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ANJ v ANK [2015] SGCA 34

Outcome: Appeal allowed in part


1  The Husband appealed against the orders that the High Court made on maintenance and division of matrimonial assets. One of the issues on appeal was whether the High Court had accorded too much credit to the Wife for her indirect contributions. 

Court’s decision

2  The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal in part and set out a structured approach for the division of matrimonial assets.

3  The court’s power to divide matrimonial assets must be exercised in broad strokes, with the court determining what is just and equitable in the circumstances of each case: at [17].

4  The structured approach is as follows. First, the court could ascribe a ratio that represents each party’s direct contributions relative to that of the other party, having regard to the amount of financial contribution each party has made towards the acquisition or improvement of the matrimonial assets. Next, the court should proceed to ascribe a second ratio to represent each party’s indirect contribution to the well-being of the family relative to that of the other. Using each party’s respective direct and indirect percentage contributions, the court then derives each party’s average percentage contribution to the family which would form the basis to divide the matrimonial assets: at [22].

5  There may be instances where greater weight should be attached to direct financial contribution or indirect contribution. Circumstances which this may occur are diverse and include the length of marriage, the size of matrimonial assets and the extent and nature of indirect contributions made: at [26] and [27].

6 The court may make adjustments as it deems necessary for the purposes of reaching a just and equitable result on the facts before it. The court may take into account the other factors in s 112 of the Women’s Charter (353, 2009 Rev Ed), as well as the failure of any party who has failed to make full and frank disclosure of the matrimonial assets: at [28] and [29].

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.

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