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About Awk

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  1. MikeyIdea, many thanks for your thoughts and realism. Especially about trying hard to get in writing some way to guarantee that any final ruling will be adhered to by HP. Admittedly, you have now shattered all my hope of a quick improvement to the current, horrible, day to day life situation, but it is better to expect the worst. Based on what you say, especially about not boring the judge/mediator with stories on HP's behaviour, I then think my best course of action might be to concentrate on how the children suffer now. How terrible the living environment for them is, living in constant worry that that their mother will start screaming and attacking their father. How will seeing all this violence affect my children? Mention I have recordings of this on my phone, here, now, in the faint hope the mediator will ask to see it. Mention shortly how I alone have supported HP and her daughter from a previous relationship for 10 years, up until recently, and then talk about how much I have cared about my own children regarding education and upbringing. That their mother is now doing her best to prevent the children from spending time with their father, and give some examples of this. Mention I have recordings of this too. Talk about the children's education needs. How it's only their father (sans an external tutor) who can help them with school and homework. That it is better for the children to stay with their father, at least for half the week. That the children have both a father and mother, and need to spend time with both of them without having to worry one parent will start screaming or attacking the other parent. Go in with the mindset initially that all assets must be sold and shared equally. That I am willing to continue to pay alone for a good school for my children as long as I am the one who decides what school they will go to. The cost of HP and her own daughter is fully on HP, though HP must share with me the other costs of bringing up our mutual children, except the school fees. Pay for her own apartment/house, whatever. My worry about this is that she will say something like "fine, but then she will move to her rural family village and send the children to a temple school there.", as she has threatened to do before. Will need a way to prevent that. If I am the one who decides where the children will go to school, and somehow that can be enforced, she cannot do that I guess, but not sure how to make that the reality. And yes, based on what you've written I will attend with my own interpreter. Unfortunately my own lawyer just now, after I informed him HP's own lawyer seems to have told HP I do not have grounds for divorce, says my chance of divorce is only fifty-fifty due to the lack of witnesses willing to testify. According to Thai law, he says, my own video recordings of violence are only of some, but limited, interest, and can not compare with an eye witness. I was much shocked and saddened to hear that. With kind regards, Awk.
  2. Thank you for the information. I cannot imagine HP would offer me anything more than the children staying with me half the time, and even that only if her lawyer convinces her that is what I will get as a minimum when the judge rules anyway. In that case I am starting to wonder whether, unless HP should, after a year of terror, suddenly get a change of heart and want to maintain a normal, polite, relationship with her children's father, a ruling by the judge would be in both the children's and my own best interest then. Extra money/assets I would otherwise have to offer HP, to support HP and her own daughter in exchange for a mutual agreement I could then instead save for my own children. My lawyer has warned me that a ruling from the judge would not be good for anyone. There would be no room for HP and me to adapt it to what we felt would be better for both of us, and that more worrying, in cases where there are two children, the judge will often rule that one child will stay with each parent. The latter would be horrible for the children, and I was very surprised and saddened to hear that. I am not sure if that is true or not however. Hopefully not. I'm wondering what the risk would be that the judge would not rule that the children will stay with me (a normal man with a respectable job and no adverse history/record of any kind) at least half the week? Before I thought that I may risk ending up with just visitation rights (horrible), or with just one of my daughters "all" of the time, and depend on HP for seeing my other daughter even just sometimes, but perhaps my fear is unfounded?
  3. At the moment her financial status is quite good I think, due to her (illegally?) refinancing the car, which is part of our shared property. My lawyer says she will be forced to pay me back half of the money she got at the end of the case, but I doubt that will happen in practice. It's enough money for her daughter's school fees, lawyer, etc. I of course no longer pay of the car (but have not told her exactly why), so she will either have to start paying of that herself with the money she stole in the refinancing deal, or they will take the car I guess. Unfortunately, she says she will then drive my two children to school on her small motorbike. So I am not sure what to do. If I again start paying of the (now much larger car loan), she can of course refinance it again in some months, and get new cash. I hope the judge/mediator can help me. If HP is forced to return the money she got via refinance now, I could pay of the rest of the car loan (not much was left, but it was an interest-free loan sponsored by the car company) and have the book transferred to my name. But I cannot force this. :-/ At the moment I pay 3,000 per week, transferred to her account. She constantly complains that is too little, and the first month I was taking the children to the grocery store every second day after school to buy whatever was needed for food and household items (yes, I kept the receipts thank you), before going to the house and cooking dinner for everyone (HP and her daughter too). Now HP no longer "allows" me to pick up the children however, so I no longer do that, though sometimes I have to join her to buy food and things for the children at the cheaper Thai markets where no receipt is usually given. That does not happen after she secured her horde of cash via the refinancing almost two months ago however. Unfortunately the debt on the house is in farangland (a neighbouring country of yours, as it happens), so my lawyer tells me it will not be of any interest to the judges here in Thailand. It is mine alone. If the final verdict is that the children are to stay with HP half the week, I would for the children's sake prefer they stay at the house I bought, to be safe and have a pleasant environment to live in. More pleasant than I can offer with my apartment unfortunately (though that is also decent enough), but if the children stay with me on weekdays mostly, they will be in school and kindergarten most of the day anyway. Thank you very much. Looking forward to it.
  4. Thank you. As I have understood it from my lawyer, the mediator (usually a retired judge I'm told) would have power to help issue a temporary ruling that could remain valid until the divorce is complete. So if HP is now preventing me from seeing my children, the mediator could, if he so wishes, issue an order that the children are to e.g. stay with me some days of the week. In this regard, he may (or may not) be interested in seeing a video of HP refusing to let me enter the house, kicking and punching me, while the children cry and try to keep the door open for me. I now however understand it quite unlikely to happen that the mediator/judge will issue such an order in the negotiation phase. :-/ Only if the mediator feels there is no way whatsoever that the two parties will reach any mutual understanding will the negotiation phase finish and we will progress to the next step, with a "real" judge who will evaluate evidence and make a ruling. Normally, there will be several negotiation meetings, so after the first meeting, we will meet again in a month or two, and then again after that perhaps, before the mediator gives up and sends the case up to the "real" judge. Please correct me if my understanding is wrong.
  5. > Also tell court how you are going to take care of the children while you work and request court to clarify how mother is going to care for the children while she is working - If you have no plan for how / possibility to take care of the children while you work, then how can a responsible father let you have the children that time? Then you should have Mon to Fri and she gets days when she can take care of them, Sat Sun. That sets you up for education nicely Thank you. That is a good idea. My goal is to as a minimum have the children with me Monday to Thursday, as that's the days they will have homework from school for the next day. From reading things posted by you and others, I however gather that is quite likely to happen anyway? > - The only thing I can imagine will change her mind about this is if HP's lawyer tells HP the judge is most likely to grant me full custody, and she will lose all. > That won't happen If HP's lawyer tells HP that HP can agree to something like 50/50 regarding custody now, or wait for the judge to order 50/50 sometime in the distant future, I'm sure HP will chose the latter. How could I change HP's lawyer or HP's feelings about this? HP's status quo is great. She stays in the house I recently bought with money from the bank (my last stupid attempt to part on favourable terms, when divorce was already certain), takes the children wherever she wants after school so I cannot see them. Never telling me where or for how long the children will be away from the house with her, and much of the time makes it impossible for me to see the children. She ignores my phone calls (has even blocked me) and messages, or replying the children will come back to the house when I have left the house and are no longer waiting inside, or that the children are "hers only". She also receives from me, as advised by my lawyer, "child support money" to her account every week, so she cannot later claim in the court that I do not support my children. My status quo is quite the opposite as you can guess. I spend much time driving around trying to see my children, using more than an hour going back and forth, only to be able to see my children for a few minutes, and sometimes not even that. All depending on how HP feels that particular day, I may see my children after school for anything from zero minutes to some hours. > - The first day in court was actually a few weeks ago, but an assistant for HP's lawyer turned up in regards to a request from them for postponing the first meeting > That is normal, she has the kids so benefits from the delay, she will play that card more What can I do to make HP's lawyer, and then presumably HP herself too, feel that it is not in her best interest to keep postponing things as long as they can? Or if I cannot make her feel that, is there anything I can do that may reduce her opportunity for delaying things? Is my only hope that the judge will, for some rare and unlikely reason I now understand, temporarily rule that the children will stay with me some days of the week? > - the one day in court was extremely disappointing to me, letting HP continue keeping the children away from me as before without being able to say anything > The mother will continue to keep the children away, the judges won't act as hard as you'd expect or want. I'm very sad to hear that. I will have to try to prepare myself mentally for this then. Last time I was quite unprepared and broken hearted about the result, which consisted of the judge doing nothing more than granting HP's request to postpone. > I'd advice you to buy a hidden camera like one of the pens with HD video and microphone they have at Pantip (can be bought on the internet too) and "set the mother up" = let her dig her own grave. Request access to the children and calmly say things in line with the law that will make her violent and video record everything. Don't even protect yourself if she hits you, just let her do it and say - I just want to see our children. Put your hands in your pockets and say that (not on video) and that you just want to see the children and try to pass her and let her forcefully stop you 10 times. The more the better. Thank you. I already have several videos of that nature, even though she broke the first phone I used to record her attacks. > You can burn a CD and request to hand it in as evidence. The main point that you lawyer won't tell you is that you can just sit down and refuse any deal regardless of if they don't accept to look at it or not - OK, let's continue this in the Appeals court then -> pressure goes over to the mother Can you please clarify what you mean by refusing any deal regardless of whether they accept to look at it or not? I've asked my lawyer to submit some videos as evidence now, before the postponed hearing. I wanted to submit the videos now before the next meeting, so that the negotiator/judge would hopefully become aware of the videos, increasing the chance he will be interested in seeing them. My lawyer however tells me we cannot submit it to the court now "because it is negotiated proceeding. After, there will be the trials then we can submit everythings to the Court." I know you are not a lawyer, but is that your experience too? In the initial request for divorce, police reports were submitted, but no videos, and while I still have a favourable impression of my lawyer, I have become a little concerned with his willingness to do enough. Perhaps this is partly due to our financial agreement, where he gave me a fixed price for the work up to the first negotiation (half paid when he started, half to be paid after the first negotiation). My lawyer advised me to prepare the video regardless of that however, in case the negotiator would become curious and want to see it. "Who knows?", as he said. I think the videos, as well as recordings of HP shouting/screaming at my children for going with me, will give a correct impression of how things are now. I am thinking a lot on how to increase the chance that the negotiator/judge will want to see them at the first negotiation. > - we would be able to ask for the judge to make a temporary ruling, saying I must be able to see the children, or even that the children are to stay with me some days every weeks > Ask for it but don't expect it. More likely that you won't get time with the children until court case is over which leads to the question: Is the mother going to follow the court order then even? Build in safety rules if mutual agreement and don't accept if you can't - It is pretty useless to try to appeal a mutual agreement I asked my lawyer before what I could do if the judge made a temporary ruling, but HP did not adhere to it. My lawyer however did not answer anything except something along the lines of HP having to adhere to it, or the judge will not like it and things will become worse for her in the final ruling, which at the time made sense to me. But if there is no interest from the court in "punishing" HP for doing bad things, including not adhering to the ruling, perhaps my lawyer was wrong. I did not consider that HP would not adhere to the final ruling however, which would of course be even worse. Can you think of any safety rules that could help discourage her from that? Money seems the most obvious, but while HP likes to occasionally scream that she wants nothing from me; no money, no house, no land - I can have it all, just I stay away from "her children", she does not mean that of course. She knows I cannot let my children starve, go without clothes, school, etc. Currently HP, while not working, has recently managed to refinance the car I bought in her name on down payment, getting a considerable amount of cash in exchange for increasing the car loan which I had almost paid of. HP does not know that I know this and have evidence of it. I want to show it to the court at the coming meeting. The result is however that HP has enough cash to pay her lawyer (presumably more expensive than my lawyer, since her lawyer is arriving by air), and school for her daughter - from a previous relationship - for the time being. So at the moment, while pleading poverty and hunger (since she does not know I know she got the cash from the car finance company), she probably has plenty of money. HP does have a child from before however (three years older than your daughter), which I have provided for financially (but not emotionally) for 10 years, and which has lived with us in Thailand. She receives no money or support from her father who, as far as I know, is doing quite well financially. After HP started to become violent and physically try to prevent me from seeing my children about half a year ago, I told her I would no longer pay for her daughter (and explained this to her daughter too, who while no longer doing much to stop HP from attacking me in front of my children, perhaps due having given up on her mother in this regard, also seems to think HP is an idiot for doing what she does) unless HP stopped behaving like that. I can not however prevent HP from spending the money I transfer her every week equally on her daughter, herself, and on my daughters, even if the money is intended for my children. I cannot blame HP for this either I guess, as this daughter of her is of course just as much her daughter as the children we share. Not sure if I can somehow to use this - financial support of HP's daughter, or HP herself - to make HP stop delaying the final verdict, and then adhering to the final verdict. Surely I would have to offer to continue to pay for her daughter (which I, when I still had hopes of parting on good terms, told HP I would be happy to do) before I could use threat of not paying for anything. Since the judge will not rule that I have to support HP or her daughter in any way, perhaps there's some way I can use this during the negotiations? Offer to pay school for HP's daughter during negotiations, and continue to pay for extra-curricular activities for HP's daughter if they are activities where my own children also participate? (E.g., music and art lessons, as now). If HP can be made to understand that this is an offer she receives from me now during negotiations, but which she will for sure not receive if the judge will have to order things, perhaps it can make HP more interested in agreeing to a negotiated agreement? > - However, we did not have any chance to ask for anything, and the hearing was immediately postponed > Normal. Good too in this case, use time to get violent behavior on video Thank you. Unfortunately I already have many videos and several police reports too, but did record both a new video and police report using the extra time now. > - I have many recordings of HP's behaviour > Leave out only screaming if you have enough violent behavior on video and push violent. I believe in taking the opportunity if it is given to you. If the judge wants to see, then make it short and show violence and when she physically stops you from seeing the children - Impression doesn't get much stronger because it is much longer Thank you. I will then concentrate on the video where HP does exactly that. > - big problem with the lack of any witnesses > It will still matter IF she is favoured. Juvenile doesn't really see it like you do. Their goal is mutual agreement that both parties like that also is good for the kids, nothing more = punishment is not in their mind > > - where only my children were witnesses > The judges will ask the children but alienation is strong. I don't know the kids age About four years younger and 8 years younger than your Idea. HP has told them the judge wants to put mommy in jail, and probably other things too. > - Even mutual friends who strongly disagree with HP's behaviour are unwilling to serve as witness for me. > Thais will normally never witness because it is bad to get involved in private business regardless here > > I'd swap point 1 and point 2 around > - 2) Try to describe how it will be better for the children to stay with their father, who is better suited to help them with school/homework, and who is the only one with a job > ------ who is the only one with a job ------ > No, who will support the mother after you stop doing it? Both will work, right? :) You tell them your plan for who will take care of children when you work, who will the mother have when she works? Relatives advantage. You have nice house / apartment, what living will the mother offer the kids? You don't pay for that, only for the kids part. Better suited to help with homework yes, better suited to provide schooling yes. I don't know how old the kids are. While I rent a decent apartment now (partly due to my children), it cannot compare to the house I bought for HP half a year back, where she and my children stay. The house has a superfice in my name, though not sure if/when that will become relevant. So perhaps this will not be a strong point for me, assuming HP will get the house? Perhaps I will get a separate piece of land, also bought during marriage and which has no superfice, but which I cannot do much with except sell to help pay for loan I've taken out (in farangland) on the house. If I were to get the house and live there with my children on the days the children are with me, I'm sure HP would just keep waltzing in to the house as before, pretending she is my wife, and refuse to leave. Also if the children are to be with HP part of the week, probably alone and without a man to protect them, at least initially, I would like them to stay in a safe and nice place, where HP already knows everyone. That is the main reason I bought the house (we rented in the same moo baan before); it's in a safe and nice place, and was the best I could afford (though I had to borrow all the money). > Getting weekdays is a good way to truly and honestly win the childrens heart over time. Mummy can't keep up with that with only weekends in the long run. I don't know how old the kids are - the power of playing with them every day is very strong bonding until nearly teenager > > Always give mummy access and your hard work trying to be a good father will persevere, close her out and the children will miss what they can't have. Important to tell the court how you want to help the mother to see the kids, the mother won't (not going to be in the court agreement but keep it anyway) Thank you. I plan to do that and do not want to deprive the children of contact with their mother. I saw in another post you mentioned being briefed by your lawyer on how to act in court. I asked my lawyer about this before, but he said to just relax and dress nicely. He said things will not be so formal at the negotiations, but mostly informal talking. Perhaps he feels my demeanor is so calm, polite, and appropriate for court that there is nothing to improve on, but I'm not absolutely sure about that. Many thanks you for your advice. With kind regards, Awk.
  6. Thanks MikeyIdea. That is a great post. Any other tips for the first hearing in court? I.e., while still in the "negotiation" phase? My lawyer tells me this first meeting will be a more or less informal conversation where HP (mother of my children, who I want to divorce) and I will tell our stories, and the court representative (a retired judge in most cases, my lawyer) says, will try hard to make us mutually agree on something. I'm sure HP will not agree to anything less than full custody and continued financial support for her (she does not want to get a job) and my children. The only thing I can imagine will change her mind about this is if HP's lawyer tells HP the judge is most likely to grant me full custody, and she will lose all. The first day in court was actually a few weeks ago, but an assistant for HP's lawyer turned up in regards to a request from them for postponing the first meeting, which the judge unfortunately granted without my lawyer being able to object. I would very much have liked to object because HP is refusing me to see my children, taking them away and becoming physically violent towards me when I attempt to be with them. My lawyer said that at the first meeting we would be able to ask for the judge to make a temporary ruling, saying I must be able to see the children, or even that the children are to stay with me some days every weeks, Hopefully the judge would believe me when I describe HP's current behaviour (refusing to let me pick up the children from school, becoming violent towards me when I come to visit the children, screaming and shouting). However, we did not have any chance to ask for anything, and the hearing was immediately postponed by a month. My lawyer tells me that something similar cannot happen again. That HP cannot postpone again, even should she claim sickness or whatever. I am however not sure about that, as the one day in court was extremely disappointing to me, letting HP continue keeping the children away from me as before without being able to say anything. I have many recordings of HP's behaviour. My lawyer tells me that at this point, we are only negotiating. Hard evidence of anything is not to be argued over at this time (though we have submitted our police reports regarding violence from HP), but he advised I can bring with me my phone with the recordings. Who knows he said, maybe the judge will become interested and want to take a look. My lawyer also advises me that I have a big problem with the lack of any witnesses, as all assaults happened in the home, where only my children were witnesses. On a few occasions, relatives of HP were present too, but they will surely not witness against HP. Even mutual friends who strongly disagree with HP's behaviour are unwilling to serve as witness for me. Apart from video recordings like this, documenting HP's behaviour, I am re-reading my diary where I document how much time I am able to see the children every day (some days for just a few minutes), and preparing what to say in court. So far I'm thinking this: 1) Do not bore the judge with describing how horrible HP is. Even if I can show videos from my phone should the judge want to see it himself, concentrate on how strongly HP's behaviour affects the children, seeing their mother repeatedly assault their father in front of them, threatening to kill him even. How upset this makes the children, how bad it is for them to see this. 2) Try to describe how it will be better for the children to stay with their father, who is better suited to help them with school/homework, and who is the only one with a job. How I have never tried to prevent HP from seeing the children, even though she does her best to prevent me from seeing them. Even though my post above is embarrassingly messy, If any members have advice to add, please do.
  7. I'm paying for a lawyer now, but the smartest thing I did before I hired him was to read up on the subject at matter here and other places. After that, I discarded the two first lawyers I consulted as being of questionable competency. Fortunately, amongst much noise here, much of which is generated by the "why ask here? Pay a lawyer/doctor/engineer/etc. right away instead"-group, who are probably collectively sharing the three brain cells you talk about, there are also people with enough knowledge and experience to help one choose a competent lawyer/doctor/engineer/etc. Much better than blindly trusting the answer from the first lawyer or wanna-be lawyer you meet.
  8. Ah, that's great. So in that case, I will not need page one of the house book too, just the one page printout from Ampho with the child's address, right?
  9. Ah, that's a pity. Amphur will provide a copy of the page the child is registered on, but no page one I'm told. So looks like this is not an option for me then, as I do not have access to the original house book for copying.
  10. Can anyone confirm this is still the current requirement in Penang for a multi-entry non-o? - Child's original birth certificate + copy. - Copy of child's house book page (a single page). - About 100,000 Baht in a bank account.
  11. Google maps also lets you download maps for offline since some time back, at least for the "local area".
  12. "Sanam kirat tesaban", the stadium next to Chang Puak bus station is better for children playing I think. The area outside the stadium has a fair amount of things for children to play with, though more for children around 3-6 years, but may be worth a visit for the OP's kid too. Also has older guys on bmxs, playing basketball, etc.
  13. Hmm, no. I bought already bought Dylos particle counter some years ago, when deciding whether it was worthwhile to invest in air purifiers in the bedrooms and my studyroom. But if not I did not have something to measure things already, for sure I would consider it. Having something to measure the effect/improvements in the air I or my children sleep in, versus the outside, gives me considerable mental comfort. It also lets me see approximately how much time the air purifiers need to run at max speed to bring the air quality to a good level, and from then on, I can let them run at the medium speed (I do this since the max speed makes too much noise). So my usual procedure is to run at max speed the 15-20 minutes before bed, and then switch to medium when getting in to bed. With other air purifiers and rooms, I'm sure the amount of time would be different, and smaller air purifiers or more leaky rooms may require running at max speed all the time. Can't tell without something to measure things yourself.
  14. Of course not. Nobody forgets to eat, and if forgotten for a few hours, no harm is done. News alerts like this help remind everyone to be alert. While you're out at the back of your house, and your child is playing in front, some devil may appear out of nowhere in the blink of a moment and steal your child. They remind all of us that these devils exist. Here. Now. One cannot be alerted often enough about this. Understand the difference?