I want to get divorced due to my husband's unwillingness to work

By Huyen Lam   February 27, 2024 | 03:28 pm PT
My husband, with a background in accounting, has remained jobless for the last four years.

We are both 38 years old and reside in Ho Chi Minh City, living rent-free in a property owned by my sister and her husband.

My husband has taken on the role of a stay-at-home parent for our two children since quitting his job, leaving me as the sole provider with a monthly income of VND16 million (US$649). The challenge of supporting two children and an adult on this income means I consistently face a shortfall and need to borrow money from my sister for our expenses.

Despite not earning, my husband's personal spending on items like coffee, cigarettes, and dining out is substantial. The funds I allocate monthly for groceries are insufficient due to his personal expenditures.

He leads a carefree life, showing no appreciation for my efforts, and our existence has become a daily struggle. He sleeps until 9 a.m. and spends his nights on his phone, oblivious to the challenges I face in supporting our family. This behavior has deeply disappointed me and led me to consider divorce.

My brother-in-law expressed intentions to reclaim the house earlier this year, implying we would need to find and afford rental accommodation. I appealed for more time to stay, but he dismissively questioned whether his and my sister’s hard work in acquiring the house was meant to subsidize my husband’s leisurely lifestyle.

"I could earn VND6 million a month by renting out this house," he said. "And I constantly see your husband lounging and smoking at the café near my workplace."

My sister suggested that divorce might be a solution for me, offering that she and her husband would allow me to remain in the house. She also voiced her frustrations with my husband’s behavior.

When I discussed my relatives’ stance with my husband, he seemed unconcerned, pointing out the availability of other rental options.

Given that our children attend private preschools, with no opportunity for public enrollment, we face tuition fees of VND6 million monthly. I have implored my husband to seek employment to help with our escalating expenses, but his response was to ask for time to consider his options, questioning his employability at our age.

His indifferent attitude has brought me to tears, and I no longer wish to interact with him. I desire a divorce and to have custody of our children. However, the law stipulates that in the event of a divorce, each parent would be responsible for one child, a situation I fear would be detrimental to them.

What should I do now?

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