SG Divorce Advice – Help!
I’m a stay-home mum with a 2yo son. I left my job after my maternity leave to take care of him full time. At the same time, my husband also left his job to trade full time. At that point of time, our arrangement was that I would be the primary caregiver, but he would help out whenever he could. We do not have much extended family support in child raising.
My husband lost alot of money from his trading the whole year. At the end of last year, he initiated divorce saying that he didn’t want anything to do with us anymore. His reason was we affected his trading work, blamed us for the money lost. I agreed to the divorce because he has been very emotionally/verbally abusive to me/shouting the whole of last year.
Because he was losing money from his trading for the whole year, I tried to help out by paying for groceries (since I was the one cooking) and our son’s necessities like clothes, cot, toys etc. It was all from my own savings and I did not get any allowance from him. But he doesn’t care at all.
He even took out his anger on our dog by trying to starve her, even threw her on the top rung of the storeroom just because she barked.
When the divorce proceedings commenced, it was uncontested – my husband agreed to giving me sole custody, just wanted minimal access with our son (he has been very obvious with his actions for the past year, doesn’t care for our son anymore) plus child & wife maintenance. I thought it was all good because I honestly don’t mind raising our son on my own as long as my husband does his part of contributing financially for our son. I’d prefer our son grow up in a safe home than one with abuse and violence.
My husband also offered to help cover all the expenses (my son’s school fees, food etc) until I find a job. He also encouraged me to rent a place and said that he will cover the rental for up to 6 months or until I find a job. Which I thought sounded reasonable (and financially I have no choice anyways) and I went ahead to make arrangements for.
Fast forward to today after 2-3 exchanges between our lawyers, he has totally changed his terms to the opposite – now he wants joint custody but is giving me full care and control, wants to have so much more access, unsupervised (he even included a an access plan for until my son was primary 1) and is only willing to pay a very low maintenance amount that does not even cover half the rent, not to mention not be able to cover my son’s school fees and everything else.
And he has also stated in his latest lawyer letter that he will be contesting if I do not agree to his latest terms. Plus he also included our dog in the letter as one of the terms – he wanted me to agree that he gets our dog too. But our dog is already registered under his name (sadly back then I didn’t know he registered her under his name. He said he was gonna “help me register” since I was the one who bought her).
Does anyone have any experience in this? I’m very worried because in the first place, my husband wanted out thus the divorce. But now he is dragging me to court for terms that are opposite of his reasons in the first place!
Does this mean that I cannot protect my son at all? And not to mention my dog? What I understand is that the court usually just gives joint custody and access regardless of allegations of abuse.
Sadly through this whole divorce fiasco it is clear to me – this is a sneak preview of what it is to come for my son and I in the future if it is to be joint custody.