It took me more than two years, multiple fruitless court visits and Meet-The-MP-Sessions, nearly SGD20,000 in arrears of maintenance for my two children and months after months of living in near poverty to decide to do this as I don’t know where else I can turn to for help.
When my ex-husband, the father of my two children was in Singapore, maintenance payments for my childrenwere already far and few. Even when he did pay maintenance, the amounts were never in full.
Since his disappearance in October 2015 with his Thai girlfriend to Thailand, I had never heard from him since. I was since blocked on WhatsApp, Facebook and all contactable platforms. Not a single cent was received either. Multiple calls and visits were made to his parents, the grandparents of my children to help locate him. Yet they will lie and say my ex-husband cannot be contacted. I say lie because mutual friends had sent pictures of my ex Parents-in-law visiting my ex-husband and his then-Thai-girlfriend in Thailand.
Lately, pictures of my ex Parents-in-law visiting my ex-husband and his current girlfriend has surfaced online. Along with these pictures were some of those of my ex-husband living the high life – smoking cigars, drinking premium red wines (Google says it’s top quality wine..), taking fancy vacations; some with his family as recent as in May and June this year in China and Chiang Mai.
Here, I am struggling to feed my two kids and provide daily meals for them while there his family and him are taking fancy vacations and lying for each other. All I want is timely payment of maintenance for my two children. It’s only SGD650 for TWO kids a month. And yet he can default in payments.
When I went to the Family Court, I was informed that there is nothing they can do as my ex-husband’s family had returned all letters from the Court, citing no such addressee.
When I went to see my MP, my MP (Woodlands Area) said I need a warrant of arrest to proceed and I need to go to the Family Court to get this.
I am stuck in a rut because the Family Court and my MP are giving me contradicting solutions.
What disappointed me even more is the way my children’s father, grandparents and his whole family (yes, siblings included) are lying blatantly for him just to avoid maintenance payments. My children are his own flesh and blood too and they take on their family’s surname and yet they can be so mean to two innocent children.
These two years have been extremely tough as we all know early childhood is very expensive in Singapore. In fact, the early childhood costs here are amongst one of the highest worldwide. I have been struggling to put food on the table and there were times when I had to walk home just to save on bus fares. Otherwise, we may not even have money for basic necessities like rice.
I have always thought poverty and breadline kids are only commonly heard of only in UK and the States. Seems like my kids and I are falling into the same poverty situation now.
Apart from hiring debt collectors to hunt my ex-husband down, is there any other way I can get my maintenance payments at all?