TDK v TDL

CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
JudgeLee Li Choon
Judgment Date28 May 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGFC 67
Citation[2015] SGFC 67
Docket NumberDivorce No. 1280 of 2014
Hearing Date04 March 2015
Published date06 August 2015
Plaintiff CounselMr Michael Leong (Hoh Law Corporation)
Defendant CounselMr Ang Gek Peng (Eastern Law Corporation)
District Judge Lee Li Choon: Introduction

This is an appeal filed by the Defendant-husband against part of my decision given on 4 March 2015 on ancillary matters subsequent to a divorce. The Plaintiff-wife and the Defendant-husband were married in Tianjin City, China on 26 July 2000. They have a son, aged 10. The wife is 37 years old and she works as a xxx earning a gross monthly salary of $16,485.25 and a net monthly income of $15,483.25. The husband, 41, is presently a xxx student at the xxx with a monthly stipend of $3,000.

The wife filed for divorce on 21 March 2014 on the ground that the husband has behaved in such a way that she cannot reasonably be expected to live with him. The husband filed his counterclaim on the same ground against the wife. Interim judgment pronouncing the dissolution on both the wife’s claim and the husband’s counterclaim was granted on 8 August 2014.

The husband’s appeal is against my decision on the division of matrimonial assets and on the nominal maintenance of $1 per month which I had awarded to the wife.

The order that I gave on the division of matrimonial assets is as follows: The Defendant shall transfer his right, title and interests in the matrimonial flat situated at xxx to the Plaintiff upon the Plaintiff refunding into the Defendant’s CPF account CPF monies utilised towards the purchase of the said flat together with accrued interests and thereafter the Defendant shall transfer from his CPF account to the Plaintiff’s CPF account the difference between such refund and 23% of the net value of the said matrimonial flat within 6 months of the Final Judgment (“the Ordered Amount”). (ii)The net value of the said matrimonial flat shall be calculated based on the market value pursuant to a valuation report done by an approved HDB valuer less the outstanding mortgage loan.

I also ordered that the husband shall pay to the wife the nominal sum of $1 as her maintenance on a monthly basis, with effect from 1 March 2015.

Background

The husband came to Singapore in 1997 to pursue his master degree in the National University of Singapore (NUS). He graduated in 1999 and started working as a xxx drawing a salary of $2100 a month. After parties’ marriage in China in July 2000, the wife came to Singapore to join the husband. The wife has been working full-time since she came to Singapore. In 2012, the husband took up a research scholarship offered by the NUS to pursue his PhD. As part of this scholarship, he was given a monthly stipend of $2,500 in 2012 and 2013 and $3,000 in 2014. His monthly stipend remains at $3,000 for 2015 and 2016 and he will be graduating in December 2016.

Parties first lived in a rented flat for about 2 years. In 2002, they bought a 3-room HDB flat which was sold in 2007. Thereafter, they bought the present matrimonial flat on a contra basis.

My Decision On just and equitable division of the matrimonial assets

The present matrimonial flat is a 5-room HDB flat which was bought at the price of $313,500. Both parties gave the estimated value of the flat as $500,000. There is presently an outstanding loan of $69,576.65. The net value of the flat is therefore $430,423.35 or approximately $430,000. In addition to the said flat, both parties have other assets in their sole names comprising their CPF monies and savings in bank accounts. Based on the tabulation by the husband’s counsel in the written submissions filed on the husband’s behalf, the total assets acquired in the course of the marriage in the wife’s sole name is $410,971.35 and the total assets acquired in the course of the marriage in the husband’s sole name is $305,532.44. The assets in the husband’s sole name included his CPF monies as well as his savings of $212,389.60 in his POSB Savings Account (Account No. xxxxx979-9) as at March 2011.

Parties’ Financial Contribution

There is no dispute as to parties’ direct financial contribution towards the flat from their CPF accounts. The amount (principal only) from the wife’s CPF account is $136,526.50. The amount from the husband’s CPF account is $119,435.15.

The issue in contention relates to the apportionment of sale proceeds that came from the sale of their 3-room flat as it was not disputed that the sale proceeds were used in the acquisition of the present matrimonial flat. A lot of the parties’ affidavit evidence was...

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