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Advice on partners access to his child in Poland 🙏🏻

BeckyT40 1 | 3
3 Apr 2022 #1

I've never posted on here before but I wondered if any of you good people could help or advise. I will make this as brief yet detailed as possible. My partner is English and has been split with his ex wife for 2.5 years. He has recently completed a divorce in the uk which she will not accept or believe. He managed to get it through without her signing anything as he got a court order to prove it had been delivered to her. She will not engage in any processes at all. Divorce, sorting finances or sorting child contact. He has now got a polish lawyer working on his child contact access. This lawyer has raised concerns from the exes lawyer that the divorce won't be valid as it's done in the uk and after Brexit. It has all gone through and he has his decree absolute. His ex will allow him to see their daughter who is 8, yet lays down the law as to where he can take her and insists she is home every evening at a certain time. He is not allowed to have his daughter to stay with him and his ex will not allow him to bring his daughter to the uk for a holiday and visit family. She has told her lawyer that the one time I met on video call with their daughter, that I traumatised her and I am a danger to be around. Therefore the child will not be allowed to come to the Uk or meet me in the future. My questions are this;

1 - has anyone divorced recently and it has all gone through fine from England with no issues?
2 - has anyone experienced the polish legal system when it comes to trying to sort out child contact. Was your child allowed to come to the uk?

Thanks so much in advance for reading all this. I just
Wondered if anyone had been in the same position and if anyone had any advice. I feel so sorry for my partner, it's all so stressful and costly and he loves his daughter dearly. Obviously things aren't great from my perspective either. I'm also pregnant and his ex and daughter do not yet know so he obviously wants his daughter to be able to visit his new baby.

Many thanks,

Atch 17 | 3,683
5 Apr 2022 #3
Hi Becky. There is always a lot of confusion in Poland regarding anything 'international'. Unless the ex's lawyer is an expert in European law, which he is obviously not, then he'll talk out of his arse quite confidently about things he doesn't understand. Of course your partner's divorce is valid. Since Brexit, the mechanism by which the British divorce is recognised is The Hague Convention of 1970 to which Poland is a signatory. So, yes your partner's divorce is legal in Poland. If you partner's lawyer doesn't know that, then that would worry me as he doesn't seem very competent to handle the case. You need a family lawyer based in the UK who knows both legal systems well.

As for the other stuff, I'm afraid the Polish legal system is a mess when it comes to custody, visitation etc. You may get a favourable judgement but it's very difficult to enforce. You don't say whether there is an order from the English courts regarding contact and you're trying to enforce it? Either way, this government link can be used to access more information about what to do. It's for parents who either have an abducted child or are like your partner and have a child living abroad.

Just to warn you there is a well known pattern of behaviour that some Polish women use where they won't allow the man to pay them child support and won't allow him even to speak to the child on the phone. They wait a while and then go to the Polish court saying that the father has abandoned the child, doesn't send money, doesn't contact them and they use this 'abandonment' to try to get his parental rights removed completely. It's actually called parental responsibility but it really means his right to have any involvement in the child's life. She'll then take a case in the Polish court to seek a judgement for child support. The Polish court doesn't take into account the father's income and expenses as they would in the UK, they base the amount on his potential earnings. They will also count your earnings. They will definitely count your earnings if you marry him, I'm not sure about co-habiting. So basically he ends up paying child support but has no contact or relationship with his child.

So I would say Becky that you need to try to get this sorted out ASAP through the English courts if at all possible and certainly with a very good solicitor. Best of luck with it all.
OP BeckyT40 1 | 3
6 Apr 2022 #4
Thank you so much Atch for your advice and for taking the time to reply. It's so appreciated. I have sent your reply to my partner for him to look at. You raise some really interesting points so thank you x
Atch 17 | 3,683
7 Apr 2022 #5
You're very welcome Becky. Btw if your partner is not already sending money because the ex won't accept it, I would ignore her and send money anyway. She can return it if she doesn't want it. If he doesn't have a bank account number for her, he can send it via Western Union if he has her address. Then if the case goes through the Polish courts, she can't claim that he failed to support the child. He will have the evidence that he attempted to and that she rejected the attempts. He would need to send the money every month consistently and let her keep returning it.

He should pick an amount that he would be able to pay regularly if that amount were fixed by the court. Polish courts don't have any system in determining the amount. They do it randomly, basically the judge just picks a figure out of the air. The only law they have as a benchmark is that the child is supposed to enjoy the same standard of living as they would if their parents were living together which is clearly impossible for most ordinary working people especially if they have a second family. In general however, it seems that the Polish court will set an amount of around 1500zl - 2,000zl per month to begin with. Your partner should also send birthday, Christmas, and other presents if he wants to, but keep receipts and evidence of postage. Sometimes if the ex gets very vindictive she won't allow the child to have the presents but it's important to send them anyway. And he should contact the child's school, if he hasn't already, on a fairly regular basis to find out how the little one is doing. Once again, it doesn't matter if they blank him, he needs to keep doing it and present evidence of it, because otherwise the ex will say he takes no interest in the child's education and may get a letter from the school saying that he never gets in touch.

If he ever has a chance to Skype again, did you know that there is 'record' option where you can record the call? Use that, so that the ex can't claim things, as in the case of saying the child was distressed. Even though you're not allowed to talk to the child at the moment, the ex could decide to say that the dad is stressing the child out. Btw I would be prepared, if I were you Becky, to call their bluff on you being 'dangerous' by telling her lawyer that you will submit to a psychological evaluation by a Polish psychiatrist :) A character reference from a Catholic priest or nuns would be a help too :)) Maybe you could do a bit of volunteering for a local Catholic charity and make a few contacts in the world of religion while helping those in need.

I'm assuming that the UK divorce was unable to stipulate anything about visitation as the ex wouldn't cooperate?
OP BeckyT40 1 | 3
11 Apr 2022 #6
Hello again, sorry for the delay in replying. You've been so helpful and I appreciate your time and advice so so much. He has been paying his ex wife £300 every month now for quite some time and sends his daughter birthday and Christmas presents. I have told him to contact the school though, that's a really good idea. She is still pursuing a polish divorce even though the British one is definitely legal. So my partner is now having to get a power of attorney and apostle to notified the polish courts of proof of this divorce. Meanwhile she believes the English divorce is not valid.

You're right. She is slowly cutting off contact and making herself hard to reach. His daughter now often does not pick up the phone to him and when she does phone calls are kept short. I will get him

To start screw recording the chats just in case it all needs proving in court. Thanks so much for your advice and help 😍

Just one more thing to add, I am pregnant and due in July. I think she will go insane once he tells his daughter this. I fear it will make his contact with his daughter even harder abs she will say nasty things to the daughter about him having another baby now etx. He has been advised by his lawyer not to tell his daughter about the new baby until the child contact has been sorted. All in all she is an absolute nightmare of a woman who sadly fails to put her daughters best interests before her own. It's very sad 😞 x

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