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Tan Meng Heok v Tay Mui Keow (m w) and Another [1992] SGHC 218

Outcome: Orders made


1 At the end of a contested divorce, the High Court Judge allowed the divorce on the basis of the Wife’s and third party’s adultery, and varied a previous order of court so that the third party was not to be present when the Wife had access to the child of the marriage. The third party filed an appeal against the High Court Judge’s decision.

Court’s Decision:

2 The burden of proof falls on the spouse alleging adultery, who has to prove that other spouse had sexual intercourse with the third party. The fact of adultery must be proven beyond reasonable doubt.

3 Adultery can be established by: (a) strong inclination or disposition; and (b) evidence of opportunity to commit adultery.

4 The evidence of the two private investigators who were subject to very close cross-examination by the Wife’s and third party’s counsel, relied on by the Husband, was accepted as direct credible evidence that sexual intercourse took place between the third party and Wife. 

5 The court’s discretion to award costs is unfettered unless stipulated by statute and rule. The third party and the Wife were ordered to pay the costs of the action.

6 The third party’s philosophy and his conduct at the carpark in which the adultery occurred disqualified him from having contact with the child, hence it was ordered that the third party should not be present when the Wife had access to the child.

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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