Very difficult divorce

Discussion in 'Matters Of The Heart' started by tough_cookies, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    Hi all

    I am in the midst of filing my divorce. As my ex-husband is trying to make things difficult so I waited for 4 years of separation before I filed for my divorce in apr09.

    However, after 5 months into filing my lawyer told me in sept that my ex husband refused to accept the papers served on him so need to appeal to court to "paste" notice on his door. Then in Nov 09, and the lawyer said court has approved and i should get the interim in Jan. Just called my lawyer and now she says needs to wait till march. This divorce has been dragging for close to a year and have not had any court hearings.

    for those who has been thru it.. is this dragging normal or should i change lawyer?

  2. margret

    margret Member

    something not right here.

    if u have separate with him for 4 years, u dont have to seek his consent.

    it better u seek another lawyer help, it's definitely dragging too long.
  3. marget is rite!

    after 4 years of separation, you could have a express divorce based on one of the grounds for the divorce petition...

    Time to ditch your current lawyer and get a more experienced lawyer to speed up your petition.
  4. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    thanks for your replies.

    Will get another lawyer to take over. i have already paid $1k, hopefully new lawyer dun hv to pay in full.
  5. margret

    margret Member

  6. dinnielooi

    dinnielooi Member

  7. sleepwalker

    sleepwalker New Member

    dinnielooi, i saw your article in the straits times today. i am seriously contemplating to lodge a complain against my lawyer (previously recommended by Ash) for not delivering on what he said he would do. He has totally wasted my time and taken me for a ride for 2 months, saying that he would file the papers but coming up with lame excuses time after time - and is impossible to contact!
  8. dinnielooi

    dinnielooi Member

    i have mine experience also. before engaging their services they sound very helpful efficent. after u engaged them their atitude totally changed
  9. sleepwalker

    sleepwalker New Member

    did you change lawyer eventually? my patience is running out - i will definitely lodge a complain if he continues to think that i'm a fool.
  10. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    oh dear... i have not attended any court hearing yet. even if I do not have to attend in person, my lawyer also have not obtain the original marriage cert from me.

    so does that mean my $1k will be down the drain if I change lawyer?
  11. margret

    margret Member

    buttercup, if they have not ask the marriage cert from u then they might not have filed anything in court yet. If i am u, i would get the money back.

    do u own any hdb flat with your husband?
  12. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    hi margret

    sigh... i would think getting back money is near impossible. maybe i should call her every other day to irritate her rather than spending another $2.5k for a new lawyer since she has not done anything yet.

    we do have a HDB for over 5 years. The last time my lawyer mentioned she has gotten a HDB report to support the filing.... dunno how true.
  13. margret

    margret Member

    be a smart consumer, u got every right to know the status of your case.

    From what i know, if the lawyer had filed and he had any dispute, then he will need to filed his statment in court, not just by verbal.

    If u leave the lawyer to do your case, imagine how she will mess up even further. ie maintainence, custody of chiildren and the division of the hdb flat
  14. sgbabydoll

    sgbabydoll Active Member


    Your lawyer is supposed to write to HDB and copy you for the request to HDB. When HDB replies, she should forward you HDB's response. Nothing of these has happened?
  15. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    Hi margaret

    I have written to my lawyer and will get her to reply my status thru emails cos all these while she only told me verbally. Will keep black and white in case i change lawyer.

    Doll.. i vaguely saw the HDB report on her table in May09 when I went down to make my payment... but after that i never receive anything
  16. sgbabydoll

    sgbabydoll Active Member

    Buttercup, basically I got my lawyer to draft out the divorce papers, file with court, and serve it to my ex-husband. Some terms were deliberately drafted to his disadvantage to evoke a response, as I didn't want him to sit on it. That was a "strategic" move.

    After he received the papers, he initiated a negotiation with me. We met halfway on everything possible. Overall, it was an amicable divorce that took me 5.5 months from start to end (got my final cert). But when it was time to sell the flat he set up roadblocks, and that nearly got me to go to the court again. Fortunately, we managed to resolve our differences eventually, and I spent no more than $2.5K on divorce, of which $1.5K was borne by ex-husband.

    Basically, I treated my divorce as a piece of work and worked closely with my lawyer. I made my expectations clear to her and asked her for feedback on how realistic those expectations were. But I must say she did make a great deal of efforts to remain contactable to her clients. At any time if I had questions I would just drop her an email or ring her up.

    I think we have to work with our lawyer and not just leave them to run things for us in their own time. But that doesn't mean we squeeze them hard; we have to be reasonable too.
  17. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    HI doll... that time we drafted the papers slightly to his disadvantage but he still ignores. and my ex-hb can really IGNORES.. he even ignore the police letter when he defaulted conservancy fee. ever since we separated, he totally shut himself off from the world... no frens no jobs.

    So i sort of believe when my lawyer says he refused to accept the papers.. the clerk simply cannot get him at all.

    Plus, I was very busy at work 2nd half of last year. Come last month then I realised something might be wrong. So i posted my queries here.

    Now, I will get my lawyer to give me a black and white update.. so she cannot patronise me. From there I will decide whether i should change lawyer.
  18. sgbabydoll

    sgbabydoll Active Member

    "Now, I will get my lawyer to give me a black and white update.. so she cannot patronise me. From there I will decide whether i should change lawyer."

    Yes, you should do that. To be fair, even though the separation has been four years he still has to be made aware of your divorce application. The court has to ensure that you go by the legal procedures.

    Cite you an example.....I almost had to serve my ex-husband an evacuation order from court on the sale of the flat and I had every right to do that since he was very uncooperative. But before I could do that I had to show proof to the court I had exhausted all ways possible to obtain his cooperation. Know what I mean?
  19. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    Thanks doll

    I understand the rationale but just did not expect the whole "proving of exhaustion" part takes half a year [​IMG]
  20. sgbabydoll

    sgbabydoll Active Member

    Buttercup, that should not take half a year. And if she had really gone to the court for an order to "paste" the notice on his door, it would have cost a fee and you would have been informed of the bill. It does sound like someone is not doing her job diligently. Do check if the HDB reply has any expiry or validity. According to what I know, legally, things usually have a six-month "expiry" haha
  21. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    mmm...lets see what she says in her reply.
    Will update u soon [​IMG]
  22. margret

    margret Member

    buttercup, even if your lawyer had already submit the divorce paper up to the court, within six week, the court will ask for a status conference.
    If your husband had not response to your lawyer letter then at least he will attend the status conference. If he did not attend the stautus conference, the the registrar will just order your lawyer to proceed for settling down of date for divorce.

    to put it simple. Once your lawyer serve him divorce paper, whether he contest or not contest, he had 2 weeks to reply to the court. If after two weeks, he didn't file his defend then it means that he is not contesting and the lawyer can get a date for settling down for divorce.
  23. sgbabydoll

    sgbabydoll Active Member

    "to put it simple. Once your lawyer serve him divorce paper, whether he contest or not contest, he had 2 weeks to reply to the court."

    I think it is eight calendar days for spouse to indicate whether there would be a consent or contest.....But the law firm needs to produce "proof" that he has received the papers. He has to acknowledge receipt.

    "If after two weeks, he didn't file his defend then it means that he is not contesting and the lawyer can get a date for settling down for divorce."

    Say after he acknowledges receipt of the papers, after that eight days, need to wait two more weeks for him to file defence, if any.....

    These are "by right" only; there are some leeways here and there. O, hope I remember the facts correctly [​IMG]
  24. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    hi margaret

    this part is something i dun understand. if in nov09, she said she has finally "paste" the notice.. then by right should settle the date of divorce already. so i suspect maybe still trying to serve papers on him *faint*

    well.. i better not speculate.. shall wait for her reply.
  25. margret

    margret Member

    has your husband gone missing? do u know where he work?
  26. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    hes not working... stays at home.

    sigh... my lawyer still insisted on calling than emailing me...
  27. margret

    margret Member

    If he is at home, then serving the divorce papers should be easy. i know of cases where the husband gone missing or the wife does not know the whereabout of the husband,hence the lawyer had hard time serving the divorce papers and at the end the divorce drag on.

    I see your case are quite straight forward, it should have been done quite easily
  28. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    sigh... the problem is..

    mum is guarding the door... always says he not in
  29. serene_yam

    serene_yam New Member

    Rubbish. Your lawyer would have asked the firm's despatch to leave a note for the mum to pass it to your spouse. Go down to the firm and meet your lawyer. Ask the list of questions that you can compile from here. Get a firm answer from your lawyer.
  30. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    my lawyer finally replied me...

    Jun 09- writ of Divorce and papers are ready
    Dec 09 - after various attempts, they finally got approval from court to paste on his door

    There is no response from him, now they are applying the certificate of non-appearance. Once the cert is out, they can set the matter down for court hearing... likely to be in March10. At the same time i will also get the interim judgement.

    Does it sound logical to you guys?
  31. sgbabydoll

    sgbabydoll Active Member

    Yes, it does sound logical. Like I have said earlier, you (through your lawyer's assistance) need to ensure that you have exhausted all ways possible to obtain your husband's cooperation before the court takes further action such as issuing court notice, etc.

    What I don't quite understand is, why your lawyer did not inform you of all the procedures and extra costs, and why she has taken six months to get a court notice. But since we can't turn back the hands of the clock and it's already water under the bridge, just stay diligent in monitoring her work and find out your options, for example, should he try to block sale of the flat, etc.
  32. tough_cookies

    tough_cookies New Member

    thanks doll

    great! at least we are on track.. just that it took longer than expected. However, she also mentioned after the interim while handling the flat issues, judge will also wan to hear from him. If he doesnt response I will need to submit a doc to support my claim on the flat then court will give final order.

    I hope this does not delay again.. will keep close tabs on her now.

    Thank you guys for your advices... really appreciated. Enjoy your new year! gong xi gong xi
  33. sgbabydoll

    sgbabydoll Active Member

    There are legal redress that you could seek should he try to be difficult again, like in the sale of flat. Of course I hope you don't have to dig deeper into your pockets to "go the extra mile". But it's always good to know your options. All the best!
  34. sleepwalker

    sleepwalker New Member

    doll, can u pls share wat are the possible options should he be unwilling to sell the flat? pls advise!
  35. sgbabydoll

    sgbabydoll Active Member

    If there is a court order to sell the HDB flat following a divorce, a time limit for selling it is usually stated.

    If your spouse unreasonably refuses to sign his agreement to the sales, you can apply for a court order whereby the court can sign on your husband’s/wife's behalf. But this can only happen when certain conditions are met. For example, the time limit for selling is over; there is a prospective buyer and able to pay for the flat at or above valuation; and etc.

    Say after the sales transaction finally goes through but the spouse refuses to move out of the property, you can apply for an evacuation order. Same thing, terms and conditions apply.

    But all these cost money, at least a few thousands of dollars!!! If you can settle these issues amicably with your spouse, please do so.

    This is not legal advice, just an overview of some legal redress one can take. Do check with your lawyer to receive proper legal counsel.
  36. margret

    margret Member

    buttercup, u lawyer are simply dragging their feets for your case. They took 'six months' to serve him the letter where the husband is still staying there. They go day everyday? Even if the in-aws are guarding the door they can ask her whether he is in or get his handphone number to tell him about the papers, and if he refuse to make arrangement with the lawyer, then the lawyer can revert this back to the court. What i means is there is hundred and one ways and just by saying he is at home and refuse to take the paper.

    Take another 2 months to get court approval to apply for non appearance. This is really too much.

    U really have to push them and make sure that they are speeding up your job if not they will 'shelves' your case again.
  37. car4me

    car4me New Member

    i have a friend who hd the interim judgment bec spouse didnt turn up or acknowledge receipt despite all attempts but suddenly just before the ancillilary mattets, turned up n said dad died bla bla for not responding to court papers n shocked court entertained it n allowed for summon to rescind interim judgment be filed. then my friend hd to file counter claims denying all the accusations agst the truth close to 4 yrs of separation but by now already more than 4 yrs. still the next date given was for a case conference and not a hearing! i dont understand the court processes! Someome please explain wen then will be the hearing? Thanks in advance.

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