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Separation/divorce - but living in different, not our home, countries

(3 Posts)
ohsobusyx3 Sun 26-Mar-17 02:55:35

Has anyone done this? A tall tale below....please bear with me x

Brief history - I am a full-time SAHM and have been since 2006 when DD1 was born. We have 3 children in total, DD1 10, DD2 7 and DS 5.DH has worked away since DD2 was born in 2010. We are entirely dependent on him financially.

We have Australian permanent residency visas which were granted n 2013 and expire Nov2018. - You need to emigrate prior to the expiry or the visa becomes null and void.

And so we left the UK in July 2016, selling our UK property and moved to Singapore for DH's job. The plan was to be in SG for 2 years and then move on to Oz.
Singapore with 3 kids when you are not on an massive expat package is impossible - we were haemorrhaging money. I was alone, no connection to school (no car too expensive - kids get the bus so I never had reason to go in) few friends and hubby still working all hours and regularly heading back to London for work - no different from life before except I am on my own with no support network.

So we take the huge emotionally difficult decision for the kids and I to move to Australia first, settle in and set up home. We chose Perth because it is close to SG (only 5 hr flight and same time zone) and so makes travel for him convenient. He travel stop Hk and London regularly too. This is despite my reservations that I will again be alone, unsupported. One of my best friends lives on the east coast and I have family in Melbourne. But I waiver and agree to Perth.

We have been here 8 weeks and he has visited twice. It has been fine and we have actually been communicating more honestly with one another than we have in years. I have felt that he is supporting me from afar.

The biggest shift is that for the first time in our relationship we have a joint account. This has never happened before. He paid for everything household wise, school fees, mortgage, cars, holidays but money for me was drip fed - I had an allowance I guess.

Anyway 10 days ago I shopped online for winter stuff for the kids (we bought nothing warm, no coats/trousers or similar - because in SG yu can't store stuff it rots in the humidity. If I'd known we'd be straight to Oz....but I digress) In the UK sales...pj's, slippers, dressing gowns, jumpers - about £300. And I used the joint account. There was S$85,000 in the account - we are not skint by any means. I didn't mention it...probably should, it just slipped my mind. I have also used this account to pay for 2 counselling sessions for DD1 who has anger issues and anxiety, total A$360.

On Wednesday I get a hideous, hateful, hurtful message telling me that he is seeing a lawyer, he will fly down and take the children back to Singapore so i can get a job to 'fund my lifestyle'. It all comes down to the money and I now realise the control it has afforded him over me/us all these years.

I do not live an extravagant lifestyle so I am not worried about that accusation. It would never stand up in court. Nor can he take the children. I have their passports and I do not believe he would do that to them and besides I have a letter signed by him giving me permission to bring them to Australia (we were worried we might get stopped at immigration as I was travelling alone with them)

But by the by - this hideous message has made me question everything from afar - geography is often a great thing. And I know that he does not care for me or about me. It is a conversation we have had before and when I have said this there is no denial. I realised this s few years ago but for the sake of the children and him I stayed true to my marriage and thought we'd work through.

But you cannot work stuff out if you are the only one who wants to.

That is where I am at. I want to divorce him. I am almost sure. I can file in the UK as we are both Brits (he is a Scot). I would need to file first to ensure this was where it was heard. I do not wish to be stuck in the SG system.

I am happy to return to the UK. The dream of living overseas is not as rosey as you think. I would want full custody and for him to support the children fully, housing/clothing/holidays/school fees. He would be able to work in London and so seeing the children would be easier. I would have family and friends close to help with the upheaval emotional and physical on us all.

This is probably all a rambling mess but I hope it gives some idea of where i am at. I have read up on divorce and am seeking legal advice through a friend who is a family lawyer.

But....how do I get us home when he has all the money - without me transferring a huge chunk to my account in Australia and so triggering a war with him.

Money and control - that is what it all boils down to....

ErnieAndBernie Sun 26-Mar-17 08:25:43

Does you friend know about family law in all 3 countries? You need to nail down exactly what you can and can't do in oz, sg and uk.
Good luck. Expat life and divorce is not simple!

MrsBertBibby Sun 26-Mar-17 10:20:46

Singapore, Australia and the UK are all Hague convention countries, so unless he agrees a move from Australia to the UK, or you get a court's permission, you can't just up and leave.

I suspect you will be much better off with an Australian divorce than a Singaporean one. You need to get advice asap, preferably from an Australian divorce lawyer with some nternational expertise.

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