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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12067
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am an American. My two daughters (3 yrs and 5 yrs) are both

Customer Question

I am an American. My two daughters (3 yrs and 5 yrs) are both American and British. My soon-to-be ex-husband is British and American (off the back of our marriage). We were married in the US in 2008 and moved to Scotland in August 2013. By January 2014, we were seeking marriage counselling. After 6 sessions, he refused to continue. August 7, 2014, we moved into separate bedrooms and had decided that, while we would ultimately seek divorce, we could not currently afford it. In October 2014, I had a friendship that took a romantic turn. The first week of November 2014, my husband told me that he wanted a divorce immediately. He had already taken all my daughters' passports, made travel plans which he refused to elaborate on, and hired an attorney which his parents had paid for (despite his father calling mine and telling him that they thought the parents should stay out of it and avoid involving lawyers). After I found out he hired a lawyer, I obviously sought legal counsel. I followed my attorney's advice, which was to file legal action to sequester the passports, require information about the travel plans, and request relocation for myself and my daughters back to the US to live with my parents.
I am here on a visa which grants me no access to public funds. Sheriff Arthurson presided over the case. The outcomes are as follows: rejected relocation request, mandated 50/50 shared care in a week-about schedule, rejected a Child Welfare hearing, and has now granted my husband legal expenses for the case.
I am a good mother. I never attempted to take the children out of the country illegally. I work full-time, as required by our previous financial circumstances and certainly my continued financial needs. We don't have any money or joint assets... just debt, primarily as a result of our moving to the UK at my husband's request.
I am now in a position where I have no idea what to do. I am stuck in a foreign country, without family, with debt I cannot hope to repay, no access to public support, and my husband can hold the decision on legal expenses over my head for 20 years.
Did I mention that my husband is in consulting. Yes - he has traveled more than 350 days in the past 3 years. I have been the constant in my daughters' lives. I have been seeking support from my GP since June 2014 (after he refused to continue marriage counselling) for stress, sleep deprivation and depression.
Do I have any options?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I am a Scots lawyer and will help you with this.
This is interesting, particularly the week about schedule, if not the decision to refuse you leave to take the children out of the UK.
When was the decision taken? Was evidence heard at a proof? Is there a written judgment?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes - I have the full write-up of the decisions, along with all of the evidence (3 binders), plus the notes taken my attorney's assistant during the actual hearings. There were 6 days of evidence and witnesses. It doesn't look like there is a way to attach documents to this message, but I am happy to provide them.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
If you could scan and email the judgment only to
The moderator will send it on to me. They are based in the US so there may be a delay but when I get the judgment I will read it and let you know what I think.
You can of course send me a weblink via Dropbox or another sharing programme but the difficulty with that is confidentiality. Although a court judgment is a public document in practice you don't want it published on the internet where it involves children so using the support link provided by JustAnswer is always better even though there is likely to be a bit of a delay.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks. I have sent through to the email address you indicated, and includedCustomerin the subject line.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** out for it.
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
The judgment has now been sent to me and I have read it. I don't know if the issues of expenses have been dealt with and a final interlocutor pronounced by the court. You have 14 days from the issue of the final order in the case to mark an Appeal to a higher court, whether the sheriff principal of the Inner House of the Court of Session. That is the only remedy available to you.
However, the appeal court will not rehear the case. They will read the papers and decide whether the sheriff's decision was wrong as a matter of law. They won't reinterpret his view and opinion of the factual evidence and that is where you have a problem. The sheriff's view of the facts was quite clear and it was his view of the facts that results in his judgment. In summary he found that you were the only person who gave evidence in the case that thought it was a good idea to relocate the children. All other parties gave evidence to the effect that it was not in the children's best interests that they be taken to America and taken away from your husband.
I'm afraid you have no chance of overturning this judgment in my opinion and experience.