JudgeMasayu Norashikin
Judgment Date27 May 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGFC 70
CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
Docket NumberDivorce Petition No. 5221 of 2013
Published date15 August 2015
Hearing Date03 March 2015
Plaintiff CounselMs Ng Hwee Lon [Veritas Law Corporation]
Defendant CounselMr Sarbrinder Singh [Kertar & Co]
Subject MatterCatch words: Family law division of matrimonial assets husband paying 90% for purchase of matrimonial home wife's substantial indirect contributions award of 65% to the wife inclusive of maintenance
Citation[2015] SGFC 70
District Judge Masayu Norashikin: Background

Parties were married in April 1982. The Defendant husband left the family in March 2003, when the 3 children of the marriage were aged 20, 19 and 11 years of age. The Plaintiff wife filed for divorce in 2013, and Interim Judgment was granted on 7 March 2014 on the basis that parties had lived apart for more than 4 years.

The ancillary matters were division of the matrimonial assets and maintenance for the Plaintiff. These were heard before me on 3 March 2015, after which I made the following orders. 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 any other sums owing to the HDB, and costs and expenses of sale. The balance thereafter shall be divided in the proportion 65% to the Plaintiff and 35% in favour of the Defendant. Each party shall refund their respective CPF accounts all monies utilised towards the purchase of the flat together with accrued interest from their respective shares of the nett sale proceeds. In the event any of their respective shares is insufficient to make a full refund to the CPF accounts, parties shall make only a partial refund of the full sum of their respective shares. The parties shall have joint conduct of the sale. There shall be no maintenance for the Plaintiff. Each party shall retain assets in his/her respective names. The Registrar of the Family Justice Courts shall be empowered to sign any documents relating to the sale of the flat on behalf of either party in the event that either party fails to do so upon being given 7 days’ written notice. Liberty to apply. No order as to costs.

The Plaintiff wife appealed against the whole of my decision. I now set out the grounds of my decision below.

Matrimonial assets

The total value of the matrimonial assets was $312,718.18, comprising: $252,542.30 being the nett value of the HDB flat at xxx.

Estimated value $422,000.00
Less - Outstanding loan ($146,262.63)
- Outstanding instalments ($ 22,112.72)
- Late payment charges ($ 1,082.35)
Nett value $252,542.30
Plaintiff’s assets, including monies in CPF accounts: $8,298.75
POSB savings account $2,107.90
CPF Ordinary account $ 51.09
CPF Special account $3,575.63
CPF Medisave account $2,564.13
Defendant’s assets, including monies in CPF accounts: $51,877.13
POSB savings account $535.88
CPF Ordinary account $30.94
CPF Special account $0
CPF Medisave account $37,248.61
CPF Retirement account $14,061.70

In respect of direct financial contributions towards the HDB flat, the Plaintiff had contributed 9.3% towards its purchase, while the Defendant had contributed 90.7%.

Principal amount from CPF account $10,944.00
Cash (supported by documents) $6,536.00
($2,600 + $3,936)
Subtotal $17,480.00
% of total 9.3%
Principal amount from CPF account $171,262.81
% of total 90.7%
Total $188,742.81
Plaintiff’s case

The Plaintiff is 51 years old and currently has a monthly income of $700 from working as a xxx as well as xxx to her grandchild. She says she was a homemaker during the marriage but had to take on odd jobs on a part-time basis concurrently with taking care of the children and the household. The Defendant did not support the family financially and took loans from loan sharks and from the Plaintiff and her relatives. The Defendant only gave her $300 monthly up to 2001. It was the Plaintiff who paid for the household and children’s expenses. She alleged that the Defendant had utilised $61,000 from the sale proceeds of their previous flat to pay his debts, and that he had taken the remaining sum of $71,000 for his own use. There were no documents to support these claims.

After the Defendant left the matrimonial home in 2003, the Plaintiff had to single-handedly raise and provide for the 3 children. They suffered financial hardship and found it difficult to make ends meet. She and the children also had to contend with loansharks and creditors harassing them for the Defendant’s debts. The Plaintiff claimed she had repaid about $69,000 to the loansharks over the years in respect of the Defendant’s debts to them. The Defendant also left behind debts of more than $50,000 in addition to those owed to the loansharks. The Plaintiff further paid for the upkeep and maintenance for the flat, made monthly cash payments to the mortgage after the Defendant’s CPF monies ran out, and the property tax from the time the Defendant left until sometime in 2011 when the property tax bills were sent to the Defendant’s new address. The Plaintiff exhibited a few pawntickets/receipts for jewellery and household items which she had to sell to meet the family expenses. She also showed some...

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