Archive for January, 2007

and Finally!

Posted in child kidnapping, Child Protection, creative / writing, France, hague convention, Human Rights, international family law, legal aid, me and my world, Misbah Rana, morecambe on January 31, 2007 by Khlari

Thanks to following D’s advice and contacting my MEP, someone is FINALLY taking interest in this case! I got an email from the MEP yesterday…not only is he trying to do something about it himself, he has passed it on to Harriet Harman at the Department for Constitutional Affairs, saying that it is the latest in a line of similar cases and that something must be done urgently, and is discussing it with French MEPs in Brussels today!

Amazing how things can move when someone takes an interest….

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Anon of Nowheresville….

Posted in child kidnapping, Child Protection, creative / writing, France, hague convention, Human Rights, international family law, legal aid, me and my world, Misbah Rana, Molly Campbell, morecambe on January 29, 2007 by Khlari

Some of the more observant amongst you may note that I have anonymised my blog somewhat. This is just in case someone is trying to look me up, given what is going on at the moment……….

Given some of the hassle that Mr Spicy C has had regarding blog content, i felt it might be better to be safe than sorry.

Back at work today. Obviously doing an absolutely sterling job with my mind on the task……..

Channel 4, Child Abduction and Caring, Sharing Employers.

Posted in child kidnapping, Child Protection, creative / writing, employment, France, hague convention, Human Rights, international family law, legal aid, me and my world, Misbah Rana, morecambe on January 23, 2007 by Khlari

Ho ho ho and it’s another fun day in our household……..

There was a report last night on Channel 4 News about people in my situation, the ones that The Hague Convention can oblige to return to their ‘Country of Habitual Residence’, and it showed two women who had indeed been arrested and ‘returned’ to their adoptive countries with no means of support or family to help…..it then went on to explain that the behaviour of the partners was not called into question and that the courts were just interested in ‘returning’ the children…….and the British Courts did so in 84% of cases, more than any other signatory…… They also explained that with the amount of mixed marriages, this was becoming more and more common, and yet there was still no money and no-one to help us at all. The Convention was apparently designed for when 3rd parties abduct children, but no-one had thought of this side, yet they were not changing it. How reassuring that is. Made me ever more apprehensive and sleepless. I then went on the Channel 4 website. No information at all. Loads about the despicable Jade and Big Brother, but nothing about this. Finally magaed to post on the C4 Forums…but no-one is looking at that either.

http://community.channel4.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/503603557/m/1140048817

THEN work had called. Wanted to see me today. So, met up with boss today. Great. If I take 4 more days of sick leave, I will have no job to come back to, despite what is happening. I will be on a stage 2 disciplinary and cut to half-pay. UNLESS I at least agree to return for half-time next week, despite the state of my head. Caring, sharing employers. Have to use all my annual leave to go to France like it was a damn holiday or something, and like I really wanted to go……. Their statutes cannot deal with this kind of thing. Strange really, have finally finished probation but all this because I am technically and only just in the first year of employment. Strange really, as colleagues have had months off, and even a year in one case….and kept their jobs. It never rains but it pours.

Diary of being obliged to fight to keep your own child #2

Posted in child kidnapping, Child Protection, creative / writing, France, hague convention, Human Rights, international family law, legal aid, me and my world, Misbah Rana, Molly Campbell, morecambe on January 19, 2007 by Khlari

Still here, still being pushed from pillar to post. Contacted the MP today, to find that she is not having any surgeries in the constituency in the near future. Spoke to an advisor, who told me he would have to ring the House of Commons for advice. Then rang back to tell me that the person he needed was in a meeting, and would have to ring me back. Still going nowhere then…..

Have also tried to contact the Legal Services Commission, the people who regulate Legal Aid. They don’t take phone calls. Or email enquiries relating to personal cases. What do they do exactly then, you may ask. Emailed them anyway. Anything is worth a try at this point…….

Diary of being obliged to fight to keep your own child.

Posted in child kidnapping, Child Protection, creative / writing, France, hague convention, Human Rights, international family law, legal aid, me and my world, Misbah Rana, Molly Campbell, morecambe on January 17, 2007 by Khlari

Did you ever wonder why these ‘tug-of-love’ parents are obliged to give up their cases, and give up their children? Why would you do that?

I don’t often go into the life of my daughter on here (as it’s my blog and her personal life)

but I am going to now.

I have a daughter, called M_______. She was eight yesterday, is bright, beautiful, and the reason I am still here. In some very dark days, she has been the reason I stayed alive.

M_______ is the only good result of my marriage, which in every other way was truly appalling, including such highlights as nearly being murdered, marital rape, an alcoholic husband, grinding poverty, and depression. In fact, if it hadn’t been for her, I would have finished it all, many times over.

The news about the cuts in legal aid today just spurred me to write this. I have been called to court in France by M______’s father in February.

I left him in February 2003, and I am still not divorced from him. I applied for a divorce in August 2003. What’s the sticking point? Legal Aid mainly. I can get Legal Aid in the United Kingdom, and I have done everything that I can do from this end, but to no avail. I am still married to my alcoholic violent husband, which means that he still has rights over my daughter.

The latest stunner is that he wants access for six weeks every year, two weeks at Christmas, and four weeks every summer, not coinciding with the school holidays at all….and the best? I am supposed to accomodate him for these visits. My dream situation eh? Having the man who caused me to get up one morning and run off half way across Europe with a small child and four suitcases living in my house for six weeks a year for the next ten years…… and I’m sure Mr A will be so happy to welcome the man that nearly killed me over and over again into our house at regular intervals…….

Not to mention the fact that I can’t trust him as far as I can throw him with the child he used to take in the car, drunk, with no seatbelt….. and the risk of him running off with her so I never see her again….

So. I receive a subpoena….. I did used to have a solicitor in London, but as I have dipped up and down in salary terms and in and out of legal aid, have not been able to continuously keep him on……

I am now in Lancashire, so, a tad impractical. So I went around every lawyer in the area, and none would touch this case with a bargepole. International family law? No thanks mate. So I rang CAFCASS, the so-called children’s guardians, figuring that they could advise…yes, they did….London or maybe Manchester….. and then took time out to remind me that I had contravened the Hague Covention and was technically a criminal, and was I aware of this? Strangely enough, yes, yes, I was, but hadn’t stopped to think about this as I was running from someone who was beating the life out of me…odd that….

It’s great you know. At work we spend all day protecting the children of people who often don’t deserve to have them protected, and Social Services and CAFCASS leap in, throwing court orders around like lollipops. Unfortunately, I work for Social Services, as some of you might know, but they seriously aren’t bothered about the protection of my child….. They can’t do anything, I’ve been told. Hold on, let me pop out and get myself a smack habit and five kids by different blokes, and they would be falling over themselves to help me…..

As however I am fairly literate, sane, and work for them…. I have to do it all for myself. Whilst my ex doesn’t set a foot in this country, they are prepared to do…..nothing. It’s down to me, whether I can afford it or not. Above all, I had better not take any time off of work over this……

So, I have to go back to my solicitor in London…… a nice bill of £100.00 to start off with, just after Christmas……

He tries his best to get me off of this court hearing, suggesting that I write a court statement to explain why I am unwilling to attend….a week of raking over past pain, no sleep, torturing the phrases out bilingually, as Legal Aid doesn’t stretch to translation…..

Then he tells me that after research, he has found that the French courts usually find in the favour of the person who is present……… here we go again.

Mr A and I sit down and torture this out….hmmmmmm. Fares to the town where I was living are astronomical. It’s a holiday resort, and we are out of season. London- S d’O, £354.00 each, (there is no way I am going alone) then we need to add on fares from here, probably another £200.00, plus a hotel, we are looking at over £1000.00… by air…Manchester- Nantes is over £400.00, then there is the train to S d’O, over £1000.00. Thrashing it out with Amethyst Dragon and OH, we decide that if we bought a banger and drove, it would be cheaper…….

That’s over a week’s work, and we’re still no nearer……

I have no legal representation in France, so it’s all very well me turning up (shows willing), but they aren’t obliged to listen to me at all. A fruitless few days follow on the net, trying to find a lawyer in S d’O that specialises in family law….. that isn’t his lawyer. I keep trying, Ministry of Justice Websites, Legifrance, the French Embassy in London who hang up when I reveal I’m British, the Consulate (ditto), the Consulate in Manchester turns out to be purely honorary. So I get on to the charity that has been set up around these matters since I started the whole thing 4 years ago, and they put me on to a lawyer in Paris, specialist in International Family Law.

At a price. £221.00 per hour, in fact. I have found out that I am eligible for French Legal Aid, but with nowhere to apply for it as I am not resident in France. So that’s no use. She tries to find me someone in S d’O (in the middle of nowhere). She draws a blank. If she goes for me, the estimate now stands at……. over £4000.00. I only earn £11,000.00 pa………

Mr A and I spend most of last night sleepless and discussing this. comes to over £5000.00 with our fares too. We can’t do it unless we win the lottery. We need to go as if we maange to, she can drag the whole thing back to being tried in Britain. Where I get legal aid. Chicken, egg, chicken, egg……..

No-one has sked M_____ what she thinks about all of this. But there are clues, believe me. She flatly refuses to speak French. Her mother tongue, that she spoke and was schooled in until the age of four. She won’t speak it to me. I sent her to French Clubs, lessons…she won’t speak it to anyone else either. She then told me that ‘Daddy speaks French and I don’t want to’. I won’t let anyone demonise her father in front of her, whatever I may think about him. She remembers. She remembers seeing far, far, too much.She is scared. She doesn’t even want to talk to him on the telephone. How then can I send her merrily off to spend time with him? To all intents and purposes, they don’t even speak the same language.

This morning, the Paris lawyer has found someone. But we still need to pay her for the drawing up of documents. and him. Looking at at least £1600.00 still, plus translations…plus our fares.

So we’re still on a figure of £2600.00 and rising, with a budget of about…….. er, if we are pushing it and begging and borrowing, about £1000.00. No-one would give either of us a loan. Plus the £100.00 or so I spent on faxing, copying, and posting yesterday…..already spent £200.00 and we haven’t even started yet……

I think I can understand why Molly Campbell’s mother was obliged to give up…….How could she afford it? Again, she was the ‘wronged’ one, as Misbah was taken by her father. There is scant sympathy for me as the one who is ‘wronging’ in all of this. Whatever the reasons, I am seen as a child kidnapper, someone who contravened an arbitrary convention to save the life of her daughter, and that of herself. If I’d murdered someone abroad, bet they’d give me legal aid then……

Not content with ruining the seven years of my life we were together, poisoning the next four (ruining any relationship), he has now managed to poison the next year, as I will spend most of this paying off the debts I have had to accrue for this case. No-one will help me.

I am being punished for trying to keep my child safe and secure…uh?????? Has this country gone completely barking mad? I thought that was what a mother was actually supposed to do in life, forgive me if I got that wrong. We are now in a culture where bad behaviour is sanctioned and in effect rewarded, whereas my strenuous efforts to do the right thing mean that I get no help at all……

I still have to risk my sanity by going to another country to in effect stand trial, though I have done nothing wrong, facing the person who caused it all in the first place. I risk being arrested for ‘sequestration d’enfant’, child kidnapping. The country in which I believed, in which I had faith in truth and justice, doesn’t give a damn. Down to me again then I guess. Thanks for nothing. But believe me, whatever it takes, my daughter stays here.

Yes, I may be silent (or a fruitbat) but I’m still (hanging) around…..

Posted in France, me and my world, morecambe on January 9, 2007 by Khlari

Yes., I know I’ve been a little silent of late, but all hell has broken loose on the mad ex-husband front, as he has now applied to get custody of Morgane, and I’m having a hell of a time trying to get anyone to handle this, so ended up having to go back to my old solicitor in London yesterday……..

I’m trying like mad not to have to go back to France to deal with this, I have been summonsed for 9 February, but I have a feeling it’s just a pretext to get me arrested on a child- kidnapping ‘sequestration d’enfant’ and abandonment of marital home ‘abandonment du domicile maritale’ charge……

I’m sorry about being a litte off, but I now have to prepare a 30-odd page court statement in French legalese to try and avoid going, which is raking up a lot of things which I’d quite firmly buried in the past where I thought they would stay…until now.

Work isn’t helping…help other people’s children all day long, but for them mine is firmly at the bottom of the list…. I’m just too damn literate and well qualified. No hordes of Social Workers and support staff rushing to my aid, I’m afraid, even the work-based counsellor has a 10-week waiting list.

Even though I am supposed to be the sane, strong one, this is all a bit too much too put up with, but no-one ever believes me when I say I’m cracking up, I’m far too sensible ….maybe I should run around Dalton Square naked, or pretend to take an overdose…what does it take around here for anyone to take this seriously? I can see it happening to me, yet because I can explain it, it’s not there????

Not sleeping, haven’t been able to for weeks, hard to concentrate, I am a crotchety old fruitbat indeed……