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German vs American Custody Battle

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  • German vs American Custody Battle

    I am an American living in Germany and am divorcing a German. We have two kids a daughter 6 and a son 4. The father said in the beginning of the divorce that he wants to live off welfare, child support, and the kindergelt (370 euro or about $480). The courts decided that until a decision in custody was made the children would live with me one week then him one week. The father has been unemployed for most of his life being unwilling to hold a job longer than is needed for unemployment. I worked on the Air Force base at the Child Development Center for 7 years. The reason for the divorce was the father started getting into drugs (marijuana, Valium, sleeping pills). He started slipping the drugs into our food for his own amusement. He has admitted to doing the drugs in a police investigation and claims to be clean now. He also has a record of shoplifting. During the stay of the children at his home our son had an accident in his pants and the father hit him and left bruises on his back. He did the same to our daughter when she was 3 accompanied by cold showers, she has told the head teacher at the kindergarten this as well. The kindergarten called Jugendamt (child services) and he had to take our son to the hospital to have pictures of the bruises taken, and our son said his father hit him for having an accident. The doctor wrote in his statement that he could not prove or disprove that the bruises were from the father. I was contacted by the head teacher at kindergarten to even bring the kids jackets, hats, and gloves for them when it was in the negatives out side with snow on the ground. He also has the children stay at other peoples houses over night on the week he has them. The court had assigned a psychologist to our case. He met with the father and kids twice, and me once with the kids in another room. During our meeting my son ran to me and gave me a big hug and wanted to sit on my lap. During one of his psychological tests he asked if I was excited to see my children when I pick them up from kindergarten. I said yes, using the word excited to mean I was happy to see them. He was using the word excited to mean agitated or upset. He made a profile of me saying I am insane due to that one word. He was asked to fix that word and adjust accordingly or have someone else do the translation and he refused saying his findings are 100% correct. During one of the meetings between him and the father the father told him he thinks the children are afraid of me so I should not get to see them. He did a test with the children where my son (at the time 3) picked an animal to represent me (he picked a tiger) and an animal to represent him (he picked a sheep). The psychologist then asked him how does mommy play with you. He had the tiger eat the sheep (when I play with him his dinosaurs eat the cars and animals). He asked my daughter (then 5) to pick a picture card that represents me and the father. She picked a crying face for the father and a smiling cartoon devil for me (I am not Christian and have never told them what the devil is). During the latest court hearing the psychologist said that the children are terrified of me and that the father should have custody. All arguments were thrown out and it was decided that for now the children will stay with their father to see if he can handle having the kids and I will have visitation. How do I get the courts to look at all of the evidence and get my children back?

  • #2
    Re: German vs American Custody Battle

    I wish to inform you that court considers best interest of child as main consideration. In this regard you may appeal the decision of the court on the ground that children are not terrified and result of child psychologist are incorrect. You can contest the finds on the ground that your evidences has not been considered. In appeal you may not present new evidence without permission of court but can argue as to how the judgment was incorrect. Alternatively you can seek modification of child custody after you have collected evidence that children are unsafe with father or are suffering with father.

    AFF

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    • #3
      Re: German vs American Custody Battle

      Originally posted by CrystalRitter View Post
      I am an American living in Germany and am divorcing a German. We have two kids a daughter 6 and a son 4. The father said in the beginning of the divorce that he wants to live off welfare, child support, and the kindergelt (370 euro or about $480). The courts decided that until a decision in custody was made the children would live with me one week then him one week. The father has been unemployed for most of his life being unwilling to hold a job longer than is needed for unemployment. I worked on the Air Force base at the Child Development Center for 7 years. The reason for the divorce was the father started getting into drugs (marijuana, Valium, sleeping pills). He started slipping the drugs into our food for his own amusement. He has admitted to doing the drugs in a police investigation and claims to be clean now. He also has a record of shoplifting. During the stay of the children at his home our son had an accident in his pants and the father hit him and left bruises on his back. He did the same to our daughter when she was 3 accompanied by cold showers, she has told the head teacher at the kindergarten this as well. The kindergarten called Jugendamt (child services) and he had to take our son to the hospital to have pictures of the bruises taken, and our son said his father hit him for having an accident. The doctor wrote in his statement that he could not prove or disprove that the bruises were from the father. I was contacted by the head teacher at kindergarten to even bring the kids jackets, hats, and gloves for them when it was in the negatives out side with snow on the ground. He also has the children stay at other peoples houses over night on the week he has them. The court had assigned a psychologist to our case. He met with the father and kids twice, and me once with the kids in another room. During our meeting my son ran to me and gave me a big hug and wanted to sit on my lap. During one of his psychological tests he asked if I was excited to see my children when I pick them up from kindergarten. I said yes, using the word excited to mean I was happy to see them. He was using the word excited to mean agitated or upset. He made a profile of me saying I am insane due to that one word. He was asked to fix that word and adjust accordingly or have someone else do the translation and he refused saying his findings are 100% correct. During one of the meetings between him and the father the father told him he thinks the children are afraid of me so I should not get to see them. He did a test with the children where my son (at the time 3) picked an animal to represent me (he picked a tiger) and an animal to represent him (he picked a sheep). The psychologist then asked him how does mommy play with you. He had the tiger eat the sheep (when I play with him his dinosaurs eat the cars and animals). He asked my daughter (then 5) to pick a picture card that represents me and the father. She picked a crying face for the father and a smiling cartoon devil for me (I am not Christian and have never told them what the devil is). During the latest court hearing the psychologist said that the children are terrified of me and that the father should have custody. All arguments were thrown out and it was decided that for now the children will stay with their father to see if he can handle having the kids and I will have visitation. How do I get the courts to look at all of the evidence and get my children back?
      What a mess the pscyhologist made. He was at the least biased if not incompetent. You have my sympathy. What you will need to do is get another evaluation -- with a parenting profile on you and also petition the court to have one ordered on the father.

      It appears from your post that there is enough backup support from other professionals who have seen the children, and know of the father's interraction with the children for you to launch a good case to modify (overturn) the court's order.

      What it will take is a lawyer in good standing with the family court -- an excellent litigator, one who aggressively takes no prisoners and is well respected by the court -- one with a strong family law and litigation background. The family courts are a relatively small clique, often the same lawyers appearing before the same judges -- everybody knows everybody else, the best way to put it. And there are lawyers who carry more clout with the court for their excellence preparing and presenting a case.

      There is the law, there is what is right and just, and there is the reality of the way things are. Get the best lawyer you can and go back in there for justice for your children is the best advice I can give.

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      • #4
        Re: German vs American Custody Battle

        My sister is going through a similar situation near Cologne Germany. Any recommendations on a good lawyer? Strategy recommendations? Her children are now both depressed since the court granted custody to the German alcoholic, drug addict, abusive father. The father doesn't adhere to visitation schedule and child protective services and judge are doing nothing about the situation. My sister's lawyer is trying to reopen this case to try to overturn court order. I am hoping this situation has a positive outcome and would appreciate any advise for us. Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: German vs American Custody Battle

          Originally posted by elainechien View Post
          My sister is going through a similar situation near Cologne Germany. Any recommendations on a good lawyer? Strategy recommendations? Her children are now both depressed since the court granted custody to the German alcoholic, drug addict, abusive father. The father doesn't adhere to visitation schedule and child protective services and judge are doing nothing about the situation. My sister's lawyer is trying to reopen this case to try to overturn court order. I am hoping this situation has a positive outcome and would appreciate any advise for us. Thanks!
          It will be up to the lawyer she hires to develop the trial strategy. Give her all the support you can during this difficult time is the best way you can help her.

          Comment

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