Ng Soon Guan v Neo Ah Poo

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeMasayu Norashikin
Judgment Date28 November 2014
Neutral Citation[2014] SGDC 443
Citation[2014] SGDC 443
Publication Date09 December 2014
Docket NumberDivorce Court Petition No.4465 of 2013
Plaintiff CounselMs. Shalini d/o Mogan (Gateway Law Corporation)
Defendant CounselMs Gomez Winnifred (Gomez)
SubjectCatchwords: Family law division of matrimonial assets share of rental income from matrimonial flat,Family law maintenance of ex-wife lump sum maintenance from rental income,Family law effect of separation on division of matrimonial assets
District Judge Masayu Norashikin: Grounds of decision

Parties registered their marriage on 9 May 1991. There is one child of the marriage, a daughter, who was three years old at the time of the marriage. The Plaintiff husband filed for divorce relying on the fact that parties had been living separately since about March 2003. The Defendant wife did not file any Defence and Interim Judgment for the divorce was granted on 30 October 2013.

I heard the ancillary matters in this case which involved division of the matrimonial assets and maintenance for the Defendant wife, and made the following orders:- The matrimonial flat at Blk 558 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 #11-1774 Singapore 560558 shall be sold in the open market within six months of the Certificate of Final Judgment. Nett sale proceeds after payment of the outstanding mortgage loan and costs and expenses of sale shall be divided in the proportion 85% to the Defendant [wife] and 15% to the Plaintiff [husband]. Each party shall reimburse their respective CPF accounts the amount utilised for the purchase of the flat with accrued interest. Each party to retain their own assets. There shall be no maintenance for the Defendant. The Plaintiff husband is to pay costs fixed at $3,000 to the Defendant wife forthwith. Liberty to apply.

The Plaintiff husband appealed against my orders on the division of the flat and costs. I set out below the reasons for my decision.

At the time of separation, the daughter was about fourteen years old. It appears from both parties’ evidence that they both moved on in their lives and each acquired another partner after the separation. The HDB flat was acquired in 2002, about a year before the separation in 2003. The Defendant wife and daughter continued to stay in the HDB flat whilst the Plaintiff moved out. The reasons for the Plaintiff moving out are disputed. The Plaintiff stopped contributing to the mortgage payments from around 2003 or at least 2 years from the time the flat was purchased. Thereafter, the Defendant alone paid the mortgage instalments by cash.

Parties’ direct financial contributions to the flat were in the proportion 38% by the Plaintiff husband and 62% by the Defendant wife.

Plaintiff (H) Defendant (W)
CPF (principal) $22,277.01 $10,277.00
Cash - $25,853.52
Total $22,277.01 $36,130.52
% 38% 62%
Plaintiff husband’s case

The Plaintiff said he is a painter with a take home salary of $960. For the first eleven years or so of the marriage, the family had stayed in a rented flat for $90, the rent for which he paid. He also paid the utilities bills and household expenses, whilst the Defendant was a housewife. He claimed that he walked the daughter to primary school daily, at times dropped her off by taxi when it rained and gave her pocket money. He said that he continued to provide for her financially during her secondary school years. No details are given as to how he did so. The Plaintiff further said that he helped out with household chores, did the laundry and ironed the clothes when the Defendant was busy with other things, bought toiletries and groceries, and did minor repair and maintenance to the current matrimonial flat when he was living there.

The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant went out for karaoke and drinking, and had improper associations with other men from around the year 2000. This was denied by the Defendant.

The Plaintiff’s evidence was that the Defendant has had rent-free occupation of the flat all these years from 2003, and that she stayed there with her partner, the child of the marriage, and the Defendant’s children from her previous marriage. The Plaintiff also alleged that the Defendant had admitted to renting out the flat and...

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