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New family harassed by Malaysian ex-wife in bitter divorce

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Greetings to you sir.

I came across your site Steady Marriages and find it very helpful and hopeful. We would like to ask for your kind advice quite urgently as we are struggling to free ourselves from this trouble that has been dragging and affecting our lives pretty badly since 2013.

As we are still just beginning to stand on our own feet i.e getting a stable permanent job, we are still nowhere able to afford a lawyer to fight against a case of an ex-wife who is only a foreign PR and has custody of 2 kids (hiding one child in Malaysia since birth in 2012) and hogging on to matrimonial flat accumulating instalment repayments and interests since November 2014. Changed all locks to doors and gate knowing that having an active PPO against him would make him helpless to have access to his own flat.

Smartly and discreetly refusing to cooperate with the selling procedure despite courts order to sell the matrimonial flat (which we do not understand why there is no given enforcement on any timeline).

Same time it seems she is exploiting and taking advantage of Women’s Chapter to her advantage and attempting to increase maintenance for children and various financial claims for the past 2 years and counting. On top of which, loans and debts incurred during their marriage is burdened on him alone heavily as it is all under his name. We as Singaporeans feel very helpless and unable to solve or find a final and fair solution to end this.

We are very interested to put a stop to this endless personal attack by the ex-wife playing victim and pitiful in the eyes of the law and community which is really too much for us to handle.

We cannot afford any lawyer and especially after a bad experience with a former lawyer who charged us during divorce procedures so much and never did a satisfying job.

We just want to get back on our own feet to work, pay off loans and debts, settle down, live a normal life to see the kids and pay a fair maintenance based on his salary.

How outraging it is to receive this from a foreigner who came here without anything and now reigning over everything. For example, our  current situation : Take home salary after CPF is $1040. Her asking is $700 for 2 young kids 6 and 3.

On top of that, she is earning more than him while working in Singapore. However, we are not being so cruel as to leave her in poverty but it seems we are being taken advantage of.

Your advice will be greatly appreciated. How can we get help? Our stress level is going over it’s limit.

We look forward for your kind reply. We also thank you for your time. Have a pleasant evening sir.

Sincerely,

Mandy

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Hi Mandy

Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear of your predicament.

There are a few issues here and I will try to tackle them one by one.

However, I am a counsellor and not a lawyer so what I wrote are not the official version. You should seek our a lawyer and if you cant afford one you can get one from Legal Aid.

Regarding the maintenance payment, your husband can get a downward variation done himself without any legal assistance.

The template can be downloaded online or you can get a physical copy at the Family Court. The issue about self-representation on downward variation is that you have to be personally present in court during the hearing.

You also need to be careful to present your case as the documents you present are legal-binding.

There are many cases of one party refusing to move out of the matrimonial home due to various reasons after a court ruling on property ownership, so you may want to reapply to the court again to get it sorted out.

Some refuse to co-operate while trying to sell the property whereas others simply lock out the person in defiance.

A divorce that is acrimonious often saps the mental and physical energy of the parties involved.

Be patient and calm and hopefully with time, the issues will be resolved amicably.

Gilbert Goh

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