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Can I get a court order to see my child?

Can I get a court order to see my child?

Old Apr 17th 2013, 12:10 am
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Default Can I get a court order to see my child?

I moved to the USA 3 years ago on a K1. I left my daughter with my ex as there was no way in the world she was going to let me take her away from her. I've been back to the UK every 8-10 months since I left and have been able to chat to my daughter on skype or by phone a few times each month.

The last time I visited a week ago, my wife and new daughter came with me (I normally go alone). I think my ex got upset at the fact my daughter enjoyed spending with us, after the 3rd day of seeing her my ex decided that my daughter gets too upset when I leave and that it would be best if I don't see her for the rest of the trip. I figured that this was unreasonable but didn't want to get into a fight with her while I was trying to enjoy my time in the UK and see family.

When I got back to the US she sent me an email saying that she wasn't planning on letting me see my daughter anymore. I made the threat of stopping sending child support (She has no court order so I am not obliged to send it, although I have been doing as it seems like the right thing to do). I'm not sure on weather or not I will follow through with this threat or not.

I was wondering if anyone else had been in a situation like this one? or if anyone has any good advice on what to do?

Also just to mention, my daughter is only 6 years old so she doesn't really get to make any of her own decisions just yet.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 12:26 am
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

I would get some solid legal advice from a family lawyer familiar with international issues.

Do note that failure to support dependents (i.e. not paying child support) may be taken into consideration during application for citizenship and can be grounds for denial (moral character).
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 12:27 am
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Originally Posted by Ja5on View Post
I moved to the USA 3 years ago on a K1. I left my daughter with my ex as there was no way in the world she was going to let me take her away from her. I've been back to the UK every 8-10 months since I left and have been able to chat to my daughter on skype or by phone a few times each month.

The last time I visited a week ago, my wife and new daughter came with me (I normally go alone). I think my ex got upset at the fact my daughter enjoyed spending with us, after the 3rd day of seeing her my ex decided that my daughter gets too upset when I leave and that it would be best if I don't see her for the rest of the trip. I figured that this was unreasonable but didn't want to get into a fight with her while I was trying to enjoy my time in the UK and see family.

When I got back to the US she sent me an email saying that she wasn't planning on letting me see my daughter anymore. I made the threat of stopping sending child support (She has no court order so I am not obliged to send it, although I have been doing as it seems like the right thing to do). I'm not sure on weather or not I will follow through with this threat or not.

I was wondering if anyone else had been in a situation like this one? or if anyone has any good advice on what to do?

Also just to mention, my daughter is only 6 years old so she doesn't really get to make any of her own decisions just yet.
Child support and visitation have nothing to do with each other. Even if you never see your child again (which I sincerely hope does not happen to you) you would still be legally obligated to pay child support should a court decide you should. As an aside, keep a very careful note of all the support you do send; dates, amounts, etc., as well as a note of all visits and conversations with your ex. You may need this.

Let her calm down a bit and, if she's even slightly reasonable she'll come round. If not, you'll need to go to court but that can be costly and time consuming with no guarantee of a result in your favor.

I wish you luck.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 3:30 am
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Originally Posted by Ja5on View Post

When I got back to the US she sent me an email saying that she wasn't planning on letting me see my daughter anymore. I made the threat of stopping sending child support (She has no court order so I am not obliged to send it, although I have been doing as it seems like the right thing to do). I'm not sure on weather or not I will follow through with this threat or not.
Send her the money direct?

Edit: just read the last bit, at 6, she's too young, never mind. Good luck!
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Most of the conversations between me and my ex have either been online or through text messages, so its easy to keep track of all that. I send money through xe every month, I assume I can get the full history of all my transactions if I ever need to.

I go through this pretty much every time I visit. I'm just getting tired of it. I'll see how she is in a few weeks and then I may talk to a lawyer. Thanks for the replies.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Send her the money direct?

Edit: just read the last bit, at 6, she's too young, never mind. Good luck!
Originally Posted by Ja5on View Post
Most of the conversations between me and my ex have either been online or through text messages, so its easy to keep track of all that. I send money through xe every month, I assume I can get the full history of all my transactions if I ever need to.

I go through this pretty much every time I visit. I'm just getting tired of it. I'll see how she is in a few weeks and then I may talk to a lawyer. Thanks for the replies.
Set up an account for your daughter and put the money into it as you would otherwise send it to her Mum.
Then send copies of the statements to her by registered post.

You'd be widtholding and yet not.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Is there any way you two can go through a mediator over there to settle things? I know it may be wishing on a star, but if you two could sit down together, without the threats, and hash out what is in the best interest for your daughter, perhaps it may help. Do they have family court there?
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

get that bitch in court. toot sweet.

you have every right to see your child.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Originally Posted by Xebedee View Post
Set up an account for your daughter and put the money into it as you would otherwise send it to her Mum.
Then send copies of the statements to her by registered post.

You'd be widtholding and yet not.
Done as some sort of trust would enable you to be clear on who can access it and there may be tax advantages too.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Originally Posted by Manc View Post

you have every right to see your child.
And your child has every right to see you.

I'm sorry you're in this situation. I would advise seeking legal help immediately. Conversations/arguments between you and your ex are unlikely to solve anything. If you can go the mediation route as AmerLisa suggested, great.

Keep paying child support. Not only will it look favourably on you, it is the right thing to do for your daughter. However much it sticks in your throat to make the payment to your ex, if she is in financial difficulty, it will affect your daughter.

Please maintain contact with your daughter in any way you can. If your ex won't let her Skype or email, send postcards and letters. Let her know you love her, you miss her, you look forward to hearing from her and seeing her again. She needs to hear from you regardless of what is going on between you and her mum. Keep it to a normal father/6 yr old daughter conversation. Please do not involve her in any way in the friction between you and your ex. If she asks questions, answer them honestly but don't give her more than she asks for. Let her digest what she hears, and then she may ask another question. Rinse and repeat!

A 6 year old can be in distress one minute and playing with her toys or talking about her friend the next and then come back to the distress for 5 minutes, and then talk about her friend or go off and play with her toys again......

I'm not trying to tell you how to raise your daughter (really!!) but she is the one who will suffer most if you two adults don't get your act together and do the right thing for her. You can't sort it out between you so get help.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 4:21 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Originally Posted by Cardienscarf View Post
And your child has every right to see you.

I'm sorry you're in this situation. I would advise seeking legal help immediately. Conversations/arguments between you and your ex are unlikely to solve anything. If you can go the mediation route as AmerLisa suggested, great.

Keep paying child support. Not only will it look favourably on you, it is the right thing to do for your daughter. However much it sticks in your throat to make the payment to your ex, if she is in financial difficulty, it will affect your daughter.

Please maintain contact with your daughter in any way you can. If your ex won't let her Skype or email, send postcards and letters. Let her know you love her, you miss her, you look forward to hearing from her and seeing her again. She needs to hear from you regardless of what is going on between you and her mum. Keep it to a normal father/6 yr old daughter conversation. Please do not involve her in any way in the friction between you and your ex. If she asks questions, answer them honestly but don't give her more than she asks for. Let her digest what she hears, and then she may ask another question. Rinse and repeat!

A 6 year old can be in distress one minute and playing with her toys or talking about her friend the next and then come back to the distress for 5 minutes, and then talk about her friend or go off and play with her toys again......

I'm not trying to tell you how to raise your daughter (really!!) but she is the one who will suffer most if you two adults don't get your act together and do the right thing for her. You can't sort it out between you so get help.
Absolutely!
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 10:59 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

She said she doesn't care if I give her money or not. She just wants our daughter to grow up with her and her boyfriend and to pretty much just cut me out of her life. I am planning on giving her a couple of weeks to calm down, then I will see weather or not she will allow me any contact. If she is still being difficult then I will try to find a lawyer who can help me with this. Does anybody know if it would be better getting a US lawyer or a UK one? Obviously I can't fly back for multiple court dates.

I also don't know how much a lawyer would cost. I would say as of now I could put up about $2,000. I don't want to spend all that money just for a judge in the UK to tell me that my daughter is doing just fine with her mother and that I'm not allowed any access.

Thanks for all the replies, I'm still praying that my ex will calm down and let me see her again. But it does go back and forth.....I'm hoping that it can stay somewhat ok until my daughter is a little older and can make her own mind up!
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Ex-girlfriend or ex-wife? I ask because when I got divorced I had to (and did) allow "reasonable access" to my daughter's father and that was legally binding.
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Old Apr 17th 2013, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

I'm sorry you are going through this. A friend went through something similar with his son, and for five years the only news he got was through his son's understanding teachers. He rang up every couple of weeks and they would discuss is progress in school. He still sent letters and postcards and gifts etc.

His son got in touch in his teenage years thanks to Facebook, and during one of his visits my friend showed him copies of the letters that he had written over the years - his son had not received a single one, his mum had told him his dad didn't want to know him. Long story short, son rejected his mother and went to live with my friend instead.

My friend and his son will never get back those lost 5 years, but they are looking forwards not back. So hang on in there Ja5on, it will work out eventually.

It's terrible how badly people can behave when it comes to their children - for every story you hear of father's running away from their responsibilities, there is a story of a mother refusing the father access for no good reason (the only acceptable ones being abuse or violence).
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Old Apr 18th 2013, 12:04 am
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Default Re: Can I get a court order to see my child?

Originally Posted by Ja5on View Post
She said she doesn't care if I give her money or not. She just wants our daughter to grow up with her and her boyfriend and to pretty much just cut me out of her life. I am planning on giving her a couple of weeks to calm down, then I will see weather or not she will allow me any contact. If she is still being difficult then I will try to find a lawyer who can help me with this. Does anybody know if it would be better getting a US lawyer or a UK one? Obviously I can't fly back for multiple court dates.

I also don't know how much a lawyer would cost. I would say as of now I could put up about $2,000. I don't want to spend all that money just for a judge in the UK to tell me that my daughter is doing just fine with her mother and that I'm not allowed any access.

Thanks for all the replies, I'm still praying that my ex will calm down and let me see her again. But it does go back and forth.....I'm hoping that it can stay somewhat ok until my daughter is a little older and can make her own mind up!

I would really try and find some legal help. Perhaps the British Embassy can give you some guidance as to whether to consult a lawyer here or there. Equally, there are several fathers' rights groups in the UK and I expect they would respond to an email from you and give you an idea of what you can do. A parent's right and need to see his or her child, and vice versa, should certainly not depend only on the goodwill of the other parent. The only time a parent should not see a child is if that puts the child at risk of immediate harm. Please get some help - you can't really wing it with legal issues.
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