What If It Doesn't Work Out

expat-stuck.jpg

I've been trying to figure out how to start this post, but this subject was so disturbing, that I'm not sure how to begin writing about it. I'm a lurker on twitter. I don't actively participate on it, but I watch what's going on, about once or twice a week, usually to see what they're talking about during the walking dead, ha! No seriously, I was on there yesterday and came across this on my feed:

Raise Awareness #Hagueconvention child abduction. #Goinghometogethercampaign 2015 https://www.change.org/ & #expatstuckmums

Link: Expatstuckparent.org

I got curious and clicked on the site and I learned something that I had no clue about. Ok, I've known for years  that a parent might abduct his/her kids and bring the children to their home country, or go on holidays to his/her country and not want to go back, and will want to keep the kids with the spouse or not. It's heart breaking that grown ups can't agree with themselves and are willing to traumatize their kids forever by being so greedy.

What if it doesn't work out?

Now, what I didn't know is that sometimes, families will move overseas, with one of the spouse's job and things don't go as expected, then the parents split, one parent decides to stay and the other decides to go back home. The spouse that is trying to leave the country doesn't realize that he/she is "stuck". If he/she brings the kids, as per the Hague Abduction Convention he/she can be seen as kidnapping his/her kids and if the person decides to stay, he/she will be living with a sometimes violent spouse or with someone who you've got nothing in common. As noted above, both parents are living in a foreign country, usually due to work. One parent will be working and the other will be taking care of the family. As the accompanying spouse, you can't always work outside of the home, depending on the country where you're living.

On the same note, I was on Quora today and saw this question: "Is it illegal for a spouse to confiscate your passport in the U.S.?"

Someone posted this link about getting legal advise in the USA for victims of domestic violence. It does not only apply to American citizens, so someone who is here on a visa and is able to seek help, should do so as soon as possible.

The Hague Abduction Convention

Created to protect children from international abduction.

The problem is that it has been affecting families overseas trying to go back home after splitting from their partners. The Hague Abduction Convention is necessary for many reasons already mentioned, but governments and courts all around the world should create amendments to help those who sometimes become homeless or are in abusive relationships just so they can stay with their children.

It's unacceptable that in today's age, with all the technology and speed of things, many people still suffer due to overlooked laws that should be amended. Courts have their hands tight to do much and a lot of families are suffering because of it.

I was looking through the Expat Stuck Parent website and there's a lot of info, including ideas on what to do before you become an expat with your partner.

My advise would be... you know your relationship better than anyone. Just like a baby doesn't change people (relationships), moving overseas doesn't either. An asshole will always be an asshole. There, I said it!