The second summer

In the first half of 2010 nothing really serious happened. Interestingly enough we both petitioned for divorce on the same day! Her petition arriving a few hours before mine, so she “won”! it went on to take a year to finalise due to sorting out the one mandatory item in a German divorce – no not custody of the children as one would expect – but pension rights.

She proved to be a lot sneakier than last summer. But again – anything to stop the children staying with me for more than a couple of days.

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Brief an RTL zur Sendung Umgangsboykott

Here is a father’s letter to one of the main television channels (RTL). They recently had a feature on PA and he has written a letter to ask why he wasn’t interviewed although he was contracted several times beforehand.

The letter is incredible – it details some of the terrible things he and his children have had to endure because the German legal system just let the situation with his ex-wife carry on – complete with abducting his child, accusing him of trying to kill his child – all of this in THIRTY applications to court.

Get google to translate it for you – this is one of the worst cases of PA that I have ever come across.

 

Familie & Familienrecht


Danke für die vielen Reaktionen auf meinen Brief an RTL SternTV.

Natürlich respektiere ich das, dass nicht jeder Betroffene seine Geschichte öffentlich darlegen möchte…
Ich hingegen denke, dass endlich mal alles auf den Tisch sollte, damit über dieses Thema viel mehr diskutiert wird… Damit Bewusstsein um die schrecklichen Um- und Zustände entsteht in denen viele tausend Kinder leben müssen.
Es geben viel zu viele Väter und auch Mütter von Vorneherein auf, weil ihnen die Kraft, das Durchhaltevermögen, das Auftreten, die Nerven, die finanziellen Mittel und das fachliche Wissen fehlt…
Selbst Fachanwälte für Familienrecht sind in diesem Dschungel von Paragraphen immer wieder überfordert. Weiter wissen Anwälte auch, dass viele Betroffene finanziell Ausbluten und unzählige Verfahren mit langen Anhörungen, Verfahren und riesigem Zeitaufwand folgen und mit nur kleinem Geld wegen Prozesskostenhilfe honoriert werden. Weiter wird immer noch zu sehr zwischen Müttern und Vätern unterschieden… Obwohl es…

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Logic – Don’t you believe it!

So what about logic, and being logical. Well sometimes it doesn’t occur in nature especially in a ‘high conflict situation’ – for instance where custody is being disputed, and as part of existing custody judgements that are being torpedoed, circumvented and ignored.

What might seem logical – for instance offering to pick the children up a bit earlier so they are not waiting around for 45 minutes for the non-custodial parent to appear is to the custodial parent an excellent chance to disrupt the meeting. In my case simply her bringing the children in the car to another train station the same distance from their home would have saved one leg of the journey, enabled them to join the mainline train going directly to Munich instead of joining a little diddy train that brought them to the mainline train and takes 30 minutes longer. In this way I was being punished (I had the little diddy train and waiting twice!) and the kids had a lasting impression that meeting Daddy was ‘hassle’. i.e. instil a little bit of negative into the meetings.

I am reminded of the scene in Monty Pythons Holy Grail where a professor of logic (played by John Cleese) tries to explain his wife’s logic:

Good evening. The last scene was interesting from the point of view of a professional logician because it contained a number of logical fallacies; that is, invalid propositional constructions and syllogistic forms, of the type so often committed by my wife.

‘All wood burns,’ states Sir Bedevere. ‘Therefore,’ he concludes, ‘all that burns is wood.’ This is, of course, pure bullshit. Universal affirmatives can only be partially converted: all of Alma Cogan is dead, but only some of the class of dead people are Alma Cogan. ‘Oh yes,’ one would think. However, my wife does not understand this necessary limitation of the conversion of a proposition; consequently, she does not understand me, for how can a woman expect to appreciate a professor of logic, if the simplest cloth-eared syllogism causes her to flounder?

For example, given the premise, ‘all fish live underwater’ and ‘all mackerel are fish’, my wife will conclude, not that ‘all mackerel live underwater’, but that ‘if she buys kippers it will not rain’, or that ‘trout live in trees’, or even that ‘I do not love her any more.’ This she calls ‘using her intuition’. I call it ‘crap’, and it gets me very irritated because it is not logical. ‘There will be no supper tonight,’ she will sometimes cry upon my return home. ‘Why not?’ I will ask. ‘Because I have been screwing the milkman all day,’ she will say, quite oblivious of the howling error she has made. ‘But,’ I will wearily point out, ‘even given that the activities of screwing the milkman and getting supper are mutually exclusive, now that the screwing is over, surely then, supper may now, logically, be got.’ ‘You don’t love me any more,’ she will now often postulate. ‘If you did, you would give me one now and again, so that I would not have to rely on the Milkman for my orgasms.’ ‘I will give you one after you have got me my supper,’ I now usually scream, ‘but not before’– as you understand, making her bang contingent on the arrival of my supper. ‘God, you turn me on when you’re angry, you ancient brute!’ she now mysteriously deduces, forcing her sweetly throbbing tongue down my throat. ‘F**k supper!’ I now invariably conclude, throwing logic somewhat joyously to the four winds, and so we thrash about on our milk-stained floor, transported by animal passion, until we sink back, exhausted, onto the cartons of yogurt.

I’m afraid I seem to have strayed somewhat from my original brief. But in a nutshell: sex is more fun than logic. One cannot prove this, but it ‘is’ in the same sense that Mount Everest ‘is’, or that Alma Cogan ‘isn’t’.

A little bit long, but the gist is – accept it because it cannot be explained. And there is no way of forcing any form of acceptance of a ‘better way’ no matter how logical and beneficial to the children it might be.

Another example from real-life that none, and I mean none of my friends or acquaintances can understand is: The concept that having the kids over for the weekend means a weekend ‘off’ for the custodial parent – time for whatever they want!  Certainly, all the parents I know would give their eye-teeth for a day without the children for any number of reasons – primarily to rekindle the relationship – become lovers again, or do some DIY without any hindrances – anything really, instead of being only just parents. I know some of you will think I am selfish, but a successful family is a well-balanced family.

I’ll finish off with another logic quote – this time from ‘Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy’

“I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”

“But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED”

“Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

“Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

 © lostdad 2017 – all rights reserved

Forgetting the past (sometimes)

I haven’t written or posted for the last couple of days for a reason. I have enjoyed half-term with my new family.

I think while it is important never to forget the past and its injustices, it is also important to concentrate on the present and enjoy what it has to offer. I am enormously lucky to have met a wonderful woman, who brought her 8-year old son with her into our relationship. I effectively have a new family. While she understands more than most what I have endured in the past, it is important for me and our new relationship to enjoy the present and plan the future.

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Moving – a perfect way to reduce contact

At the end of 2009, six months after I moved out we both moved.

I did something stupid and rented a house with my girlfriend in Munich – I know it seemed like a good (financial and otherwise) idea at the time, but afterwards it was very definitely a case of from the frying pan into the fire. But at the start it was great, and my children loved coming every two weeks to a lively house where something was always going on.

We even were able to spend Christmas Day together! Though that stopped later on.

My soon to be ex-wife moved to Eichstätt, north of Ingolstadt and around 100km (1.5 hours) away from Munich. And I didn’t try to stop it.  I could have, as the reason behind the move had nothing to do with her being nearer to work (It probably took her the same amount of time to get to work as before), but it was obviously down to the fact that her boyfriend had got a job at the local clinic. So she took the children out of their environment and moved them to a completely new area, away from me, their friends -everything. She even asked me to go to the last Parent-Teacher meeting knowing that she was moving and there was no reason to go.

This was the first major step of what I now know to be parental alienation.

In January they were established in a temporary flat in Eichstätt. And I encountered the first body blow. For which there is no excuse whatsoever.

As I had the children during the week and every other weekend till the move I made a conscious decision not to phone them that often. Once a week at most, sometimes not even that if they were with me during the week. As Jonathan especially was suffering due to the break-up I felt that this was better for the children. I included the phone calls I had made in my diary. After she had moved out I did not have an address or telephone number for my children. After a couple of E-mails (non-inflammable) to my wife I did get the address and a mobile phone number.

One day at work I called the the mobile phone number I had been given to talk to my children, to see how they were getting on – Martin answered (as it turned out it was his phone) and I asked politely to talk to my children, and he said no! I asked several times, trying very hard to keep my anger suppressed. Then he said something I will never forget:

Du musst Dich an die Spielregeln halten” translated: You have to play by the rules.

I asked him what rules he meant, but he was not forthcoming. I asked him again to talk to the children. He refused again, and I slammed the phone down.

When I got home the ‘Rules’ were waiting for me in the form of the first lawyer’s letter (yes she threw the first stone).

Apart from a long diatribe that the children should not spend a lot of time with technical gadgets. (At this time the only gadgets were the TV, and the odd game on the computer – no consoles, no smartphones, no tablets, no ipods) the tenor of the letter was quite clear “I am in charge – I make the rules”.

The letter detailed where and when I was to pick my children up every two weeks. Friday at 17:00 to Sunday 16:00, pick up at the car park at the clinic where you know who works! And I was only ‘allowed’ to ring every Saturday at 12:00. Which since the children were with me every two weekends – it meant I could only talk to my children twice a month, and more to the point at dictated times. Thus taking away all spontaneity from the calls that had been present before.

So to sum up, I was told to use the boyfriend’s e-mail address, phone number and pick my children up from where he worked. Could be she was trying to provoke me again – It didn’t work! In fact the venue was changed later to a supermarket parking lot, as the clinic’s parking lot was strangely enough very busy at that time on Sunday afternoon with visitors! And we always had to wait in the cold for my wife to turn up.

To put this in perspective, my lawyer’s response, as well as the second lawyer years later confirmed that this way of handing the children fosters distrust in the children, and is only usually reserved for couples that are completely antagonistic towards each other. And at this stage we weren’t.

I responded legally, but it took me several years to realise that nothing can be done. She could torpedo everything – especially phone calls. Phone calls can always be “at the wrong time”, and thus worse than useless – even adults hate forced telephone calls, children even more so on a sunny day when their friends are playing outside.

As a humorous aside (yes there really is one in this mess). My wife’s lawyer was based in Stuttgart, and a former state justice minister who had to step down after being embroiled in the billion euro Flowtex corruption scandal, and she was actually charged afterwards – Fits!

There was nothing to justify reducing the level of telephone contact in this way, and this was the start of an effective contact ban. Bonding with children relies on keeping in touch with them, and what they are doing. This reduces the conversation about current topics to a question and answer session every two weeks. I personally cannot understand why something like this is not seen by the court as de-facto proof of ongoing parental alienation.

A tip for anyone at this stage: All classes at school have a list of the parents e-mails and telephone numbers – Make sure you take a copy. My children were able to keep contact with three sets of friends of theirs. Which they really enjoyed. Needless to say the lack of routine in the visits to Munich later caused by my ex-wife led to these contacts drying up due to the fact that organising visits with a day’s notice is really successful.

Note: under German law, you can stop your ex-partner from moving away with the children if there is no good reason,  the principle of continuity for the children where they live holds, and can be used to prevent the move.

 

© lostdad, all rights reserved

The first summer

Even though I had split up from my wife I was happy it was over, and was enjoying deepening my relationship with my children without her influence.

I had planned to take them to the UK, show them the land of their father, but of course my wife put a dampener on that by not letting me know exactly when I would have the children. In the end I had them for two weeks and enjoyed every minute of it. It was a wonderful summer as far as the weather was concerned, and we spent quite a bit of time outside in the garden, or at the Spielplatz nearby. I wanted to have them for the full two weeks, but Iris decided that it would be “Too much for me”, and she took them “for me” on the middle weekend. Another lie, they went to her lover’s flat for the weekend! This was the time that Jonathan refused to go back to his mother after a visit. It broke my heart to effectively force him to go back to his mother.

We did eventually get abroad though – Austria!

We took the train from Munich to Salzburg and spent the day there. Some of my initial ideas for going to another country – to show them that other languages are spoken outside of Germany, and that learning English is a good idea, were taken on in a small way in that Raffi was asking me what language they speak in Salzburg – He understood it was a heavy dialect was after that. I remember they were also enthralled by the fact that the buses in Salzburg were powered by overhead pylons, and we also enjoyed the visit to the castle and especially the ride down from the castle on the funicular railway.

Having a meal at the end of the day, I said I was sad that we couldn’t go fly to England, Raffi mentioned “Mami doesn’t want us to fly anywhere with you“. Looking back on this as I write I should have become aware of what she was planning a damn sight earlier.

This also took on additional context as she later accused me  in front of the Judge of wanting to kidnap my children to somewhere they would never be found – The United Kingdom, home of the CCTV!

Parental Alienation starts earlier than you can possibly imagine – it doesn’t even have a name at this stage!

 

© 2017 lostdad, all rights reserved

‘I witnessed abominable prejudice and abuse in the family courts. I had to keep fighting for my kids’

Here’s a excellent real-life story from Ireland showing how quickly everything can go wrong through no fault of the abused parent.

This story however did have a “happy end”. He was able to see his children again.

 

 

via ‘I witnessed abominable prejudice and abuse in the family courts. I had to keep fighting for my kids’