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Relocation to Poland from UK & Relationship Breakdown (involving child)


NewBritAbroad 1 | -
20 Sep 2020 #1
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum, but reaching out for help/guidance please.

I've recently relocated to Poland - from the UK - around 7 months ago, just before the global lockdown took hold, along with my girlfriend and our infant daughter. However, our relationship is now practically over and I'm completely lost with regards to my/her/daughters rights in Polish law.

We've been together over 6 years, are not married, and our daughter holds dual British/Polish nationality. We often came to Poland to visit her relatives over the years, and I grew to really like the country, people, culture etc.

My girlfriend spent all of her adult life in the UK, but suddenly decided she wanted to start a new life in Poland - to the extent that she told me that her & my daughter were going with or without me. Reluctant to miss out on my daughters future, after much thought and worry, I agreed. We sold everything, the house, cars, etc and took the leap.

Everything was great for the first few months, however we gradually grew more and more distant. She quit her job about 6 months before we left. I found a job pretty quickly after we got here, but she was wanted to wait until our daughter started nursery (September - and she has now started working again), which left me funding the family for the past year. We've always shared our money, but she's always been terrible with money and we'd often argue about finances when she demands money. In fact, she recently demanded half of our money (GBP after selling the house, etc), which I gave her - despite the fact that the house deposit, furnishings, and cars, were all paid for by myself/or finance taken in my name due to her bad credit history.

I recently flew back to the UK to give us both some space, and she begged me not to leave constantly during my 6 hour journey to the airport - but sadly nothing has changed. We're more like awkward friends now, but the strangest part is that she seems to ignore our issues and avoid talking about separating since I returned. This makes me think she wants me to make the first move - would this benefit her from a legal standpoint in some way?

I'm concerned about my options moving forward, as after reading a few threads on here, it appears that the Polish authorities always favour the Polish mother over a foreign party.

Essentially, I would move back to the UK as there's nothing else here for me. Where does this leave me?
1. What are my visitation rights?
2. What should I expect to pay in child maintenance fees, and does this take into account the cost of travel/hotels to see my daughter?

3. Could I take my daughter back with me (either for short visits, or permanently)?
4. What could she possibly gain from this situation?
5. If I walk away, does that affect my legal position/obligations in a negative way?

Sorry for the essay, but any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Atch 16 | 3,272
21 Sep 2020 #2
Hi BritAbroad, very sorry to hear of your troubles. (Sorry we can't use more than three quotes so I've just put your questions below without using the quote function.)

What are my visitation rights?

Under the law you have a right to have contact with your child but there is no clearly set out terms regarding how often etc. That is determined on an individual basis by the court.

What should I expect to pay in child maintenance fees, and does this take into account the cost of travel/hotels to see my daughter?

Depends on where the mother and child are living but as a general rule of thumb it would be around 1,000 to 1,500zl per month. However, once again there is no system in Poland for determining the amount. It's completely up to the judge hearing the case. Your expenses etc will not be taken into account. Maintenance is not decided on the basis of your earnings and outgoings but on your POTENTIAL earnings!! Your own outgoings and expenses are ignored completely.

Mothers frequently demand riduculously high amounts of maintenance from foreign fathers from 'rich' countries such as the UK so expect her to request much more than 1,500 per month.

Could I take my daughter back with me (either for short visits, or permanently)?

For a short visit, in theory yes you could with the mother's agreement but she's not likely to agree to that.
Permanently, no way. You won't get custody.

What could she possibly gain from this situation?
If you mean the mother, then money basically. Especially as maintenance carries on well past the child's 18th birthday, if they remain in education (even part-time studies) or if they are not earning enough to support themselves. The mother could encourage your daughter to do a cash in hand job so that she has no official earnings and still demand maintenance from you.

If I walk away, does that affect my legal position/obligations in a negative way?

Do you mean if you go back to the UK? Well, the courts will be used to seeing British fathers who can't stay in Poland for economic reasons and need to return to the UK, but the mother can use it to try to get your parental responsibilty removed so that you have no rights regarding the child but retain obligations to support them.

You'll need to be prepared for the fact that the mother may well stand up in court and lie blatantly that you neglect the child, have no interest in seeing them etc. in order to have your parental rights removed.

Here are a couple of links that might be of help to you:

polishlawexplained.com/familylaw#childsupport

Below is very detailed information on the EU justice portal. Just click on the area that interests you and then select the Polish flag from the list on the right in order to get information relating specifically to Poland.

e-justice.europa.eu/content_family_matters-44-en.do

Once again really sorry to hear of your troubles. You must feel very overwhelmed. Just take it a day at a time for the present. Best of luck.
cms neuf - | 1,585
21 Sep 2020 #3
All good advice to which I would only add 2 points

It seems like she still likes you as a person if she begged you to stay, so try and be on speaking terms and in regular contact as that will make things easier.

Hold on to your other half of the money and maybe invest it somewhere not liquid - new flat or pension plan in the UK. There is a category 5 financial storm coming and you will need something for yourself. If it is illiquid then its more difficult for a Polish court to take that into account.
Cargo pants 2 | 1,086
21 Sep 2020 #4
be on speaking terms and in regular contact as that will make things easier.

Very good advice.

Permanently, no way. You won't get custody.

WRONG,if he gets a good local lawyer and spends he can get custody.It will be a nasty battle for couple of years but he surely can get custody,it does require lots of patience though.I know 2 cases where the American fathers have full custody.
Atch 16 | 3,272
21 Sep 2020 #5
Not knowing the details of the two cases you mention, it's impossible to comment. However we do have the outline of the OP's situation and his chances of getting custody at this time are zero.
Cargo pants 2 | 1,086
21 Sep 2020 #6
In one case he proved that she is a unfit mother as he hired a pvt detective and took videos of her partying out in clubs etc and some more and got full custody,the other one lasted for almost 3 years but he also did get full custody with visiting rights,which he also plays some game and dont let his kids see the mom(not good in my opinion but happens in strained relations).

I dont know the exact details as that is there personal business,and later one is a American attorney in Warsaw from New York partner in law firm for the last 20 years.

In the OP's case,looks he has substantial money and can hire a good attorney for full custody,until he dont want that serious responsibility.

I wonder if Poland has Palimony law,that she can ask him for alimony/palimony with child support.
Since you live in Warsaw,I wonder if you know what happened between the Polish actress Kasia Figura & kai,when they split?
Atch 16 | 3,272
21 Sep 2020 #7
In the OP's case,looks he has substantial money

That's a bit of an assumption. The fact that he sold a property doesn't mean he has money. Most people have mortgages and don't get the entire proceeds of the sale as they have to pay off the bank first. He also specifies 'finance taken in my name'. So I doubt that he has a lot of cash to spend on expensive legal proceedings.

In one case he proved that she is a unfit mother

There is nothing in the OP's post to suggest that his girlfriend is an unfit mother. That's quite extreme. If she's just a normal, ordinary young woman, then his chances of getting custody are virtually zero.

Polish actress Kasia Figura & kai

Sorry I don't pay any attention to celebs :))


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