Prior thread: http://www.thaivisa....nd-thai-courts/
The prior thread which deals predominantly with a father's right to his child versus an allegedly uninterested/incapable mother, and/or grandparents is different enough that I'll start this here.
I'm in my fifties. In America I'm an RN (Registered Nurse) I'm not rich by American standards but I do ok, though currently I'm (like about 22% of Americans (the media reported 9% unemployment rate is laughable--when a person cannot collect unemployment benefits anymore the metrics sees that person as employed!)) unemployed. It's unlikely that I can find appropriate work where my residence is since my sub-specialty is Occupational and Environmental Health, and industry in my area has been totally trashed (we're talking a 95% reduction in workforce over the past ten years).
There are some jobs that pop up but every one that I have seen over the past several months require that I be not a mere RN but a ANP (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) and so next January I start a Master's degree program and am sure that when I graduate after two years as a Nurse Practitioner I'll have a job lined up.
My Thai fiancee and I are intending to start the K-1 process but reading the above thread I'm having some serious concerns.
She married about nine years ago and has a child who is eight, no monk wedding, and no government registration. Shortly after becoming pregnant (so the story is told) he became unhappy with her appearance and left her with "the parents" and found another women whom he now lives with and has fathered two children with her. He has little interest in his first daughter, never visits, (distance is probably an 8 hour drive) and provides no support.
She lives with a brother-in-law and their child and acts as supervisor for a family business. She collects a "salary," (though unofficial) and has a roof over her and her child's head, food to eat and a motorbike to get around. It's not a bad life. My take is that she's "tolerated," as a necessity to assure the presence of the dear grandchild--but there does not seem to be a lot of familial love, and where she to die I'm not sure there would be any tears shed.
I met her almost three years ago, and lately we have decided to marry. While I'm in college, money will be tight and her plans were to come to America on a K-1 Visa and stay for a year or two, leaving the child with the grandparents (the grandparents would be very amenable to this of course), and then take it from there. Eventually though as would be expected either she would return to Thailand and we would do some years of me working in America for half the year, and coming to Thailand for half the year, or possibly I could find a position with an International Corporation in or near Thailand (positions do exist, again requiring the ANP degree).
Both of us believe that the child is better off raised in Thailand, but we'd enjoy having the child come for several months to America during school vacation.
But I see a scary possibility. The granddaughter is treasured, the child's mother (my fiancee) is not--quite the contrary.
I'm now wondering if she ought to try to obtain a Court Order giving her sole custody, making what the child does her sole decision. In the absence of her having a Court Order for sole custody I wonder if the grandparents will utilize the totally non-caring father to sue for sole custody arguing that she now has abandoned the daughter (moved to America). Frankly I could easily see this happen. Having a roof over her head, and food, could be easily misconstrued as the "father's" contribution (who in reality has nothing to do with it) and I could see him happily stepping back in and attempting to gain sole custody (which in this case would appear to be for him, but in reality would be for the grandparents). Such a scenario would be a nightmare at best, and devastating for her at worst.
The grandparents a year ago even made threats that they'd "take the child" if she tried to take the child to America when she barely hinted at the possibility and based upon that I've suggested that she not share the depth of our relationship so they have no idea of our plans and how serious the relationship is.
What does it take in money and time to attain a Court Order for sole custody in Thailand? Ironically this route would be the most harmonious for all involved since we are happy having the child raised in her native country, but let's face it, in Thailand things do not always work that way. The family is fairly well-to-do, and I have no doubt that they could easily overpower my finances if it comes to a Court battle--they'd prevail if it went that way.
Any suggestions as to how to make this work for the benefit of all? Or at least how to do this without "mom" losing her custodial rights?
I can't help but wonder if a pre-emptive strike might be much better than a long drawn out and possibly un-winnable battle that "could" manifest itself.
Edited by jsflynn603, 2011-01-25 20:18:22.