Courts award custody to German father

158 posts in this topic

 

I am living proof that the courts are not automatically in favor of the mother.

Is it possible the courts are favoring the German over the American? <_<

 

I can't offer much advice, but you have my deepest sympathy. For me, this situation would be unbearable. Don't give up; keep fighting. This mentality has helped some of the TT members in your shoes. See Coping with mind games ex-partners play

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I am sorry this has happened to you. But I have a male friend who `raised`the kids so his professional wife could go back to work. Both are German. The wife kicked her husband out 2 months ago - she has a new friend. The kids are only 3 and 6 and they were in front of the courts just last week to get interviewed. This week the courts will decide where the kids will go. I have a strong feeling the `doctor`will win even through she has no time and the kids go to a different playmate `s house at least 3 times a week. She also prevents the father from seeing the kids and lies about so many things...

I think the reason you did not get the kids is because you are not German. You must find a good lawyer with experience with child custody. Did the kids have their own lawyer.

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Laura, I am so sorry to read your story. This is every mother's worst nightmare. I just feel sick to my core for you. I don't have any advice, but you definitely have my support and my sympathy. And even though it wasn't your intention, I also want to thank you for sharing your story as a cautionary tale. This is chilling.

 

Just out of curiosity - does anyone out there know what would be the so-called "right" way to go about leaving your spouse if you were in a situation like hers? Wanting a separation, afraid of your husband, wanting to go but not wanting to leave the kids behind? (Nor deny the father access to his kids either, of course.) How would someone go about this? I know I sound naive, but I honestly don't know - and I'm sure you're not the only person in this boat. And, my god, reading this is almost enough to make someone want to stay in a bad marriage indefinitely.

 

Sending you a big virtual hug.

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It happens more often than it seems, and the judges in these cases are blatent about siding with the German parent over the foreigner. Catherine Meyer wrote an account of her struggles when her German ex simply kept the kids.

 

In cases like this a lawyer, a very good lawyer, is the only way to go. Once they are gone in cases like this, it appears to be a difficult struggle to get them back.

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Just out of curiosity - does anyone out there know what would be the so-called "right" way to go about leaving your spouse if you were in a situation like hers? Wanting a separation, afraid of your husband, wanting to go but not wanting to leave the kids behind? (Nor deny the father access to his kids either, of course.) How would someone go about this?

 

You would first consult a Fachanwältin für Familienrecht, i.e. a lawyer specialised in family law and she would tell you the "right" way.

 

This first consultation would cost maximum 226.10€ (more usual is about 150€). However, if you later give her a mandate to represent you in a divorce this amount will be credited to the cost of the divorce.

If you are too poor to afford to pay your own lawyer, the state will pay, under the condition that once you start earning you will pay the state back.

 

For details, please see the TT divorce wiki.

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It happens more often than it seems, and the judges in these cases are blatent about siding with the German parent over the foreigner.

 

There might be point in this as they might be worried that the foreign parent might try to take the kids out of Germany before a final decision is made. I remember a TV-report on cases where Americans took their children to the US so that the German parent lost contact. Those cases were also chilling. But I'm just guessing. By law they are bound to decide according to what is in the best interest of the child. And having acces to both parents is by default deemed in the child's best interest. Maybe this default setting is the problem in some cases.

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Thanks, everyone, for the replies. The kids did have a "Verfahrensbeistand", who - after 90 minutes of interviewing me, decided that I was emotional (I was in my third trimester and I had just left my husband). The father stated that he was willing to take care of the kids, and this was enough for the Verfahrensbeistand.

 

And with that - the deal was sealed it seemed. Everything that the Verfahrensbeistand wrote - was honored by the judge.

 

Nothing mattered anymore, no matter if the Jugendamt supported me or not. Or if I had help from family, friends and organizations for daycare and the birth. Nothing mattered, except was what written in that report. After 90 minutes of talking.

 

What is also chilling is the requirements to become a "Verfahrensbeistand". You don't have to be a lawyer to be the "Rechtsanwalt des Kindes", you just have to do course that lasts about 7 weekends (from what I read) and pay 1800 €. Then you get a certificate and be a Verfahrensbeistand, aka Rechtsanwalt des Kindes.

 

I continue to fight. But, sometimes, it is very hard. But my kids miss me and that keeps me going.

 

Thanks, again, for the support. Any additional advice would be welcome.

 

Is there a known American lawyer practicing in Germany that would be suitable to ask about the discrimination angle? Anybody heard of one or know of one?

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You need damage control because things have gone badly wrong. You have a lot of rights as the mum but things work differently here to back home as you now know and need to be done in a certain way and unfortunately you have not followed the right German proceedure. Get advice from your embassy, a Frauenzentrum (both of those free and on your side) and a very, very good family lawyer and maybe you can fix things. The Frauenzentrum will probably know some lawyers who will go out swinging on behalf of wives. The embassy will also have a list of lawyers.

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The judge threatening you with deportation

 

... she doesn't say that. She says the judge threatened with removing the Aufenthaltsbestimmungsrecht (the right to decide where the kids live) wholesale. Which is entirely within his scope of legal actions against a parent that unilaterally removes kids from the other parent.

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the courts in your home country would relatively easily have returned the kids to German jurisdiction. Therefore there was no real worry of you fleeing with the children.

 

Seriously? A US court would "easily" return the children of a US citizen to a foreign country? Apparently the only country likely to do this might be the UK...

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Two years ago the rights of a foreign parent (it was a father) went all the way to European Court of Human Rights. Germany was told to change the laws and policies to be in line with policies of the European Union countries. Two years later we have to read this sad story about yet another case where the foreign parent has her rights trampled on by a blatantly anti-foreigner judicial system.

 

Maybe you can find the lawyer for this case. He or she was willing to go the distance for the foreign parent.

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Dear Laura, your story is heartbreaking. There should not be any child custody laws that make one parent suffer so much. I'm aware of this organisation and I deeply hope they can help you. I will come back to this thread tonight and try to find out more for you. I believe what is happening to you is a violation of your human rights and hope that a good lawyer will be able to prove this. I assume you are all alone here without a support network of friends unlike your ex. That alone is unfair beyond belief.

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Erm... No...

 

The laws have changed.. Previously it was almost un-heard of for the father to get custody..

 

In this case, it would appear that the mother was deemed to be "unstable" for what ever reason, and the Judge ruled in favour of the Father..

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I'm not sure where any of this has to do with her nationality, beyond some accusations of non-explicit bias...

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Whether you are a foreigner or german:

 

The law prohibits to take your children along when you move out without the consent of the other parent. Usually, as long nothing indicates a threat for the safety or wellbeing of the children, a court (if involved) will decide that the children have to return to their old place.

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Yes, the story is utterly heartbreaking, but WHAT were you thinking leaving him without the advice and guidance of a good lawyer.

 

As awful a husband as he may well be, I think he reacted the way any parent would if they came home and their kids were gone, and now he is trying, along with the help of the courts, to make you pay.

 

You REALLY; REALLY; REALLY need a good lawyer. Now.

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And the penalty should be harsh and severe if you do make this mistake. That's in the best interest of the children.

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