TDZ v TEA

CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
JudgeSim Khadijah Bte Mohammed
Judgment Date20 April 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGFC 49
Citation[2015] SGFC 49
Docket NumberDivorce No. 6390 of 2010, Summons No. 15467 of 2014
Publication Date22 July 2015
Plaintiff CounselPlaintiff in person
Defendant CounselMr Choo Tuk Soon Tommy (Tommy Choo Mark Go & Partners)
SubjectFamily law,Ancillary matters order,Variation of ancillary matters order
District Judge Sim Khadijah Bte Mohammed:

This was an application filed by the Plaintiff mother on 8 November 2014 to vary a specific paragraph in the Interim Judgment (“IJ”) relating to maintenance for the son, namely Paragraph 3(d). Paragraph 3(d) had stated that the Defendant father was “to provide full support for education, lodging and personal allowance” for the parties’ younger daughter and son. In her Summons, the Plaintiff prayed for Paragraph 3(d) of the IJ to be varied to make explicit that: The Defendant shall make full payment of S$207,079.34 for the tuition fees, lodging, other expenses relating to the education (i.e. books, stationery etc.) and personal allowance for the son’s 3 years’ full-time education at the University of York in the United Kingdom on or by the deadline of the University fees to be paid as required by the University to the son’s bank account; The Defendant shall bear all the expenses and make the payment on time and/or by the required deadline of the son’s education in the UK together with all incidentals relating thereto, similar to that of the daughter’s education in the UK; The Defendant shall give his son a supplementary credit card 1 month prior to his commencement of his full-time education in the UK; and The Defendant allows his son to stay in his apartment in Singapore and in the UK, as and when he chooses to.

I heard submissions by the Plaintiff in person and the Defendant’s Counsel on 6 January 2015 and delivered my decision and brief grounds on 13 January 2015. In my decision, I substantially granted the Plaintiff’s application, albeit reducing the amount in (i) above to S$195,000 and stipulating that the sum should be paid into the Plaintiff’s account instead. The Defendant seeks to appeal against my decision. In the circumstances, I now set out the full grounds for my decision on 13 January 2015.

Background

The parties were married on 9 January 1986. The Plaintiff filed for divorce on 21 December 2010 on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour on the part of the Defendant. The Defendant did not contest the divorce and the ancillary matters were resolved by way of a consent order. The agreed ancillaries were therefore encapsulated in the IJ granted on 24 January 2011. Final Judgment was granted on 26 April 2011.

On the issue of maintenance for the children, the IJ did not provide for a fixed monthly maintenance sum. Instead, Paragraph 3(d) of the IJ simply stated that the Defendant would “provide full support for education, lodging and personal allowance” for the parties’ younger daughter and son.

By a letter dated 2 July 2014, the son was notified that he was accepted to the University of York in the UK and that his course would commence in October 2015.

It is the Plaintiff’s case that the Defendant had been defaulting on payments for the son’s expenses from May 2011. By way of MSS 4356/2014, the Plaintiff took out enforcement proceedings against the Defendant for failure to comply with Paragraph 3(d) of the IJ. Both parties were represented in MSS 4356/2014.

At the mention of MSS 4356/2014 on 21 October 2014, parties had reached an agreement and an order was made by consent against the Defendant for the agreed arrears of S$25,000. Parties had also reached a further agreement in relation to the future expenses for the son’s education in the UK, but were informed by the mentions Judge that the terms of such agreement would amount to a variation of the IJ and parties’ solicitors should advise them accordingly on whether a further application would be necessary in order for such terms to be recorded.

In their letter dated 27 October 2014 to the Plaintiff’s then solicitors enclosing the cheque for the sum of S$25,000, the Defendant’s solicitors went on to confirm the parties’ agreement that the Defendant would bear all the expenses for the son’s education in the UK together with all incidentals relating thereto, similar to that of the daughter’s education in the UK. The letter further stated that the Defendant would arrange to give the son...

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