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Needing legal advice

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ohnuts
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Needing legal advice

Postby ohnuts » Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:16 am

My story is long, so I won't bore you, I am looking for legal advice. I need to separate/divorce my spouse - ASAP. Only been here this year, from Australia. Kids in school here, I have no job, I have no income, I have none of our assets in our name. Have discovered he is 'hiding' money, buying jewellery gifts for whoever the new significant other is. How do I manage to divorce him ASAP and not get screwed over what we have worked toward and stupid me, he has strictly in his name here and in Australia. This has to be the best case of isolation I have every heard of, why me!

Sorry, alot - if you know a lawyer who can provide me with sound cross continental advice I would really, really, appreciate their details - by the way, I am given no money, so cannot seek this advice easily on my own.
OH NUTS

bigfilsing
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Postby bigfilsing » Mon, 18 Aug 2008 11:37 am

Hi there, sorry to hear of your predicament. I'm hardly an expet but would suggest you be careful before reaching for a lawyer. That may just rub him up the wrong way and make any form of reasonable settelement even harder.

It's very difficult to judge these situations on a forum. I've had a few expat married girls freinds over the years ( just freinds that were girls) and seen them struggle in similar situations. Dont rush and try not to let your anger drive the situation.

You may want to look for a lawyer that has an affiliated office back in your home country. That may save time and hassle in the long run.

Good luck

ohnuts
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Postby ohnuts » Mon, 18 Aug 2008 11:48 am

bigfilsing wrote:Hi there, sorry to hear of your predicament. I'm hardly an expet but would suggest you be careful before reaching for a lawyer. That may just rub him up the wrong way and make any form of reasonable settelement even harder.

It's very difficult to judge these situations on a forum. I've had a few expat married girls freinds over the years ( just freinds that were girls) and seen them struggle in similar situations. Dont rush and try not to let your anger drive the situation.

You may want to look for a lawyer that has an affiliated office back in your home country. That may save time and hassle in the long run.

Good luck


Thank you for your reply. I will take your advice and look for someone who has an affiliation with Australia. I am tossing up whether the attempt at a reasonable settlement is worth it, as he is already stashing money and a delay like that could result in me losing everything, as it's all in his name. I have been trying to be sensible and had taken a wait and see attitude but with the discovery of him stashing money (and he is 100% money driven, with no emotion) am concerned that the children and I will be left with nothing.

If anyone knows of a solicitor that does family/divorce law in Singpaore and Australia I would most certainly appreciate contact details so I can at least make enquiries and ascertain the best way forward.
OH NUTS

Biogentic
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Postby Biogentic » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 1:23 am

think u should seek immediate legal advice from famous law firm like drew and naiper or LEE and LEE law firm, dun think we can provide much of a help unless we are certified lawyer. dun hesitate

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Wind In My Hair
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 5:32 am

The large firms would cost an arm and a leg, and then you get last priority because they are chasing the big clients with the big bucks, and then you get the most junior inexperienced lawyers on your case because the senior ones prefer the high profile cases...

Personally I would look for a family lawyer with some compassion, and those are usually the smaller firms. Have you tried calling the Australian High Commission and asking which Australian law firms are represented in Singapore? That might be a good list to start calling. All the best, dear.

ohnuts
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Postby ohnuts » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 7:42 am

thanks all helping me think a little clearer.
OH NUTS

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Postby Matney » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 9:11 am

I'd call the Australian Embassy and ask for an appt. Of course you will need to give them an inkling of what you're needing. But I'm sure they can help get you in the right direction.

I seem to remember my husband needed a some legal work done and he was recommended to a Singaporean lawyer through his accountant in Perth. So that may be a possibility. But like all lawyer he wasn't cheap!!

The most important thing is the safety of your children and yourself. Do you have a plan as to where you can go once your husband realises what is happening? I don't think he'll be overly impressed. The lawyer will make sure you get whatever amount of money you are owed.

Good luck. :console:

ohnuts
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Postby ohnuts » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 9:37 am

I think I have been given the details of someone who is pretty good, dealt with this sort of thing before, I will make an appointment and see what he has to say!

No, not much of a plan I'm afraid! Which is probably why he has brought me here and isolated me, hard to make plans, with no support, feeling pretty stupid about that one! I am attempting to put some support in (hence starting with legal advice!), but once the game is up, who knows!

I am taking each day as it comes at this stage. Trying to think thru things so as to have as small impact on our kids as possible (pretty impossible!). If it were only me, I could probably (with support from family) do a flit when he is out of town for a week, and be done, but that would be far too much for the kids, its not like it's out there physical abuse, just a hefty dose of emotional abuse - so each day as it comes!

I will worry closer to the time what his reaction will be and hopefully be suitably protected, as he seems to have 'flipped a switch' he has been so calm, unemotional and calculating the whole time! Shame he picked a strong woman (most of the time)! I can still hardly believe it to be honest, too naive and too trusting.
OH NUTS

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Wind In My Hair
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 9:49 am

ohnuts wrote:I can still hardly believe it to be honest, too naive and too trusting.

Don't beat yourself up. Better to have trusted and have the lovely kids that you now have, than to have never trusted like us singles, never tried, and wonder what could have been. Either way, no need to berate ourselves. Life happens and it helps at times like this to be kind to yourself. I admire your courage at trusting enough to leave everything and come here. I couldn't do that myself when faced with a choice. So I know how much it took and it says a lot about you as a person. For goodness sake don't lose that part of yourself just because of one bad egg. Take care, post here anytime. This forum can be therapeutic (when it's not driving you up the wall :wink: )

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ozchick
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Postby ozchick » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 10:16 am

The Australian 'Legal Aid' service is worth contacting. This is no 'fast-track' to results but they do get results and would still assist you if you are an Australian. Better to be IN the country to really make the most of their services. In any case it's worth a phone call to see what they can do. Good luck !
Victoria Legal Aid
350 Queen Street MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Telephone: 03 9269 0224
Email: Peggy.k@vla.vic.gov.au
'Are you trying to tempt me because I come from the land of plenty?'

ohnuts
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Postby ohnuts » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 11:49 am

WIMH thank you so much for your kindness. I know I beat myself up, and didn't trust my instincts earlier - I love hindsight! I have 'enjoyed' reading some other posts :o OMG and I am grateful for the help everyone is giving me.

Thanks Oz chick, I wasn't sure if the aussie legal aid would help me, thanks for the details, I will call them!
OH NUTS

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 19 Aug 2008 5:04 pm

I don't think you are in such bad financial shape. I am no lawyer and I don't know if the concept of community property is embodied in Australian law but it is certainly clear that Australian family law provides for the equitable division of property in a divorce. Just because everything is in his name means nothing, you will be entitled to some portion and that would also include pensions.

I ran across this website when I did a google search; seems like a place to get an idea of how things work.

http://australiandivorce.blogspot.com/

You really do need to get an attorney. You should be able to have an interview with an attorney at no cost to you so that your case can be assessed.

ohnuts
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Postby ohnuts » Wed, 20 Aug 2008 8:17 am

Thanks for the web address! Lots of very helpful information. Yes, I will get half his superannuation as well, but my main concern has been that he can sell the properties without my knowledge or agreement, before I organise things.

I have spoken to legal aid in Oz and although they don't help with property matters the lady I spoke to was very helpful and set me straight on a number of things, and didn't think it would be too tricky to prevent the houses from being sold.

Thanks everyone for your helpful input. I have definately been propelled forward by the support offered, may come back looking for more over the next few hellish (months?years?).
OH NUTS

skye
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Postby skye » Wed, 20 Aug 2008 4:51 pm

It might also be worth calling the AWARE helpline for advice on the Singaporean end of your difficult situation. They have a legal clinic as well, staffed by volunteers. Look at www.aware.org.sg

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Postby durain » Wed, 20 Aug 2008 5:04 pm

sorry to hear about your situation. i have seen it so many times happening to expats. here's my 2 cents...

if you think he is gonna be doing a runner, you better start collecting evidence, his bank accounts/details, properties, etc. might be good idea to write a blog so you can keep track of what's been happening, etc. keep everything you are doing safe.

good luck with the legal eagle.


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