Coming clean at the end of the road

Discussion in 'Matters Of The Heart' started by Jay Al, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Jay Al

    Jay Al New Member

    Hi all, I'm a newbie here but I've read some very good advice about ending an ill-fated marriage amicably and moving on with life. The time has come for me to walk down that road and I hope to get some specific advice about ending things cleanly for both myself and my wife.

    Some background story first: I am a Singaporean and I have been married for 3.5 years to a PRC (SPR) girl. Over the years she grew more and more dissatisfied with our marriage, and constantly complained that I earned too little, I don't have big career ambitions, I don't have passion and I don't dote on her enough. She is a single child and her parents treated her like a princess from the day she was born. She is also well-educated and thus very ambitious in her career. So I tried harder and harder, but could never meet her expectations. She confessed that she regrets marrying me and wants to be with someone more exciting. To be fair, I am the "play safe" type who was the good boy at home and hardworking student in school. "Exciting" is definitely not my quality. Last year she gave an ultimatum and threatened to divorce me if I didn't improve to meet her expectations. Somehow I made the mark, but the peace did not last. Recently another ultimatum came and I realised it won't be the last. So I asked her to go for marriage counselling with me instead. She flatly refused. She does not trust the counselors (or any outsider) and doubts their professionalism and neutrality. She firmly believes she is right and refuses to listen to anyone who differs. That was the last straw and divorce became a real possibility. Now the nitty-gritty details.

    First, the reason. We fulfill the 3-year minimum to file a divorce but what reason can we use? We are both clean and faithful. My guess is "unreasonable behavior"; would that suffice? And does being the plaintiff or defendant make a difference in the outcome?

    Next, the HDB flat. We bought it under fiance-fiancee scheme with all the grants possible. The MOP ends in 2014 and we don't want to waste another year just because of our flat. Is it possible to appeal to HDB to let us sell it in the open market earlier, since it has passed the first 3-year no-grant-MOP milestone? I don't mind paying back all the grants, but having HDB buy back our flat possibly at the price we paid 3.5 years ago is also ridiculous. Has anybody successfully appealed to HDB? Please share.

    Third, the finances. Since we got married, I paid almost all of the expenses. We shared the HDB loan initially but after a year we refinanced with a local bank at a lower rate and I took over the payments. On the other hand, she quit her job late last year to pursue a higher degree. As of now there is more cash in her account than mine, and we don't have a joint account of any sort. I know the proceeds of the HDB flat sale will go back to the CPF accounts plus accrued interest, and I am prepared to split the profits evenly. She gets to keep all her cash and I get to keep mine. We both think this is fair. Will the court simply grant us our wish?

    Finally, maintenance payments. (Luckily we held off having kids so there is no custody or child support issue.) We are both degree holders. I am earning about $6k and she was earning about $4k before she quit to pursue a higher degree. She expects to earn much more once she graduates. We lived quite a normal lifestyle during our marriage. We mostly take public transport, ate at food courts and sometimes mid-range restaurants (like Crystal Jade), went overseas for big vacation once a year (usually plus another short trip to nearer destinations like Phuket). What kind of maintenance payment should I expect to be paying? And if she agrees to it, can I get away with not paying anything? I will even consider paying a lump sum (as long as it is not ridiculous) to cut all the strings.

    Like what I stated in the title, I just want to come clean.

    Any advice for me? What kind of divorce lawyer should I engage to help with my uncontested divorce?

  2. miloice

    miloice Well-Known Member

    hi bro, when you are considering to appeal, realize this simple fact that every appeal is considered individually on case-by-case basis. This means, you will need a clear specific reason that you believe HDB will consider your case differently. Is any of you in need of liquidity for specific reason? Example, helping in a family crisis or needing funds for urgent medical condition etc. Else, you are just like any other divorcing couple that wants out and the best of their situation.

    Why would HDB even look at your case differently? Especially with a foreign spouse, authorities may consider the possibility of a scam marriage to abuse and profit from the HDB grants.

    On your wife's expectation of earning more after her higher degree, she can dream on. No employer will pay more just for the paper. To share, I have staff like this as well. Every one-to-one meeting, telling me she is completing her MBA soon. It came and gone. I just indicate in her performance appraisal, recognising her report was useful inputs for the market research and congratulated her. That's it. It has no specific RELEVANCE to her job scope, so she will not be benchmark differently because of her MBA. What I can do only is push to HR to recommend her for more BU roles. However, 8 months of trying several possibilities. There were no takers.

    Your wife will have to restart in relevant field for her qualifications to be useful. Eventually, she may be able to have a better package, but it doesn't come immediately from her higher degree.
  3. Jay Al

    Jay Al New Member

    Hi miloice, I can understand why HDB will look at appeal cases with skepticism. There are many black sheep out there.

    For my case, my dad is a hawker who makes barely enough and has very little CPF savings. My mom is a retiree and has a brain tumor. Her medical treatments so far have drained their Medisave accounts, and unfortunately they don't have much health insurance coverage beyond Medishield and no life insurance. I intend to tell HDB that I need the extra money to fund my mother's medical treatment. I don't intend to take advantage of the grants and I am prepared to cough out the entire amount plus interest if they demand for it.

    And if HDB rejects the appeal, what kind of buyback price do they offer? I hear stories of 80%-90% of current valuation, or valuation at the time of purchase, etc. Nobody has given a definitive answer so far. Does anybody have confirmed experience?

    I shouldn't really be concerned about my wife's plans since I am planning to leave her, but I think what she's doing could be viable. Once she obtains her MBA in a top university (Harvard or Stanford kind) she can switch career entirely, going into banking or consulting. The top firms actively hire MBA grads in those schools. Her pay will definitely double or more. And she might even meet some rich entrepreneur or corporate high-flyer there and get hitched. (Somehow this divorce is looking very good for her...)
  4. miloice

    miloice Well-Known Member

    hi bro, since you have worked out a reasonable justification for appeal, go ahead with the appeal. Take care.
  5. miloice

    miloice Well-Known Member

    on your queries, check with HDB and not rely on hearsay.
  6. uglydude

    uglydude Member

    Make sure u get the best lawyer around to fend off claim for alimony...Dun ever be soft hearted coz this will eventually haunts you.....Since a divorce is what she want...make sure u consult your lawyer to ensure that everything is to your advantage....:)

    And stop being a slave to woman...whether SG, PRC or watever crap countries they come from...make sure u dominate in future relationship...:)
  7. caution

    caution New Member

    Hi Jay.

    Reading your tread reminds me of my own story..

    Same thing, married a PRC, everyday demanding more more even after I keep changing jobs to increase my pay and but end up not satisfied,
    I paid for everything since our marriage, house, child, monthly expenses, travels.. Then she also wanted to take a MBA..

    Had a final straw 2 years ago and we went for divorce.
    Was lucky that we married for 5 years and we can sell our house.

    Since the house was all paid by me, I took the house, but decided to give her a lump sum as maintenance. Thinks that's better as you won't have future problems where she keeps demanding...
    She took the money and stop her MBA and went back to China liao..

    End of the day, all they want is $$$$
  8. tinzhen

    tinzhen New Member

    Hi Jay, sorry to learn about your situation. Marriage is supposed to be a union of 2 loves but alas.. in your case, i am not sure whether HDB will look into such appeal cases but perhaps seeing a MP, explaining your situation with supported documents will help in the negotiation. Take care,
  9. Jay Al

    Jay Al New Member

    Thanks everyone for your kind advice.

    miloice - Agreed, the best and most definitive way is to get a black-and-white answer from HDB

    tinzhen - I may have to appeal to MP in the end. My parents are quite old-fashioned and not very supportive of my divorce. In fact they think I'm not serious when I told them about it. So I'm not sure if they will let me use their situation as my basis for appeal.

    caution - The kindest way I can describe such PRC girls is that they lived and continue to live in a different world from ours. They have been trained from the day they were born to hunt for $$$ by their parents, peers, mass media, etc. And they have an extremely high sense of entitlement. It just like how Singaporeans are kiasu, only worse. Unfortunately, PRC men somehow have been condoning and fueling their desires. This is especially true of those from big cities like Shanghai and Beijing. I have had so many episodes of my wife comparing me to her girl-friends' PRC husbands. I often thought why didn't she marry a PRC man if that's what she was looking for all along? And I absolutely agree that cutting ALL STRINGS is crucial. Don't give any chance.

    uglydude - I will make sure I get a fair outcome. I am not going to take advantage of her cos it will make me no better than her. I will get what is mine and she will get what is hers. Anyway she has already agreed to split things fairly and also not to claim alimony. I will put that down in black-and-white in our divorce filings.
  10. sharingNcaring101

    sharingNcaring101 New Member

    Hi Bro,
    Love is not always meek and mild. Sometime love is firm and tough, but it is no less love. When pro-long abuse, it is time to take loving action. Love is not only concern for other but also for self. It is not loving to accept this undesired behaviour and do nothing. Such behaviour is destroying the individual. Love must confront that is tough love.
    You deserve better than this.
    However, if you meet someone in the future, don't just build your relationship between two of you only. It's always good to have a marriage mentors - a couple who have been marriage for more than 10 years at least and be accountable to them or at least work out and know each other the expectation. A good pre-marriage preparation course will be added values to build upon you marriage relationship.
  11. user1973

    user1973 New Member

    I am not encourage to divorce, and always believe patience and sincerity could overcome everything, first of all you need to learn "禮記”, you need learn “三從四德”, you need to learn “婦道”,yes, you need to learn all that before you can share with her. But most importantly, the concept of "wealth" is very important, examply like health is also a wealth, you have million of dollars, but if you have desease cancer, one million may not enough to cover the cost, I guess you know what I mean, if she is not a singaporean and from "other country", most PR (permanent residence) should able to understand this concept, go and find more material to support your statement, money is not everything, if wife only aiming on money, she will died also because of money, today peaceful world no war no desease, a lot people in good life but they unable to see it. I believe you dont have any strong faith or principle (so you got fault too, the god send you this kind of wife to challenge you), so when you encounter problem, you have no idea where to find the correct guideline.
  12. Jay Al

    Jay Al New Member

    It brings me great sadness to revive this post. Before anything, caution, you were right. All they wants is our money. My soon-to-be ex-wife is now asking for more and more money in various ways. It is getting very annoying and I am tempted to stop compromising for an agreement and simply fight her in court.

    First sign of trouble was when she asked me to repay her parents for the share of wedding expenses they took on, a monetary gift they gave us after our wedding and the cost of some jewelry they bought for her wedding. Although I didn't like her attitude, and I sure she was taking advantage of so-called "customs", I could swallow the $30k price tag if it meant a peaceful and quick break.

    Alas, she started listened to her friends (no prize for guessing where they hail from) and decided that she could squeeze more money out of me. So she went back on our agreement and went to the Family Court to apply for a Maintenance Order. We have not gone for the mediation appointment yet. She is demanding that I pay her $1.5k every month until she finishes her MBA and find a job, or a grace period, whichever earlier. Worse, she wants to backdate the payments from June this year, when she left home to travel (for pleasure) in China.

    To put it into context, she thinks that she deserves my money because I forced her to leave home. However, the fact is that before she left, she told me she didn't want to treat me as her husband anymore. Then she did not rent a place to live but went on to travel around for pleasure for long periods. After she got tired of travelling, she returned to Singapore and made me move back to my parents' place so that she can have the whole flat to herself. In the meantime, I continue to pay for mortgage, utilities and conservancy charges alone as I have been doing since day one.

    I don't agree with giving her any money, but my lawyer cautioned me not to go to legal battle with her because the Woman's Charter protects her and the Court will likely grant her monthly maintenance since she is currently unemployed. The fact that she has lots of savings from years of not paying anything will not matter. Monthly maintenance is a dangerous avenue for her to try to squeeze more in future, citing changing circumstances etc. Instead, I should keep my anger in check and try to come to an agreement with her for a lump sum settlement. However, it should be done only during the ancillary matter stage of divorce. If I pay her now, she can still fight for more money during the ancillary matters.

    What are my prospects if I try to fight off the application for maintenance? I am looking for a alternate view.
  13. caution

    caution New Member

    Hi Jay.

    Sorry to hear that your problems are not resolved yet..

    Your soon to be ex wife's actions sound all too familiar. My ex also took all the wedding jewelleries, gifts from her friends, parents and my parents too.
    Talk about clean break, Nothing was left unturned.. or "untaken", wedding angbao, in a way, I was "lucky" as I never touch those from her parents or friends and she kept them from day 1, so none to be returned .. But I had to ship 7 big cartons of her clothes alone back to her in china after the divorce.

    My suggestions, if you can,
    Have a quick break asap, my lawyer prep me before the divorce proceedings starts that if things start to turn ugly, then I should disregard all feelings and no mercy in court, it's either me or she, no more Mr nice guy, I was preparing to fight a long proceedings and see who can last longer if the divorce drags ( in terms of lawyer fees and court fees ), I pretty much know her friends and family are all talk and when something does happens, they will disappear, so I told her that she either agrees and discuss the terms amicably or we fight out in court and I will make sure that even if she wins, half the money she gets will go to the lawyer fees. I am not suggesting that you do anything to that extreme now, but you have to prep yourself and don't let her climb over your head anymore, you are already getting divorce. Make her see the point that if she insists on her way, then it's lose lose to all..

    From the way you describe her, she will cling to you like a money tree, best to cut all ties and make her agree to lump sum. Sell the house if you have to..
    Don't give her anything, don't pay for utilities, don't pay anything for her till the whole divorce is concluded and try to get a copy of her passport, and yes, don't lose your temper with her ( especially in court ). Tell her to engage her own lawyer and pay her own fees, all other expenses for the divorce split half... if she wants to play rough, then game on with her, you can't be soft hearted no more

    pm me if you can, I will tell you what to do with the passport as my lawyer teach me..

    Hope the next time you write here, you are free of her and starting a new life.
  14. uglydude

    uglydude Member

    Will never understand why so many guys still get married even with woman charter around...zZzz
    Jay Al likes this.
  15. Jay Al

    Jay Al New Member

    caution, you have PM!

    Without going into the ugly details, I'll just say that I have served her the Writ and she flipped out at my brutal honesty. But when her angry reaction subsided, she is still trying to strike a deal (read: money). On my end, I also prefer to strike a deal and cut off all the strings. Money can be earned back; time and my health cannot be. Plus, at what price freedom? That is why I am still putting up with this nonsense.

    That said, if she pushes her luck too far, I am prepared to devote my resources to put her in her place and teach her a painful lesson. She knows I have powerful trump cards but yet continues to play a dangerous game of brinkmanship with me. I really don't understand how she (and her peers) think. It is not very wise to keep provoking a tiger just because it hasn't bitten back so far.
  16. Jay Al

    Jay Al New Member

    I tend to agree. With or without the Woman's Charter, a lot of men are getting married without thinking it through and setting up themselves up for trouble. Please thick twice, thrice, four times and again before making the decision.
  17. uglydude

    uglydude Member

    With woman charter....even as a tiger all your teeth are biting is not really an option....wait till u go to the family court to fight your divorce will find that there is no case for you as a guy over there......zzZZzz
  18. Jay Al

    Jay Al New Member

    Is the implementation of the Woman's Charter so one-sided that men who suffered under unreasonable wives have no recourse? And still need to part with their hard-earned money after going through the ordeal? It is hard to believe that the court would ignore the fact that the men suffered greatly and grant the wives whatever they wished. Where is justice, then?
  19. uglydude

    uglydude Member

    Woman charter is totally one sided....even the lawyer handling your divorce will tell u the same thing....That's why a lot of men who are aware of the law governing marriage in Singapore refuse to get married....Maintaining a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship will ensure equality....

    Let's not forget how women has always preach about equality in the society....but when it comes to the woman charter....u dun see any of them seeking equality in this issue....

    So end of the day if u are smart...just maintain a relationship with your lady....never sign on the dotted line no matter how she beg you...coz once u do is the end for you if things dun work out....if she threaten to walk out of the relationship...just bear in mind that there are tons of women out there to choose won't die from one leaving you.......

    When it comes to woman charter there is no justice...simply injustice...:)
  20. Jay Al

    Jay Al New Member

    Injustice it is.

    A piece of (relatively) good news: We finally signed the Draft Consent Order this morning. I will have to pay her a hefty lump-sum maintenance and give her half the net gain from the sale of our HDB flat (even though she contributed very little). It is painful to sign away years of "blood-and-sweat" savings, but it sure beats having to deal with a demanding ex-wife for God-knows-how-many years before she remarries. Now I just pray for everything to proceed smoothly.

    My next task will be to appeal to HDB to let me retain the flat until the MOP is over, and then let me sell it in the open market. My lawyer told me to expect the court date to be in late Jan or early Feb. That means I will be getting the Certificate in May. Since the MOP ends in late Sep, I will need to convince HDB to give a 5-month grace period. Wish me luck!

    And Merry Christmas to all who have shown me support in one way or another. Divorce is much more exhausting than I thought!
  21. verysadguy

    verysadguy Member

    I have just ended my marriage as well and my ex-wife has also demanded half of the proceeds of the selling price of the house even though I am paying a lot more than her. I also wish you good luck. Marriage to me is pretty scary as you would never know how a person can change after a few years. Merry Christmas.
  22. hitori

    hitori Member

    My bro just went through what you did with her ex. He had to appeal to HDB to sell flat as less than 5yrs. Was rejected and had to approach MP a few times before it was finally approved. Key thing to note is that the stupid Lawyer is going to charge you for adjournment from the judge. Be prepared pal and all the best!!! Merry Christmas!!!
  23. sadman2009

    sadman2009 Active Member

    I'm glad things have worked out eventually now for you... Now I guess you see the heartache of marry PRC... You will notice that initially they are good to you until they have got their PR... Then they will become tired of leaving with you and say that you are not as good as others or not up to their expectations....and so on ....
    Well, I wish everything will work out fine with you ... And your next marriage will be happy forever... : )
  24. clays

    clays New Member

    can u pm me yr email?

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