Jaya Latchmee d/o Krishnasamy Maniam v Vijaya Kumaran Krishnan

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeKoh Juat Jong
Judgment Date07 February 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGDC 38
Citation[2001] SGDC 38
Published date19 September 2003




1 The parties were married on 2 April 1983. They had two daughters, aged 14 and 12 at the time of hearing. The petition based on the unreasonable behaviour of the husband was uncontested and the decree nisi was granted on 4 January 2000. The ancillary matters came before me for hearing on 27 November 2000 and the following orders were made:

(a) custody, care and control of the 2 children shall be granted to the wife with access to the husband from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday at the Tampines West Neighbourhood Police Post (NPP) or any other NPP to be mutually agreed and

(i) the access shall be exercised at the NPP and the wife or a relative of the wife may remain outside the Police Post during the access period

(ii) from 1 March 2001, the access may be unsupervised but the children shall be transferred at the NPP;

(b) the children shall not be brought out of Singapore by either party without leave of Court or the written consent of the other party;

(c) the husband shall not visit the children at school or at anywhere else outside the access hours;

(d) the wife shall not conduct any business from the residence of the children;

(e) by consent, the husband shall pay the wife the amount of $800 per month for the maintenance of the 2 children on the first of every month into the wife's bank account;

(f) the husband shall transfer his interest, title and share in the matrimonial flat to the wife upon the wife reimbursing the husband's CPF account of all monies utilised for the flat with accrued interest;

(g) the husband shall pay the wife the nominal maintenance of $1 per month;

(h) no orders on any other assets;

(i) the husband shall pay the wife the costs for the hearing of the ancillary matters fixed at $1,500;

(j) liberty to apply.

The husband has appealed against the orders in respect of custody, access, maintenance for the children and division of property.

Custody and Access of Children

2 The two children were girls. The wife had been their main caregiver throughout the years. She was a parent volunteer in the children’s school and a concerned parent who constantly monitored and supervised the daughters’ schoolwork. On 15 July 1998, there was a personal protection order issued by consent of parties against the husband in favour of the wife. The husband was also ordered to attend mandatory counselling. On 21 May 1999, there was another consent order under which the husband was excluded from the master bedroom and the bedroom of the daughters for the period of one year. The husband was a Malaysian with no relative in Singapore.

3 On 11 September 2000, the following interim orders were made by court:

(a) the wife shall have the interim custody, care and control of the children;

(b) the children shall remain in Singapore and shall attend schools in Singapore;

(c) the children shall not be brought out of Singapore without leave of court;

(d) the husband shall have supervised access to the children on Sundays from 10 am to 12 noon at the police post.

The orders arose from applications by both parties for interim custody of the children. The husband had discovered that the children were absent from school after the commencement of the second term of school in end June 2000 and it transpired that the wife had brought the children to India and enrolled them in a boarding school in India. The wife said that she brought the children to India for a holiday but the children fell in love with the international school there and wanted to stay there. The children were brought back to Singapore upon the direction of the court. The elder child filed an affidavit indicating that she would like to remain in the international boarding school in India. She complained about the father’s violence and the embarrassment he caused her by telling her friends and teacher all sort of stories about her family. She did not want to stay with her father and she indicated her strong preference to go back to her school in India.

4 The husband conceded in his affidavit that there was a distance between the children and him. He said that he could not spend much time with them as he had two jobs and that when he was at home, there were often quarrels between his wife and him. He acknowledged the feelings of the elder daughter towards him as stated in her affidavit. However, he attributed that to the fact that she was traumatised by the quarrels and the acrimonious divorce proceedings between his wife and him and that the wife had been discouraging the children from bring close to him. He said that he found out that the wife was a social escort and as a result, there were many quarrels between parties. He said that she conducted her business from home and frequently went out at night, leaving the children at home. He did not contest the application for the personal protection order as he was hoping that they could reconcile. He did not contest the application for the domestic exclusion order as by then, he was numb and resigned. He said that his mother would be able to assist him to look after the children. He also said that the wife had the...

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