TFU v TFV

JurisdictionSingapore
JudgeWong Keen Onn
Judgment Date09 September 2014
Neutral Citation[2014] SGDC 218
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
Docket NumberDivorce Suit No 5107 of 2012
Year2014
Published date18 September 2014
Hearing Date10 December 2013,28 January 2014,13 March 2014
Plaintiff CounselMs Rajan Chettair (M/s Rajan Chettiar & Co)
Defendant CounselMr Arvind with Ms Norashikin (M/s Legal21 LLC)
Subject MatterFamily Law,Matrimonial assets,division,custody, care and control of child,Maintenance,wife child
Citation[2014] SGDC 218
District Judge Wong Keen Onn: Introduction

This is an appeal by the Defendant husband against the ancillary orders made on 13 March 2014 for the net value of the matrimonial flat to be divided in the proportion of 60 % to the Plaintiff wife and 40 % to the Defendant husband together with an award of $59,500.00 of the Defendant husband’s CPF monies to the Plaintiff wife, for the wife to continue to have care and control of the daughter and for the Defendant to pay the wife’s and child maintenance of $500.00 and $650.00 per month respectively.

Divorce proceedings

The parties were married on18th September 2003 and they have two daughters, namely J, aged 8 years1, and R, aged 6 years2. The Defendant (the “husband” or “Defendant husband”) was 46 years old while the Plaintiff (the “wife” or “Plaintiff wife”) was 34 years of age as at the date of filing of the writ. The husband’s occupation was a facilities engineer while the wife worked as an Administrative executive. On 22 October 2012, the wife commenced proceedings to dissolve the marriage on the fact the marriage had broken down irretrievably in that the husband had behaved in such way that the wife could not be reasonably be expected to live with him. The Interim Judgment was granted on 1 April 2013 based on the husband’s unreasonable behaviour and the ancillary matters were adjourned to Chambers.

Consent Order made on 11 April 2013 and Other proceedings

On 11 April 2013, the parties agreed on the issue of custody care and control of the children and entered into a Consent Order ORC xxx dated 11 April 2013 for both parties to have joint custody of the children and for the Plaintiff wife having care and control of the two children with the Defendant husband having interim access3. On 5 June 2013, the husband took out a summons application in Summons 7902/2013/S to vary the Consent Order on care and control but this summons was disposed of by DJ Ms Cheryl Koh with no order made on the application for variation of care and control order. (This will be dealt with later.)

In respect of the ancillary matters, the Plaintiff wife filed 3 Affidavits of Assets and Means (AOM). These affidavits were marked as P1, P2 and P3 (filed on 1 July, 29 July and 9 September 2013 respectively). The wife’s written submissions were marked as PS-1 and PS-24. The Defendant husband filed a written submission marked as DS-15 and 4 affidavits, which were marked as D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5 (filed on 5 July, 7 August, 11 September and 5 December 2013 respectively).

The Defendant also gave notice of intention to refer to the same 4 other affidavits that had been were filed for and dealt with at the hearing of Summons 7902/2013. Three of these affidavits had been filed by the Defendant on 5 June, 24 July and 17 September 2013 (referred to as D1 (SUM 7902), D2 (SUM 7902) and D3 (SUM 7902) respectively. The fourth affidavit was filed by the Plaintiff on 16 July 2013 (referred to as P1 (SUM 7902)).

The Ancillary Orders

At the ancillary matters hearing, the issues before me were on the division of the matrimonial flat and other matrimonial assets, and for the maintenance for the children and the wife. On the first day of the hearing on 10 December 2013, the Defendant counsel also made an oral request to seek a variation of the Order of Court on custody, care and control of the child. It transpired that there was no longer any application by way of summons before the ancillary court to vary the care and control order as the summons 7902/2013 had been disposed of. The Court’s decision on SUM 7902/2013 was that there should be no order made on the Defendant’s prayer in that summons to vary the care and control order. The Defendant counsel, after taking instructions from the client, then applied for an adjournment of the hearing to either seek a clarification on the order made by DJ Cheryl Koh (“DJ Koh”) or to file an appeal against DJ Koh’s decision. The Court then granted the Defendant an adjournment for him to seek leave to file an appeal before 24 December 2013 (see Notes of Evidence at pages 3 to7).

On the return date on 28 January 2014, the Defendant, through his counsel, informed that Court that he had not filed an appeal against DJ Koh’s order (where no order was made on his earlier application to vary care and control of the children). Defendant counsel added that although the defence did consider the issue of res judicata, they did not wish to file a fresh summons but would like to rely on the clause inserted by DJ Koh at the clarification hearing on 5 November 2013 “liberty to apply” clause6 to seek a variation in the care and control Order dated 11 April 2013 (see Notes of Evidence at pages 10 to 14, 14B to 17, 21 to 23).

After hearing the submissions made by counsel for parties for the ancillary matters, and I made the following order: It is ordered that: Custody, care and control and access The Order of Court dated 11 April 2013 granting joint custody of the children of the marriage, namely J (xxx) and R (xxx) (hereinafter referred to as the “children”) to both the Plaintiff and the Defendant with care and control of the said children to the Plaintiff shall stand. The Plaintiff shall continue to have care and control of the children. The defendant shall have access to the said children as follows: The Defendant shall have supervised access to the children on every week for up to 2 hours on Saturdays (or on a weekday evening if parties mutually agree with CFH) at Centre for Family Harmony (CFH) for 6 sessions with effect from the 29 March 2014 onwards. The Plaintiff is to bring the children to the CFH. Both Defendant and Plaintiff and the children are to attend counselling at the CFH. The costs of access and counselling at CFH shall be borne by the parties in the proportion of 80 % by the Defendant and 20 % by the Plaintiff. CFH shall prepare a report to be submitted to the Family Court at least 2 weeks before the next review date on 13 June 2014 at 10.30 am. In addition, pending the review, the Defendant shall continue to have access to the children every Sunday from 10.00 am to 7 pm. The Defendant shall fetch the children from the Plaintiff’s mother’s residence at the start of the access period and return the children to the Plaintiff’s mother’s residence at the end of the access period. If the children have art classes at Hougang community Club during that period of access, the Defendant shall bring the children to attend those classes. Only the Plaintiff is at liberty to accompany the children during the access period. The Plaintiff shall have the first option to require the Defendant to transfer (otherwise that by way of sale) his rights, title and interest in the matrimonial flat at Block xxx Singapore xxx (the “Matrimonial Flat”) to the Plaintiff at 60% (sic) of the net value of the Matrimonial Flat, (i.e., after discharge of the outstanding housing loan) based on the current open market value as assessed by an approved HDB valuer. This option shall be exercised within 3 months of the date of the Final Judgment. The Plaintiff shall bear all the costs and expenses of the said transfer. From his share of the proceeds of flat, the Defendant shall partially refund to his own CPF account the monies withdrawn for the purchase of the matrimonial flat, together with accrued interest. In the event that the Plaintiff is unable to or does not exercise the option, the Defendant shall have the option to require the Plaintiff to transfer her rights, title and interest in the Matrimonial Flat to the Defendant at 40% (sic) of the net value of the matrimonial flat (i.e., after discharge of the outstanding housing loan) based on the current open market value as assessed by an approved HDB valuer. This shall be exercised within 3 months thereafter. The Defendant shall bear all the costs and expenses of the said transfer. From her share of the proceeds of the flat, the Plaintiff shall refund to her own CPF account the monies withdrawn for the purchase of the matrimonial flat, together with accrued interest In the event neither party is able to exercise the option, the Matrimonial Flat shall, subject to the approval of the Housing and Development Board (HDB), be sold within 9 months of the expiry of the option period and the net sale proceeds, after the discharge of the housing loan and deducting the costs and expenses of sale, be divided in the proportion of 60% to the Plaintiff and 40% to the Defendant. From their respective shares of proceeds of the flat, each party shall refund their own CPF account the monies withdrawn for the purchase of the matrimonial flat, together with accrued interest. The Plaintiff (hereinafter referred to as the “Spouse”) shall be entitled to S$59,500.00 of the Defendant’s (hereinafter referred to as the “Member”) Central Provident Fund (“CPF”) moneys pursuant to section 112 of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353), Revised Edition 1997 (the “Ordered Amount”). The Central Provident Fund Board (“Board”) shall, from the moneys standing to the credit of the Member in the following CPF account of the Member, transfer the amount specified as follow to the Spouse’s CPF account:

(5)Member’s CPF account to transfer from: Ordinary account
Amount to transfer: $59,500.00
This order is made subject to the Central Provident Fund Act (Cap.36) (“CPF Act”) and the subsidiary legislation made thereunder made in respect of the Member’s CPF moneys, property and investments. The Board shall give effect to the terms of this order in accordance with the provisions of the CPF Act and the subsidiary legislation made thereunder. The shortfall, if any, between the Ordered Amount and the payment received by her from the Board or transferred to her CPF account is a debt due from the Member to the Spouse and is recoverable as such. Save as above, parties shall retain their assets in their respective sole names...

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