JBR v JBS

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeTan Shin Yi
Judgment Date27 November 2014
Neutral Citation[2014] SGDC 446
Citation[2014] SGDC 446
Docket NumberMSS No 1274 of 2013
Publication Date11 December 2014
Plaintiff CounselMs Lucy Netto ( Netto & Magin LLC)
Defendant CounselMs Diana Foo ( Tan See Swan & Co)
SubjectCatch words: Section 69 of the Women's Charter (Cap 353),Direct payments,Wife's future earning capability
District Judge Tan Shin Yi: Background

MSS 1274/2013 was the Complainant wife’s application for maintenance for herself and the child of the marriage. I heard this application together with 2 other applications, SS639/2013 filed by the husband for a Personal Protection Order (PPO) for himself, and SS787/2013 filed by the wife for a PPO for herself and the child. Only the application for maintenance is relevant to this appeal.

The parties to the proceedings have been married for 15 years and have a daughter, aged 13. The wife was a homemaker for many years and only started working in recent years, as a freelance coach/workshop organiser earning about $1,000 per month. The Respondent husband works as a Chief Financial Officer and earns about $12,000 per month.

The wife claimed the total sum of $13,335 per month as maintenance for herself and the daughter, as follows: Monthly maintenance of $6,008 for herself; Monthly maintenance of $3,715 for the daughter; Monthly bowling expenses of $1,697 and camping expenses of $289 for the daughter; Monthly household expenses of $901 and yearly expenses of $308 per month for herself; and Yearly expenses of $417 per month for the daughter.

In the husband’s affidavit filed on 4 September 2013, he proposed the total sum of $5,196 per month as maintenance for the wife and daughter ($3,474 for the wife and $1,722 for the daughter). This was subsequently revised to $6,400 per month ($2,501 for the wife and $3,899 for the daughter) in his closing submissions.

Orders Made

On 2 July 2014, I made the following orders in relation to MSS 1274/2013: The husband is to pay the sum of $1,500 per month as maintenance for the wife, with effect from 1 July 2014 and thereafter on the 1st day of each month; The husband is to pay the sum of $2,500 per month as maintenance for the daughter, with effect from 1 July 2014 and thereafter on the 1st day of each month; The husband is to continue to pay the following directly to the relevant agencies/individuals: Utilities bills, maintenance and sinking fund charges, property tax, home insurance, home telephone and Internet/TV, housing loan instalments for the matrimonial home and the part-time maid salary; Hire purchase instalments, car insurance and road tax for the car used by the wife; and The premiums for the daughter’s insurance policies, the daughter’s school fees and tuition fees. The above maintenance payments in (a) and (b) to be deposited directly into the wife’s designated bank account.

The husband filed an appeal against my decision in MSS 1274/2013 on 14 July 2014. I set out below the reasons for my decision.

The Law

Under section 69(4) of the Women’s Charter, the relevant factors to be considered by the Court when ordering maintenance for a wife and/or child include the following: The financial needs of the wife or child; The income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the wife or child; Any physical or mental disability of the wife or child; The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage; The contributions made by each of the parties to the marriage to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family; The standard of living enjoyed by the wife or child before the husband or parent, as the case may be, neglected or refused to provide reasonable maintenance for the wife or child; In the case of a child, the manner in which he was being, and in which the parties of the marriage expected him to be, educated or trained; and The conduct of each of the parties to the marriage, if the conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it.

The relevant expenses

The monthly expenses for the wife and daughter are as follows:

Item Wife’s figure Husband’s figure Court’s assessment
Household expenses
Grocery and Household $500 Not necessary $500
Gas cylinder $18 $18 $18
Annual Household Expenses (bedspreads, pillows, home appliances, utensils, misc.) $250 Upon production of receipts $80
Laundry (Dry cleaning) $50 $50 $50
Festive Days Prayer Expenses (Home & Temples) $83 Not necessary $20
Wife’s Expenses
Meals $300 $300 $300
Mobile Expenses $226 $226 $226
Clothing $150 $100 $100
Tailoring $44 $20 $20
Outings $150 $100 $100
Medical including emergencies $83 $50 $50
Dental $50 $50 $50
Calcium & Glucosamine Supplements $70 $50 upon production of receipts $50
Gynaecology (pap smear, checkups and mammograms) $67 $50 $50
Personal Grooming $258 Not necessary $150
Ayurvedic Treatment $60 Not necessary Nil
Insurance policies $770 $152 $152
Hobbies and Sports $50 Not necessary $30
Car Loan $792 $792 $792
Motor Insurance $109 $109 $109
Road Tax $120 $120 $120
Car Maintenance $200 Not necessary $50
Carpark Coupons $50 $20 $20
Cash Card Topup $150 $100 $100
Petrol $750 $280 $350
Car Servicing $200 Upon production of receipts $50
NTUC membership fee $9 $9 $9
Gifts to friends and family $67 Not necessary $30
Temple Expenses $160 Not necessary Nil
Personal Enrichment Course Fees $100 Not necessary Nil
Gold Jewellery $333 Not necessary Nil
Safe deposit box $23 $23 $23
Holiday trips (both wife and daughter) $667 Not necessary $100
Daughter’s Expenses
Meals $300 $300 $300
Hair Dresser $42 $40 $42
Clothing $250 $100 $120
Health Supplements $80 Upon production of receipts $50
Medical/Dental $47 Upon production of receipts $47
Stationery and books $150 $30 $100
Top up EZ Link Card $50 $10 $30
Pocket Money $150 $30 $120
School Fees $15 $15 paid by Edusave $15
Home Tuition $1,760 $2,500 $2,500
Casual and school shoes $34 Upon production of receipts $34
Sports shoes $17 Upon production of receipts $17
Eyewear $42 Upon production of receipts $20
Mobile Phone Replacement $21 Upon production of receipts $20
Mobile Phone Bill $60 $60 $60
Outings $150 $50 $80
Personal Grooming & Accessories $50 $50 $50
Exam Papers $30 $10 $10
Photocopy of Notes $21 $10 $10
Tailoring/Alteration $42 $10 $10
Hobbies $50 $50 $50
Reader’s Digest & National Geographic subscription $21 $21 $21
Gold Jewellery $333 Not necessary Nil
Daughter’s Bowling and Camping Expenses
Bowling Lane Fees $275 $275 $275
Coaching Fees $353 $353 $353
Transition Class Program Lane and Coaching
...

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