CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
JudgeJen Koh
Judgment Date01 March 2016
Neutral Citation[2016] SGFC 29
Citation[2016] SGFC 29
Docket NumberDivorce No. 5047 of 2012
Published date10 March 2016
Hearing Date04 November 2015
Plaintiff CounselMs Anamah Tan (M/s Ann Tan & Associates)
Subject Matterinterim maintenance pending relocation, review of maintenance amount upon relocation, no agreement on type(s) of expenses to be incurred by parent with joint custody
District Judge Jen Koh: Grounds of Decision Background to this matter

The parties are Australian citizens who were married on 26 March 2005 in Australia. The marriage was previously registered in London, UK in August 2004. Prior to the marriage, the parties were involved in a committed relationship with each other. There are 2 children from this marriage, a daughter, 10 years old and a son, 7 years old.

The parties came to Singapore sometime in August 2008 due to the husband’s employment (the wife said that they were actually in Singapore from 2007). The marriage between the parties ran into difficulties in 2012 and in October 2012, the husband commenced divorce proceedings in Singapore. Interim Judgment was granted on 22 April 2012(cross claims) with the contested ancillary matters adjourned to be heard in chambers. I dealt with the ancillary matters and made orders on the outstanding ancillary matters on 27 April 2015.

The husband was dissatisfied with the orders and filed an appeal in DCA 71 of 2015 for which I rendered my written grounds of decision in TCI v TCJ [2015] SGFC 58.

The appeal was heard by the High Court Family Division. On 12 August 2015, the learned Judicial Commissioner Debbie Ong directed that the issue of maintenance be held over pending the updates the wife was to provide to court after her return to Australia.

The parties subsequently filed their respective affidavits and submitted documents on their expenses. I heard arguments on the quantum of maintenance on 4 November 2015 and made my orders on 26 November 2016. I ordered the husband to pay a monthly sum of AUD5,500 as maintenance for the two children with effect from 1 November 2015 and thereafter on the first day of every month.

It is against this order that the husband has filed his appeal. I now set out the reasons for my decision.

Table of expenses and decision

I reviewed the expenses of the children and this is as set out in the chart below.

The main thrust of the husband’s objection was that he was not consulted on the items and he therefore objected to paying the amounts incurred. The husband does not say that the amounts are not being incurred; rather his position during the hearing was simply: I was not consulted, I did not agree and therefore I will not pay. The husband went on to argue that the wife had stated in her arguments for relocation home to Australia that many of the expenses being incurred in Singapore would be drastically reduced upon their return. On perusing the wife’s list of expenses, he was therefore adamant that these expenses should not be incurred.

I have dealt with the husband’s objections in the chart and I have also explained my reasons:

S/No Description of item Amount claimed in AUD Amount allowed by court Court’s reasons:
For wife’s claim in D5047/2012
1 Health insurance 493.85 493.85 The parties had medical coverage when they were working in Singapore. The interim maintenance factored this in and I accepted the wife’s submission that visits to specialists were not covered by healthcare or her employment package (she is on a contract). The husband’s insistence that she relied on the Medicare system in Australia alone will not resolve the issue of the costs of specialists especially when the children have existing health issues. This is not an insurance policy with a savings plan.
2 Medical bills, therapy etc. 200 200 The occupational therapy, speech therapy, visual therapies are costs not covered by medical insurance. The husband’s argument that he was not consulted before the wife embarked on these sessions for the children was not tenable. It was his submission that the children should undergo therapy and he submitted on the fact that he was the one who did the legwork for the son. This portion is the cash outlay not covered by the medical insurance above. I allowed this sum.
3 School fees 200 200 The husband submitted that he would not pay because he was not consulted on the choice of school(s). This does not detract from the fact that the children do attend school. The amount is therefore allowed.
4 Uniforms 58.33 58.33 The husband refused to pay this stating that the children do not have to wear uniforms. The wife said otherwise. The amount was not excessive and I allowed it.
5 Piano 93.33 400 I grouped

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