What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

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Eestipapa
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Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:25 pm

What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

Post by Eestipapa » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:51 pm

Hi all.

First post after finding this forum through many posts via a good search and I have an angle that I don't think has been touched here so i'd like to elaborate or look for some advice or similar experiences.


In short (as username suggests) I'm in Estonia and father of a toddler living in Turku with his mother whom I split with a year ago. My work situation was bad and with my IT skills it made more sense while together to take a good salary and career progression in Tallinn than sitting on the dole in finalnd getting depressed about my situation and how I'm not being the role model for my son I wish to be.

Long story short distance and only being home weekends probably broke the relationship but it would probably have broke if I say around home being childminder and resenting my lack of career.

Post split we agreed on joint custody with social services and with relationship still good and agreeing in principal that we can agree on visitation where I come every other weekend there was no need to get it in writing.

This still works out.. I would say ideally as travel and accommodation is expensive that regularly and some we get along I stay on the sofa in the moms palace with our son these weekends. It's not ideal for both of us but we want to do best for our child so we make it work and serious disagreements are rare. She is a great mum and I do agree it's best for our son she is primary caregiver and primary residence

Fast forward to a bit of a shock where my ex messages me to say she would like some custody to make her life easier as it's not easy for me to immediately sign and return documents. I did some searching and after finding out since I dont live there she doesnt need me to sign anything when it comes to everyday things like day care/doctor or school permission slips. I inform her sole custody isn't necessary for this and she says she needs it to make planning his things easier....now I'm suspicious.

So I have I have now read if I surrender joint custody I'm demoted to essentially a "family member" of the child. I haven't read how this affects my rights in day to day but I can almost hear the finnish grandmother speaking in the ear of my ex. I'm lead to assume in worst case scenario somethjng would happen to my son's mother it couldn't be decided she would be caregiver as opposed to current state where me as the dad on paper would be automatically the guardian? Am I right on this?

I'm internally fuming but thankfully always calm I'm oir disagreements as it's my son whoni care about and both me and my ex agreed we never want to use him in an argument between us.

At the same time I want to have an idea what is her angle here and if she pushes it does she have a real case?

It should be pointed out also I lived in finalnd 6 years and speak ok'ish finnish. Our son doesn't speak yet but it was always the plan I would speak I'm my mother tongue and she in finnish. Thankfully I can easily speak the Finnish of a two year old (maybe even 5 year old lol) but I'm getting paranoid about reading some cases where finnish courts completely decide against fathers and particularly those not residing in finalnd. My goal is just to maintain the status quo and hopefully drop Thai whole issue before it gets started but it wouldn't also be irresponsible if I didn't plan for the worst and possibly a court case if she (or moreso the grandmother) pushes it. Also I have never missed a child support payment and I'm not an unemployed alcoholic which seems to be usual grounds for removing joint custody.

Anyone got a take on this or should I just lawyer up just in case ?



What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

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Tiwaz
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:21 am

Re: What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

Post by Tiwaz » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:47 pm

There are quite a few things you cannot do if child is in shared custody.

IiRC, she cannot take kid abroad for example.
There will be issues with bank, as many things require you to have sole custody or letter of authority from other parent. This applies even without custody. I need letters from wife to give me ability to manage bank assets of our kids.

Likely there is more.


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rinso
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Re: What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

Post by rinso » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:07 am

now I'm suspicious.
These unspecified feelings are often correct.
When you give up joint custody you become more ore less powerless. It could be the first step to erase you from his life. If she finds a new partner he could more easily become the new "daddy" when she can restrict your presence.
I'm not saying that is her plan, but it becomes a possibility.


biscayne
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Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:43 pm

Re: What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

Post by biscayne » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:40 am

Never, ever give up joint custody of your child. If your ex partner has sole custody then you are no longer a legal guardian. This means that your child can be taken out of Finland without your consent. If your ex partner decided to stay abroad for work or a relationship, it would be a legal battle to force her back to Finland with the child. If she moved to Australia it would make it really hard to visit your child and maintain a relationship.

You say she is a great mother etc. For sure you are right, but it is suspicious that she now wants the arrangement changed. In really good break up situations parents want joint custody because it gives the children feelings of security - that both parents love and want them. She should not be breaking that just to make documentation easier for her. I think you are right to be slightly suspicious. You could get legal advice on exactly what it would mean if you no longer have joint custody, but I doubt any good lawyer would recommend changing the arrangement.


FinnGuyHelsinki
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Re: What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:11 am

For any custody case, be it joint or single, get a lawyer specialized in the field for yourself. Not maybe, not later, but right now. Otherwise, especially as the father, the probability of getting screwed in some way is 99.9%.


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ajdias
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Re: What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

Post by ajdias » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:46 pm

While I am not as pessimistic as the above posters I share their view. The #1 reason foreigners get screwed in divorce and child cases is their lack of understanding and knowledge about the system, how it works. That can provide many ex-partners with a tempting opportunity to take advantage whereas if the partner were native they would never dare. Even if OP's ex is genuine, having single custody would change the way she handles the relationship and the dynamics of their relationship. While yes, it would make her life easier, there's very little to be gained when there is proper planning and preparation.


FinnGuyHelsinki
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Re: What are valid reasons to request change from joint to single custody in this country

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:39 am

The officials tend to favor the mother by default, sometimes even blatantly so, e.g. pushing for inflated child support payments for the father. It's not so much a matter of the nationality of either parent, rather than it being sensible to cover one's legal rights. Just play it cool, have a lawyer check everything and be the middle man when it comes to custody discussions and agreements. Do not divulge any information much less agree to anything otherwise.


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