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Custody of my wife's children from her previous marriage.

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Arresto Menor
Dear Atty:

I seek your help in an urgent matter.

I am a Singaporean married to a filipina who has two children from a previous marriage (11) and (10)years of age.

When I met my wife in 2006 she was estranged from her husband. And due to the circumstances at the time, the husband assumed control of the children whilst my wife was driven out of the family house by her in laws. Subsequently, when we had decided to get married, my wife proceeded to file for an annulment. However before the annulment had gone to the court, her husband was killed in a traffic accident. Now that her status is a widow we were able to get married without the annulment. The parents of the late husband however refused to let the children live with my wife.

My wife and I were married on the 29th Oct 2009 and currently I work and reside in Singapore whilst my wife is in Marikina.

Till now my wife has a limited relationship with her two children as their grandparents frequently make things difficult for them.

1)When the children made their First Communion, my wife was asked not to attend.

2)Whenever my wife wants to spend time with the children, she has to go to the house of the ex in laws and cannot enter the house due to their previous fallout.

3)My wife's ex father in law asked her to hand over whatever SSS payments she received to him so that he can use the money for the childrens expenses.

4)He asked her not to register our marriage in the Philippines for fear that she would not receive any more payments from her late husband's account.

5)He somehow applied for the childrens' passports at the DFA via the online portal and persuaded my wife to give her consent as he had wanted to bring the children to Singapore for a holiday. My wife consented on condition that he can only bring them so Singapore on a short trip.
Subsequently he told my wife that they would depart Manila at the beginning of April of that year but in truth he and the children left at the end of March without so much as a word to my wife.

More recently, in Novemeber 2012 I was in Manila to celebrate the 1st birthday of my son. The grandfather refused to let the children attend the party which instigated my wifes son to lose his temper.

In December 2012, My mother and I spent Christmas with my wife and son. Again my wife's children were not able to spend Christmas with us. Not even for a meal. Instead the grandfather brought them to his province again without the knowledge of my wife.

I am in the process of buying a house in Cavite where my wife and hopefully the children can start anew but I am 100% sure that we will run into problems with the grandfather and his family. How can I go about to ensure that my family will be able to start afresh.

I have thought of filing for adoption of the two children but I need professional advice as to what is the best thing to do.


Robin Gomes

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