Taken the kids and left the country

Parental Alienation, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Taken the kids and left the country

Postby douglas_slac » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:22 pm

My Wife and I are separating. After ten years of not being listened too, and 4 months of couples therapy, and nothing changing, things are getting more tense for me. I needed to get some space on my own to deal with the life I never wanted, and after telling my wife that is what I need for 4 months, I signed a lease on an apartment 2 miles from the current place.

There was already a plan for her to take the kids to Ireland for Christmas, to be with her family. Now she is there, and she now says she is talking with solicitors there, and that she is not coming home with the kids. She has now taken the kids from me, 7000 miles, and is refusing to come back home. She has home, broken up things good now, and is going about destroying the kids life. We had told the kids about the separation before going, and had worked on trying to make any problems as simple and smooth as possible for the kids. The morning before they went, they were really only curious about the new apartment. Now I have no idea how she is messing with the kids.

What are my next steps from here? I'm in California, what can or should be done to put things on a more legal basis for custody? No idea what to do, or what is really happening here.

Douglas
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby Fatheroffour » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:27 pm

International custody cases are a nightmare more so than a normal one.

First thing you need to do is file for divorce and get custody established there in your state. Without that you will really, really be behind the 8ball.
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby Thoughts? » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:47 pm

Also check & confirm that Ireland is a member of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. It likely is as it's a member of the EU. But do your homework. File fast, so you establish jurisdiction in your home state / country. Am assuming you're a US Citizen, and she holds Irish Citizenry?
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby lohe » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:58 pm

Have you documented the fact that she is not willing to return them home?
If so, I would ask the judge to issue orders prohibiting them from leaving the country again and ordering their passports to be held by you and I would place them on the State Department list prohibiting them from leaving the country.
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby douglas_slac » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:41 pm

Ireland does recognize the convention. She was an Irish citizen, but has been a US citizen for about 13 years now. I tried to get her on the phone, and then record the conversation, but she didn't pick up today. I will try again tomorrow, and get a recording of what she says she is doing now. If she still doesn't answer the phone, then I guess I need to get a loan, and start talking to lawyers. I can get a legal separation filed quickly enough, I think. With what little I understand about California law there.
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby Thoughts? » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:11 am

Separation with primary custody of the children and occupancy of the marital residence. If abaondonment of you and/or the children is a factor in CA law, then you use that to short-circuit the separation process and go straight for divorce.

Whatever you do, if you're a >minimum (usually 6 months) legal resident in CA, you get a court to IMMEDIATELY grant you occupancy of hte marital residence and primary on the children.
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby lohe » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:11 am

Thoughts? wrote:Separation with primary custody of the children and occupancy of the marital residence. If abaondonment of you and/or the children is a factor in CA law, then you use that to short-circuit the separation process and go straight for divorce.

Whatever you do, if you're a >minimum (usually 6 months) legal resident in CA, you get a court to IMMEDIATELY grant you occupancy of the marital residence and primary on the children.

I would take the day off work Monday and talk to lawyers and get an emergency order put into place on Tuesday.
Yes, IMMEDIATELY.
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby douglas_slac » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:03 pm

Yes, first priority on Monday is to set up a lawyer for this. Didn't think I would get here so quickly. Tried to setup with a lawyer the past couple days, but they are on vacation this week, or can only see me next week. I guess I can't solve everything in a day here now. I have talked with my wife on the phone twice now, and have recorded that she is refusing to take the kids back home, that she has them in a foreign country, that she is refusing for them to come back for their education, and also that she is refusing to go to any more marriage counseling. I'm not sure how much of that will help.

I should look up a secure off site server to store a backup of these recordings...
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:34 pm

For starters, you've gotta read The List, then build a list of your own.

1) File for divorce immediately with the court clerk, before she can establish residency for your children in Ireland.

2) Take your paperwork to ex parte and ask for temporary custody, exclusive occupancy and use of your marital residence, a restraining order against your stbx, supervised < parenting time > (she's left the country with no intent to return), temporary child support, temporary alimony, etc. Above all, you need a writ of habaeus corpus for the return of your children.

The difficult part will be getting your stbx served in Ireland. Once she's served, the games will begin.

This is gonna test your patience. This will be a quagmire from hell.

Tom
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Re: Taken the kids and left the country

Postby lohe » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:25 pm

I would burn the recordings on a DVD and send them to someone you trust if you're worried about her coming back and taking them.
I would also change the locks and take anything you really care about (guns, jewelry irreplaceables) and put them somewhere else. She is NOT going to be happy once you force her to take the kids back to you.
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