Krygsman Juliet Angela v Lee Cung Meng Joseph

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




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in the proportion of 60% to the wife and 40% to the husband; each party shall refund their CPF account of monies withdrawn for the purchase of the property with accrued interest; the husband is at liberty to purchase the share of the wife in the property by paying a sum equivalent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...

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