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Amy Tay v Ho Toh Ying [2021] SGHC 25

Outcome: Orders made.  

Facts

1 The issue is whether the purchase money for a property in the Husband’s name that were provided by the defendant ( the Husband’s mother) were loans or gifts such that monies “repaid” to the defendant ought to be recovered and returned  to the matrimonial pool of assets (which was the subject matter for division in divorce proceedings between the plaintiff Wife and the Husband).    

Court’s Decision:

2 The High Court held that the purchase money was a loan, and the defendant was not required to return the sum to the pool of matrimonial assets.

3 The Court of Appeal in UDA v UDB and another [2018] 1 SLR 1015 explained that the court’s power of division under s 112 of the Women’s Charter 1961 applies only between the parties to a marriage and their assets, and does not extend to adjudicating on third parties’ claims to alleged matrimonial assets. Third parties should file a civil suit to claim restitution of the alleged matrimonial assets: at [18].

4 The court also observed that the Family Justice Courts had jurisdiction and were empowered to decide if monies were paid to the defendant in repayment of a loan. The defendant was not asserting any interest in the matrimonial property or its sale proceeds per se. Her claim to the sum is based on her entitlement to be repaid the loans from the sale of the property: at [18]

The full text of the decision can be found here.

This summary is provided to assist the public to have a better understanding of the Court’s judgment. It is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the Court. All numbers in bold font and square brackets refer to the corresponding paragraph numbers in the Court’s judgment.

2022/07/22

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