D Achutan v Vythilingam Kengathevi

JudgeHamidah Bte Ibrahim
Judgment Date07 September 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 35
Published date19 September 2003
Citation[2000] SGDC 35
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)



1. The parties were married at the registry of marriages in Singapore on the 22/11/1973. They have 2 sons who are now both adults. The husband filed a petition for divorce on the ground that the marriage had broken down irretrievably because the wife had behaved unreasonably. This was contested by the wife when she filed an answer and subsequently a cross-petition in which she said that the marriage broke down irretrievably because the husband had behaved unreasonably.

2. Eventually, when the petition was fixed for hearing, the parties came to an agreement not to contest the divorce proceedings. The husband then filed a supplemental petition for the marriage to be dissolved on the ground that it had irretrievably broken down because the parties had been living separate and apart for 4 years i.e. since December, 1994. A decree nisi was granted on the 29th of July, 1999 with the usual consequential order that the question of the division of matrimonial assets and maintenance for the Respondent wife be adjourned to be heard in chambers. (Prior to the hearing of the divorce petition, the wife had obtained an order wherein the husband was ordered to pay her $400 per month as maintenance for herself.)

3. These matters were heard before me and on the 29th of June, 2000, I made the following orders:-

    1) That the matrimonial property at Blk 229, Choa Chu Kang Central #11-133, Singapore 680229 is to be sold in the open market and the proceeds of sale less the outstanding mortgage loan and all reasonable expenses connected to the sale shall be divided in the proportion of 60% to the Petitioner (husband) and 40% to the Respondent (wife).

    2) That the Petitioner is to make the necessary refund to his CPF account, from his share of the proceeds of sale, of all monies plus accrued interest utilised by him in the purchase of the said matrimonial property.

    3) That the Petitioner is ordered to pay a sum of $45,000 being lump sum maintenance for the Respondent and this sum shall be deducted from the Petitioner’s share of the proceeds of sale.

    4) Liberty to apply

    5) No order as to costs.

    6) Respondent to be given the first option to purchase the matrimonial property at a price of not less than $344,000 to be exercised within 2 months from decree nisi absolute.

4. The wife has now appealed against paragraph 1 of the above orders. In her notice of appeal, she is now seeking more than 40% (actual percentage not indicated) of the nett proceeds of sale, retaining the first option to purchase the property, $45,000 as lump sum maintenance, a share of the husband’s CPF monies, gratuity, etc. As I had ordered the Petitioner husband to pay to her $45,000 as lump sum maintenance, and since this is the same amount she is seeking in her notice of appeal, it would appear that the Respondent wife is in actuality not appealing against the said order on maintenance.

5. The parties separated in December 1994 when the husband left the matrimonial home. Since then the wife has had sole occupation of the matrimonial home which is the major matrimonial property of the couple. This is a 5-room (improved) HDB flat at Blk.229, Chua Chu Kang Central, #11-133 (the second flat), bought jointly by the husband and wife at a price of $94,853.50 in 1989. Prior to this they had bought a HDB flat (the first flat) at Clementi Avenue which they occupied from 1977 to 1988. The husband had paid 96% of the purchase price of the first flat while the wife had contributed 4% using their CPF funds. After it was sold, with the necessary refund to their respective CPF accounts, there was a profit of $16,000 which they then used towards the costs of the renovation of the second flat.

6. Where the second flat was concerned, it was agreed that only the husband had made payment towards the purchase price. As at May, 2000, the CPF (housing) statement issued by the CPF Board indicated that he had used $70,739.50 from his CPF account and accrued interest (to be refunded in the event of a sale) stood at $20,089.34. There was an outstanding loan of $47,788.46 due to the HDB. The husband had also obtained a valuation report which stated that the flat has a market value of $344,000.

7. In addition to paying for the purchase price, the husband claimed that he had spent $59,670 towards the renovation costs. However, he could only produce receipts totaling $39,947.48. The husband had also continued with the payments towards the conservancy charges from January 1995 to December, 1997, property tax up to September 1999 and the...

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