Jaswant Singh v Rejdar Kaur d/o Piyara Singh

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeRegina Ow-Chang Yee Lin
Judgment Date29 January 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGDC 29
Citation[2001] SGDC 29
Published date19 September 2003




1. The petitioner ("husband") and the respondent ("wife") registered their marriage at the Singapore Marriage Registry on 21 October 1995. They do not have any children. The husband left the matrimonial home sometime in April 1999. On 23 November 1999 filed a petition for divorce on the ground that the marriage had broken down irretrievably in that the wife had behaved in such a way that the husband cannot reasonably be expected to live with her. The wife filed an Answer and the Divorce Petition was fixed for hearing on a contested basis on 14 and 15 August 2000. On 14 August 2000, leave was granted on the husband’s application to amend his petition and the amended petition proceeded on an uncontested basis. The Decree Nisi was granted on the same day on the wife’s unreasonable behaviour. The issues of maintenance for the wife and the division of the matrimonial assets were adjourned to be heard in chambers.

2. The ancillary matters came up for hearing before me on 11 December 2000. After reviewing the evidence in the affidavits filed by the wife and the husband, and hearing submissions from Mr Wong Khai Leng for the husband and Ms Muna Talib for the wife, I made the following orders -

1) The Respondent do pay to the Petitioner a lump sum maintenance of $8,000.00;

2) The matrimonial flat at Block 180 Bishan Street 13 #09-243 Singapore be sold in the open market and any loss or gain to be shared in the proportion of the CPF monies utilised by each party for the purchase of the flat, that is, 63% to the Petitioner and 37% to the Respondent. The flat to be sold within 6 months of the Decree Nisi Absolute. The Petitioner to have conduct of the sale. The Respondent to allow prospective buyers to view the premises;

3) Costs fixed at $800 to be paid by the Respondent to the Petitioner forthwith; and

4) Liberty to apply.

3. The wife filed an appeal against all the orders above.

The Wife

4. The wife is 36 years old. At the time of the hearing of the ancillary matters, she was unemployed. Her last drawn gross salary as a secretary was $1,650.00. After their marriage, the wife worked full-time as a sales representative with Silk Air for two years. She left her full-time job and took up part-time employment with the Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) for the next 1- years. Between July 99 and Nov 2000, the wife secured employment for a total of 4 months with 3 different companies. Her employment with the companies was not confirmed after the probation period.

5. There was an existing maintenance order for $200.00 ordered by the Maintenance Court. This order had been varied twice to $500.00 for 3 months upon the wife’s application. The variation coincided with the periods of her unemployment. The wife sought periodic maintenance from the husband at $500.00 per month. In the alternative, lumpsum maintenance of $10,000.00 would be acceptable and help her get back on her feet.

6. The wife sought an equitable share of the husband’s assets which consisted of the following:

a) The matrimonial flat at Block 180 Bishan Street 13 #09-243 Singapore, estimated market value of $260,000.00 to $280,000.00 (The Bishan flat);

b) The husband’s CPF savings;

c) The husband’s shares in Thakral and John Hancock;

d) The husband’s Malaysian shares; and

e) The husband’s car.

7. The wife had $18,677.60 in her POSB bank account number 083-56625-6 as at 31 October 2000. She also had 840 Singapore Telecom (ST "A") shares and 650 Singapore Telecom (ST2) shares.

8. As of 11 September 2000, she had $2,836.32 in the ordinary account of her CPF savings. She had utilised $54,356.00 from her CPF account for the purchase of the Bishan flat. The accrued interest on the funds utilised was $6,549.83 as at 11 September 2000.

The Husband

9. The husband is also 36 years old. He is a senior customs officer. His gross salary is $5,382.00 per month and he takes home $3,932.00 (after deduction of employee’s CPF contribution and car instalment).

10. As at 29 July 2000, the husband had $23,914.40 in the ordinary account of his CPF savings. He had utilised a total sum of about $94,408.10 for the purchase of the Bishan flat. The accrued interest on the sum utilised is about $10,356.30 as at 29 July 2000.

11. The husband had a securities account with UOB Securities Pte Ltd, with some CLOB shares of undetermined value. He also owned 2,000 shares in Thakral worth about $400 and a CPF investment policy with John Hancock.

12. The husband had 2 savings and 1 current account with POSBank. Savings account number 102-08980-4 had a credit balance of 2.932.87 as at 31 October 2000 while savings account number 049-01987-4 had a credit balance of about $34.80. His current account number 818-14591-8 is linked to his savings account number 102-08980-4 and does not have a credit balance.


13. The principles to consider when awarding maintenance for the wife are set out in Section 114, which provides as follows:

114.-(1) In determining the amount of any maintenance to be paid by a man to his wife or former wife, the court shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case including the following matters:

(a) the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(b) the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(c) the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;

(d) the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;

(e) any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;

(f) the contributions made by each of the parties to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family; and

(g) in the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to either of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

(2) In exercising its powers under this section, the court shall endeavour so to place the parties, so far as it is practicable and, having regard to their conduct, just to do so, in the financial position in which they would have been if the marriage had not broken down and each had properly discharge his or her financial obligations and responsibilities towards the other.

14. The wife stated in her affidavit that she sought maintenance of $500.00 for herself. At the ancillaries hearing, she asked for an alternative lumpsum maintenance of $10,000.00. The principles applicable to the making of a...

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