Married in Grand Cayman, trying to exit in Ireland
July 25, 2006 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Married in the Caribbean, had a (wonderful) kid, now trying to get out of the situation... with the kid. What are my chances?

We got married in the Church of the Grand Cayman Islands about ten years ago, now live in Co. Donegal, Ireland (Republic, not the North – though we're north of the North). Got a marvelous kid.

But things between us ain't so hot – frankly they're abominable – and as of two hours ago I'm starting to face the possibility that they won't get better. Wife may be an incurable alcoholic, and certainly tends to regress instead of progress. In absence of signs of improvement, my main priority is getting the kid and myself out of harm's way.

So here are the questions I have:

1. Since we got married in the Caribbean, what's the story on ending that? Is it possible from Ireland, do we even need to involve the Irish authorities? Is it possible at all?

2. I'm the Dad in the scenario, what are the odds of me being able to obtain custody of the kid? I'm Irish, wife is American, she probably wants to head back to Ohio... who wins this tug-o-war? Well nobody wins, I know that, but how badly will the kid and me lose? What does a Dad have to do to be allowed to parent his kid? And to get a disturbing, destructive influence out of the picture?

3. How does custody work across the oceans?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IMHO, this is really the wrong place to ask these questions. You need a lawyer now.
posted by richardhay at 7:20 PM on July 25, 2006

You need a lawyer now.

You may need two—one in Ireland now, one in Ohio later.
posted by oaf at 7:24 PM on July 25, 2006

I agree. Lawyer up, and make the one you choose an excellent one. I've a feeling you're going to need it, as complicated as this situation already is.
posted by timetoevolve at 7:25 PM on July 25, 2006

I'm not sure about the citizenship status of any members of your family, but you should look into having your son's passport taken away so his mom wont be able to run with him.
posted by matkline at 8:30 PM on July 25, 2006

Start collecting evidence. Place/time of aberrant behavior. And lawyer up. And what matkline said, which was a clever thought. If she's really alcoholic, her first concern will be her supply of drink, not her child.

Contrawise, if her first thought is for her child, then the drinker isn't an addict. And she's your wife, and the mother of your child. You owe her duty, in sickness and in health. Maybe you've already exhausted efforts in that direction (I don't wish to be nagging. I've been involved with a drunk and know how bad that can be).
posted by Goofyy at 1:27 AM on July 26, 2006

See an Irish divorce lawyer now. Keep a record of what's going on. I know nothing about Irish law, but if its like British law, you can certainly divorce in the UK even if you married abroad. I get the feeling that this is pretty much universally the case, but divorce laws and child custody laws differ substantially from country to country.

Equally don't be hasty - you must have loved this woman at one point - and you have a child to think about. If you can do anything to save the marriage do that first.
posted by prentiz at 6:05 AM on July 26, 2006

Read this thread if you haven't done so already.
posted by junkbox at 6:39 AM on July 26, 2006

See a lawyer. Current news stories suggest that Ireland is doing its best to ensure overseas divorce laws don't apply at home.

The prospect of liberal divorce laws being applied here will raise concerns, writes Jamie Smyth. The European Commission's proposal to harmonise the rules on how divorce laws apply in the EU will prove controversial. Several EU states jealously guard their right to systematically apply their own domestic law in divorce proceedings, particularly Ireland, Britain and Malta (where divorce is not available).

From the IT here last week. The news is regarding laws in other EU countries, but the way I'm reading it is that the 4-year separation rule or whatever it is we have in Ireland will still apply. But don't trust my take on it, I'm neither married nor a lawyer and could absolutely have it all wrong. See a lawyer.
posted by jamesonandwater at 9:19 AM on July 26, 2006

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