Krygsman Juliet Angela v Lee Cung Meng Joseph

JudgeKoh Juat Jong
Judgment Date25 October 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 44
Citation[2000] SGDC 44
Published date19 September 2003
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)




1 The parties were married on 19 December 1987. They have one child born in September 1989, aged 10 at the time of hearing. A decree nisi to dissolve their marriage was granted on 21 January 2000 based on four years’ separation since 1994. The petition was uncontested. On 16 August 2000, the ancillary matters came before me for hearing and I made the following orders:

(a) by consent, the parties shall have joint custody of the child with care and control to the wife and access to the husband as follows:

(i) overnight access every alternate Friday at 8 p.m. to Sunday at 8 p.m.;

(ii) on the husband’s birthday, on the alternate birthday of the child, on alternate public holidays and half of Chinese New Year holidays;

(iii) half of the school holidays with liberty to take the child overseas;

(b) the matrimonial property shall be sold and the proceeds of sale after repayment of the housing loan and the overdraft facilities (limited to the balance as at the date of the order or the sum of $160,000, whichever is the lower) and the deduction of all costs and expenses of the sale, be divided in the proportion of 60% to the wife and 40% to the husband; each party shall refund their CPF account of monies withdrawn for the purchase of the property with accrued interest; the husband is at liberty to purchase the share of the wife in the property by paying a sum equivalent to that stated above;

(c) the husband shall pay the wife the amount of $1,500 per month with effect from 1 September 2000 for 18 months and $2,000 per month thereafter for the maintenance of the wife and the child;

(d) liberty to apply; and

(e) no order as to costs.

2 The husband has appealed against the orders made in respect of maintenance and the division of matrimonial assets.

Matrimonial Assets

Margaret Drive

3 In 1986 before the parties’ marriage, the husband bought a terrace house at Margaret Drive for about $68,000. After marriage, the parties moved into the property after staying for a while with the wife’s family. The property was sold in 1994 at a price of about $325,000. The housing loan was fully paid up by then. The wife did not get any share of the sale proceeds. According to the husband, the sale proceeds were used to pay for the Jalan Tarum property, the investment at Walmers Drive and also to meet the monthly expenditure of the housing instalments.

Matrimonial home - Jalan Tarum

4 The parties bought the property at 19 Jalan Tarum sometime in 1994 at the price of $1.1 million. It was owned by them jointly and used as the matrimonial home. The husband took a housing loan from the Far Eastern Bank of $770,000 and financed the balance by his CPF monies and cash. The wife did not pay for the purchase price except for $1,000 withdrawn from her CPF account.

5 The amount of monthly instalments for the house was $4,728. $1,200 a month was paid from the husband’s CPF account. The husband said that his take home pay of $3,200 a month was insufficient to meet the cash portion of the instalments and family expenses. He therefore used the proceeds of sale from Margaret Drive to finance the balance and when the proceeds were exhausted, made use of the overdraft account.

6 As at 11 March 2000, the amount of CPF funds of the husband utilised for the property was $122,023 with accrued interest of $17,155 (the total was $139,179).

7 The property was a single-storey semi-detached house with an area of 3,200 square foot. The husband tendered a valuation report stating the value of the property to be $1.2 million. The wife said in the affidavit that despite the valuation, the property could fetch $1.4 million. The wife’s counsel used the valuation of $1.2 million in her written submission.

8 The outstanding housing loan was $683,527 as at December 1999. At the date of hearing, the counsel for the wife estimated the outstanding loan to be around $670,000.

9 There was an overdraft secured on the property. It stood at $147,000 as at end of April 2000. Only the statements for the months of February 1999, January 2000 and April 2000 were exhibited by the husband. They showed that as at 1 February 1999, the outstanding overdraft was only $29,000 but by 31 January 2000, it had increased to $146,000. The husband said that the overdraft was used to finance the expenses of the family, including the housing loan instalments; and his investments in 29 Lichfield Road and Berwick Drive. The wife said that not more than $40,000 of the overdraft would be spent on family expenses.

10 The wife said that she contributed $17,165.47 towards the furniture and fittings of the property and attached various receipts to support her claim. The husband said that the wife did buy some furniture and that upon her request, he had reimbursed her about $17,000. The wife said that he only reimbursed her $6,343 and produced an acknowledgement note that the husband had made her sign. The husband denied that the note was an acknowledgement of such reimbursements.

11 The husband said that although the wife was working as a housing agent and at times as a hairdresser, she did not contribute to the house nor the household expenses and instead took about $800 to $1,000 per month from him. The husband paid for all the household bills, property tax, groceries and expenses of the child. Such expenses added to $1,215 a month. The wife said that the husband gave her $750 a month for groceries and expenses for the child.

Berwick Drive

12 The husband bought a property at Berwick Drive in September 1999 with two of his sisters and a brother-in-law at the price of $1.44 million. The husband drew from his overdraft account $14,400 to contribute towards the down payment. The balance of the 20% down payment was paid by his sisters and brother-in-law and 80% of the price was financed by a bank loan. The husband said that the value of the property had not changed much since and his stake in the property was only $14,400.

29 Lichfield Road

13 Sometime in late 1994, the husband, his brother-in-law, the wife’s father and another person jointly bought a property at Walmers Drive. They paid the amount of about $2.35 million and each of them had a quarter share. Each of them contributed $165,001. The husband paid for his share from the proceeds of sale of Margaret Drive. A revolving facility of about $1.76 million was taken from Tat Lee Finance. A construction loan was also taken and about $558,541 was drawn down.

14 The property was developed into a pair of semi-detached houses and one of the houses was sold in late 1997 at the price of $1.66 million. After the sale, the remaining loan was converted into a fixed term loan of $800,000 which stood at $778,911 as at end May 2000. The remaining one unit, now known as 29 Lichfield Road was tenanted from March 1998 to March 1999 at a rental of $2,200 per month. It was valued at $1.75 million. According to the husband, the project had incurred a loss of $682,255 of which he would be liable for share.

The Company

15 The husband was a director and shareholder of General United Construction & Merchandising Co Pte Ltd, incorporated in 1989. He owned 50% share. The other 50% was owned by his late brother-in-law and now devolved to his sister. The company’s financial statements showed the following:



1999 (draft)


7.9 million

4.1 million

5.1 million

net profit




retained profit carried forward




net asset



228,505 (net current asset)

directors’ remuneration




There was no financial statements even in draft form to show why there was a retained loss of $71,495 in 1999 when there was a retained profit of 100,842 in 1998 and an operating profit of 21,078 in 1999. The husband however stated in affidavit that the company’s main asset of a leasehold property in Jalan Jentera was acquired by the JTC in 1999 at the price of $750,000 although it was valued at $1.07 in the 1998 accounts of the company.

16 The wife said that the company was worth at least $10 to $20 million. Her counsel argued that this was derived from the high turnover and profits of the company and that the goodwill, the diligence of the staff and the potential of the company to attract business would also have to be considered.

17 From the draft accounts of 1999, the company owed the directors $712,405 for their drawings as at 31 Dec 1999. The husband produced a computation allegedly done by the auditor that about $212,000 was owed to the husband and $529,000 was owed to his sister. The husband said that he had no idea how the computation was arrived at and said that it was unlikely the directors would receive any payment. The company would probably capitalise the amount due into shares.


18 The husband owned and drove a Honda Civic bought in 1992 and worth about $20,000. The wife owned and drove a Suzuki Swift bought in 1993. The husband said that a large part of the wife’s car was paid for by him. From 1994, the monthly payments were given to her in cash and from 1996, cheques were issued. The cheque payments came to the amount of $11,386. He also paid about $7,000 from the overdraft account to prevent the car from being re-possessed. The wife did not dispute that the husband assisted her in the payment of the car but said that she paid a total of $63,682 in instalments since purchase. The value of the wife’s car, according to the husband, was about $25,000.

Other Assets and Liabilities

19 The husband also had minimal funds in his POSB and CPF accounts. The wife disclosed her bank account with the balance of only $1,384. She also had $9,630 in her CPF ordinary account. The husband pointed out that the wife had purchased at least $22,000 of jewellery as shown in the document she had exhibited.

20 The husband said that he owed the Inland Revenue $45,000, a large part of...

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