JudgeMasayu Norashikin
Judgment Date04 May 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGFC 55
CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
Docket NumberDivorce No. 593 of 2014
Published date13 August 2015
Hearing Date17 March 2015
Plaintiff CounselP/C: Ms Ng Lee Chye John (M/S Michael Khoo & Partners)
Defendant CounselD/C: Mr Seah Seow Kang Steven (M/S Seah Ong & Partners LLP)
Subject MatterFamily law,division of matrimonial assets,wife making no direct financial contribution to purchase of flat,maintenance for the child
Citation[2015] SGFC 55
District Judge Masayu Norashikin: Background

Parties were married in May 2006 and have one child aged 5 years old. Interim Judgment was granted on 18 August 2014 on the basis that the Defendant husband had behaved in such a way that the Plaintiff wife cannot reasonably be expected to live with him.

The Plaintiff was initially a China national and did not work for the first 4 years of marriage. At the time of the ancillary matter hearing, the Plaintiff wife was 39 years old, and said she was working as an xxx earning $1,780 a month. The Defendant husband was 52 years old, and said he was working as a xxx earning $1,800 a month. Both parties are legally aided.

Parties had earlier agreed on and extracted an Order of Court dated 8 September 2014 whereby parties have joint custody of the child, with care and control to the Plaintiff, and the Defendant having reasonable access.

The outstanding ancillary issues were maintenance for the Plaintiff and the child, and division of the matrimonial assets.

After a hearing on 17 March 2015, I made the following orders in respect of the ancillary matters: The Defendant shall pay the Plaintiff $400 per month as maintenance for the child with effect from 31 March 2015 and thereafter on the last day of each month. Payments shall be deposited into the Plaintiff’s designated bank account. The matrimonial flat at xxx shall be sold in the open market within 6 months of the Certificate of Final Judgment. The proceeds of sale shall be used to pay off the outstanding mortgage loan and costs and expenses of sale. The balance thereafter shall be divided in the proportion 35% to the Plaintiff and 65% to the Defendant. The Defendant is to refund his CPF account all monies utilised for the purchase of the flat including accrued interest from his share of the flat. The Defendant is to pay the outstanding arrears in town council fees and HDB upgrading costs prior to the completion of the sale. The Defendant shall also continue to pay for the utilities pending the sale. There shall be no maintenance for the Plaintiff. Each party shall retain assets in their own names. Liberty to apply. No order as to costs.

The Defendant husband appealed against the orders on maintenance for the child and the Plaintiff, and on the division of the matrimonial flat. The reasons for my decision are now set out below.

Division of matrimonial assets and Plaintiff’s maintenance Parties’ positions

The Plaintiff wanted $500 a month as maintenance for herself. She wanted a clean break and asked for this to be paid in a lump sum with a multiplier of 36 years. Alternatively, she asked to be given an additional 20 to 30% share of the matrimonial flat. The Plaintiff wanted a 40% share in the matrimonial flat, even though she had not made any direct payments towards its purchase.

The Defendant offered no maintenance. He wanted to retain the flat with no division to the Plaintiff.

Both parties wanted to retain their own assets.

Pool of assets

The pool of matrimonial assets in this case was not large. The total gross value was $326,617.08 and it comprised: a HDB flat with a nett value of about $262,663.61 (estimated value of $355,000 less outstanding mortgage loan of $92,336.39); Plaintiff’s personal assets of $29,621.29; and Defendant’s personal assets of $34,332.18.

The Plaintiff claimed she had personal loans owing to her siblings amounting to $11,000. The Defendant declared he had liabilities totalling $22,375.55.

The matrimonial flat is in the Defendant husband’s sole name and was purchased on 1 December 2006, after the date of marriage on 17 May 2006. He utilised monies from his CPF account for the purchase, and he alone is servicing the monthly mortgage instalments. The Plaintiff was then a China national and was not eligible to be a co-owner of the HDB flat. It was not disputed that the Plaintiff made no direct financial contributions towards the purchase of the flat.

Parties’ contributions

The marriage had lasted for 8 years, with the Plaintiff bearing one child. The Plaintiff was a xxx for 4 years. She did the household chores and cooking, and took care of the child after he was born. She paid for all the child’s expenses. She brought the child with her whenever she returned to China. In any event, the Defendant has agreed for her to have care and control of the child. After she started working, she engaged and paid for a maid to help in caring for the child and do the housework. At night and on weekends, the Plaintiff said she is with the child.

The Plaintiff said that the Defendant paid for the outgoings of the flat but nothing else although he then earned about $2,000 a month. He incurred debts as he gambled excessively. He had so much debt that he did not want to keep any bank account for fear that his salary would be taken by the bank. She said this explained why he does not now have any bank account.

The Defendant alleged that the Plaintiff made negligible indirect contributions to the family. She made frequent trips to China, gambled and incurred huge debts for which he remitted monies to her. He was the one who did the household chores. He took care of the child when the Plaintiff started working and before there was a maid. Even with the maid, he is the one at home, and not the Plaintiff. The Defendant also said that he had provided for the Plaintiff’s daughter (from a previous relationship) when she studied in Singapore.

The Defendant said that he had given the Plaintiff a total sum of $75,659.30 over the years. He relied on remittance notes re-printed from a remittance agency, showing various sums transferred to China to the Plaintiff’s name over a period of time. The Plaintiff disputed this on various grounds:- The remittance notes were unsigned. More than half of that sum ($44,525.70) were remitted before the marriage. The Defendant had not shown the source of funds came from him. The remittances...

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3 cases
  • VSN v VSO
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 18 June 2021
    ...applying an uplift would be double counting the relevant sums for the Child’s accommodation. The Wife cited the case of TCN v TCO [2015] SGFC 55, where there was no record of rental expense being included for the Child’s maintenance, and hence a 15% uplift in that case was appropriate. Howe......
  • VSN v VSO
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 18 June 2021
    ...applying an uplift would be double counting the relevant sums for the Child’s accommodation. The Wife cited the case of TCN v TCO [2015] SGFC 55, where there was no record of rental expense being included for the Child’s maintenance, and hence a 15% uplift in that case was appropriate. Howe......
  • UEV v UEW and UEX
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 8 September 2017
    ...two children, and the husband was the sole breadwinner. The court awarded the wife 48% of the matrimonial assets. Lastly, in TCN v TCO [2015] SGFC 55, the parties were married for a period of about eight years and have one child. The wife was a homemaker for the first four years of marriage......

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