Hello reader, thank you for entering my page.
My name is Arturo Garcia, I live in Poland and have a 12-year old son together with a Polish woman, to whom I was married to just after his birth. After nearly 11 years marriage we divorced – that is about 1.5 years ago. Since then, the mother has over time been limiting my time and contact with my son. In July 2017 she filed a court document demanding to limit my parental rights and contact with my son. This made me devastated as my son and I have a very close relationship to one another. Basically, he means the world to me.
Unfortunately, the process is not only heavy on my mental health but also very costly, and I have a hard time to finance a lawyer. I tried to enter the process without a lawyer but realized it is too difficult. As I’m a Mexican living in Poland – a very bureaucratic country - and cannot speak polish very well, my knowledge about the legal system, my rights and what is said in court is very limited and it is hard to navigate through. Thus, in addition to the lawyer costs, I need to have a translator and pay for the translation of documents. This process has already been going on for 6 months and due to long waiting times for the hearings, it will proceed for minimum another 6 months more. Therefore, I reach out in all humbleness for your support, all for the benefit of my child to see and spend time with his father.
ABOUT ME, THE MOTHER AND THE RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR SON
For everyone who knows me and has seen me with my son, they can tell that I am a warm-hearted, loving and caring father who always has the best in mind for my son. We have a really good relationship, where I cook for him (and nowadays teach him how to cook), take care of his health (he suffers from asthma and food allergy which gives him rashes), I do homework with him, take him to recreational sites like parks and museums, and I teach him basic moral/ethics and respect for other beings. Moreover, we share many interests such as playing with our cats, biking, playing music instruments together as well as sports (we like ping-pong and basketball).
The mother is not as loving and affectionate, rather the opposite, she is aggressive, possessive and dominant – which I have been a witness of during our 10 years of marriage as well as after the divorce. As you may have suspected, our son was not planned and she is still remorseful and blame me for ruin her life, and she cannot accept the reality. Basically, she only sees her son as her duty. Moreover, she is a conservative catholic, which is caught up in, on the one hand, old catholic traditions that a family/father should be in a certain way, and on the other, that the mother has more right over the child than the father. Basically, a man and father to her is someone who provides all the money to the household, always thinks the woman is right and shall always be cherished. I am not that man. I am more leaned towards equality, love and affection.
The background leading up to the case:
I first met the mother when she was studying in Mexico, and by the time that she'd moved back to Poland she found that she was pregnant and when it happened we decided to make the best out of it. I decided to leave Mexico behind to take my full responsibility as a father, supporting the mother in Poland. Shortly after our son's birth, we got married due to primarily practical reasons but also due to pressure from her (conservative) parents. As mentioned, we were married for nearly 11 years and in 2016 we divorced with the decision of having joint parental custody with equal rights. At the time of the divorce, it was decided that the son would have is main residence at his mother’s place (as I was the one who had to move away to find a new apartment).
Since the divorce in 2016, the mother has every time limited my time with my son in different ways. On various occasions she has cancelled the meetings between me and my son, without any comprehensible reason. She has forbidden my son to see me and she has even taken his mobile phone from him, as to prevent him to contact me. When I try to contact her in these situations, she don’t answer her phone or say that I am harassing her and all my calling to my son makes him feel stressed. In reality, what makes him stressed is her aggressive and possessive behaviour. In July 2017, she has reported me to the court where she wants to limit my parental rights and limit my contact with my son. This breaks my heart. My son and I have a very close relationship and basically, I live in Poland mostly for his sake, as the people and society is in general very xenophobic and hostile to foreigners these days ( https://newsocialist.org.uk/poland-2/).
WHY SHE WANTS TO LIMIT MY RIGHTS
The mother wants to limit my rights to see and decide on central things for our son due to two main reasons. She thinks that I don’t bring up our son according to the Catholic faith and she thinks that I force upon my son a vegetarian diet, which is “detrimental to him and his mental and physical well-being”. To my defence, I am a man of high moral and ethical standards and I do nothing contradictory to the catholic faith. Yes, I am a vegetarian, due to health reasons and ethical reasons, and I wish my son to be that too. However, I have never forced this diet upon him. Moreover, I am a follower of God and I was brought up by a catholic family, but, I am not very fond of the catholic institutions. Thus, her accusations are ridiculous. The true reason why she does this is only because she feels that I ruined her life. She is so bitter that her life didn’t turn out as she expected.
For the time being, she is limiting my rights to see my son coming with excuses that he needs to study more and have a lot to do in school. Her strategy is to send the child to his grandparents as often as she can and keep him busy so that he will not think of his father too much. I fear, that if she wins, he will become a harsh and close-minded person like his mother and conservative grandparents. As the mother doesn’t know how to cook, I also fear he will be malnourished.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS TO THE CASE
As I am a foreigner living in Poland, I have a hard time getting by in the polish institutions and system as barely no one speaks English. Poland is a very homogenous country where nationalism and racism is common throughout the whole country, which is a disadvantage for me in a court environment as a dark haired foreigner. To that, the language is terribly difficult to understand and speak.
Also, without generalising too much, wherever you go in the world, in these type of custody conflicts, usually the mother has an advantage to the father, who is considered less responsible and caring. But in this case, this is not true or fair at all. When the mother and I lived together, I was the person taking care of the household by cooking, cleaning and buying the necessary supplies, meanwhile she was focusing on her career.
Thus, due to the fact that the mother usually has an advantage in these kinds of cases, I am a foreigner and must bear extra Court Costs in addition to a lawyer - such as oral translator during the court meetings and many translations of documents - I kindly ask for your help as I'm struggling to get through this process.
The costs I have now are 2000pln+2000pln for the lawyer, 500pln per hearing for the translator and another 1000-2000pln for the translation of legal documents from Polish-Spanish and Spanish-Polish. My estimation is that I will need about 10.000 PLN to cover this whole process. (USD and EURO is also ok)
If you decide to help me, I would be forever grateful.
If you have any further question, don't hesitate to contact me and I will tell you more.
Have a nice day,