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Polish Law and divorce from a US citizen - when does it apply?


forcedoc
8 Jun 2011 #1
I am a U.S. citizen and I married a Pole who also was born in the U.S. We have 2 children. We went through a messy divorce and since then he has gotten dual citizenship for himself and the kids. My ex has moved back to Europe and due to multiple circumstances (including his threat to take the kids to Poland where I would never see them again) I have sole custody. Now he has gotten my daughter all riled up saying he was going to reopen the case in Poland for custody and put me in jail for perjury. I don't think he can do anything unless we are in Poland. Is that true?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
8 Jun 2011 #2
I don't think he can do anything unless we are in Poland.

First things first, make sure that the US border guards know that the children are not to be removed from the USA under any circumstance. The Polish legal system is a mess - it wouldn't shock me if he actually managed to persuade the family court (as it's called here) that he should have custody. Obviously, America won't enforce Polish judgements in this respect - but you never know what a foreign jurisdiction might do.

Also : make sure that you never sign any documents allowing the children to have a Polish passport.

Essentially, while he could try opening a criminal case against you in Poland - as long as you stay in the US, you've got nothing to worry about. Personally though - I recommend staying clear of Europe if he does attempt any legal action - Poland is notorious for trying to get people deported to Poland for sometimes very trivial things.
Midas 1 | 571
8 Jun 2011 #3
He aught to try in Albania or Kazakhstan while he's at it, I'm sure he can get You sentenced to life in jail for grand treason or espionage over there, all for the price of three chickens and a dozen eggs...

If You're a U.S. citizen and Your kids are in U.S. I wouldn't worry about Polish courts.
Harry
8 Jun 2011 #4
Also : make sure that you never sign any documents allowing the children to have a Polish passport.

I think that the original poster said that the kids have dual nationality but you're right, signatures of both parents are needed in order to obtain a Polish passport (even when the parents are divorced!).

Personally I wouldn't place too much faith in the US border guard and (as far as I know) they only keep lists of minors who are not allowed out of the country for 28 days. And I would place even less faith in the Polish family court. If he can get the kids to Poland, you may well have problems (possibly very severe problems) in getting them back.

I'd strongly suggest being pro-active: get a court order which specifically states that the children are never allowed out of the the USA without their mother and which requires that their passports are held by a third party. That way if the kids do have Polish passports, he will need to surrender them or he'll be in contempt of court. Also, if he does somehow get the kids to Poland, you won't be dealing with a custody case in the family court, you'd just be applying to have a foreign court order recognised by and enforced in Poland. Given his threats to take the kids to Poland and make sure you never see them again as well as you having sole custody and his threats to your daughter to have you put in prison, it shouldn't be too hard to get such an order.

As for his threats of legal action in Poland, nothing to worry about at all. But just to make sure, email citizen services at the US embassy in Warsaw and ask them to contact the public prosecutor in whichever city he'd report you (i.e. the one where he lives) to formally give him your correspondence address (and get them to ask to be copied on all correspondence).
Larisa
15 Sep 2014 #5
We were married in Poland in 1994. I was then 48, my husband 62. We were married for ten years, but had no children together. We divorced in the U.S. in 2004, but the divorce was never registered in Poland. I have dual citizenship in the U.S. and Belarus. My husband had dual citizenship in the U.S. and Poland. My husband left no will and has children in Poland who are seeking to settle his estate. The estate consists of an apartment in Warsaw, several bank accounts, and retirement money which grew over the years while we were married.

What rights do I have?
jon357 67 | 16,854
15 Sep 2014 #6
What rights do I have?

You say the marriage was dissolved? A divorce elsewhere is valid provided the paperwork exists to prove it.
Jaxa
19 Sep 2016 #7
Taiwanese national married a Polish citizen, then acquired American citizenship. Now wants to divorce Polish husband.

Taiwanese Chinese lady married a Polish citizen in order to acquire Polish citizenship, then acquired American citizenship. Now wants to know how to divorce Polish husband, whom she never even met.
johnny reb 30 | 5,194
19 Sep 2016 #8
Polish husband, whom she never even met.

Since the marriage was never consummated all it would take is a simple annulment.

then acquired American citizenship

How, may I ask ?
mafketis 29 | 9,520
19 Sep 2016 #9
lady married a Polish citizen in order to acquire Polish citizenship, then acquired American citizenship. Now wants to know how to divorce Polish husband, whom she never even met

What a horrible, horrible person! Why did my country give such a dishonest person citizenship! America does not need trash like that!
terri 1 | 1,665
19 Sep 2016 #10
>>>>>>My husband left no will and has children in Poland who are seeking to settle his estate. The estate consists of an apartment in Warsaw, several bank accounts, and retirement money which grew over the years while we were married.

Two things. First the children from his first marriage are entitled to half of those things which your husband had before he got married to you. You need to prove that. You must also be able to prove that anything else after marriage belonged to both of you. The children may seek his half (or quarter) out of that.

I would get a solicitor/lawyer. Do not pay anything to their children without any court orders. They see his fortune (estate) and you as a 'cash cow' now. As you are divorced, the children suppose that they can go after everything he left. It also depends on your divorce settlement and what items were listed there. Check with a good lawyer what is legally yours.
Ironside 50 | 11,266
19 Sep 2016 #11
What rights do I have?

You're entitled to half of his money. You would have that is, if not for your divorce. I'm sure his children are well aware that you have been divorced and the fact that you have no registered it in Poland matters not. If you go to court in Poland to claim that half I'll backfire due to your status as a divorcée.

To sum it up - you have no claim. Forget about it and move on!


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