Choo Guay Tin v Lee Mong Seng

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeHamidah Bte Ibrahim
Judgment Date12 September 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 39
Citation[2000] SGDC 39
Published date19 September 2003



1. The Petitioner(wife) was married to the Respondent(husband) on the 22/3/1963 at the Singapore marriage registry. There are 4 children to the marriage, a daughter and 3 sons, whose ages range from 34 to 27. The wife’s petition for the marriage to be dissolved on the ground that it had irretrievably broken down because the husband had behaved unreasonably was heard on an uncontested basis on the 23rd of March, 1999. A decree nisi was granted with the usual consequential order that the issues relating to the division of all matrimonial assets and maintenance for the wife be adjourned to be heard in chambers.

2. These were heard before me on the 5th of July, 2000 and I made the following orders: -

1) The matrimonial property know as 18D, Lorong 102, Changi Road is to be sold in the open market and the proceeds of sale less the outstanding loan is to be divided equally between the parties.

2) That the Respondent is to be responsible for the repayment of the overdraft of $250,000 and interest on this amount.

3) That the Petitioner is given the first option either solely or with any nominee, to be exercised within 1 month, of DNA, to purchase the Respondent’s share in the matrimonial property.

4) That the parties do appoint an accountant, to value the business of Blue & White Bus Transport Service within 3 months, with expenses to be borne equally, and the nett assets shall be divided equally between the parties.

5) That the Respondent is given the first option, to be exercised within 1 month after valuation, to purchase the Petitioner’s share in Blue & White Bus Transport Service.

6) That the Respondent to pay to the Petitioner lump sum maintenance of $70,000 and the said sum is to be deducted from his share of the nett proceeds of sale of the matrimonial property.

7) Costs to the Petitioner fixed at $3,500.

8) Liberty to apply.

3. The wife is appealing against paragraphs 1 and 4 of the above orders. In her notice of appeal, in respect of paragraph 4, it is stated that she is seeking an order that the business of Blue & White Bus Transport Service be valued as at 1/12/1998 and the nett assets be divided between the parties. Therefore, the wife is not opposing that this asset be divided equally between the parties as she is merely claiming that the valuation should be effected as at 1/12/1998.

4. The husband has also filed a notice of appeal but against paragraphs 2 and 6. In his notice, he is seeking an order that the overdraft of $250,000 secured on the property be deducted from the proceeds of sale and that he pay monthly maintenance of $700 to the Petitioner.

5. The matrimonial property in question, a 3 storey terrace house, at 18D, Lorong 102 (102) Changi Road, Singapore was purchased sometime in 1992 in the joint names of the husband and the eldest son Lee Wee Min. At the commencement of the hearing of the ancillaries, Lee Wee Min, who was present informed the court that he does not have an interest in the said property and that he will not make a claim on the property. While the parties differed as to the reasons why the wife was not included as a co-owner of the property, it is undisputed, nevertheless, that as this was an asset acquired during the course of the marriage, it is deemed to be a matrimonial asset capable of being divided.

6. Prior to the acquisition of 102, in the course of their very long marriage, the parties had purchased 3 other matrimonial properties. The first of these was a 3-room HDB flat at Circuit Road purchased solely in the name of the husband. This was sold and from the proceeds of sale, plus a loan from the HDB, the couple purchased a 4-room HDB flat situated at Bedok Reservoir Road. Subsequently, sometime in 1987, this flat at Bedok Reservoir Road was sold and the third matrimonial property purchased on 26/08/1987 was at 60H, Tanjong Katong Road. Sometime in 1992, this...

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