Soon Wee Sun v Yeo Boon Teck

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeKhoo Oon Soo
Judgment Date16 June 2009
Neutral Citation[2009] SGDC 187
Citation[2009] SGDC 187
Published date24 June 2009
Plaintiff CounselJulie Tok (Julie Tok & Co)
Defendant CounselGwee Boon Kim (Hoh Law Corporation)

16 June 2009

District Judge Khoo Oon Soo:

Background

1 The parties were married on 17 July 1989. They have one child, aged 17. The Husband aged 47, is largely self-employed and/or unemployed despite his University qualifications. He trades shares occasionally. The Wife, aged 47, is a full-time Lecturer in an Australian university since July 2008. She was a PhD student and a part-time lecturer from July 2006 to June 2008 and was previously an Associate Lecturer.

2 On 4 December 2007, the Wife began the divorce proceedings by a Writ for Divorce. An Interim Judgment (By Consent) for Divorce was granted on 28 December 2008 on the ground of four years of separation according to Section 95(3) of the Women’s Charter. The Ancillary Matters were adjourned to Chambers and came before me on 26 February 2009. Two Ancillary Matters were in dispute, namely the division of matrimonial flat and the maintenance for the child. I made the following orders:-

1) Matrimonial Property

To be sold within six months and the net sale proceeds, after repayment of outstanding mortgage loan, reimbursement to the parties’ respective CPF accounts of the CPF monies utilized together with interests accrued thereon, any and all expenses arising from and relating to the sale, be divided 62% to the Wife and 38% to the Husband.

2) Maintenance

The Husband to provide monthly maintenance of $800 for the child with effect from 1st March 2009 and thereafter on the 1st day of each calendar month. Such payment to be credited into the Wife’s bank account.

I ordered no cost as the Husband was legally aided. The parties were at liberty to apply.

The issue of custody was agreed with sole custody, care and control to the Wife and reasonable access to the Husband when the chid is in Singapore.

The Appeal

3 The Husband filed an appeal in person, on 12 March 2009 against my decision dated 26 February 2009. As there was an error on the Husband’s claim in the Notice of Appeal, I asked the parties to appear before me on 25 March 2009 to clarify the Notice of Appeal. The Husband clarified that he appealed for the sale proceeds of the matrimonial flat to be divided 55% to the Wife and 45% to himself against my order of 62% to the Wife and 38% to him. He also wanted to appeal against my order of $800 per month maintenance for the child and asked for the amount to be reduced to $400 per month. These Grounds of Decision are based on his clarification.

Division of Matrimonial Property

4 The law gives the court the power to order division of matrimonial asset according to Section 112 of the Women’s Charter. The guideline principle in distribution is being just and equitable, considering all circumstances of the case. Factors to be considered include those set out in Section 112(2):

a. the extent of the contributions made by each party in money, property or work towards acquiring, improving or maintaining the matrimonial asset;;

b. any debt owing or obligation incurred or undertaken by either party for their joint benefit or for the benefit of any child of the marriage;

c. the needs of the children (if any) of the marriage;

d. the extent of the contributions made by each party to the welfare of the family, including looking after the home or caring for the family or any aged or infirm relative or dependant of either party;

e. any agreement between the parties with respect to the...

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