Got High Salary, Got house, But He Still Wants a Divorce

No matter from which angle you look at, this woman need all the help to get out of her most difficult period in life! Sigh!

For a woman, she has to be alert and financially assured to deal with this set of problems, which is much capable of breaking people. Not only that, she has to be mentally strong and not slip into depression. Let’s see the forum conversation between her and fellow web friends


We have been married for over five years, although we are close to living in our HDB flat for almost 5 years. When he wanted a divorce, he was cruel enough to say it doesn’t matter if the flat is repossessed by HDB as long as he gets his divorce! My heart was dead, and I can only agree to a separation as we need to live in our HDB flat for 5 full years before selling it on the resale market. We don’t have any kids, and which makes this property our only problem. I cracked my brains and finally thought about several solutions.

Solution 1:  Transfer the ownership to my mum after the five-year occupancy. I am a Singapore citizen, but yet to be 35 years old. My mum is on a long term social visit pass, how does it work out then? If possible, I will need to pay him the first down payment and the housing installments over the years – all of which, in CASH! However, he said that during the first time when he bought the flat, the government granted him a housing loan. Then, he was a citizen while I am a PR. So then, will that sum of money be able to be transferred back to me? If not, I will pay him back in cash as well so as to complete the transfer of flat to me. As for family maintenance fee – I am willing to settle at just $1. So no problem there.

Solution 2: Divorce now, and have the flat sold to the government. The monies will be transferred back to CPF. But what if I have no more place to live in? I will likely ask for family maintenance fee – his monthly salary is $10,000. Is it okay if I ask for $3000? But what if his business fail, and I would need to do the chasing every now and then. So I personally don’t like this solution!

Various responses:

  1. There can only be one reason why he is so desperate to even let the flat be repossessed by the HDB. And that is he has a mistress outside lah! If that’s the case, and the fact that you are just a housewife, I would suggest you go for everything to protect yourself. Fight for the flat, and fight for maintenance fee! This is a must. If not how you would you be able to pay for the flat?
  1. Since it has come to divorce, here’s a professional opinion. I am a lawyer by the way. No matter whether you are in the fault, you still have to fight for your rights! There’s no more love in this marriage – so why give face? Just whack him lah. Fight for the maintenance fee as you are protected by the Women’s Charter. If your husband really wants a divorce, how long will it materialize? If he don’t want to transfer his name to your mum, he has no case if you two sign the divorce papers. The flat has to be sold no matter what. And oh, don’t just think what you stand to gain. Find out whether he has committed adultery? For example, a couple that is well matched in everything, such as social status, financial ability – there will be a clean fight. But if there’s a significant difference between the two of you – I’m sorry to say that you might be at a disadvantage, and you two would need to work it out.


  1. If you have spent money in renovating your home, I would suggest you fight for the flat. Compensate him for that, but also request for a maintenance fee from him. Since there’s no more love in the marriage, dragging it will only hurt both parties!
  1. I think there are still quite a lot of things that you didn’t clarify. Don’t believe in what your husband says. First of all, engage a lawyer to clear your doubts. And not ask for answers here. If you want a divorce, you can’t save on lawyer fees one lah. He will be able to advise you on how to protect your rights, and whether it’s a good thing to fight for maintenance fee. About the flat, I can tell you that once the flat fulfills its five-year occupancy, have the ownership transferred over to your side. But you and your family will need to pay back everything your husband has paid for – such as the down payment, and the housing installments. Any housing grants the government had given to you all – sorry hor, they see you are a PR won’t refund to you but only to your husband’s CPF account. But you can at try asking him to return you half half lah!

  1. You don’t need to fork out a cent if he gives up the flat. I would suggest that you give up the maintenance fee. But if he wants you to compensate for the flat, chase him for the maintenance fee. If you are not in the wrong, it’s best if the flat goes your way. Of course, a lump sum of maintenance fee can be a bonus too!
  1. You are a citizen, so you have the right to fight for this flat and have the ownership transferred to your mother. You must be strong and fight on. Here’s wishing you the best in overcoming this difficult period.
  1. I think you are a fun-loving and humorous mother. I think you should be able to win this battle. Do not let this man win since he has made the first wrong step. But the longer this thing drag on, the more hurt you will receive. Since things have arrived to this stage, you have to quickly settle everything. To be honest, even if this goes to the court, you will at most have just 50% of the benefits. This is not simply a case of whoever is hurt more will get to receive more!
  1. Since this flat is co-owned, you don’t sign the divorce papers he also won’t get to sell it. So don’t worry. You have full control. Don’t give up on the maintenance fee. Such a high salary he’s drawing. What for help him save?
  1. In your case, where the husband wants a divorce but you are not willing, it would take at least four years for it be formalized. Four years of wait will mean that you have fulfilled your five-year occupancy. Even if don’t transfer the ownership, you can also try to buy it on the open market. Actually, using adultery as a reason isn’t quite your trump card too. Singapore don’t have this kind of crime here. What matters more is how you can gain sympathy from the judge, receive more maintenance fee only. Otherwise, the splitting of the property will be decided by the law.
  1. Actually you don’t have to pay him in CASH. If your CPF got money inside, then use part of it as repayment. Top up by using cash loh. But if you don’t have enough cash – then try approach HDB for help. Ask them for re-financing. Do note that the loan depends on how high your salary is!

Since you have agreed to separate from your husband, the divorce process will need at least three years. And one thing is that during this separation window, you are legally allowed to find a new partner, but cannot get married lah as that will mean you have committed polygamy! But then, if you find one that look like Andy Lau or Lee Byung-Hun or Brad Pitt, then just play along lah…
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