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Tan Sue-Ann Melissa v Lim Siang Bok Dennis [2004] SGCA 27

Outcome: Appeal dismissed


1 This appeal concerned the variation of an agreement on maintenance which was recorded in a consent order.

Court’s Decision:

2 The only reason the respondent committed himself to paying two-thirds of his monthly income as maintenance was because he had in good faith anticipated, albeit wrongly, that his earnings would increase considerably in the coming months. Furthermore, the appellant must have been aware that the respondent anticipated a significant jump in his earnings when he made the promise to pay her $2,000 a month: at [22] and [23].

3 In the normal course of events, the subjective expectations and hopes of the respondent could not amount to a “change” within the meaning of s 118 of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353, 1997 Rev Ed) when they did not eventually materialise: at [26].

4 However, in the present case the respondent agreed to pay the appellant $2,000 per month as maintenance in the expectation that his financial position would improve. This assumption was made known to the respondent and it formed the basis of the agreement between the parties, leading to the making of the consent order. In such circumstances, where the expectation did not materialise, it would only be just that that fact should and could be treated as a “material change” in the context of the case: at [27].

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: Variation applications

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