A Dutch father with an English ex and daughter
10 March 2021 at 12:13 pm #51018
I’m a Dutch father, living in the Netherlands with my daughter and her mother living in England, a long long time ago, i thought we’d be a family in The Netherlands, but life happened and now we are trying to make do, though that’s proving difficult.
Little background storytime…
Once upon a time, i met a wonderful lady in The Netherlands (where I’m from). We had some great dates and eventually became boyfriend and girlfriend.. When her grandmother got ill, she went back to England to stay by her and her mothers’ side (she’s English too).
Not long after that we found out that we were going to be parents! Excited as i was, i had a different idea of what that meant than my girlfriend, who didn’t really want to keep our relationship (which i didn’t know yet). As i flew over to England a few times for visits, it got… unpleasant, though i can’t really fathom what it’s like to be pregnant, so i figured that would work itself out in due time.
When it was time to see our fresh baby for the first time, it was amazing ofcourse!
While it was great to have the baby and I didn’t expect things to suddenly be allright, I did notice it still seemed like I wasn’t welcome. She was living with her parents and they were wonderful and welcoming people, so it wasn’t all around bad, but between the mother and me, things weren’t great.
Fast forward a few months, when I’m back home in the Netherlands, doing work on a freshly bought family home that needed a bit of work, we had a conversation and she told me she didn’t want any kind of relationship and she never said she did! (she may have been right about that, i was in love and probably quite blind). This was in march of 2020.
After some cooling down time we had a talk about child support and we made an arrangement, based on the English government calculation, which didn’t feel right, earning an income in another country, but all right.
Now its march of 2021, haven’t seen my daughter in over a year (barely recognize her in recent pictures anymore). Of course because of Covid, but i suspect a bit of a convenient excuse as well.
Though that’s not quite what brings me here…
I’ve been paying the child support payments for nearly a year, reduced my expenses as much as possible, thankfully have a lower mortgage payment than rent would be, but I can’t make ends meet and I think it’s because tax rates in England are very different than in The Netherlands, so my pre-tax income leaves me with less disposable income than it would in England. I’ve tried to explain that, but we can’t really reach a kind of consensus and she will end up saying that she can just go to court and get the money that way (which i think would be even more expensive because the English CMS also takes a (huge) cut?).
At this rate, when I Am allowed to come visit, maybe finally get registered as the father, it would be tough to afford the trip, let alone having it become regular visits. So my question is where i can find (useful) information on international child support, because this seems a bit of a gray area, where the child’s country of residence determines the law that applies (makes sense), though the income of the paying parent is somehow taken as an English income in this case. I’ve been able to find information locally, but that’s all about Dutch situations, for Dutch law. Trying to get in touch with any kind of legal advise in England or the UK seems to be purely for residents of the UK and not available to me. Of course i assume i can get a solicitor(lawyer?), though there is no legal aid available for me, so that would be way too expensive.
I’d have to assume there are more international couples that separate with a child and have to work that out somehow, what is normal? I would imagine the objective of child support is to support the child, whilst not bankrupting a person?
For the sake of a complete-ish picture; i earn 2000 euro’s After tax, of which i pay 1400 to housing/insurance/local tax, leaving me with 600 euros a month, of which i have to pay 450 Pounds (520 euro’s or so) to my daughter, leaving me with 80 euro’s a month for food, a new washing machine when that breaks, fuel, a trip to visit my daughter etc.
That math doesn’t add up for me, while i allready work full-time, so i don’t see many options of improving my situation. The only solution I can think of is to convince her to accept less per month and that doesn’t seem likely if she could just go to court and win the case there, but would the English court see this case her way as well (ofcourse she would receive child support, thats not in question, but regarding the amount?)?
Thanks for making it all the way down here 🙂11 March 2021 at 1:01 pm #51086
I read your story and really felt for you. It sounds like your trying so hard to make this work and yet coming across barriers all the time ! I know nothing about Law and particularly of international Laws but it does seem as if you need some legal advice and as you said there must be others in similar situations to your own. Is there something in the Netherlands like the UK Citizens advice bureau ? They can be a great help in giving you advice relating to your own circumstances and are free to access. If you have something similar in the Netherlands then aswell as giving you advice they may be able to point you in the direction of a solicitor who will be free for consultation. Its a start. I wish you all the luck. You sound like an honest person trying to do the right thing.11 March 2021 at 1:11 pm #51087
I sent him pm. my understanding is there would first need to be an active Child maintenance case for his child, then if mother wants to enforce it as fathers abroad, she would have to apply to courts to get it enforced.