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Ex-wife wants to move back to Sweden with the kids

Should I move with them?

SteffromBristol
post 18.Nov.2020, 02:32 PM
Post #1
Joined: 18.Nov.2020

Hi all,

I am new to this forum which I found whilst I was doing some online research on my situation. I signed up to start this thread, as I thought some kind forum members could give me advice.

I am a dual citizen (UK/ German) currently living in Switzerland. I separated from my Swedish wife of 10 years around a year ago, and we are due to start divorce proceedings soon. We will be divorcing in Sweden as it is really expensive in Switzerland. We have three kids (3, 6, and 10) who have all been born and raised in Switzerland. We share the custody of the kids 50/50. As a family, we have never lived in Sweden, although we have spent holidays and summers there over the years. The kids are Swedish nationals and speak Swedish with their mother, although their schooling has been in German.

I have lost my job as a result of the Covid pandemic, and I am in the process of job hunting, although the job market is not too promising at the moment. I have been unemployed for 6 months now, but thankfully the unemployment insurance system here is amazing so I will get paid a decent monthly "salary" until the end of 2021. My ex-wife has a fantastic job here and she makes multiples of what I used to earn before losing my job.

Recently, my ex-wife told me she is thinking to move to Sweden with the kids. She has been wanting to move back home for years now, but I have always been adamant that I don't want to move to Sweden. She says that the kids will have access to better and cheaper education in Sweden, and that given that I am now unemployed in Switzerland, it makes more sense for everyone to leave this country at this stage.

I am freaking out. I love my kids and I don't want to leave them. I don't even know where else I could go, as I don't have any family left or any real ties to my home countries. I am considering whether moving to Sweden with them could make sense, but I am concerned as 1) I don't speak the language, 2) my employment opportunities would be pretty bad, 3) I am not a fan of the Swedish mindset/ lagom/ jantelagen and all that jazz.

I have booked an appointment with a layer of course, but I wanted to hear the opinions of other expats who live in Sweden. Do you think it would be a mad idea for me to move to Sweden with my ex and my kids? Do you think I have any legal grounds to fight her decision?

Thank you for any advice.
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Martin565
post 18.Nov.2020, 03:10 PM
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Joined: 4.Oct.2017

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Railman
post 18.Nov.2020, 03:15 PM
Post #3
Joined: 6.Apr.2020

I would be very cautious about moving to a country you don't seem very keen on. Living in an alien country is full of challenges as it is. It is all fine and dandy to talk about the kids, but you need to be happy as well. That matters a lot for the kids' upbringing too.

Either you should to want to live in Sweden, or your existing circumstances should be so horrible that living in Sweden will be better no matter what.

You can get by in Sweden without speaking Swedish but it very much depends on what you plan to do and what you want. It very much depends on your likely social environment and your job plans. There are areas of expertise that require no Swedish, a few which require native English expertise (by which I mean you have to be a professional wordsmith, or possibly a trained teacher, not just be able to speak it). Other more 'regular' jobs do need it, but getting up to workable Swedish doesn't put you in a favourable position versus all the other native Swedish speakers applying.

Social life is a bit more complicated as it is such an individual thing. It depends so much on what kind of people you want to meet, what kind of people you are likely to meet, and what your interests are.

On top of that is weather (dark and cold for 5+ months) and location (unlike Switzerland, not a stone's throw from lots of great countries to visit).
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SteffromBristol
post 18.Nov.2020, 03:42 PM
Post #4
Joined: 18.Nov.2020

Thank you both for your replies. I want to add that the post-separation relationship with my ex-wife has been amicable so far. However, it has largely been amicable because I have "danced to her tune", much like I have done during our 12 years long relationship.

I don't know how she would react if I opposed to her moving to Sweden with the kids, and if things between us would remain amicable in that scenario.
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Grommet
post 18.Nov.2020, 03:55 PM
Post #5
Joined: 10.May.2020

I would try to keep things in Switzerland if you can. Better opportunities, standard of living, world-class scenery, proximity to the EU etc.

Once she gets to Sweden, you become, legally, tossed to the side. Any problems, and courts will side with the mother, in Sweden. You instantly become a 2nd class citizen, and as a foreigner, you will lose any power you have.

She will use the Swedish system against you, and you don't stand a chance.

Don't believe the "hype" about Sweden. It is quite a nasty place for foreigners. Quite expensive as well.
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Martin565
post 18.Nov.2020, 04:22 PM
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Joined: 4.Oct.2017

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*Guest*
post 18.Nov.2020, 04:27 PM
Post #7


Before you make any moves make sure than as the kids are Swedish you are registered as both a parent and guardian of the kids with the Swedish authorities. That way you will always be involved in their educational decision etc..

Next I'd base your decision on the likelihood of you finding a job and that really depends on your sector. With covid there are tougher times ahead employment wise to come.
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TheExpatEagle
post 18.Nov.2020, 08:43 PM
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Joined: 23.Aug.2016

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Martin565
post 18.Nov.2020, 09:08 PM
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comhemigen
post 19.Nov.2020, 10:05 AM
Post #10
Joined: 19.Nov.2020

I think it would be a bad idea to do this. I was in a similar position to you a few years ago (ex-wife wanting to move to Sweden) and I went with it.

Unfortunately, after 6 months of job-hunting I hadn't found one, but she refused to return home. Now I have to travel to Sweden every month just to see my children. I consider my decision to move to Sweden one of the worst mistakes of my life.

I don't agree that the education here is good: bullying is rife across all types of school and there is a general lack of discipline in schools in Sweden.

I also don't agree that your children will have a better life: from what I know of Switzerland, it is extremely safe, so much so that 5-year-olds can walk to nursery on their own. Violent crime gets worse in Sweden every year, and I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable letting young children out on their own in any of the major cities here.

The job market is very hard here if you don't speak Swedish, and the corona situation has made it even more difficult.

So, yes, I think you would be mad to leave Switzerland, where you have unemployment benefit, speak the local language, and have 50/50 custody, to move to Sweden.
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Grommet
post 19.Nov.2020, 06:34 PM
Post #11
Joined: 10.May.2020

OP, you could approach with "now isn't the time to be moving" and try to get her to agree that it doesn't happen before you get a decent job there.

Saying you may as well move to Sweden because you are unemployed there makes no sense. Seems like most of the reasoning being given to you, why you need to go to Sweden, is just wishful thinking.

No way Sweden has anything over Switzerland. End of story.

Even with a job, living in Sweden will be a severe downgrade. It will certainly shock you if you ever have to suffer experiencing life in Sweden on a continual basis.

Entitled, spoilt, self-righteous people, the Swedes.
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Martin565
post 19.Nov.2020, 06:51 PM
Post #12
Joined: 4.Oct.2017

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Martin565
post 19.Nov.2020, 07:03 PM
Post #13
Joined: 4.Oct.2017

QUOTE (Grommet @ 19.Nov.2020, 06:34 PM) *
OP, you could approach with "now isn't the time to be moving" and try to get her to agree that it doesn't happen before you get a decent job there. Saying yo ... (show full quote)


Stop the ride now I wanna get off https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p08wwmfc/the...o-tackle-winter
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TheExpatEagle
post 19.Nov.2020, 09:09 PM
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Joined: 23.Aug.2016

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TheExpatEagle
post 19.Nov.2020, 09:10 PM
Post #15
Joined: 23.Aug.2016

QUOTE (Grommet @ 19.Nov.2020, 06:34 PM) *
OP, you could approach with "now isn't the time to be moving" and try to get her to agree that it doesn't happen before you get a decent job there. Saying yo ... (show full quote)


As are people in just about every other Western country under the age of 35. You are so blinded in our anti-Swede bias.
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