updated 31 Dec 2012, 07:21
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Tue, Dec 21, 2010
The New Paper
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I can't always afford to give her the $500
by Chai Hung Yin

HE HAS spent time in jail because he did not pay maintenance to his ex-wife and two children, for whom she is claiming support.

Madam Jane’s ex-husband John even claims that as a result of his tight financial situation, he has to live like a vagrant on park benches at Changi Village.

The 59-year-old said that he earns about $1,000 a month in his current part-time job as a cargo checker.

Out of that, $200 is rent in an informal arrangement he has with his niece, at whose flat he stores some of his belongings, he said.

John claims he is also paying for his two daughters’ mobile phone bills every month which comes up to $200 each. But Madam Jane said the line had been cut and  he incurred early termination penalty, which he still owes the mobile phone operator.

Given the expenses, he said, he could not afford to pay the court-ordered maintenance of $500 a month.

John told The New Paper on Sunday: “I did pay her. She asked for $500 but I pay $400 most months. That’s what I can afford now.”

For September and October, he had to drop the amount to $300 when his earnings dropped.

Needs fees lowered
He has gone back to paying $500 after he was thrown in jail for two weeks last month for failing to pay the maintenance arrears, he said.

“I had to even borrow $200 from my friend to make up the $500 that I paid her last month,” he added.

Currently, he said he owes thousands in arrears in maintenance.

He said he did apply to the Family Court earlier this year to lower the maintenance amount once because of his current lower-paying job.

But he forgot the appointment date and didn’t turn up at the court. The case was then dropped by the court. He has not applied to the court again until now.

He has also not applied for any financial help from any agency, he claimed.

John claimed he used to earn up to $2,000 a month as a vehicle operator in a cargo complex. But he was retrenched during the economic downturn last year, he said.

He then found a part-time job in another company doing fork lift work before he switched to becomea cargo checker – his present job – earning about $1,000 a month.

Marital woes
His work requires him to work the graveyard shift, he said. He claims that as a result of him not having enough money, his wife cheated on him.

That was the final straw, so he filed for divorce last year.

Though the couple sold off their flat, it was not at a profit. His ex-wife, Madam Jane, then rented her current flat, and he is without a home.

As a result, John said he has been spending about a year sleeping on park benches around Changi Village.

When The New Paper on Sunday met him there on Thursday, he was carrying a haversack with his work clothes and a container of cakes.

He said his niece had made that for him the night before he went to work.

John said that his niece lives in a three-room flat with her family of four at Bedok. He said: “About once a week, I’ll go there to wash my clothes.”

So why doesn’t he put up with his niece?

He said he would rather roam about than trouble her. He said: “There’s more privacy and freedom living outside.”

He said he is hoping for the divorce proceedings to be completed so he can apply for a rental flat with a friend.


More stories:

He's not giving me what I need
I can't always afford to give her the $500
What are some of the options for dad?
Kids' interests take priority in post-divorce cases
Why some divorced women suffer
How the proposed changes to Women's Charter may affect you
Women's Charter: Proposed changes to tackle divorces
More marriages and divorces last year
Divorced but he goes to ex's flat for shower & laundry


readers' comments
SG girls are sl*ts........
Posted by selfproclaim on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 at 08:34 AM
This law is created for the benefits of PRCs....because the STUPID gahmen knows that they are importing all these devious PRCs who marry for scam and will not stay married for long.
Posted by hehehehahaha on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 at 08:06 AM

I agree with you 101%.....the STUPID gahmen are going bonkers!
Don't forget it is for the benefit of PRCs.
Posted by hehehehahaha on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 at 08:02 AM
If the husband has the means and refuses to pay then yes he deserves to be punished. In this instant the guy is struggling to meet the stated amount and still he is being penalised for it, that don't sound fair at all.
Posted by heavenlyangel on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 at 07:35 AM
the wife CHEAT on the husband... husband filed for divorce... husband have to pay CHEATING wife maintenance... what kind of LAW singapore have???

no wonder no singaporean want to get married n have kids...

so a woman just need to marry once n divorce (wait 3 years) n be rich...
NO WORK... constant income... Singapore is best place for woman...
Posted by kanchelsk on Thu, 20 Jan 2011 at 20:38 PM
To some probably money is important but not all women need their men to be of high income earning. It may sound unrealistics or even silly in some people's view but if a lady is already capable of earning her basic needs (and I am not refering to those ladies who earn over 5K and above), they need a soulmate that's all.

For every union, it should not be easily given up. People take divource too easily.
Posted by mystrawberry on Tue, 21 Dec 2010 at 11:10 AM
I also think our economy is to blame. Isn't it true that a lot of families can't even afford to pay their utility bills? So, this means that their salaries can't keep up with costs of living, and a lot of lower-income people are just struggling to keep afloat. Then when you throw divorce into the equation, the whole affair just becomes a lot more messy as you no longer have combined incomes to support a family.
Posted by lightasacloud on Tue, 21 Dec 2010 at 10:55 AM
I hope people who wrote in SGForums read this too. That they now understands why ladies these days either expect high income men or don't get married.

These are the problems one get when a lady don't choose their life partner wisely. Married, kids, divorce, money problem. Can't afford to pay kids expenses etc. Very pathetic.

All the adults faults etc aside, the kids are the ones suffering. Not only they are not given proper care and necessity, they lack love, thus become a rebellious teen and create society problem.

One problem lead to another, that's the logic anyway.
Posted by IndignantFemale on Tue, 21 Dec 2010 at 10:45 AM

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