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International Divorce: Different nationalities, living abroad, with kids.

03.04.2020 19:29:23


I don't know where to begin. I feel like my situation is so unique, and so helpless.

I am a British male in his mid 30s. I met my American wife when I lived in America. We have two kids (1 and 3 years old). We now live and work in Germany and the plan was to move to China later this year to continue work and progress our careers.

The caveat is that our relationship has become completely untenable. Without boring you with the details, we argue multiple times a day over the smallest of things. Not only is it terrible for our daughters to see this, but it makes both of us utterly miserable. I do not think she is a bad person, just someone who is completely different from myself and it has become evident that our marriage is over.

If we both lived in the UK, or the States, I wouldn't see this as such a big and unique issue. I would move down the road and continue to see my children as often as possible. Similarly, if we didn't have children we could both simply move on - I don't have much care for our assets and am willing to take any financial hit to get out of this misery.

However, having children in such unique circumstances seems to be making this very opaque. I am distraught at the thought of my children going back to the States to continue their life whilst I remain in China or return to the UK. I would be lucky to see them more than a couple of times a year for the rest of their lives.

I guess this is a much a rant as anything else, as I am fairly resigned to defeat being the father, but do I have any hope of winning custody or the children staying with me. I will have a far better income than my wife if she were to return to the States (indeed, she would barely be able to afford to keep them) and, were I to return to the UK, would be bringing the girls home to the only family they have (my sister and parents are very close to my children, whilst my wife does not speak to her family).

Irrespective of the custody outcome, what are the next steps in this procedure?

Any advice or suggestions - particularly from someone who may have gone through this before - are very welcome.

Many thanks,


Replies (1)

06.04.2020 10:06:19

Hi H

Sorry to hear you're going through a difficult time. You will need to seek the advice of a lawyer...and a jurisdiction specialist lawyer. As you don’t live in the UK, we can't help unfortunately. You can try the International Family Law Group, here is a link to their website:


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