TCI v TCJ

CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
JudgeJen Koh
Judgment Date07 May 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGFC 58
Citation[2015] SGFC 58
Docket NumberDivorce No. 5047 of 2012
Publication Date21 July 2015
Plaintiff CounselMs Anamah Tan (M/s Ann Tan & Associates)
Defendant CounselDefendant In Person
SubjectCatchwords: relocation, custody care and control, division of assets, maintenance.
District Judge Jen Koh: Background to this matter

The parties are Australian citizens who were married on 26 March 2005 in Australia. The marriage was previously registered in London, UK in August 2004. Prior to the marriage, the parties were involved in a committed relationship with each other. There are 2 children from this marriage, a daughter borne to the parties when they were in London, UK (she will turn 9 in May 2015) and a son aged 6 borne in Singapore (he will turn 7 in September 2015).

The parties came to Singapore sometime in August 2008 due to the husband’s employment (the wife said that they were actually in Singapore from 2007). The marriage between the parties ran into difficulties in 2012 and the wife (the Defendant) left the matrimonial home in October 2012 with the daughter. In December 2012, she took the son whom she said she was restrained from taking when she left in October 2012. From 30 December 2012, the children have been with the wife.

In October 2012, the husband (Plaintiff) commenced divorce proceedings in Singapore. The wife contested the proceeding. The parties were eventually granted an Interim Judgment on 22 April 2012 (cross claims) with the contested ancillary matters adjourned to be heard in chambers. Parties also commenced various interlocutory applications inter alia, for interim custody care and control orders as well as access and interim maintenance orders. The parties filed several affidavits in respect of these applications for interim care and control of the children, access in Singapore, holiday access, release of children’s passports, and personal protection orders on behalf of the children and no less than about 70 affidavits have been filed in the history of this case.

Interim orders on custody care and control were made on 19 August 2013 and were appealed against. At the hearing of the appeal, the High Court ordered, on 14 October 2013, that the wife was to have care and control of the children with terms of access to the husband.

Interim maintenance orders were made on 21 November 2013 which remained in force at the time when the matter came on for hearing before me in respect of the final ancillary matters. The husband was ordered to pay interim maintenance of $3,200-00 as maintenance for the children as well as the children’s school fees and school related expense such as excursions, school enrichment classes and school transport.

Ancillary Matters and Orders made on 27 April 2015

The ancillary matters came on for hearing before me on 6 March 2015. I directed parties to file updated documents and adjourned the matter for decision on 6 April 2015 at 215 pm. On 23 March 2015, the husband filed a summons for leave to file a further affidavit on matters relating to custody care and control of the children. On 8 April 2015, the wife filed an application for leave to relocate to the parties’ home country. I dealt with the further applications and heard the parties on 20 April 2015. I made my orders on 27 April 2015 for the ancillary matters as well as for the 2 further summonses filed by the parties as follows:-

The Ancillary Matters - Order made 27 April 2015

Interlocutory application

Order in terms of prayers 1 and 2 of F/Sum No: 895/2015.

Custody and Access

By consent, the parties are to have joint custody of the children, B(f) and C (m) (‘the children’) with care and control to the Defendant. The Defendant is to retain possession of the children’s original birth certificates, health booklets, academic records and their passports. The Defendant is to email the Plaintiff academic progress reports and health reports of the children within 3 days of availability. Access terms as set out in 19 August 2013 and 14 October 2014 are to continue until the children are physically in Australia whereupon access terms shall be as set out in paragraphs 6 to 12. Additionally, the Plaintiff is to have access to the children for 5 days before the children relocate to Australia so long as the children are returned to the Defendant 2 clear days before the date of relocation.

Relocation and access terms on relocation

Order in terms of F/Sum 1116/2015 and the Defendant is permitted to relocate to Australia with the children by 7 June 2015. The Defendant is to provide residential details of the children within 14 days of this order together with contact numbers. In the event of any change of residence or contact numbers, this shall be provided within 3 days of change. The public holiday access granted to the Plaintiff in the Order of Court dated 19 August 2013 is to cease upon relocation. The Plaintiff is to have access to the children during the March/April and September/October school holidays as well as half of the June/July school holidays and half of the December/January school holidays. The access shall be from 9 am on Saturday of the start of the school holiday and to end at 7 pm on the last Friday of the Plaintiff’s share of the school holidays. The parties are at liberty to adjust the timings of access subject to flight availability. The costs of the return flights shall be borne by the parties as to 70% by the Plaintiff and 30% by the Defendant and the Plaintiff shall pay his share within 14 days of written notification with supporting documents. The Defendant shall be responsible for arranging the return flights to/from Singapore. If the Plaintiff intends to take the children away from Singapore during his period of access, he shall give the Defendant 14 days’ written notice in advance together with flight itinerary and accommodation details. When the children are with one party, that party (with the children) is to facilitate communication with the children to the other party whether through a telephone number (to be provided within 7 clear days of this order) or through SKYPE. This shall be on a daily basis at a suitable time for the children and subject to the time zone of the country in which the children are in. Other than access terms as spelt out in paragraphs 9 and 10, the Plaintiff is entitled to access if he gives 14 days’ written notice in advance of his intention to have access to the children in Australia and providing details of accommodation. The Plaintiff shall have access from Friday after school to Sunday 7 pm. The additional access (flight tickets and accommodation) shall be at the Plaintiff’s sole costs. All other terms of access shall be by agreement between the parties.

Maintenance

The interim order for maintenance in that the Plaintiff shall pay maintenance of S$3,200-00 per month as maintenance for the children is to continue. Additionally, the Plaintiff shall pay the children’s school fees, school related expenses such as school excursions, school transport and school enrichment classes (‘school related expenses’) when they are in Australia provided always that this amount does not exceed the amount that he was paying for the children in Singapore. The excess shall be borne by the Defendant unless she can justify the increase through a variation application. The Defendant shall provide supporting documents and invoices of the school expenses as soon as available and the Plaintiff shall make payment within 7 days of receipt of notification via email. All payments to be made into the Defendant’s designated bank account of which details are to be furnished within 14 days of the date of this order. Within 4 months from date of arrival in Australia, the Defendant is to provide an updated list of the children’s expenses. If the amount exceeds the monthly maintenance awarded, in the absence of agreement, the parties are to submit the figures to court for determination. No order as to maintenance for the Defendant.

Division of assets

The Plaintiff shall be solely entitled to the property at xxx. The Defendant shall be solely entitled to the properties at xxx, London UK, xxx and xxx at xxx, London UK xxx. The properties are to be transferred into the Defendant’s sole name within 3 months from the date of this order. All joint bank accounts are to be terminated and the balance divided equally between the parties.

Other orders

No further division of any other assets between the parties. No orders as to costs. Liberty to apply.

In anticipation of an appeal, I allowed an oral application by the husband for the orders on relocation to be stayed pending an appeal to be filed. I gave directions for the filing of the Record of Appeal and the filing and exchange of submissions. The parties indicated that they would be available for a hearing date in the first week of June, before the date of intended relocation on 7 June 2015. Taking into account the children’s welfare and best interests, I agreed with this request and allowed a hearing date for the appeal (to be filed) in the first week of June 2015.

Clarification of orders - 30 April 2015

The husband wrote in for clarification of the orders on 27 April 2015 and the orders were clarified on 30 April 2015 as follows: The order was clarified that the order for care and control order was not made by consent. The husband wanted a specific state to be reflected in the orders. The court granted an order in terms of the application and the relocation was to the home country of Australia. There was no need to include the state. The husband wanted the wife was to make travel arrangements for the children on the unaccompanied minors’ scheme. The court was of the view that this need not be specified as it was for the wife to...

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2 cases
  • TLF v TLG
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 1 de março de 2016
    ...was dissatisfied with the orders and filed an appeal in DCA 71 of 2015 for which I rendered my written grounds of decision in TCI v TCJ [2015] SGFC 58. The appeal was heard by the High Court Family Division. On 12 August 2015, the learned Judicial Commissioner Debbie Ong directed that the i......
  • UFZ v UFY
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    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 13 de março de 2018
    ...(Raymond Yeo) for the respondent. Case(s) referred to BNS v BNT [2015] 3 SLR 973 (folld) TAA v TAB [2015] 2 SLR 879 (refd) TCI v TCJ [2015] SGFC 58 (refd) Legislation referred to Guardianship of Infants Act (Cap 122, 1985 Rev Ed) s 3 Women's Charter (Cap 353, 2009 Rev Ed) ss 46(1), 125 Fami......

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