Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • goochie
    • By goochie 12th May 17, 4:18 PM
    • 461Posts
    • 1,537Thanks
    goochie
    Relationship breakdown - 3 children currently in US but want to bring them back to UK
    • #1
    • 12th May 17, 4:18 PM
    Relationship breakdown - 3 children currently in US but want to bring them back to UK 12th May 17 at 4:18 PM
    Hello

    This might turn into a lengthy post, but it is for a friend and I don't know the legal stance in the US or UK.

    Background - my friend is married (both British but have lived in the US for past 11 years) with 3 children 14 year old (UK born with UK passport and green card), 12 year old (UK born with UK passport and green card), and 10 year old (born in US with UK and US passports/citizenship).

    HB has not had steady employment now for apprx 6 years (was very senior and earned a lot of money but his age (60) and possibly other issues has meant that his freelance work has been sporadic at best and it turns out that he has now used all of his pension fund and they are £100K ish in debt in the US - they are about to get evicted from their home and the kids school fees haven't been paid for a year plus other debts.

    Now, my friend is going to come back to the UK as soon as the kids break up from school for the summer for a number of reasons - she hasn't seen her parents for a few years and one of them is sick and as she has said, at least if we are going to be "homeless" it will be here in the UK and not in the US where they have no friends / family that will help them out. Basically if HB doesn't secure a well-paid job within a short space of time (ie, before they have to go back to school in September) she is considering telling HB that they are staying in the UK and he should join them and start again. However, there is a big chance a) he will not want to leave the US and b) that he will get angry/nasty and say that she is kidnapping his kids.

    He is seriously in denial about all of the situation and feels that a great job is just around the corner, my friend is only just discovering all the other debts and "cover ups" that have gone on.

    They have sold everything of value, they don't even have money for the flights but a family member has said they will get a credit card and get them back to the UK. None of her family have a lot of money but they will have a roof over their heads.

    What is the legal stance on this? She really doesn't want it to go this way but they are well past breaking point and she needs to know where she stands if she feels that her children would be safer and in the long term better off starting again in the UK with the support of friends and family.

    I am happy to answer questions (if I know the answer) and give more background if you feel it is necessary. She just doesn't know where to start and I am trying to help. Have any of you been through something similar?

    Thank you in advance for any assistance.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
Page 3
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 16th May 17, 4:54 PM
    • 15,606 Posts
    • 39,072 Thanks
    FBaby
    The issue is not her intention to come back to the UK. This seems a totally reasonable decision considering the situation and who would argue with her? The issue is that she is planning to do this under a massive lie that she is only going, and taking her kids, on a holiday. This is pure deception and totally unfair.

    Saying that, maybe she is not being totally honest with you, maybe the situation is not as critical as she claims, but is saying so to get the support to do what she wants to do rather than what she has to do.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 16th May 17, 4:59 PM
    • 15,606 Posts
    • 39,072 Thanks
    FBaby
    And who will drive their 3 kids to 3 different schools, up to an hour away, and their after school clubs, and who will look after them in the school holidays, HB disappears into the city for interviews and meetings most days.
    This makes me wonder if she is indeed totally honest because this issue can only be an excuse. She will be no different to every other working mother in her town. Or she implying that every mum is a SAHM? I very much doubt it!
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 16th May 17, 5:07 PM
    • 7,034 Posts
    • 9,756 Thanks
    KxMx
    The issue is not her intention to come back to the UK. This seems a totally reasonable decision considering the situation and who would argue with her? The issue is that she is planning to do this under a massive lie that she is only going, and taking her kids, on a holiday. This is pure deception and totally unfair.

    Saying that, maybe she is not being totally honest with you, maybe the situation is not as critical as she claims, but is saying so to get the support to do what she wants to do rather than what she has to do.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Also legally standing kidnap, her husband would be entitled to bring charges, which then may lead to the mother being arrested, kids needing to attend family court etc.

    Afraid I speak from experience, very similar situation, different circumstances.

    In my case, when I was 10, I didn't know the real reason we left US but was given the option to return after we'd arrived, Dad did know beforehand but brought kidnap charges anyway (with encouragement of grandparents).

    It was a very difficult time for all involved and there were long reaching consequences.

    I do not place any blame on my mother on my own situation, but do not endorse how your friend is considering doing this.
    Last edited by KxMx; 16-05-2017 at 5:17 PM.
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 16th May 17, 5:23 PM
    • 5,734 Posts
    • 10,675 Thanks
    GwylimT
    If they plan to stay in the UK permanently and no longer have an address or any commitments or 'life' in the US then I think they will be classed as resident in the UK straightaway.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    This is not the case.
    • thorsoak
    • By thorsoak 16th May 17, 5:27 PM
    • 5,403 Posts
    • 24,664 Thanks
    thorsoak
    This makes me wonder if she is indeed totally honest because this issue can only be an excuse. She will be no different to every other working mother in her town. Or she implying that every mum is a SAHM? I very much doubt it!
    Originally posted by FBaby
    In the ex-pat localities at the standard it would appear that OP's friends live, the moms would all be SAHM (dependants of greencard holders aren't allowed to take paid employment) who do helicopter the kids around (playdates, after school clubs etc etc etc. Though there is school transport for all kids - from nursery through high school - and they start early (7.30am).
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 16th May 17, 5:27 PM
    • 5,734 Posts
    • 10,675 Thanks
    GwylimT
    So her ill family members can afford to pay her NHS care if she doesn't take out health insurance? Does she realise that in the UK if you are not insured health trusts can charge private prices rather than NHS.
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 16th May 17, 5:33 PM
    • 5,734 Posts
    • 10,675 Thanks
    GwylimT
    Thank you I will send her these links
    Originally posted by goochie
    The NHS and access is about residency, when they have lived and worked here for a year, until then they will be considered over seas visitors and can only access emergency care and treatment for highly infectious diseases. So some rather hefty health insurance will need to be in place.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 16th May 17, 6:28 PM
    • 22,543 Posts
    • 86,074 Thanks
    Jojo the Tightfisted
    And who will drive their 3 kids to 3 different schools, up to an hour away, and their after school clubs, and who will look after them in the school holidays, HB disappears into the city for interviews and meetings most days. And she hasn't worked for 15 years, it is a lot easier said than done, she has more chance of old contacts in London possibly offering her freelance work but again, can't really get that ball rolling until the decision is made where they are going to live at the end of the summer.
    Originally posted by goochie
    Don't they break up for summer soon? Are the clubs free? Do American kids not need to access childcare? 14 year olds are capable of making sure 10 year olds don't burn the house down if all else fails.

    If she ends up back here expecting to not have to go to work but eventually receive benefits, she's going to have a shock. She could be working 40hrs per week for her benefits if they decide to send her for mandatory work activity. There will not be any 'oh, you have to look after the children' exceptions.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th May 17, 6:32 PM
    • 1,400 Posts
    • 3,483 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    This is not the case.
    Originally posted by GwylimT
    "A British citizen who has been living abroad, or who is migrating to the UK for the first time, can therefore pass the ordinary residence test upon taking up settled residence here."

    "For a British citizen, an EEA national and for a non EEA national with ILR or a non-EEA national not subject to immigration control, it is perfectly possible to be ordinarily resident here from the day of arrival, when it is clear that that person has, upon arrival, taken up settled residence. "

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/496967/lawfully-resident-uk.pdf
    Last edited by Red-Squirrel; 16-05-2017 at 6:37 PM.
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 16th May 17, 7:00 PM
    • 5,734 Posts
    • 10,675 Thanks
    GwylimT
    "A British citizen who has been living abroad, or who is migrating to the UK for the first time, can therefore pass the ordinary residence test upon taking up settled residence here."

    "For a British citizen, an EEA national and for a non EEA national with ILR or a non-EEA national not subject to immigration control, it is perfectly possible to be ordinarily resident here from the day of arrival, when it is clear that that person has, upon arrival, taken up settled residence. "

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/496967/lawfully-resident-uk.pdf
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Unemployment is not settled residence.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th May 17, 7:04 PM
    • 1,400 Posts
    • 3,483 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Unemployment is not settled residence.
    Originally posted by GwylimT
    Nowhere in that document does it say that employment is necessary to be considered ordinarily resident. NHS entitlement has absolutely nothing to do with employment.
    • coolcait
    • By coolcait 16th May 17, 9:15 PM
    • 4,013 Posts
    • 12,954 Thanks
    coolcait
    Nowhere in that document does it say that employment is necessary to be considered ordinarily resident. NHS entitlement has absolutely nothing to do with employment.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    "We're just here for a visit - we'll be going back to the US after the summer"

    That's not 'ordinarily resident'

    "We're here to stay because everything has gone down the tubes in the US"

    That's not what the children have been told, it's not what the husband/father has been told.

    That's the point where the lies and deception about the reasons for coming back to the UK could make the whole plan unravel.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th May 17, 10:49 PM
    • 1,400 Posts
    • 3,483 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    "We're just here for a visit - we'll be going back to the US after the summer"

    That's not 'ordinarily resident'

    "We're here to stay because everything has gone down the tubes in the US"

    That's not what the children have been told, it's not what the husband/father has been told.

    That's the point where the lies and deception about the reasons for coming back to the UK could make the whole plan unravel.
    Originally posted by coolcait

    Well, that's obviously something that needs to be sorted, I just think its helpful for the OP to know that she wouldn't have to worry about not having access to the NHS if they did have to move back permanently.
    • MarieMac
    • By MarieMac 17th May 17, 5:24 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    MarieMac
    And who will drive their 3 kids to 3 different schools, up to an hour away, and their after school clubs, and who will look after them in the school holidays, HB disappears into the city for interviews and meetings most days. And she hasn't worked for 15 years, it is a lot easier said than done, she has more chance of old contacts in London possibly offering her freelance work but again, can't really get that ball rolling until the decision is made where they are going to live at the end of the summer.
    Originally posted by goochie
    Between this and your above mentioning of school fees, I have to ask why on earth they haven't put their kids in the local public schools? That way the bus would take care of transport & many have after school and summer programs. I'm a teacher in the US so I know the quality can vary widely but if they are in an area where most families can afford to have a stay at home parent I would expect the schools to be pretty good, since public schools are funded by local taxes. If the family is has a low enough income the kids might well qualify for free or reduced lunch - most immigrant families at my school do.

    That would free her up to take a job or perhaps she could look into "under the table" work such as nannying where her lack of experience is less likely to be an issue. I know you're saying they are used to a certain standard of living, but if things really are as bad as she says her & her husband's focus needs to be on earning enough to get by and forget about keeping up with the Jones's. Particularly if she's considering kidnapping the kids & leaving the country- that's a very drastic step to take when she hasn't even tried getting a part time job, even if it's entry level or in a shop somewhere.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 17th May 17, 11:40 AM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,537 Thanks
    goochie
    Well, that's obviously something that needs to be sorted, I just think its helpful for the OP to know that she wouldn't have to worry about not having access to the NHS if they did have to move back permanently.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Thank you.

    Between this and your above mentioning of school fees, I have to ask why on earth they haven't put their kids in the local public schools? That way the bus would take care of transport & many have after school and summer programs. I'm a teacher in the US so I know the quality can vary widely but if they are in an area where most families can afford to have a stay at home parent I would expect the schools to be pretty good, since public schools are funded by local taxes. If the family is has a low enough income the kids might well qualify for free or reduced lunch - most immigrant families at my school do.

    That would free her up to take a job or perhaps she could look into "under the table" work such as nannying where her lack of experience is less likely to be an issue. I know you're saying they are used to a certain standard of living, but if things really are as bad as she says her & her husband's focus needs to be on earning enough to get by and forget about keeping up with the Jones's. Particularly if she's considering kidnapping the kids & leaving the country- that's a very drastic step to take when she hasn't even tried getting a part time job, even if it's entry level or in a shop somewhere.
    Originally posted by MarieMac
    One of her children has special needs, which is why he is in a fee-paying school, the other two are in state school.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 17th May 17, 12:39 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,537 Thanks
    goochie
    Don't they break up for summer soon? Are the clubs free? Do American kids not need to access childcare? 14 year olds are capable of making sure 10 year olds don't burn the house down if all else fails.

    It makes no difference whether clubs are free as they won't have a home to live in from the end of June. The 14 year old has special needs, he is not equipped to look after two younger siblings.

    If she ends up back here expecting to not have to go to work but eventually receive benefits, she's going to have a shock. She could be working 40hrs per week for her benefits if they decide to send her for mandatory work activity. There will not be any 'oh, you have to look after the children' exceptions.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    Never have I said she was "expecting not to work but eventually receive benefits" that is an assumption quite a few are making. She will do whatever it takes to start again and get a job. What she will have here as opposed to US is after school childcare in the form of grandparents and friends.
    Last edited by goochie; 17-05-2017 at 12:59 PM. Reason: response colour and US instead of UK
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 17th May 17, 1:30 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,537 Thanks
    goochie
    Can I just say thank you to those who have answered my initial questions.

    This is a very messy situation which involves a lot of people whom I care a great deal about. It is not relevant whether you or I agree or disagree with my friends' decisions up until now or as and when they need to be made over the coming months.

    I am trying to resist getting sucked in to comment on all of your posts regarding your views on what is right/wrong, fair/unfair, I am privy to a lot more background information but I cant possibly put everything that I know down on this forum to feed peoples curiosity.

    Also, at NO point has a decision been made as to where this family will end up living, there is no desire to uproot the children to what is a foreign country and a totally different life, but that might just be the "best" outcome.

    I'm still here if people have experience of similar issues and or feel they can help, thanks again everyone.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • thorsoak
    • By thorsoak 17th May 17, 2:06 PM
    • 5,403 Posts
    • 24,664 Thanks
    thorsoak
    I'll talk to my daughter,to see if she is still in contact with her friend, and if I can get any other information I will send you a PM xxx
    • goochie
    • By goochie 17th May 17, 2:37 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,537 Thanks
    goochie
    I'll talk to my daughter,to see if she is still in contact with her friend, and if I can get any other information I will send you a PM xxx
    Originally posted by thorsoak
    Much appreciated, thank you.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 17th May 17, 3:08 PM
    • 15,606 Posts
    • 39,072 Thanks
    FBaby
    Once again the issue is not helping her settle back to the UK. It's great she has a great friend in you willing to do so. It's the fact that you don't seem to think she is doing anything wrong in going about it in a deceptive way that people are commenting about.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

198Posts Today

1,178Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin