Yeo boon Hwa Elaine v Glimm Markus

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeKoh Juat Jong
Judgment Date29 February 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 5
Citation[2000] SGDC 5
Published date19 September 2003




1 Parties were married on 17 June 1988. On 9 March 1999, the Petitioner filed a petition for divorce based on desertion by the Respondent. The Respondent did not enter any appearance and the decree nisi to dissolve the marriage was granted on 13 July 1999. The ancillary matters came before me for hearing and I made the following orders:

(a) the custody, care and control of the two children shall be granted to the Petitioner with reasonable access to the Respondent to be exercised in Singapore unless otherwise agreed to by the Petitioner;

(b) the Respondent shall pay the Petitioner the monthly maintenance of $15,000 for the Petitioner and the two children, with effect from 1 January 2000 and on the first of every month thereafter;

(c) without prejudice to the rights of any mortgagee and with liberty to the Official Assignee to apply, the matrimonial flat shall be dealt with in the following manner :

(i) it shall remain in the joint names of the Petitioner and the Respondent;

(ii) the Petitioner and the children may continue to live in the flat rent free for at least two years, during which period the Official Assignee shall not instruct the Petitioner to sell the flat if the Petitioner continues to service the monthly loan instalments upon the restructuring of the housing loan on the flat;

(iii) the Petitioner shall have the liberty to sell the flat during or after the said two years’ period in the event the flat may be sold without incurring any deficit, after reimbursing the Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts of the Respondent and the Petitioner in respect of withdrawals made for the purchase of the flat with accrued interest and after repaying the outstanding housing loan and all costs and expenses of the sale; in the event there is a positive nett balance of the sale proceeds, the said balance shall be divided between the Respondent and the Petitioner in the proportion of 35:65 in the Petitioner’s favour;

(d) there shall be a charge in favour of the Petitioner on 20% of the amount standing in the CPF account (ordinary, special and medisave) of the Respondent, including any monies refunded to the account upon the sale of the flat with the usual standard clauses governing the charge;

(e) the Respondent shall pay the Petitioner cost for the ancillary matters fixed at $1,500.

2 The Petitioner has appealed against order (d) above and sought in the appeal for a charge of 50%, instead of 20%, of the CPF monies. The grounds of decision are confined to the matters under appeal.

The Claims of the Petitioner

3 The Petitioner claimed for a share of the matrimonial flat, which was jointly owned by her and the Respondent, as well as the CPF monies of the Respondent. The flat was bought in December 1996 at the price of $1.25 million. Since then, its value had depreciated substantially due to the downturn of the property market. The Petitioner had therefore asked in the affidavit that the sale of the flat be postponed until the price appreciated to a level sufficient to repay the outstanding loans and refund to the CPF account of both parties. Upon the sale of the flat, she had wanted the entire balance sale proceeds to be paid to her. In addition, she had asked that the Respondent be ordered to withdraw all the monies in his CPF account to pay to her in respect of her claim for matrimonial assets and in lieu of a lump sum maintenance.

4 However, the Respondent was an undischarged bankrupt with the liability of $63,000. After the filing of the affidavit, the Petitioner reached an agreement with the Official Assignee as per paragraph 1(c) above, essentially to postpone the sale of the flat and to apportion the balance sale proceeds in the ratio of 65% to the Petitioner and 35% to the Respondent. The Petitioner also ascertained from the CPF Board that a charge on the CPF in lieu of any maintenance would not be allowed and at the hearing, the solicitor excluded the claim for maintenance from the CPF charge. The amount to be charged on the Respondent’s CPF monies was thus in respect of the Petitioner’s claim for matrimonial assets only.

Division of Matrimonial Assets

5 As the flat and the Respondent’s CPF monies were both matrimonial assets, it would be necessary to deal with both to arrive at a just and equitable division.

(a) Matrimonial flat

6 The downpayment for the purchase of the matrimonial flat, which was a private property, was met from the proceeds of sale of flat previously owned by the parties. A loan was obtained to finance the...

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