Father thinks he can take child with him in custody battle

90 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Proton Anna said:

I assume I cannot or should not apply for sole custody? I do not intend to stop my son from seeing his dad

Just because you have sole custody doesn't mean that your son can't see his dad, it just means that you set the terms and times.

In the situation you describe, I would suggest applying for sole custody if only to maintain the control and remind 'dad' that he can't just do what he wants.

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Thank you for the update. I was wondering how things were going for you. 

 

Have you mentioned to the Jugendamt that you fear your soon-to-be-ex will leave the country with your child? Do you get the impression that the case worker understands the problem? 

 

I agree with what LeonG said before: If he becomes confrontational, call the police. They can also make him leave the house. Do you have friends, neighbors, family that he respects and that could be there with you when you fear a confrontation? What would happen if you demanded the passport back? Do you have any friends you can stay with? Have you thought about putting a tracker in your kid's favorite toy? 

 

I wish you all the best 

 

 

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I received word from my lawyer that I was awarded temporary Aufenthaltsbesimmungsrecht or whatever it is called. My soon to be hubby has not been informed of this just yet, I assume they will let him know via a letter. I am not too excited to have to witness his reaction, as he will explode to say the least. 

 

I was also informed that the court has assigned a  Verfahrensbeistand who will contact me tp have a chat with me. Just searching through Toytown, I read a few horror stories. My hubby can say lots of bad things about me to this  Verfahrensbeistand. For example, during the JA appointment, he accused me of being mentally ill and needing help. Just to clarify, when I was in university 17 years ago, I did suffer from a mental illness, but jeeze, I was 21 back then and stressed and that ended over 10 years ago. I cannot lie and deny the whole thing, because it happened, but it happened a lifetime ago. Even after I gave birth, when I did suffer from postpartum depression, I did not require any antidepressants because it wasn't that bad. 

 

I am just scared of what the Verfahrensbeistand will have to say about me. 

 

I guess my main concern is my child's welfare. I do have a lawyer, and I speak well German, so I can only hope that I will make  good impression. 

 

You know... it really didn't have to be like this. I was for 50/50 custody model from the start. 

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9 hours ago, maxie said:

I agree with what LeonG said before: If he becomes confrontational, call the police. They can also make him leave the house. Do you have friends, neighbors, family that he respects and that could be there with you when you fear a confrontation? What would happen if you demanded the passport back? Do you have any friends you can stay with? Have you thought about putting a tracker in your kid's favorite toy? 

 

I wish you all the best 

 

 

 

Yes, I do have friends where I can go. That wouldn't be an issue. 

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1 hour ago, Proton Anna said:

I received word from my lawyer that I was awarded temporary Aufenthaltsbesimmungsrecht or whatever it is called. My soon to be hubby ...

 

I meant... my soon to be ex hubby

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3 hours ago, Proton Anna said:

I was also informed that the court has assigned a  Verfahrensbeistand who will contact me tp have a chat with me. Just searching through Toytown, I read a few horror stories. My hubby can say lots of bad things about me to this  Verfahrensbeistand. For example, during the JA appointment, he accused me of being mentally ill and needing help. Just to clarify, when I was in university 17 years ago, I did suffer from a mental illness, but jeeze, I was 21 back then and stressed and that ended over 10 years ago. I cannot lie and deny the whole thing, because it happened, but it happened a lifetime ago. Even after I gave birth, when I did suffer from postpartum depression, I did not require any antidepressants because it wasn't that bad. 

 

I am just scared of what the Verfahrensbeistand will have to say about me. 

Ok, that's not ideal, mental illness carries a stigma in Germany. 

If asked about this (don't bring it up yourself!) explain that that part of your life is firmly in your past and that it was a very long time ago.

 

You need to be rational and show the Verfahrensbeistand that you have thought everything through and are offering your child a stable environment.

Do not react emotionally, Germans have an aversion to that. Just calmly answer her/his questions.

I suggest that you do a mock interview with a German friend and ask him/her to ask you the most unpleasant questions possible, to prepare. 

Under no circumstance try preparing the child, the Verfahrensbeistände have a lot of experience and will immediately notice if you have "exercised" answers with the child - that would get you a big black mark.

 

Be prepared to explain how you will take care of your child while also working, i.e. that Kindergarten for x hours per week is in place and once school starts, the Hort.

 

You also need to show that you will be able to help your child in school, he's 5, so next year he will start school.

You speaking German is a good start. But you also need to show that you intend to do your best to help with "written" German, every German parent does exercise dictations with their child in the Grundschule, to improve the child's spelling. Demonstrate the same willingness to help your child in school. Under no circumstance say something like "teaching is the teacher's job" - in Germany, the educational progress of a child depends on how much effort the parent invests in the child, you are supposed to act as an assistant teacher.

You are supposed to explain things your child didn't understand in school, to supervise the homework and to do extra exercises after school with him.

 

Your idea of quitting your job and doing an Umschulung to a Steuerfachangestellte will alarm the Verfahrensbeistand, their goal is to maintain the status quo.

 

*************************************************************

 

On a side note: Steuerfachangestellte is a very hard Ausbildung: https://www-beruf--steuerberater-de.translate.goog/ausbildung-steuerfachangestellte/umschulung/?_x_tr_sl=de&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-GB

As a Pflegehelferin, you have done one of the academically least challenging jobs - and now you want to go right to the other end of the spectrum? 

I advise caution.

Yes, I have seen people who didn't go through the German education system manage this Ausbildung, but they had university degrees in maths/natural sciences from their home countries and even then it meant a lot of work for them, since a big part of this Ausbildung is understanding German legalese, which is much, much harder than "normal" German.

 

Just try reading some laws and instructions on how to apply the law (= Richtlinien). If you do this Ausbildung, you will use the following law books constantly (they are also published on paper, you can get them at Amazon), especially the two green ones (Einkommensteuer, Lohnsteuer): https://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/Web/DE/Service/Publikationen/AMTHB/amthb.html

 

The standard textbooks and exercise collections (with solutions) for the Steuerfachangestellten-Ausbildung are the Bornhofen books: https://www.amazon.de/s?k=bornhofen

They get reissued every 2 years, to get a first idea of what you would be getting yourself into, you can buy used, older editions of the Bornhofen books at low prices, e.g. here:

 

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Back on topic, your stated intention has to be to keep everything the same, so as to allow the child to keep his routine.

"Stability" has to be your new primary goal, since that is what the Verfahrensbeistand is looking for: a caring, stable environment for the child.

 

The Verfahrensbeistand is not there to take your or your ex's side, she/he is there to help reach the best compromise for the child.

Neither you nor your ex will get all you want, both of you will have to concede a lot, much more than you might imagine now. 

 

Choose your words wisely, think before you speak (German is not your first language, so it is normal that you will need a bit longer to answer) and better say less rather than more and always in a calm tone.

Speak slowly and collectedly.

Never claim anything for which you don't have hard proof.

Be the "sensible" one.

 

If, by contrast, your ex comes across as emotional and vindictive, with a lot of complaints about you, so much the better - nothing disgusts a Verfahrensbeistand more than one parent trying to denigrate the other parent.

 

Please read: 

 

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 ... nothing disgusts a Verfahrensbeistand more than one parent trying to denigrate the other parent.

 

I don t doubt this. However I do wonder how a victim with genuine reason for complaint can put forward his or her case without coming across as vindictive and negative.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, optimista said:

 ... nothing disgusts a Verfahrensbeistand more than one parent trying to denigrate the other parent.

 

I don t doubt this. However I do wonder how a victim with genuine reason for complaint can put forward his or her case without coming across as vindictive and negative.

 

 

Maybe they should have some evidence. My ex can call me mentally sick as much as he wants, but where is the proof? A mentally sick person would have a problem functioning in a society, like working, taking care of a child etc. I know this, as when I was mentally sick, I couldn't hold down a job, not to mention having a family. There is no evidence of this right now, on the contrary, I could say that of my soon to be ex. 

Moreover, if I have been so mentally unstable, why didn't my ex file a complaint against me before? Why did he agree on shared custody before he had the bright idea of moving back to Hungary? If I am such a bad mother, he should have filed for sole custody way before. He didn't because he had no reason to. 

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11 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

Do not react emotionally

I agree with almost everything you said and I think tearing hair and wild accusations would not go over well. But I think she can definitely tell the Verfahrensbeistand how distressing the thought of her ex disappearing to Hungary with the child is for her. 

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Indeed. 'See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil' seems to work against the victim though. They can be vilified for raising uncomfortable truths. It s how victim blaming works.

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1 hour ago, Proton Anna said:

but where is the proof? A mentally sick person would have a problem functioning in a society, like working, taking care of a child etc. I know this, as when I was mentally sick, I couldn't hold down a job, not to mention having a family. There is no evidence of this right now, on the contrary, I could say that of my soon to be ex. 

Moreover, if I have been so mentally unstable, why didn't my ex file a complaint against me before? Why did he agree on shared custody before he had the bright idea of moving back to Hungary? If I am such a bad mother, he should have filed for sole custody way before. He didn't because he had no reason to. 

that may all be true and good, but I suggest you try to avoid that line of argument as much as possible. Focus on a positive case for yourself, rather than a negative case against potential allegations.

For example, stress how long you have held down a job, how you have been able to balance the stresses of taking care of your child whilst holding down the job, perhaps include things like the role you play in getting your child to/from school, doing homework with them, preparing all the meals, putting them to bed etc...Fundamentally, that you are the child's key carer.

If he raises mental health, you can simply state (assuming it is true) that you do not have a diagnosis for a mental health issue, nor are you taking any medication for such. The fact you might have had a difficult phase as a youth does not reflect the stable, supporting parent you are today.

 

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On 1/20/2022, 11:34:53, Proton Anna said:

I received word from my lawyer that I was awarded temporary Aufenthaltsbesimmungsrecht or whatever it is called.

I assume they will let him know via a letter.

I was also informed that the court has assigned a  Verfahrensbeistand who will contact me tp have a chat with me. 

I read a few horror stories.

I am just scared of what the Verfahrensbeistand will have to say about me. 

I do have a lawyer, and I speak well German, so I can only hope that I will make  good impression.

 

 

 

On 1/21/2022, 1:17:16, PandaMunich said:

I suggest that you do a mock interview with a German friend and ask him/her to ask you the most unpleasant questions possible, to prepare. 

Under no circumstance try preparing the child, the Verfahrensbeistände have a lot of experience and will immediately notice if you have "exercised" answers with the child - that would get you a big black mark.

 

Your idea of quitting your job and doing an Umschulung to a Steuerfachangestellte will alarm the Verfahrensbeistand, their goal is to maintain the status quo.

 

The Verfahrensbeistand is not there to take your or your ex's side, she/he is there to help reach the best compromise for the child.

Neither you nor your ex will get all you want, both of you will have to concede a lot, much more than you might imagine now. 

 

Choose your words wisely, think before you speak

 

 

@ProtonAnna: in the vein of some of my other Toytown comments: use that Rechtsanwalt.  You noted earlier that you don't want to wind up making a mistake because you tried to save attorneys fees.  Keep that in mind.  Is saving 400 EUR or even 1.000+ EUR a good investment if you wind up unhappy with the custody situation, or with sleepless nights second guessing what you should have done?  

 

learn as much as you can about each aspect of the process to know best how to approach it. 

 

Don't assume anything about any aspect of this process.  If you don't know, ask your Rechtsanwalt. 

 

for example, for the Verfahrensbeistand learn what you should or shouldn't, must or mustn't say or discuss.  

 

 

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It seems to me that the legal side will not be much of a problem, as it´s very unlikely that a judge will allow the child to be taken out of the country against the OP´s will. The issue is that it may be difficult to enforce German law in Hungary, Hague Convention or not. I´d try to get the child´s passport back or at least to have it declared invalid (no idea if that´s possible, but I´d discuss that with the lawyer). I´d also hide away the birth certficate.

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Tomorrow i have the first court hearing, but the judge wants to only see my kid, without either parent, just the Verfahren Beistand will accompany him. I just can't get my head around why this is needed. My kid is 5!

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10 hours ago, Proton Anna said:

Tomorrow i have the first court hearing, but the judge wants to only see my kid, without either parent, just the Verfahren Beistand will accompany him. I just can't get my head around why this is needed. My kid is 5!

 

It will be to get a clear picture of how your child is doing, and where s/he wants to be - whether with you in Germany, or with Papa somewhere else.

Whilst it is understandably difficult for you, it is only fair for the child to be involved in the final decision.

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1 hour ago, robinson100 said:

 

It will be to get a clear picture of how your child is doing, and where s/he wants to be - whether with you in Germany, or with Papa somewhere else.

Whilst it is understandably difficult for you, it is only fair for the child to be involved in the final decision.

I doubt that a 5 year old can hold a view on whether to live in Germany or elsewhere. He'd probably answer according to who gave him more chocolate bars (even though I don't think he will be asked in the first place). But I can understand that a judge wants to get an impression of how the child is doing the life circumstances of who he has to decide on. On the other hand it may be a frightening and potentially traumatsing experience for a child of that age. I feel sorry for him.

 

Edit: would it be possible to ask the judge to see the boy in a more familiar, more childfriendly environment ( e.g. Playground)?

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One hopes they will behave appropriately.

 

The UN CRC gives him the right to have his opinion heard and so Germany, having signed the CRC has to find a way of doing that.

 

If they do it well, it is empowering for the child to have an opinion and have it listened to. In an environment where all parties are not distracted :)

 

It is usually possible to tell whether they are actually engaged in a real conversation or simply reciting coached words, or just talking because they can with no real interest in the subject. 5 year olds vary so much.

 

@Proton Anna good luck today, be positive.

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Yes! :)

 

So glad you updated, and that all has worked out as well as it could in the circumstances.

 

I hope he makes an effort to keep in touch appropriately with your/his son.

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@Proton Anna: This was an important step for you! Congrats!

It still is bittersweet - with the father gone to Hungary, the question if he ever will pay child support needs to be adressed with your lawyer and the Verfahrensbeistand.

 

If the father returns for a visit, keep the child's passport and birth certificate in a very safe place. Maybe get a lockbox in a bank.

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