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UHA v UHB and another appeal [2019] SGHCF 12

Outcome: Appeal allowed 


1 The parties appealed against the Family Court’s order for the Father to pay child maintenance to the Mother. One of the issues was whether the Family Court may order the Father to pay maintenance if it had not been shown that he had neglected to maintain the child.

Court’s Decision:

2 The Family Division of the High Court allowed the Father’s appeal and set aside the order for maintenance.

3 A maintenance order should not be made under s 69 of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353, 2009 Rev Ed) unless it has been shown that the respondent has neglected to provide maintenance: at [73].

4 It is first necessary to determine what “reasonable maintenance for his child” is on the facts of the case. After determining what the quantum of reasonable maintenance is, the next step is to determine whether the respondent had indeed provided, or had neglected or refused to provide, such reasonable maintenance. at [29].

5 The court can consider “reasonableness” in several ways. First, the court can consider the reasonableness of the expenses in question. Second, the court can also consider whether one party reasonably communicated the child’s needs or expenses to the other party.  Third, the court can consider whether the paying party used a reasonable mode of provision of maintenance. at [43] to [46] and [48] to [50].

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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