losing hope...

Old May 16th 2014, 12:01 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: losing hope...

Thanks Dunroving... It seems particularly unfair when all my support systems are in the UK and I'm the primary, custodial parent.
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Old May 16th 2014, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
Thanks Dunroving... It seems particularly unfair when all my support systems are in the UK and I'm the primary, custodial parent.
Exactly what I was thinking, Karrie. If it takes nothing else into account, the 'system' should at least acknowledge that the custodial parent needs to be where they have the support of family and friends, and that the kids would benefit from having a happier, more settled Mum. As if divorce isn't bloody hard enough And in case anyone is wondering, I'd be of exactly the same opinion if the custodial parent was the Dad.
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Old May 16th 2014, 12:13 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
Thanks Dunroving... It seems particularly unfair when all my support systems are in the UK and I'm the primary, custodial parent.
Exactly. Hopefully with time, maybe he will see reason.

I hope it doesn't get ugly, because that's when people dig in their heels and REALLY won't budge.

For that reason, I am inclined away from some of the suggestions to get the toughest lawyer you can find, as no tough lawyer can change the law, and tough lawyers don't tend to persuade the mind of the opponent. A really decent mediator might be more effective at this point.
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Old May 16th 2014, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

So sorry to hear of your troubles, I hope things start to look better soon.

You mentioned that you have changed your user name, presumably so that your husband does not see your postings? I wonder if it might be better to have a brand new account, as he could easily find you from you post history.
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Old May 16th 2014, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Karrie, I cannot offer any advice that has not already been offered but sending you hugs as well. Perhaps when the dust has settled and your soon to be ex realises that for you to be happy and employed you should go back to UK and would be ok with summer holidays in USA. I hope a compromise can be reached but would probably be best to have a mediator
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Old May 16th 2014, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Yes, "mediator" that was the word I was looking for, I think they are often more successful in helping divorcing parents in coming to compromise.

If the law is against you then a mediator might be able to help appeal to his human kindness. Also they might be able to help him see that he runs the risk of his children seeing him as the cause of great unhappiness for their mother if you are unable to move home to the UK.

Would a compromise of your eldest staying with him in the US and the younger two coming with you be an option at all, or of any use? I remember you saying your eldest wasn't keen to move to the UK?

Do you think that the divorce is, to a large extent, his way of not moving back to the UK? I mean do you think he would want a divorce if you didn't want to move to the UK? I'm wondering if he is going for divorce purely because it is a means to stop all these plans to move back?

As Dunroving said, despite all the high emotions (understandable) its softly, softly with no bridge burning, if things can stay civil you may find that he will soften his stance with a bit of time. I really hope so, its a heartbreaking situation.
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Old May 16th 2014, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Thanks again for all your support, I have been broken up about all this. I do think a mediator might be helpful although he's adament he won't be separated from any of his children. The older are pretty Americanized and would struggle leaving their friends, activities etc. The little one though still needs his Mum and I just couldn't leave him, or really any of them.

I guess I will have to pull up my bootstraps and try and be the best I can for my kids, although it feels insurmountable at the moment.
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Old May 16th 2014, 6:50 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
Thanks again for all your support, I have been broken up about all this. I do think a mediator might be helpful although he's adament he won't be separated from any of his children. The older are pretty Americanized and would struggle leaving their friends, activities etc. The little one though still needs his Mum and I just couldn't leave him, or really any of them.

I guess I will have to pull up my bootstraps and try and be the best I can for my kids, although it feels insurmountable at the moment.
Is he prepared to take custody of the children if you went back to the UK?
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Old May 16th 2014, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Hi Karrie. I'm so sorry to hear about your situation.

I've been through a childless divorce with my first wife and frankly, it was a painful exercise after getting lawyers involved. At the end of the day, you need to have a lawyer that you can bring up to speed in terms of your situation so that they know ALL the ins and outs and that they don't get blindsided in a court situation during one of the hearings for the steps of the divorce.

Basically, in my opinion, the divorce situation becomes a complete mess after you stop talking and discussing with your other half, and lawyers have to be the main communicators. In my case, I was dealing with my ex who at first was mutually in agreement that we separate after a 12 year marriage of unhappiness, separate vacations (and bedrooms) and a lack of anything but a business we started together. But after going out for cocktails one evening with an old friend (and divorce attorney) she decided to change course and tactics and make me fight for myself. Obviously my own situation is unimportant here, but the purpose of sharing this info is that my divorce became ugly at the point of having to get a divorce lawyer for myself. It cost me many thousands of dollars to get the 'clock' time to bring the guy up to speed. Even then, I ended up settling the situation myself over the phone with my ex without the help and assistance of the lawyer, primarily by doing my best to urge us both to remove any emotion from the discussions and try to keep a level head at all times and just 'talk' everything through. It took many hours on the phone long distance (I had since moved to the East Coast) but we got it done and signed off by the courts. Thankfully we haven't had to speak since. It took about 2 1/2 years to settle from initial filing to completion. And honestly, that would have been halved if we had just not gone the attorney route.

I realize of course that your situation is totally different, but I urge you to try your best to just keep talking and discuss the options. You need to make it clear to him that your situation is exactly what it is and how few options you have and play on the heartstrings. Your family and support network are in the UK. He is and has been the breadwinner for a long time. Do your best to remind him that you're still the same person and that you were happy together enough to have a family. And that family... your kids... deserve their parents to be as happy as possible.

I don't know what you can do or come up with, but it sounds wholly unfair that he is so black and white on this... being that he will not discuss at all the possibility of you getting custody of the kids and being able to raise them with your support system in the UK.

If you cannot talk without emotions and anger coming into play then it might take a while, but you've got to make him think reasonably. IMO, you've got to do that yourself. Sure an arbitrator might help but again they don't know anything about you so they have to get that learning done first. Unless you can 'use' a close family friend that is truly impartial, to help you talk to each other.

Give it a try and see where it goes. You might have to give a lot up... you might have to split up the kids. I don't know. But I truly wish you the best and I feel for your situation. Please take care and try to keep positive in some way. All the best.
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Old May 16th 2014, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Editha View Post
Is he prepared to take custody of the children if you went back to the UK?
I don't know, I suspect he would as there would be zero child support then. But I wouldn't feel confident leaving them with him. Plus I'd miss them terribly.
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Old May 16th 2014, 9:12 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

MrMuffin, thanks so much for your thoughts and sharing your experience of this. I'm not a rich person so having to shell out $4000 just to retain a lawyer is making me sick to my stomach. I wish he and I could sit down and talk, goodness knows I've tried. He won't answer his phone, refuses to meet and discuss anything. I honestly feel like I'll die here if I'm forced to live here. I know that sounds horribly defeatist and 'wet' but I've been on countdown mode to moving since I moved here practically. He has all his family around who I've now lost and nothing will change for him I can't fathom why someone would treat the Mother of their child like this. He says he'll never let them go, won't even discuss it. I even offered to try it out for a year then come back if the kids hated it. But no luck.

I guess I have to make the most of my situation and plan a trip back to the uk once a year...
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Old May 16th 2014, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Frankly, it sounds to me as if you are going to have to stay for the sake of the kids.

The alternative is probably taking your 6 year old to the UK and arranging for summer visits to the US, with maybe the two oldest coming over to you for part of the summer. But, the disadvantages of that for all of you, but particularly your six year old, are obvious.

But, if you do stay in the US, I think you have got to ensure that your ex is providing you with reasonable support.

I'm sure that in the US, as in the UK, there are good family lawyers as well as bad ones. A good family lawyer will try to ensure that agreement is reached through mediations without the need for court proceedings. The fact that the lawyers are not emotionally involved can stop tempers being raised and aid negotiation.

I think it is important that you assert yourself and do not assume your husband has all the rights in the situation. He may be able to prevent you taking the kids to the UK, but he is still relying on you to be main carer for your boys, and that does give you some negotiating power.
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Old May 16th 2014, 9:22 pm
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Editha View Post
Frankly, it sounds to me as if you are going to have to stay for the sake of the kids.

The alternative is probably taking your 6 year old to the UK and arranging for summer visits to the US, with maybe the two oldest coming over to you for part of the summer. But, the disadvantages of that for all of you, but particularly your six year old, are obvious.

But, if you do stay in the US, I think you have got to ensure that your ex is providing you with reasonable support.

I'm sure that in the US, as in the UK, there are good family lawyers as well as bad ones. A good family lawyer will try to ensure that agreement is reached through mediations without the need for court proceedings. The fact that the lawyers are not emotionally involved can stop tempers being raised and aid negotiation.

I think it is important that you assert yourself and do not assume your husband has all the rights in the situation. He may be able to prevent you taking the kids to the UK, but he is still relying on you to be main carer for your boys, and that does give you some negotiating power.
Yes, mediation would be best, but I was advised thats a better option for amicable couples who are on an even playing field. As we're polar opposite to that apparently I need representation. I don't want to go into details but there have been some quite aggressive and controlling acts, non-violent i should say. That have left me in a corner so to speak.
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Old May 16th 2014, 9:24 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
Yes, mediation would be best, but I was advised thats a better option for amicable couples who are on an even playing field. As we're polar opposite to that apparently I need representation. I don't want to go into details but there have been some quite aggressive and controlling acts, non-violent i should say. That have left me in a corner so to speak.
Yes, I agree, you need a lawyer.
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Old May 16th 2014, 9:54 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: losing hope...

Originally Posted by Karrie72 View Post
Thanks Dunroving... It seems particularly unfair when all my support systems are in the UK and I'm the primary, custodial parent.
Are you basing that on a legal judgment or on what you see as the current reality of the situation? If the latter, your husband may well perceive it differently, especially if you are all still living in the same house.

Really, the only advice to give in this situation is get some legal advice as to your options. You shouldn't have to pay a $$$ retainer to get this. Find a family law attorney who's willing to sit down with you on a per hour basis.
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