Father wants to gain full custody of his children after divorce

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Hi Gilbert,

I am in the final stage of my divorce, about a week away from my decree absolute.

We have two children, a girl nine and a boy six. Both are staying with their mother at  the grandmother’s apartment whilst I stay elsewhere.

I am Swiss and my ex wife is a Singaporean Malay. In mediation we agreed on joint custody and joint care and control.

Now the kids’ mum suddenly dropped a bombshell that  she is starting a job as a airline stewardess  and she will be working away from home for most of the time.

I am engaging my lawyer now to get full custody of the children because of this material change in circumstances.

In the past one year,  my ex wife has changed jobs three times. In the past three months,  she also spent most of the week at her boyfriend’s place and left the children with the grandmother.

She made arrangements for outings with the children on some weekends only to cancel them at the last minute. Since February I have the children every weekend staying at my place, every Wednesday  I  take them out for dinner. I pay all the expenses for the children and give their mother $700 a month for maintenance.

Now that the mother is working away I want the children to live with me but their grandmother is interfering and persuading them not to  live at my place. This I won’t tolerate. I am their father and I want to have the children rather than have them brought up by the mother. I have the means and I am very capable of looking after my own children. We have common interests and the children enjoy spending time with me. We all love nature.

My daughter is very good at school and she is top of the class but lately since her mother didn’t sleep there, she missed a lot of classes because no one wakes her up in the morning. The grandmother’s attitude towards missing school is… never mind, it’s ok.

I don’t want my daughter to slip up at school, she enjoys school but once she falls behind and has to do extra work to catch up,  this may change.

So, I decided to take control of the situation and try to gain full custody of my kids. It’s going to be difficult but I have to manage. I think I can do with as much help as I can get!

Stephen (not his real name)

Sent from my iPhone


Hi Stephen,
Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear about your predicament.
It looks like if you apply to the family court you may be able to gain total access to your children based on what you have told me in your mail.
I am sure that a lawyer will be able to help you out here.
Its also apparent that the mother is irresponsible and unable to take charge of the children affairs well enough.
Moreover, most of the caring is done by the grandmother and not her.
I also commend you for being a responsible father and want to do what’s best for your kids.
They deserve the best even though the family has gone dysfuntional.
Take care and stay strong. Let me know if you need further assistance from us.

Thanks & Warmest Regards,

 Gilbert Goh



  1. Stephen,

    First of all, Cheers to you. I wish to highlight the obvious that even the blind and mentally retard can feel and know from your post that you are a responsible father and wish to assume FULL RESPONSIBILITY for your children.

    But i wish to highlight that from my own divorce experience and those many stories from my divorce friends, i realise that, many times,ex wife tries to stop ex husband from gaining custody or even visiting their children which on the other hand, the male are much more likely to encourage ex wife to visit children if the male have the custody. This only proof one point. Woman lack the brain and DNA to arrange the best for their children and therefore do not deserve to hold custody. research from UK and USA had shown that male tend to be a better parent then female. I have got this article from readers digest and i am still keep that copy in my drawer.

    There is no spcific reason to explain why the grandma had treat missing school as “nvm, small matter” and the mother staying at the boyfriend house and express indirectly lack on interest in your children eduction and involment in their daily life. The only reason i can think of it that women are design to react and think this way when divorce in on the way.

    Therefore I think your mission is to fight to gain full custody of your children regardless of any price you pay.

    To deal with the rotten grandmather, you must first understand that “grandma” DO NOT have any real power to interfere with you decision. However Grandma can be powerful Only and ONLY if grandma’s word can affect your wife. I suggest you:

    1) Encourage your wife to quickly start work with the flight company and encourage her to fly as many time as possible while you make records of her hectic flying schedule to be present to court later.

    2) Talk to you wife and present and image of her being a successful air stewardess and making big bucks. Once she start to fly, even grandma will find it hard to talk to her. Grandma will persuade her not to take up this job. It is hope that the two of them will quarrel fiercely over this issue and relationship btw this two mother and daughter broke down.

    3) Explain to her that now she had a bf, Why would she want to burden herself with children? Your offer to obtain custody for the children is helping her so that she will be more “available” for the next “wonderful” marriage coming up very soon.

    4) Let her know that she will have unlimited access to the children after the divorce and i can swear to you she will not visit them as much as you though she would.

    5) From now onward try to get yourself involve in your children activities as much as possible.

    6) Finally, do not forget to claim child maintenance from her if possible.

    good luck, You are strong and i believe you will be stronger from this experience.

  2. Hello Gilbert,

    Please tell us what the outcome was or leaning towards. I ask as my brother is going thru the exact same thing along with the career shift of his wife and infidelity in the mix and his kid absolutely adores his dad. Crazy how twisted life gets and lets the innocent suffer to say the least!!.

  3. Stephen

    The grandmother will become an obstacle should the mother’s attorney ask the Court not to subject your children to unnecessary changes to their living arrangements to minimize any feeling of insecurity etc. By acting on the matter, you have set things in motion and can argue that the care arrangements with the Grandmother are recent. That is a plus point for you.

    In Singapore, the Court may grant custody to a party other than the childrens’ natural parents if it feels that it is in the best interests of the children. Do your research and back up your claims with evidence – teacher’s written notices of tardiness etc.

    Good luck.

  4. Dear readers, i have a problem too.i am a muslim. I have two kids. The eldest is an 8 year old boy. He dosen’t want to stay with the mother. Because he often times gets beaten by her boyfriends mum. The custody for both kids is with the mum under sole custody. The longest period i was not able to see him was one year. My ex wife stays in malaysia and my son commutes by a chartered bus to school everyday. One fine day he ran away from the school bus and he took his own bus to my house in singapore. That is from singapore customs to my house in queens street.The mum have been trying forcefully to bring him back there eversince. He would cry at the very mention of her name. I love my kids and i cannot bear to see him being dragged home forcefully. Currently my son is admitted to the hospital due to phobia of being forcefully taken home. I have lodged a police report as there was some bruises on his body. What can i do here? Because i called up the famy court and they mentioned that custody can only be changed to me if only the mum allows it to be changed. Help me readers. I cannot bear to see the tears on my sons cheeks

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