them both in Spain) ... the problem is that I come to know this just after we separated ... some days after ... and before separation my wife left the job (never understood why but probably cause her relation with him) ... the result is that she got my son, I must leave the house with all the furniture and I must pay her 4500 chf per month cause she clearly doesn't work anymore ... after I come to know about her cheating our situation degenerated, I got a lawyer and I asked to review the separation conditions to get straight divorce ... cause of this review I'm not obliged to leave the house anymore ... this caused kind of stress to her (??) so she sued me to the police with a list of terrible things I've never done including sexual and physical violence. Now I'm living in a hotel ... waiting for the court to decide ... that's really cool, eh?? ... how to destroy somebody else life&reputation in less than one year ...
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Old 01.03.2010, 11:24
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Re: My divorce story (family drama for a foreigner in Switzerland)

Whats that saying...

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

Good luck
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