Ong Been Yan v Chia Kok Wei

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeEmily Wilfred
Judgment Date20 March 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 11
Citation[2000] SGDC 11
Published date19 September 2003



Background Facts

The petitioner ("wife") and the respondent ("husband") were lawfully married on 9th January 1982 at the Singapore Marriage Registry. They have two (2) children to the marriage namely –

a. J (f) born on 7th March 1983;and

b. R (m) born on 2nd May 1985.

2 On 23rd October 1998, the wife filed a petition for divorce on the ground that the marriage had irretrievably broken down in that the husband and wife had lived apart for a continuous period of at least three (3) years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition, namely since 23rd August 1995 and the husband consented to a decree being granted.

3 The petition was heard on an uncontested basis on 17th December 1998 and a decree nisi was granted on the same day. The issues of custody of the two children, maintenance of the wife and children and division of matrimonial assets were adjourned to be heard in chambers.

4 The ancillary issues came for hearing before me on 3rd January 2000 and after reviewing the evidence in the affidavits filed by the husband and the wife and submissions by counsel, I reserved my judgment and made the following orders on 6th January 2000 -

(1) Custody, care and control of the two children be granted to the Petitioner with reasonable access to the Respondent;

(2) The matrimonial home at [address] be sold in the open market within three (3) months from 6 January 2000 and after deducting:

(a) the outstanding mortgage loan on the property;

(b) the refund of the parties’ CPF monies to their respective CPF accounts together with the accrued interest; and

(c) all expenses and costs incidental to the sale.

(3) The Respondent shall pay the Petitioner a monthly maintenance for two (2) children as follows :-

(a) S$1,500 per month from 1st January 2000 to the time of the sale of the property; and

(b) thereafter S$1,000.00 a month.

(4) The Respondent shall pay the Petitioner a sum of S$100.00 a month for her maintenance from 1st January 2000.

The Respondent, being dissatisfied, has appealed against my orders on maintenance for the wife and children and the division of the matrimonial home

Matrimonial Property

5 After the marriage in 1982, the couple lived with the husband’s father at 43 Wan Tho Avenue and in 1987 they lived in rented flat at Bukit Panjang until the they moved into their purchased HDB flat at Blk 128, Bishan Street 12, # 22-235 (" Bishan flat"). The wife contributed $58,757.19 and the husband $43,219.58 towards the purchase of the flat. The husband claimed that he had spent $35,000 to renovate the flat but he was unable to substantiate it. Although the wife disputed the amount, she admitted that he did carry out some renovation works in the flat as he was a renovation contractor at the relevant time. Both parties contributed towards the household expenses. Hence I concluded that both parties contributed equally towards the purchase and enhancement of the Bishan flat.

6 The Bishan flat was sold on 17 November 1991 for S$223,000.00. The husband had, in...

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