TBC v TBD

CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
JudgeLee Li Choon
Judgment Date20 March 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGFC 27
Citation[2015] SGFC 27
Hearing Date29 January 2015
Published date22 April 2015
Docket NumberDivorce No.D 3130 of 2014, MSS 3878/2014, MSS 4310/2014, MSS 4639/2014
Plaintiff CounselIrvin Chioh, Stephanie Looi [Optimus Chambers LLC]
Defendant CounselRaymond Yeo [Raymond Yeo Advocates & Solicitors]
District Judge Lee Li Choon: Introduction

On 29 January 2015, I heard parties’ 3 applications under MSS 3878/2014, MSS 4310/2014 and MSS 4639/2014 together with 6 other summons applications in divorce suit, D3130/2014. In accordance with rule 115(9) of the Family Justice Rules and by consent of counsel for both parties, the maintenance proceedings before me were conducted in Chambers and without the cross-examination of parties and witnesses. The original Notice of Appeal states that the appeal was in relation to all the orders that I made in respect of the abovementioned applications. Upon a clarification session, the Notice of Appeal was amended with the present appeal being only in relation to my decision in MSS 3878/2014.

The order that I made in relation to MSS 3878/2014 is as follows: The main maintenance order MO1042/2013 issued on 13 December 2013 shall be varied as follows: 1. TBD (Defendant-husband) shall pay to TBC (Plaintiff-wife) maintenance for TBD and their child of the marriage, namely XXX in the sum of $6000 on a monthly basis. The said sum of $6000 comprises the sum of $4000 in the form of cash payment and $1000 each for two of the credit cards which TBD had given to TBC i.e. AMEX and DBS card (capped at USD800 and $1000 respectively). Payments shall continue to be made to TBC on the 15th day of each month, with the next payment being on 15 February 2015. 2. TBD shall also pay the following items as part of the monthly maintenance for TBC and the child: A. Monthly maid expenses limited to the monthly salary and levy for the maid; B. Monthly utilities payment (inclusive of electricity, gas, water and internet fees); C. Monthly phone charges subject to a monthly cap of S$120. 3. TBD shall also continue to pay for the child’s school fees and other school related expenses including expenses for extra-curricular classes based on the fees of a MOE local school. In relation to this, TBC is directed to put the child back to a MOE local school, specifically XXX Primary School as soon as possible, unless she is unable to do so, in which case, to a MOE local school agreed to by both parties, and in any event, latest by the start of the next school term in the middle of March 2015. In addition, TBD shall solely bear all expenses related to therapy and treatment for the child’s dyslexia condition. TBD shall also bear all of the child’s year end school expenses such as uniform, school shoes and books and stationery. TBD shall bear all medical and dental expense related to the child. 4. TBD shall continue to pay the rental expenses of $9000 until the present lease expires in April 2015. 5. (i) For all the above monthly maintenance and expenses items, the payment by TBD shall be deposited into TBC’s UOB Account No. XXX. For the expense items, TBD shall pay into the said UOB Account within one week of TBC furnishing the receipts thereof. (ii) In relation to the following items, each party shall bear half of the expenses: (1) Rental expenses from April 2015 onwards. In this regard, the tenancy agreement for the rental of premises for TBC and the child shall be executed solely between TBC and the landlord of such premises; (2) Car instalment payments; (3) Road tax for vehicle for use by TBC for the transportation of the child; (4) Car insurance premiums for vehicle for use by TBC for the transportation of the child.

Background Facts

Parties were married on 24 December 2004 in New York, United States of America. They have one child, a daughter, born on 17 February 2006. Parties came to Singapore in March 2011 when the Defendant-husband was posted to Singapore to work. He was then working with XXX and was also a director on the board for XXX International. Due to a restructuring which led to his position being made redundant, he was terminated from his employment in XXX and was removed from the board for XXX International in March 2014.

The Plaintiff-wife and daughter are presently residing at rented premises at River Valley Road. The Defendant-husband left the matrimonial home on 28 April 2013 and is now residing alone at his rented premises.

Divorce suit XXX filed in July 2014 is the wife’s 3rd set of divorce proceedings. The wife’s first set of divorce proceedings was filed on 12 August 2013 (XXX) and the second set of divorce proceedings was filed on 18 December 2013 (XXX). These previous proceedings had to be aborted as the wife could not establish that the Singapore Family Courts have jurisdiction as neither party had fulfilled the domicile requirement at the time of the filing. For the present set of divorce proceedings, parties have agreed to proceed on an uncontested basis for the divorce based on both the wife’s claim of adultery and unreasonable behaviour of the husband and the husband’s counterclaim of the wife’s unreasonable behaviour. On that basis, Interim Judgment had been granted on 25 February 2015.

Previous Order on Maintenance (MO 1042/2013 on 13 December 2013)

The wife first lodged a maintenance complaint against the husband on 28 June 2013. Pursuant to this, both parties reached an agreement and the terms of the agreement are set out in the Maintenance Order No. 1042/2013 and recorded by the Court on 13 December 2013. Essentially, the husband was to pay the wife monthly maintenance of $6,000 comprising $4,000 in the form of cash payment, US$800 on the wife’s AMEX credit card, $1000 on the wife’s DBS credit card. In addition, the husband was ordered to pay the following expenses: (i) Monthly instalment for vehicle SKJ XXX; (ii) Road tax (iii) Insurance for the vehicle (iv) Monthly maid’s expenses (limited to monthly salary and levy) (v) Monthly utility payments (inclusive of electricity, gas, water and internet fees) (vi) Mobile phone charges subject to a monthly cap of $120 (vii) Medical/dental expenses for the wife and daughter (provided that all the receipts for the medical expenses are produced for the husband’s reimbursement from the insurance company and on understanding that the medical expenses for the wife shall not include cosmetics and aesthetics purposes, unless...

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