Ask A Lawyer: Can She Take My Children To Singapore?

Question:

I have a few questions concerning my complicated marriage. I have been married for about 3 years now, my wife is 2 months pregnant, and we have a year and a half old son. Our situation is complicated because she is a Singapore citizen but has been a permanent resident in the USA for 10 years now.

 

She has been threatening me with divorce since the day we got married, and now with my son in the picture she constantly threatens that she will take my son back to Singapore with her when she does divorce me.  She is telling me that I will never see him again.

 

 

My wife has been physically, verbally and mentally abusive to me ever since we have been married. A year ago, her OBGYN suggested that she should go to a therapist, realizing that my wife was suffering from depression. My wife never followed through on seeing a therapist and has refused help. I have asked her to go to a marriage counselor, and again she has refused. I only recently have been writing down her temper tantrums and abuse, reflecting on the most intense as there are so many that it is hard to reflect and write on all of them.

 

So here are my questions. What are the rules of divorce for parents with a child on the way? Can she take the children to Singapore or out of the country without my permission? What rights do I have to my home (the title is in my name and I paid for and kept the receipts of everything in the home)? Is my writing down her abusive behavior relevant since there are no witnesses? Any input on this would be very helpful.

 

Answer:

 

This requires consultation with an attorney in your jurisdiction to see your options, especially about keeping the child in this country.  Be aware that it is generally easier and less expensive to keep a child in this country than to get them back from another country, even a country with whom the US is on friendly terms.

 

 

Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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