On Thursday, May 7th, 2018, I published an article in German, which you find translated below:
Against my conviction, I have agreed in front of the family court in Ulm, Germany, that I will not anymore talk with our four children about how often they would like to stay with which of their divorced parent.
I herewith declare in public, that at the day of the fifth birthday of our twins, I withdraw my self-incapacitation, because it would be against my obligations as a father. Effective now, as a responsible father and free citizen, I will continue to talk with our four children about anything, about which they desire to talk with me as free citizens. I want to be a good role model to our children, because I want them to be raised as responsible, free human beings.
The respective paragraph in the court protocol of our hearing at May 16th, 2018 at the family court in Ulm, Germany, reads as follows:
The children’s father assures and commits himself, that he will not speak with his four joint children [names mentioned here], neither with the children’s mother, about the mutually agreed frequency of parent-child contact, as well as a modification of which in regard to shared parenting, respectively.
What’s the whole story?
The Youth Welfare Office in Ehingen, Germany, claimed, that I had manipulated our four kids and put them under pressure, so that they would tell their mother, that they wanted to spend 50% of their time with each parent. As a consequence, the Youth Welfare Office recommended to their mother, to stop our kids from seeing me. That’s what their mother did and henceforth, our children could not see me for 4 weeks.
The court hearing and „it“
In the court hearing at May 16th, the judge demanded, that our children should see me again. He said that he could not see a damage to the children. Only after the Youth Welfare Office and the lawyer of the mother complained, that „it“ would not have been harmless, the judge corrected himself to be more precise and said that this time, „it“ would not have been an endangerment of the welfare of our children, but it would be so if I did it again.
„It“ is the accusation, that I allegedly manipulated our children into telling their mother that they wanted to spend equal time with both parents. This accusation is not comprehensible, nor provable. Neither the Youth Welfare Office nor the so called „lawyer of the children“ (Verfahrensbeistand), demonstrated orally or in written text how I executed the alleged manipulation. I do not understand how something that is not an endangerment at the first time, yet can be one a second time?
Supervised contact in the event of a repeat offence
The Youth Welfare Office spoke out that supervised contact would be the consequence if I did „it“ – the alleged manipulation – again. Supervised contact means that our children would see me for only 1 or 2 hours per week under supervision of another person in an unfamiliar room. The judge has strikingly often stressed that he does not intend to threaten me with supervised contact…
After consideration I came to the conclusion, that I was incapacitated as a father by the family court and I feel that I was blackmailed with my love to our children.
I do not accept this!
The simple truth is: Our children love both parents and they wish to live with both of them equal times.
By German constitutional law, it is my obligation as a father, to care for the well-being of our children. Thus, I must be able to talk with them about any of their needs. If it was their need to spend more time with their father, then I have to take their needs into account and talk about them with their mother, if need be.
The self-incapacitation would mean, that I could only at court discuss with the mother of our children matters related to child custody and the fact that our children want to spend more time with me. Hence, that would take away my ability, to find an extrajudicial agreement with their mother – which would in fact be to the benefit of our children’s well-being, because their parents would not be burdened with the financial and emotional causes of a court conflict.
If I followed the wish of the judge, I’d undermine my obligations as a father and I could not care in an adequate way for the welfare of our children.
The supervised contact brought into play by the Youth Welfare Office in Ehingen, Germany, would so-to-say be the prison our kids and I would be put in, if I stayed true to my obligations as a father despite the self-incapacitation.
This is paradox, indeed:
If I spoke with our children about something which is in their best interest (i.e. that they want to spend more time with me), that would be assessed by the Youth Welfare Office as an endangerment of the welfare of our children and we would be punished unjustifiably with supervised contact…
… although it is in line with my obligation as a father, to care about the well-being of our children.
This won’t happen with me!
I am a father, I can do no other.
I’ll make sure to keep my integrity as a father due to my love to our children, so that they can keep their integrity. I take back my freedom as a father and I won’t let it be taken away again by the family court in Ulm, Germany. At the birthday of my twin sons, I fight for a Germany, in which the two twins will not have to endure the same suffering as I do.
My wishes to our twin boys for their fifth birthday and of course, the same wishes go to our two girls – all four of them being very brave children:
- May they be able to live in shared parenting as they do wish, spending 50% of their time with both their parents.
- May the German state watch over them one day as parents to ensure their basic rights in a better way as it does with mine.
I will do everything I can to make this come true!