Axw v Axx

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Judgment Date05 June 2012
Date05 June 2012
Docket NumberDivorce No 5364 of 2010 (Registrar's Appeals Nos 235 and 236 of 2011)

[2012] SGHC 121

High Court

Lee Seiu Kin J

Divorce No 5364 of 2010 (Registrar's Appeals Nos 235 and 236 of 2011)


Hui Choon Wai (Wee Swee Teow & Co) for the plaintiff

Soo Poh Huat (Soo Poh Huat & Co) for the defendant.

Ong Boon Huat Samuel v Chan Mei Lan Kristine [2007] 2 SLR (R) 729; [2007] 2 SLR 729 (refd)

Women's Charter (Cap 353,1997 Rev Ed) s 94

Women's Charter (Cap 353,2009 Rev Ed) ss 112 (1) , 112 (2) (consd) ; s 112 (2) (e)

Family Law—Matrimonial assets—Division—Ordering division of matrimonial asset before and after refunding Central Provident Fund accounts

Family Law—Matrimonial assets—Division—Whether loss sustained on sale of property to purchase matrimonial home might be taken into consideration—Whether fact that wife bore child in short marriage might be taken into consideration in determining her indirect contribution

The parties married in 2003. A flat jointly owned by the husband and his mother was sold at a loss in order to buy the matrimonial home. The parties' daughter was born in 2005. Shortly after, the marriage fell apart. The parties continued to live together but they slept in separate bedrooms. Divorce proceedings were commenced in 2010.

A district judge heard the ancillary matters and ordered, inter alia, that the husband pay the wife $1,000 per month for maintenance of their daughter and that the net sale proceeds of the parties' matrimonial home be divided 40:60 between the husband and wife respectively after refunding the parties' Central Provident Fund (‘CPF’) accounts and a sum of $102,848 to the husband's parents which represented an interest-free loan extended by the husband's parents to the parties for the purchase of the matrimonial home. The net sale proceeds amounted to $857,530.62, out of which $102,848 was to be repaid to the husband's parents, and $135,932.75 and $162,818.88 were to be refunded to the CPF accounts of the husband and the wife respectively. Hence, the judge's order was for the remaining sum of $455,930.99 to be divided 40:60 in favour of the wife.

The husband appealed to vary the ratio of division to 50:50, arguing,inter alia, that he and his mother sustained a loss on the sale of the flat, the marriage was short with only one child, and the indirect contributions of the parties were about the same. The wife appealed, seeking, inter alia, to increase the amount of maintenance for their daughter to $1,590 per month.

Held, dismissing the husband's appeal and allowing the wife's appeal in part:

(1) The husband and the wife respectively obtained 42.2% and 57.8% of the sale price less cost and less the $102,848 repaid to the husband's parents. This was slightly different from the 40:60 split that one would have thought the judge had decided on. The reason for this difference stemmed from the fact that the judge ordered the 40:60 division on the sale proceeds after deducting CPF refunds (‘Partial Division’), instead of ordering it to be done on the entire proceeds before deducting CPF refunds (‘Effective Division’) and then ordering both parties to refund their own CPF accounts from their respective shares: at [7] and [8].

(2) A court making an order for division should be aware that the resulting overall division of matrimonial assets produced by the Partial Division method might deviate substantially from that produced by the Effective Division method. This depended on the relative sizes of both parties' CPF refunds and the ratio of division ordered: at [9].

(3) There was nothing in law to preclude the use of the Partial Division method. Pursuant to s 112 (1) of the Women's Charter (Cap 353, 2009 Rev Ed), a court was only enjoined to order a division as it thought just and equitable. However, in making its decision, a court would look to divisions ordered in similar cases. Such comparisons were only meaningful if the divisions considered related to the Effective Division. For this reason alone, if a court was making a division based on a single division of the total matrimonial assets method and was relying for guidance on divisions done in comparable situations, then it was important to use the Effective Division method: at [10].

(4) The operative words in s 112 (2) of the Women's Charter required the court to have regard to ‘all the circumstances of the case’ and therefore the list of factors was not closed. The factors listed in subsections (a) to (h) were those that the court must consider. Even then, the court might attach such weight to each factor as was appropriate in...

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3 cases
  • Tan Hwee Lee v Tan Cheng Guan
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 30 August 2012
    ...Sim (Allen & Gledhill LLP) for the respondent in Civil Appeal No 135 of 2011 and the appellant in Civil Appeal No 136 of 2011. AXW v AXX [2012] 3 SLR 900 (refd) Chan Fook Kee v Chan Siew Fong [2001] 2 SLR (R) 143; [2001] 3 SLR 176 (refd) Chan Siew Fong v Chan Fook Kee [2002] 1 SLR (R) 93; [......
  • Tan Hwee Lee v Tan Cheng Guan and another appeal and another matter
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 30 August 2012
    ...the decision of this court in NK v NL [2007] 3 SLR(R) 743 (“NK v NL”) at [20] and the recent Singapore High Court decision in AXW v AXX [2012] SGHC 121 at [12]-[13]). In our view, this applies to the division of matrimonial assets constituting inter-spousal gifts as well. In situations when......
  • UII v UIJ
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 8 January 2018
    ...submission for the sale proceeds of the Matrimonial Home to be divided according to the “partial division” method. See AXW v AXX [2012] 3 SLR 900. That method divides the sale proceeds after the refund to each Party’s CPF accounts (as opposed to the division prior to the refund). I found th......

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