When parents call it quits on their marriage, the children will also feel pain and suffer in silence - some are used as pawns in custody battles or even kidnapped by their mother or father. What happens when children become the victims of marital war?
When parents put an end to their union, the whole family unit will be affected and if children are involved, a breakup or a divorce is never just about mum and dad – the little ones go through the anguish of watching the two people they love most part ways, and they will then be left with just one.
This is a difficult time for everyone, but what if things turn ugly and the children become victims of marital war?
When love and hate collide
Nobody wants their relationship or marriage to end badly and no parent would ever want to put their child through the trauma of a bitter divorce breakup, and it certainly wasn’t the fairytale ending *Rebecca, a psychologist from Singapore, had in mind when she met her partner *Dave, an Australian executive, when they were both working and living in Hong Kong.
It started off as a whirlwind romance when they first met in a bar in Lan Kwai Fong, and their relationship was on again, off again, but when she got pregnant, they decided to tie the knot and raise their child together.
However, things turned sour on the way to their wedding ceremony when Dave presented Rebecca with a pre-nuptial agreement, which triggered a quarrel and she eventually called the whole wedding off.
She then took their 18-month old daughter and sent Dave a text message to tell him that she and the baby were leaving the country and heading back home to Singapore.
Usually in cases involving toddlers who were born out of wedlock, custody will go to the mother, but Dave wanted his daughter to live with him and accused Rebecca of taking their little girl from her home in Hong Kong.
Rebecca has refused to let Dave visit his daughter and she insists that Singapore is the appropriate venue for the custody battle, so has since filed court papers here for a hearing.
Distraught and heartbroken, Dave has created his own blog where he writes personal letters to his daughter, hoping that some day she will get to read them and know just how much he loves and misses her.
*Not their real names
Children used as pawns
When *Nate was just a toddler, his parents ended their marriage and even though his father was allowed to see him and have him over on the weekends, his mother eventually had a change of heart.
She was unhappy with the fact that her ex husband’s new fiancée was bonding so well with Nate and that they would always spend time together like a happy little family.
So she started making up excuses as to why Nate couldn’t spend the day with his dad and even informed his school not to allow his father onto the premises nor let him meet his own son.
Nate’s father was upset and desperate to see him, but after many disappointing failed attempts, he gave up and moved to another country, eventually ending up in Singapore.
Nate grew up not really knowing his biological father and was told by his mother and grandparents that he abandoned him.
But against his mother’s wishes, Nate somehow managed to track him down and they got in touch.
After years of not seeing his father, Nate, now in his 30s, finally flew to Singapore to meet him and his new family for the very first time, where he then spent some time getting to know his half-siblings and had a peek into the life he could have had.
Even though Nate had a stepdad and two other half-siblings while growing up, he still longed to connect with his real father and until this very day, he still calls his biological father and his new wife on the phone to chat about what he’s been up to.
*Not his real name
Go to the next page to read about the child abduction laws in Singapore.