Ex Moved Abroad – Maintenance Nightmare – Advice needed

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    Hi, Just reaching out to see if anyone else has been in a similar situation or can lend some advice. I will try and summarise my situation. Me and my boys dad have been separated for 5 years. We were never married. He has since remarried and for a good 4 years we co-parented quite successfully 50/50 (split weeks) there was no maintenance paid as we had equal time with our boys (aged 11 and 13). My ex split his weeks between a home here and one with his wife in Spain. In March 2020, as the Covid Pandemic hit, he went to Spain and stayed. He suggested a few months in that he could no longer afford 2 houses and after 4 years of co-parenting has decided his preference is to live in Spain.  We finally agreed (by email) on a split of the holidays and that he would start paying a fair sum in maintenance as he no longer had any physical responsibility for the boys. This was a shock and an adjustment i work full time and had a degree of flex from my employer based on doing more hours in the time my ex had the kids etc. Anyway, in July 2020 as the first lockdown was lifted I took the boys on a pre booked holiday to the Balearic islands for 1 week. This was during the short period we believed the worst of it to be over. The plan was that the boys would travel the month following to spend 3 weeks with their Dad. Whilst we were on this holiday (literally 2 days in) the government announced further restrictions and that a 14 day quarantine would apply upon our return. So return we did and then within a week Sapin was added to the red list and therefore I had to inform my ex the boys could not come out as agreed that summer. He was furious about this and suggested we looked at other routes, via portugal or similar to go against government advice and so he could have his holiday with them.  I said no, it was too risky and i feared i may not be able to get them home. He then suggested our agreement was null and void and stopped paying me maintenance. I am now 10 months on and have had no help at all from him. He has spoken to the boys periodically on phones (that i pay for) but not made any attempt to return to the UK and point blank refuses to support us financially (despite me being on furlough) because i would not go against government advice and let the boys travel. The CSA can’t help because he is in Spain. They have advised i seek a REMO agreement via European court for the Spanish authorities to try and get maintenance. This process is one i cant afford and based on the fact he is employed by his wife in Spain he has already told me that ‘on paper, he wouldn’t look like he was earning’. He continues to berate me for the not letting the boys travel and blames me for the lack of interest the boys pay him on his sporadic calls. I really am at my wits end. Exhausted, broke and struggling day in day out to manage. Does anyone have any advice?

    #55179 Report

    By the bay


    I just saw your post as I was searching on “REMO”. (I’m about to make a post asking if anybody has made it through the system and what the timescales were as I have an application sitting in a massive queue still.)  I noticed you say you can’t afford to do the REMO process and just wanted to let you know that I am fairly sure there are no costs, as long as you are confident in completing the forms yourself.  Like using the CMS system there should be no charge to the receiving parent. I have not been charged anything and the case is accepted and waiting in a foreign court.

    I can’t really praise the system, as my application has been in a queue for over a year now (Brexit uncertainties then Covid to blame), but it’s definitely free so you may as well join the queue! Good luck.

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