According to the forum letter, SG gahmen does not seem to take any action even if their estranged wives (and kids who are held hostage in Singapore by virtue of the 'Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction') must be confined within Singapore borders: yet go hungry/ unfed....
A new low for the issue of 'human trafficking'/ child/ spouse abuse in Singapore???
So valuable to these abusive Employment Pass (EP) pass holding 'fathers' to the economy in Singapore that the Singapore gahmen now seems even complicit in the torture of their wives and kids by not even bothering to police the payment of mandated "court-ordered maintenance" that the estranged wife and kids go unfed???!!! "my ex has already told me he will have me arrested under a Hague treaty should I try to leave the country with our child. ... ... my child and I often gave to rely on donations from women's groups in order to eat as I don't even have money for food.." (FB comments referencing ST letter on webpage).
Eventually, Singapore will receive a bad name from many who have experienced the failed/ biased legal-justice system here and be known as a place that only worships $$$, and a place without a soul.
Anyhow, seems like the Wall St Journal has also reported upon this, so I guess the law/ justice system in Singapore really needs to pull up its socks...
|The Straits Times; Published on Jun 03, 2015|
Deal firmly with expat spouses who default on maintenance
IT IS encouraging that the courts and lawyers' groups in Singapore are working together to provide mediation services for divorcing couples ("Ease sting of divorce for family's sake"; last Wednesday).
Even more heartening is the availability of services for those who cannot afford to hire their own lawyers, though it is unclear whether all taxpayers qualify for these services or if they are available to only citizens and permanent residents (PRs).
In our work with expatriate families going through divorce in Singapore, my colleagues and I find that financial hardship is rampant, particularly among non-working Dependant's Pass (DP) holders, whose sole means of financial support is the Employment Pass (EP) holder spouse.
When the EP holder defaults on court-ordered maintenance, the DP holder (usually the mother) does not have the means to support herself and her children, but is prevented from seeking financial and legal support in her home country, due to Hague Convention laws.
These families have no choice but to remain in Singapore indefinitely to continue with drawn out and unfamiliar divorce proceedings.
We have found that during this time, many are without the financial means to obtain adequate counsel, and they must also forgo the physical and emotional support of their families "back home".
While we are heartened that there has been a recent push to deal firmly with those who lie to obtain work passes and PR status ("Work pass, PR applicants who lie to be 'dealt with firmly'"; May 12), there appears to be no action taken against EP holders who fail to adequately support their dependants via court-ordered maintenance.
Singapore has an opportunity to set a "platinum standard" for creating a transparent, family-centric process for EP holders and their dependants, thus freeing the courts to focus on the needs of its citizens and PRs.
EP holders simply need to be held accountable for the court-ordered needs of their dependants until a divorce is finalised.
We urge the courts to consistently enforce court-ordered maintenance for expatriate families and to deal firmly with defaulters.
Breaches of court-ordered maintenance by EP holders surely constitute failure to deliver on the conditions of their work pass.
Yvonne McNulty (Dr)
|Susan Schloetter · Rancho Cotate High School|
Thank you for this. As an expat going through a divorce I am a DP holder unable to work. My ex husband is more than 3 months behind on court ordered maintenance yet the courts take no action. I have no money to afford legal counsel and have been unable to find any lawyers to help me pro bono. The Singapore government should either cancel the EPs if someone is more than 2 months in arrears or owes more than S$5000, or grant the dependent parent and children the legal right to return tomth or country where they can work and be supported by family without fear of a Hague battle. I would love to leave Singapore with my child, we could live with my parents back home while I find a job. But my ex has already told me he will have me arrested under a Hague treaty should I try to leave the country with our child. It's unfair that he is allowed to remain with no penalties while my child and I often gave to rely on donations from women's groups in order to eat as I don't even have money for food. It's shameful that the EP parents are not penalised by Singapore or do not lose their EP if they refuse to pay court ordered maintenance or are constantly late
Reply:1; · June 5 at 3:04pm
Yvonne McNulty · Founder & Principal Consultant at Expat Research
Susan, you are not alone in this. I have interviewed a number of women in Singapore for the expat divorce study who are in the same situation as you. The Wall Street Journal has picked up this story/my Forum letter and just posted an article about it on their expat blog - http://blogs.wsj.com/expat/2015/06/0...onal-troubles/. I hope that by alerting the Singapore authorities to the reality of expat divorce that something positive can come from all this (i.e., enforce EPs to pay court-ordered maintenance). Feel free to contact me via http://expatresearch.com.
Reply · · June 12 at 4:50pm