BBX v BBY

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeWong Sheng Kwai
Judgment Date09 July 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] SGDC 252
Citation[2012] SGDC 252
Docket NumberDivorce Suit No 378 of 2010
Hearing Date10 August 2011,03 April 2012,29 September 2011,25 August 2011,14 February 2012
Published date18 July 2012
Plaintiff CounselMr Ashok Chugani and Ms Mirchandani (M/s Mirchandani & Pnrs)
Defendant CounselMs Sim Bock Eng and Ms Toor (M/s Wong Partnership LLP)
District Judge Wong Sheng Kwai: Introduction

The parties were married on 24 February 2002. They have 1 child, N, female, aged 4. Interim Judgment was granted on 30 November 2010 based on the parties’ unreasonable behaviour towards each other on the statement of claim as well as the counterclaim. The marriage lasted 8 years and 9 months. The ancillary matters concerning custody, care and control and access to the child of the marriage, division of the matrimonial assets and maintenance of the wife and child were adjourned to be heard in Chambers.

For the determination of ancillary matters, the parties filed the following –

Plaintiff (Husband)
P1 Affidavit of Assets and means filed on 16 February 2011
P2 Second Ancillary Affidavit filed on 25 March 2011
P3 Third Ancillary Affidavit filed on 1 June 2011
P35A Plaintiff’s Ancillary Matters Fact & Position Sheet filed on 8 July 2011
Defendant (Wife)
D1 Affidavit of Assets and means filed on 11 February 2011
D2 Second Ancillary Affidavit filed on 24 March 2011
D3 Third Ancillary Affidavit filed on 18 May 20111
D35A Defendant’s Ancillary Matters Fact & Position Sheet filed on 24 June 2011

The parties also referred to affidavits filed in the following summonses -

Summons No xxx
1 Plaintiff’s affidavits filed on 2 March and 5 May 2010 and 16 February 2011
2 Defendant’s affidavits filed on 19 March and 9 December 2010
3 C’s affidavit filed on 20 April
4 M filed on 4 May 2010
5 H filed on 5 May 2010
6 S’s affidavit filed on 9 December 2010
Summons No xxx
1 Plaintiff’s affidavits filed on 11 April 2011
2 Defendant’s affidavit filed on 29 April 2011
3 G’s affidavit filed on 29 April 2011

The ancillary matters came for hearing before me on 10 August, 25 August, 29 September 2011, 14 February and 3 April 2012 and I made the following orders:

Custody, care and control & access

That joint custody of the child of the marriage [N] be granted to both parties with care and control to the Defendant. The Plaintiff is granted access to the said child as follows

During school term:

Every alternate Friday from after school to Sunday 2 pm. Every other Friday from after school to Saturday 2pm Every Wednesday from after school to 8 pm

During school holidays:

School holidays to be divided equally between the Parties with the Plaintiff having the first half of the school holidays in even years and the Defendant having the first half of the school holidays in the odd years, with overnight access to the Plaintiff when the child is with him. The Plaintiff shall have liberty to take the child out of Singapore during the school holiday access, provided that he gives the Defendant four week’s advance notice and furnishes the Defendant with the contact number, overseas itinerary, etc. The Defendant shall hand over the child’s passport to the Plaintiff for the purpose of the travel and the Plaintiff shall return the passport to the Defendant, upon return of the child.

Public holidays:

9 am to 8 pm on alternate public holidays except for Deepavali. For Deepavali, the Plaintiff shall have access from 8am to 2pm and 2pm to 8pm in alternate years.

Others:

3 hours on the Plaintiff’s and the child’s birthday, to be arranged between the parties. The Plaintiff shall be granted liberal telephone access to the child till 8 pm.
The Plaintiff shall provide the Defendant with sufficient notice if he wishes to make ad hoc changes to the assigned access days. If the changes cannot be accommodated, then arrangements for make up access are to be made. All restrictions on the child’s travel/passport are lifted.

Maintenance

The Plaintiff shall pay the Defendant the sum of $1,500 as monthly maintenance for the child [B] with effect from 1 April 2012 and thereafter on the first day of each month. The Plaintiff shall bear 75% of the child’s medical and year end education related expenses upon proof of receipt. Each party shall be responsible for any expenses incurred for any outings, entertainment or holidays spent with the child respectively. There shall be no maintenance payable by the Plaintiff to the Defendant. All payments are to be made to the Defendant’s DBS Savings Plus account number xxx.

Division of matrimonial property

The Plaintiff is given the right of first option to purchase the Defendant’s share in the matrimonial home [xxx] upon paying to the Defendant her 40 % thereof, such option to be exercised within 3 months from the date of final judgment. The Defendant’s 40% is to be determined by a valuation report for sale of the matrimonial home in the open market by a reputable valuer less the outstanding housing loan. Costs of the valuation are to be borne in the proportion of 60% and 40% by the Plaintiff and the Defendant respectively. In the event of any shortfall, the Defendant shall not be required to top up her CPF account for the shortfall. The Plaintiff is to bear the costs and expenses of the transfer. In the event that the Plaintiff decides not to exercise the option as set out in paragraph 10 above, the matrimonial home [xxx] is to be sold in the open market within 6 months from the date of final judgement with the parties having joint conduct of the sale. Upon successful sale, the proceeds are to be used to repay outstanding mortgage loan and costs and expenses of sale. The net proceeds thereafter are to be divided in the proportion of 60% to the Plaintiff and 40% to the Defendant. The parties shall refund their respective CPF accounts of monies utilized for the purchase inclusive of accrued interest and in the event of any shortfall, CPF rules and regulations on refunds shall apply.

Division of other matrimonial assets

CPF monies

The Defendant (hereinafter called the “Spouse”) shall be entitled to $15,000 of the Plaintiff’s (hereinafter called the “Member”) CPF monies pursuant to section 112 of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353). The CPF Board shall transfer, from the monies standing to the credit of the Member as at the date of the sale/transfer of the flat in the following CPF account of the Member, the amount specified as follows to the Spouse’s CPF account:

Member’s CPF account to transfer from

Amount to transfer

Ordinary Account

$15,000

All obligations to effect the transfer or sale shall be on the Member and not on the Board. The Board shall only transfer the amount specified in this Order after the Board has been notified of the transfer or sale of the flat. This order is made subject to the Central Provident Fund Act (Cap 36) (“CPF Act”) and the subsidiary legislation made thereunder. The Board shall give effect to the terms of this order in accordance with the provisions of the CPF Act and the subsidiary legislation made thereunder. The Deputy Registrar of the Subordinate Courts under section 45 of the Subordinate Courts Act (Cap 321) is empowered to execute. Sign, or indorse all necessary documents relating to matters contained in this Order on behalf of either party should either party fail to do so within seven days of written request being made to the party. Unless expressly provided for in the CPF Act, nothing in the orders herein shall be taken to affect the Board’s charge on the matrimonial home or any other immovable property owned by one or both of the parties and which is the subject of this Order of Court. The Board shall determine the requisite refunds to be made to the respective parties’ CPF accounts upon the sale, transfer, assignment or otherwise disposal of such immovable property in accordance with the CPF Act and the subsidiary legislation made thereunder. The parties, including the Board, shall be at liberty to apply for further directions or orders generally.

Motor Car SJC xxx

Within 3 months from the date of this Order, the Plaintiff shall have the option of retaining the family car by paying the Defendant her 17% share thereof based on an open market valuation for sale if the parties are not in agreement on the valuation. The costs of the valuation, if any, shall be borne equally by the parties. In the event that the Plaintiff decides not to exercise his option in paragraph 20 above, the family car is to be sold in the open market within 6 months from the date of this Order. Upon successful sale, the proceeds less costs and expenses of sale are to be divided in the proportion of 83% to the Plaintiff and 17% to the Defendant.

Jewellery and other items

The Plaintiff shall return to the Defendant her jewellery, gift cheques, clothing items, educational documents an employment records where they are in his possession, custody or control. The Plaintiff shall return to the Defendant her clothing items stored at the Plaintiff’s parents’ home in India. The Defendant is to retain jewellery meant for the child and shall hold them for her benefit.

Bank Accounts

The Plaintiff shall pay the Defendant the sum of $8,000 to account for her share of matrimonial assets held in bank accounts by the parties. Except as provided above, parties are to retain other assets in their own names Liberty to apply Costs to the Defendant fixed at $9,000 and disbursement fixed at $6500 to be paid by the Plaintiff to the Defendant.

The Plaintiff (husband) filed an appeal on 17 April 2012 seeking to reverse my decision.

I now set out the grounds...

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