JudgeJen Koh
Judgment Date01 September 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGFC 114
CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
Docket NumberDivorce No. 6142 of 2012
Published date10 September 2015
Hearing Date30 March 2015
Plaintiff CounselMs Ellen Lee (M/s Ramdas & Wong)
Defendant CounselMs Helen Chia w Ms Nair (M/s Chia-Thomas Law Chambers LLC)
Subject MatterCatchwords: Division of Matrimonial Assets, Division of Matrimonial Home.
Citation[2015] SGFC 114
District Judge Jen Koh: Introduction and brief relevant facts

This is an appeal against the division of a matrimonial home by the wife in divorce proceedings commenced in 2012.

The parties were married in September 2003. The wife is a businesswoman with a food catering business and according to the husband, a xxx. The husband is a lawyer working in xxx. The parties have a set of twin boys aged 10 plus, studying in an international school in Singapore.

Interim Judgment dissolving the marriage was granted in April 2013. The parties resolved the issues of custody and access as well as interim maintenance after mediation in November 2013. The parties agreed to joint custody of the children with care and control to the wife and liberal terms of access (spelt out in the consent order) to the husband. The husband also agreed to pay monthly maintenance in the sum of $8,450 for the children, to be responsible for their school fees and school transport charge. The value of the maintenance award then amounted to about $15,000 per month (average). The husband defaulted payment of maintenance and enforcement proceedings ensued.

The ancillary matters were therefore confined to issues of final maintenance amounts and the division of matrimonial assets. I heard the ancillary matters on 26 February 2015 and gave directions for the submission of documents. I made my orders on 30 March 2015.

Orders Made

I made the following orders: That, by consent, Clause 5(b) (i) of the Consent Order dated 11th November 2013 is varied such that the Defendant shall have access to the children of the marriage on weekdays from 5pm to 8pm. With effect from the 30th of April 2015 and thereafter on the last day of every month, the Defendant is to pay the following expenses for the children of the marriage directly to the third parties or service providers: School fees including costs of shadow teachers; School related activities such as extra-curricular activities; Transport to and from school; Overseas trips organized by the school; Tutors currently engaged for the children including learning support home tuition; Taekwondo lessons; Swimming lessons; and Counselling recommended by school. Additionally, the Defendant is to pay into the Plaintiff’s DBS Account No. xxx, a sum of S$4,000.00 per month on the last day of every month. Within six (6) months from the date of this Order, the Defendant is to pay the Plaintiff a sum equivalent to 30% of the current market value of the matrimonial property at xxx (“the matrimonial property”) less outstanding housing loan only. Pending receipt of payment of her share by the Defendant, the Plaintiff and the children shall continue to reside at the matrimonial property with payments to be made for the outgoings in accordance with the status quo. Upon receipt of her share of 30%, the Plaintiff shall vacate the matrimonial property within fourteen (14 days of receipt.) If the Defendant intends to sell the matrimonial property in the open market, then he shall convey this intention to the Plaintiff in writing within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. The Plaintiff shall only vacate the matrimonial property two (2) weeks before legal completion of a successful sale. There shall be no further division of any assets between the parties. The Defendant is to pay the Plaintiff costs of the proceedings fixed at S$5,000.00. Liberty to apply.


The wife filed an appeal against the part of the orders pertaining to the division of the matrimonial home. I now set out the reasons for my decision.

The matrimonial home in Arcadia Road

The matrimonial home is a private condominium bought by the husband in his sole name. It was purchased for $1,550,000. The husband said that his mother paid the initial deposit of 15%. The rest of the purchase was funded by a housing loan secured against the property of which the husband solely paid the monthly mortgage initially of about $4,800. As at December 2014, the outstanding housing loan was approximately $1,158,000. Additionally, the husband had overdraft facilities secured against the property of which a sum of $605,000 was outstanding to the bank.

Both parties agree that the market value of the matrimonial home was in the region of $3,880,000 to $4,000,000.

The wife’s submission

The wife said that she made substantial financial contributions towards the renovation costs of the matrimonial home as well as purchasing the furniture, fittings and household items for the family’s use. She added up the sums and said that she had expended an approximate sum of $142,500. She submitted that she also contributed in terms of money, work and labour in improving and maintaining the home for the family. She used her income and expenses for this purpose.

The wife referred to her contributions to the family. She submitted that she supported the husband by introducing him to friends ‘with higher social standing and financial influence’. She claimed that it was her effort that resulted in the husband securing employment and acquiring his wealth and ‘social standing’.

In respect of the children, she said that she promoted their welfare by looking after them and taking care of the household generally. This enabled the husband to concentrate on his career.

The wife’s claim

The wife’s original position was 50% of the value of the matrimonial home or $642,500 (approximate) in full and final settlement of her claims to maintenance as well as for a share in the matrimonial home. This position was subject to the condition that the children and she would be able to reside in the matrimonial home until the children attained the age of 21. She said that if this occurred, she was prepared to bear half the costs of mortgage payments, outgoings, domestic helper’s salary and expenses which she calculated to be approximately $3,100 per month.

The wife changed her position after the enforcement action she had instituted against the husband. She said that she could no longer continue to live in the matrimonial home and as such, she wanted a larger share in the matrimonial home. She said that this translated to a 75% share of the matrimonial home and that the matrimonial home should now be sold so that she could use the sale proceeds to purchase an alternative new home for the children and herself. She also prayed that the husband was to refund his CPF utilized for...

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