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Elin, Don't Rip Your Kids Away From Tiger By Moving To Sweden — It's A Bad Idea!

Tue, April 27, 2010 9:17am EDT by 76 Comments
Getty Images,

Getty Images,

Elin — It’s one thing to take little Sam, 2, and Charlie, 1, for a weeks-long summer vacation to Sweden — but trying to move there permanently is a terrible idea! Here’s why!

Apparently, Elin  your plan is to return to your homeland with your children – for good, according to You want to divorce Tiger and leave Florida behind, for good.

Yes, Elin you may be furious with Tiger and disappointed with his efforts to turn around his behavior as a husband and father, but if you try to force Tiger to let you and the kids return full-time to Sweden you’ll only hurt all of you!

Legally — you won’t have a leg to stand on and emotionally you will be doing serious damage to Sam and Charlie.

Virtually every psychologist I consulted thought it was a bad idea to permanently put such a large physical distance between your children and their dad.

Elin — you have to remember that even though Tiger cheated outrageously and he may not be the best father in the world, it’s still better for your kids to have a dad in their lives versus no dad.

“I always believe that unless a father is abusive it’s always best for children to have both parents in their lives — and in this case, I don’t even think Elin should take them away on a vacation for too long. Tiger was already away in sex rehab  for 45 days– they should see their father,” LA psychologist Jenn Berman, and author of the A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids, tells me.

It’s incredibly important for children to have both parents to attach to, to spend time with and to get love from. The parents are the foundation for a child’s sense of safety and security,” she points out.

You know Elin, she makes a really good point. Tiger may have been a bad husband but he hasn’t been an abusive father. Take it from someone who grew up as a child of divorce — as a child you do want to see your dad. Having him thousands of miles away, as a virtual stranger, only makes a kid feel abandoned.

“At some point — if Elin takes Sam and Charlie away to Sweden — they will ask her — ‘why did you take me away from daddy?’ and she will appear to be the bad guy, points out Dr. Berman.

No doubt with the current obsession with Tiger’s every move and every mistress, Elin feels she and her children will ALWAYS live under a microsope. I can understand why you want to hide out in Sweden. But I guaranteeyou,  that this too will pass.

If you get divorced Elin, and Tiger reverts to his bad boy behavior — it won’t matter. It won’t be big news — he’ll be single and you and your children will be of less and less interest.

“The children have a right to have access to both their parents and typically kids want that,” agrees couple and family psychologist Dr. John Northman. Dr. Northman doesn’t even think  Elin that you should give up on your marriage yet — unless you and Tiger have already tried working hard with a third party trained counselor who can help you both understand what has happened. “I see people all the time where there are multiple infidelities and marriages can survive that, if there are positives to staying together. Marriage isn’t perfect,” he believes.

Well, I understand if that is just too hard to swallow, but you ultimately must do what’s in the best interests of your children.

I believe that even if you get Tiger to agree to moving your children away, they will NOT thank you for it. They will feel as if their dad, Tiger rejected them. It’s not logical maybe, but again as a child of divorce I can tell you — that emotions overrule logic and when little Sam and Charlie get older, they will feel as if their dad didn’t fight for them — as if they weren’t worth fighting for. Their self-esteem will be damaged.

Finally — if you are considering going to battle against Tiger to take your children to Sweden permanently, you need to face reality — you have almost no HOPE of pulling that off legally!

“It’s not going to happen,” says Florida attorney Chris Mancini without a moments hesitation. If Elin tried to take her children out of the country without Tiger’s permission, he could get an emergency court order to prevent her from getting on a plane, he says. Even if she’s in Sweden and refuses to bring them back, a Swedish court will eventually look at her case, deny her request for a custody order and send the custody decision back to the U.S. courts. “If she refuses, the Swedish court will issue an order and the police will t ake the children and escort them back to the U.S., he says.

Mancini — even says that the Florida courts will not allow Tiger and Elin to divide their children’s time between the U.S. and Sweden, in any unreasonable manner.

‘They can’t be allowed to shuttle the kids back and forth. They must provide a stable home environment or the courts will intervene. Tiger and Elin will have to prepare a comprehensive “parenting plan, as part of their divorce and they will have to honor it,” explains Mancini.

So Elin, no matter how badly Tiger cheated on you, legally he wasn’t a bad dad and you can’t punish him by taking away his kids. I don’t advise it on a personal level and the Florida courts won’t allow it!

Sorry Elin, it’s time for you too suck it up and to focus on the best interests of Sam and Charlie! I hope you do!

Bonnie Fuller

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