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Ng Kee Shee v Fu Gaofei [2005] SGHC 171

Outcome: Appeal allowed


1 The Wife in this matter unilaterally set out all the rules of intimacy from the start. Furthermore, within three months of the marriage, the Wife made up her mind to leave the husband without even writing a short note to say the marriage was a mistake and that they should go their separate ways. She refused to speak to him when he called and wrote no letter to him from her family home. She also threatened to commit suicide if she had to return to his side. The Husband applied under s 94 of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353, 1997 Rev Ed) for leave to be granted to present a divorce petition before three years had passed from the date of his marriage to the Wife. His application was dismissed by the District Court. The Husband appealed.

Court’s Decision:

2 The laudatory intention of s 94 is to promote sanctity of marriage and to ensure that parties do not rush into and out of marriage capriciously. It was clearly the Wife who had absolutely no regard for the union and who was the one who entered into the arranged marriage capriciously. To hold that the Husband should nevertheless wait three years before seeking a divorce would visit the wrongs of the Wife on him: at [21].

3 Exceptional hardship is something quite out of the ordinary and more than what an ordinary person should reasonably be asked to bear. The facts clearly showed exceptional hardship suffered by the Husband and would amount to unreasonable behaviour on the part of the Wife. The High Court therefore allowed the appeal and granted the Husband leave to present a petition for divorce before three years have passed since the date of the marriage: at [23].

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.
Subject Matters: Divorce - facts

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