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Questions about Divorce & Custody

Discussion in 'Matters Of The Heart' started by missjanie, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    Hi, my hubby have decided to divorce. Still waiting for the filing while i have moved back to stay with my mum. As for 2 boys (7mth & 29mth), they have been staying at my mum since the day they will born and taken care by my mum as i'm a full time working mum. the boys was also very close to my mum and dad. both of them only went back home on weekend.

    Who will usually get the custody? Is it hard to get both of their custody? Usually for single child / both daughter, the custody will given to mum unless somethings happen. but my case was 2 son. i really wish that i could get both of their custody. me and hubby have a talk. he say that court will have the final say even he doesnt want to fight for custody.

  2. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    from my knowledge, the judge will most likely let the current arrangement be continued.

    And for the good of the children, the judge will let the parent have joint custody. But only one parent will have the care ad control.
  3. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    sorry for my poor english. what does joint custody mean?

    i dont mind letting my hubby seeing the boys. i will be bringing the boys back to his father every saturday afternoon and stay a night.
  4. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    that means both of u will have the custody of the children and each of u will be given some days to spend with the children. Unless one of the parent is not showing good example for the child then sole custody will be given to one parent.

    On what ground did u file or divorce?
  5. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    i also not sure of the reason for divorcing that he want to file.

    not showing good example for the child mean?
  6. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    janie, know your rights. Make sure u get the care and control for your kids. Find out the reason for divorce first, before u sign. He might cited unreasonable behaviour on your part since he is filing against u. Don just sign. Make sure the reason is valid.

    Not showing good example e.g gambling, smoking and bad habit infront of your child.

    Do re-consider to divorce since u children are so young.
  7. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    i dont know what to say. my head was super big now.

    1st: end of nov this year then we are married 3yrs.

    2nd: our house can only sell after staying for 5yr. but we have only stay 2yr+. if he doesnt have any custody under his name. there is no family nucleus or occupier in that house and he will have to sell. when sell, we still have to pay levy and it will also involve my PILs.

    i have alot of questions that are not clear. regarding the house.

    I dont know where smoking and drinking is a bad example anot as he does have this habit.
  8. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    i'm just a Occupier of that house b'cos the day when we collect the keys, i havent turn 21. what i hate most is just 2 days before i turn 21 and i can be the co-owner of the house. since i just an occupier and he doesnt want to live with me anymore. i just moved out.

    i planning to buy a 2 or 3rm flat after the procedure is completed.

    but is this my 1st application or 2nd? i wasnt an owner or co-owner of that house but when we apply the flat, we use our marriage cert to apply and this involve my PIL bcos we buying a flat that is near them.
  9. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    janie, have ur marriage broken down beyond repair?

    If he smoke in front of your child then you can use it against him co it affect the kids health.

    From what i know, u can't file divorce if your marriage is not more than 3 years unless. You can only do an early application if you can satisfy the court that you have suffered exceptional hardship or that your spouse has been exceptionally unreasonable and cruel.

    For matrimonial assets division, a list of all assets should be itemised, whether held in sole or joint names. If these are matrimonial assets, such assets would also be subject to division. And I know that recently HDB have a new ruling that husband share of the house paid from CPF can be transferred to the wife. So if u get the custody, should have no problem for the house.
  10. singlemomof3

    singlemomof3 New Member

    If you didn't sign any documents for the first flat then you are indeed only the occupier. Therefore your new application is the first application.

    If you can discuss and agree to the custody and maintenance arrangements, your divorce will proceed much faster.

  11. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    i remember i have signed something that declare i'm not working at that time.

    hmm.. he didnt smoke infront of the kids but he cigarettes anyhow place. i saw my elder son took it and though is sweet.
  12. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    "Joint Custody" - means both of your have an equal right to make decisions for your children, like where to go to school, where your children spend their CNY etc etc.

    "Sole Custody" - means that only one of you can make decisions, even if the other parent doesn't agree.

    "Care" (not control) means the person who looks after the children on a day to day basis. The other parent will have "visiting rights".

    Usually for small children/babies, the court gives "care" to the mother, unless the mother is clearly not fit - e.g. handicapped, drug addict, abusive etc.
  13. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    MAR is right - check and read the "petition for divorce" before you sign. You can only divorce without reason after 3 years. Before 3 years, if you want to divorce, there must be "unreasonable behaviour" - example, abuse, drugs, madness or "adultery" - i.e. having affair.

    Everything that goes on in court documents is public record. So, please read before you sign anything and understand it.

    For maintenance (legal term: "alimony") start making a list of your expenses (personal expenses, household bills and children expenses) that you and/or your husband pay for. If he gives your parents allowance, include that as well. All this you must show the judge so that the judge can decide how much monthly/yearly maintenance to order your husband to pay you.
  14. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    he is now waiting for the 3rd yr as it was on end of nov this yr.

    how can i prove that he is abusive? he kicked me before in front of my elder son. my hand was blue black but didnt went for any checkup or took any pic.

    as for the maintenance, all bills are paid by me. even the nanny fee to my mum is also by me. he didnt pay any cents.
  15. hyrohelium

    hyrohelium New Member

    Dear Janie,

    U seem quite blur.On what ground your hubby wana file for divorce?U beta find out the reason before signing.If the reason is against you,you might not get the custody.

    But since you said all expenses on both your children are paid by you.You got a higher chance of winning the custody.

    So don't worry.Just make sure the reason your hubby have filed for a divorce is not against you.Then it should not be a problem.

    But if the divorce is only on impulse.Try to salvage it.Cos divorce will end up hurting the children most.
  16. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    Hi Janie
    How long ago was it that he kicked you? Did you tell your mother or friends or anyone about it at the time even if you didn't make an official report? If yes, you can ask that person to testify for you.

    Also, did he do it only once or many times. Many times = clear abuse. Once = the judge may give your husband a chance and say "okay, maybe accident".

    Maintenance (I guess you mean maintenance for your children) - did you pay cash or nets or credit card? Keep the bills and receipts if you have them. If not, start keeping them. But dont worry, even if you dont, it's your word against his and the judges in Singapore are quite fair. They will listen toboth sides. By the way, you should also keep track of who pays the other household bills and how much the bills are. All these you can try and claim from husband in divorce.

    Know your rights. But if possible, try and save your marriage. Good luck to you.
  17. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    he kicked me once in july this year. but was repaeting kicking on the same arms till the whole arm was blue black. My family members & colleuages did ask me b4 what happen to my arms. i told them was accidently knock on somethings.

    all the bills was paid by internet banking so my bank passport have all the records.

    their milk powder & pampers sometime bought from medicial hall which is much cheaper which doesnt have any receipt.

    my elder son doesnt even want to go back to that place. he rather stay with my mum. as my younger son, he need to have my mum or me to sleep beside him everynight.
  18. missjanie

    missjanie New Member

    Me and my husband was shotgun married. After we ROM, he went to apply for HDB flat (resale) using our Marriage Cert. At the time of collecting the keys for the flat, I havent reach the age of 21 (just 2 more day to reach 21). Does this consider that I applied for that house? For what I know, I'm just an occupier. And now he told me that he have already removed me as occupier.

    Currently, we have 2 boys aged 8mth and 30mth. He asked for divorce, but we have not even reach 3yr of marriage so he got to wait till the end of this yr. Now me and my sons are staying at my mum place. Can i remove both mine and my sons name as occupier in that house and change it to my mum place (both of the boys have been staying at my mum place since they will born as they are taken care by my mum)?

    That husband of mine is undergoing bankruptcy soon. Is he able to get the custody of the boys?

    What is the market for Nanny to look after 2 boys age different by 22mth. Only bring them back on Friday Night to Sunday Afternoon.

    he will change the whole set of house key including the letterbox.

    i'm in the process of changing my ad<textarea>Me and my husband was shotgun married. After we ROM, he went to apply for HDB flat (resale) using our Marriage Cert. At the time of collecting the keys for the flat, I havent reach the age of 21 (just 2 more day to reach 21). Does this consider that I applied for that house? For what I know, I'm just an occupier. And now he told me that he have already removed me as occupier.

    Currently, we have 2 boys aged 8mth and 30mth. He asked for divorce, but we have not even reach 3yr of marriage so he got to wait till the end of this yr. Now me and my sons are staying at my mum place. Can i remove both mine and my sons name as occupier in that house and change it to my mum place (both of the boys have been staying at my mum place since they will born as they are taken care by my mum)?

    That husband of mine is undergoing bankruptcy soon. Is he able to get the custody of the boys?

    What is the market for Nanny to look after 2 boys age different by 22mth. Only bring them back on Friday Night to Sunday Afternoon.

    he will change the whole set of house key including the letterbox.

    i'm in the process of changing my address for everythings under my name.

    he now using everything under my name. should i be softhearted to transfer them to his name?

    am i able to get legal aids? i'm FTWM. My Gross Pay is $1882. Sorry ar, my english quite poor.

    if i get the custody for my both boys. my younger son have an CDA account but the trustee is my husband. will the court transfer the name to me? the CDA havent open yet as he is currently unergoing bankruptcy and the banks have blocked all his banks account. and deduct everything inside to repay his credit cards debt.
  19. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    Hi Janie
    Abuse- good, other pp have seen the bruises and can confirm some part of your story. You can always explain why you told the white lies originally. I dont think that is a major problem.

    Bills/receipts - continue to keep records as much as possible. Even if no receipt, you can write down in a notebook how much you paid, for what, and when.

    HDB - as far as I am aware, your husband cannot remove you as occupier unless you agreed. He may be lying. Check directly with HDB. If your/your children's name are still set out as Occupier - LEAVE IT THERE. DO NOT OFFICIALLY REMOVE OR TRANSFER YOUR or YOUR CHILDREN'S 'OCCUPIER' status to your Mum's address. If you remove your/your children's name, your husband can freely sell the flat and just pocket the money immediately! Even if the judge tells him later to pay up, he can say "spend already". SO, be careful - don't do anything without asking HDB or a lawyer.

    Legal Aid- The usual test is that "Your disposable income, that is, your income for the past 12 months before the date of application for legal aid and after deducting prescribed allowances, must not exceed $10,000/-". Even if your salary for the 12 months is more than this, your 'disposable income' may be less. Check with Legal Aid how they calculate 'disposable income'. For more infor, check out this website.
    Do get proper legal advice quickly.

    CDA account - Check with a lawyer, get the lawyer to write to MCYS to notify them about the divorce proceedings, your hubby's bankruptcy status and so on, and ask MCYS to name you as trustee instead of your hubby.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "everything" when you say "he now using everything under my name. should i be softhearted to transfer them to his name? " but it sounds very dangerous. Dont be stupid and softhearted. If you want to be softhearted, can... first find out how much trouble he can get you into. If you are willing to bear the possible trouble, then you can be softhearted - its your choice but you should first know what your options/alternatives are.

    Custody - your children are both very young still. Singapore judges will usually give custody of such young children/babies to the mother (unless she's a drug addict or prostitute or something bad like that).

    At the end of the day, a judge will look at you and decide if you are a 'fit and proper parent'.
    You need to show the judge that you can not only take care of your children but more importantly, you know how to take care of yourself. Show the judge that you know, or know how to find out about your legal rights and you are prepared to stand up for yourself. Dont be afraid to ask the govt, HDB, and the Legal Aid Bureau for help.

    Good luck k. Be brave.
  20. 3asmum

    3asmum Member


    for divorce with GOOD VALID reason filed from one party, the process will be fast. eg abuse, adultry etc...but not character problem ..

    if reason just not able to stay together, no love etc..need 3years separation with both parties agree. Or 4years separation with just need one party to agree.

    As for custody etc, like Sunny's mentioned, young children below 12 are more towards to mother. Unless the mother has bad habits..alcoholic, drug addict etc then will go to father's..

    For your case, should have high chance judge will pass the custody to you, furthermore your husband will be a bankrupcy..so this lessen his chance to fight for the custody's.

    For HDB etc...stay on as per Sunny's suggestion. Though you are a occupier, you still have chance to get some cash should the flat sell after divorce. Bring this up to your lawyer and ask them to fight for u. Even if you have no contribution to the home loan, but your contribution in the house maintenance, power supply fees etc and children will able to let you gain some monetary shares. This is important for your future with 2kids. If i am not wrong, single parent not able to purchase flat from HDB, may be case to case basis so extras money is very important in case u need to rent etc..

    If divorce is a must, then you have to think the future for yourself and your kids ONLY. Your hubi can take care of himself, dont need to be soft heart.

    Lastly...if there is another chance he hit you, no matter is small or serious, go straight to police station, report and jotted the record.

    take good care of yourself and your kids!
  21. rainibowbunny

    rainibowbunny New Member

  22. promis_hope

    promis_hope New Member

    Hi, if the mother is not Singaporean, then normally mother can bring the kids go back to own country?
  23. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    Is your child/children singapore citizens?

    Are you in a divorce situation? Already started court proceedings or just thinking about it?

    Are you bringing your children for a visit to your hometown or are you planning a 'longer' or more permanent stay?
  24. cactus_79

    cactus_79 New Member

    Hope, if divorce proceedings have started, normally the father will ask the court to grant an interim order restricting/limiting the mother's ability to bring the child overseas. There may be conditions imposed on an overseas trip, if this is permitted - frequency, duration and period of travel.
  25. chipndale

    chipndale New Member

    hi ladies, need help..

    Can anyone advice regarding how the courts rule regarding custody of the children? Am asking on behalf of a close gf - she is working part time, professional, and taking care of her 2 young kids (2 and 6 mths) together with the ILs and a maid. She is staying with ILs. Will the fact that ILs are also caregivers and kids staying with ILs affect her getting custody of the kids after divorce? even though she has equal share in caring for kids when not at work? Cos after reading the posts above abt how court rules for welfare of kids, and how they try to preserve current living conditions for kids, i'm worried she will lose kids cos of the present care arrangement. the hb is completely irresponsible. does not take care of kids at all.. the most play with them 5-10min a day, if any.

    Also, is it likely that court will separate the kids, eg father take 1, mother take the other? quite sad if both kids are separated at such a young age.. but the hb claims that's the fairest way. The hb is also a working professional, fetching abt 7-8k/mth. my friend earns abt 5k/mth doing part time. Will she be more likely to get custody by going to work full time? Or shld she quit job completely to increase chances of getting custody for both kids.

    pls help.. thanks so much.
  26. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    Hi Jules
    There are 2 issues the court has to decide "Custody" and "Care and Control".

    Copied from the Subordinate Court's website:
    "The Court decides two things. The first thing to decide is whether one or both parents should have custody of the children. Custody is the right to make major decisions on the welfare and upbringing of the children. Custody can be shared.

    The second thing to decide is which parent has care and control of the children. Care and control is the right to have the children live with you, and to make everyday decisions about them. For practical reasons, care and control normally lies with one parent. "

    Your friend has to first think-does she have the capability to take care of the children without the IL's help. If she needs the ILs to continue to look after the children during the day, it is likely that custody will have to be shared. But she can always ask for sole care and control (which in the long run is the more important issue).
  27. chipndale

    chipndale New Member

    Hi sunny,

    thanks for your reply!

    ok.. learning new things everyday! didnt know these are 2 separate issues. guess what she wants is the care and contrl - ie to live with the kids. decision making for major issues to be shared by both parents.

    my friend is able to take care of the kids, cos she also has a maid. ILs help to supervise maid and care for kids when maid is preparing food, etc.

    why is it that the father is not even involved in care, and yet might get care and control just cos they stay with the ILs? is she likely to get care and control if the current arrangement continues - ie she work part time (eg 3 days a wk), maid look after kids while she is working, and they stay with ILs?
  28. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    best to get advise from legal aid bureau if your friend can't afford a lawyer or women's organisations like AWARE which has legal clinics or who can point you to more experienced persons in the area. No point to keep guessing - at some point in time your friend will need to get a lawyer and go to court if she really wants to change her current situation. For family court decisions affecting children, the decisions can always be challenged and reviewed from time to time if the challenger can show that things have changed so no need to be afraid that a decision given by the courts will be set in stone.
  29. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    can anyone tel me how much in total they paid for the legal case on custoday care and control?
    my lawyer already charging me over $3k just for submitting application and answer my queries etc.
    I stil havent gone thru the mediation session...already received my bill! so sad..and my lawyer just applied maintenance for my son only. i have yet to apply my own maintenace fm him. i failed the legal aid's mean test, so i left with no choice but to get private lawyer.
  30. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    whiteclover, when u first see them, didn't they give u a rough cost?

    I think i have talk to u before, there are many which u yourself can do without the help of lawyer. If u get them to do for you, they will charge u for the time and transport. So must be clear with them.

    I think 3k is a bit on the high side. u better have a good talk with them before u proceed any further.
  31. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    About 10 years ago, the average fee for handling a divorce case only (i.e. excluding the division of property, custody of children, maintenance issues ) was about S$2000 excluding GST and disbursements (example travel and printing costs). Your lawyer should have given you a detailed breakdown of his/her bill.

    And as WhiteClover said, there are quite a few things that you can do yourself. In fact,always ask your lawyer, "can I do this myself?, How?". If it is something that you can do, the time he spends answering you will be less than the time he spends if he actually has to do it himself (so you still save).
  32. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    yes, miracle
    I was given a rough cost of $5K to $8K and of cos depend my stupid man will contest or not.
    prior to that, my lawyer did mention that he allow installment basis.
    And i do remember i can do my own maintenance too. i havent done so. Shld i proceed with it now? Cos my lawyer doing my son's maintenance (as a package - care and control).
    Now im worry... about the bills..imagine i have mediation session to go thru (excl fm current bills), then if it is unsucessful, we may proceed further! But i dont want to lose my son to that stupid man. So what shld i do now?
  33. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    yes,it includes the following
    1) general enquires
    2)perusing letters fm stupidman's lawyer
    3)advising on legal procedures
    6)reviewing history
    8)attending court for hearing
    etc.. one whole list..
  34. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    have u settle on the divorce yet? has the interim divorce being granted yet?
  35. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    ah! i was told to settle the custody care and control first cos my stupid man pursuing on this issue.
    ANd i asked if i can go on divorce, my lawyer said.. better not (best option is separation), cos it might affects care and control if im unfit to take care my son (meaning mental disorder/stress..etc caused by my stupid man).
  36. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    btw, my stupid man sent his application before me. And i received the letter from his lawyer and thereafter i proceed with mine.
  37. awaken

    awaken New Member

    u are wrong, way way wrong........

    should get your divorce done first. do u have any valid reasons for it?

    Think the lawyer is taking u for a big big ride. If u really wan a separation, don't even needs to go through a lawyer.

    Worse option is going for separation cos u have 3 more years then offical divorce, those 3 years u will be going thru hell. Even if u got the care and control now, the stress that u going thru those 3 years might also cause mental disoder/stress and he can reverse the care and control to him also.
  38. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    whiteclover, why separation not diovrce? why u need a lawyer if u wan a separation?\

    he should have seek a second opinion, your lawyer might nit be too truthful with u.
  39. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    huh?! then how? im so confused!
    okay, firstly we both already stayed apart since jan10.
    then this stupid man applied to court on custody care and ctrl in march. then i left with no choice.. so i applied to court too.
    i did ask my lawyer, i said why so strange.. we havent even divorced.. why are we fighting c/ctrl?
    He said this is normal cos some pple do the same.

    Regretted: he got violence acts on me but didnt hurt me. unreasonable behaviors also.
    why u said 3 years will be hell? we staying apart now. And my worries during this period my son has to be well taken care of. No hurt, no ill, no this and that.. which is impossible.

    Miracle: i engaged this lawyer cos that stupid man applied to court before me. i left with no choice.
  40. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    since he got violence act and other unreasonable behaviour, u can file for divorce, no needs to let him leads u go around. If u wait another 3 years, he will do all ways and means to drained u out physcially, finacially and menatlly, for eg, child custody matters, maintainence.

    are u the caregiver? are u staying with your son?
  41. awaken

    awaken New Member

    for custody, actually u can act for your own. what the court want is who can provide the better welfare for the kids. As a mother, u can talk to the judge yourself and it might help u more if you are sincere, as the court will be touch by what u say. no need waste money
  42. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    yes, my son with me.
    my lawyer wrote that i was forced to do the application first before divorce cos he act on it first. and explain his unreasonable acts and violence acts too. So i think.. my case is quite unique cos i got one very unique stupid man
  43. awaken

    awaken New Member

    this way the lawyer is earning from u two times. If this carry on, your bills is defintely going to be very huge.
  44. margret

    margret Active Member

    whiteclover, since u got evidence, why didn't file for divorce in the first place. if u can prove he is unreasonable behaviour, he would have tp paid for your lawyer fees. u don't have to be burden with all this now......
  45. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    Haiz.. think i need to talk to my lawyer again.
    already got so much things to handle... now got to deal with another man.
  46. marjassg

    marjassg Member

    settle one things at a time. For your own maintainence, u can do it yourself. I think i have send u the link before.
  47. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    yes, i got the details you have given me earlier. So meaning i can do it at the same time when i stil dealing with my son's custody care and control? shld be okay right? or shld i wait till the verdict is out?
  48. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    simple suggestion - if you think your lawyer is overcharging you. Make appointment with another firm - ask for a female lawyer if you like. Say that you want some general advice and ask for initial consult. A lot of lawyers don't charge for the first consultation if you dont appoint them afterwards. You can ask (a) basic fee, (b) timing of the different applications etc etc. Even if the firm charges you for the first consult, (ask them when making the appointment), at least you have some peace of mind that your current lawyer is not playing punk.
  49. sunny72

    sunny72 Member

    You can do all the applications at the same time. 1) file for divorce 2) file for maintenance 3) file for custody.
  50. whiteclover

    whiteclover New Member

    i see. thks sunny72 and everyone who has given me advice.

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