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VTP v VTO [2021] SGHCF 36

Outcome: Appeal dismissed.


1 The Husband appealed against the District Judge’s decision to grant an interim judgment on the ground of unreasonable behavior on account of the Husband’s irresponsibility with regard to matters of finance. 

2 The interim judgement of divorce was upheld by reason of unreasonable behavior founded on the Husband’s financial irresponsibility.

3 What is to be decided is whether s 95(3)(b) of the Women’s Charter 1961 has been established on the facts, whereby a spouse had behaved in a way that the other spouse cannot reasonably be expected to live with the former. The starting position is a reminder of the vow that married couples take to remain by each other “for richer or poorer”, which should keep them together. Impecuniosity alone is insufficient for one spouse to leave the other. However, the law allows a spouse to rescind such a vow if the conduct of the other spouse renders it unreasonable to expect the former to continue living with the latter: at [6] to [7]

4 The test to determine whether the conduct of the other spouse amounts to behaviour that renders it unreasonable for one spouse to continue living with the other is a two-step test. First, the court will apply a subjective test as to whether the spouse found it intolerable to live with the other spouse. Second, the court will then apply an objective test by considering whether a reasonable spouse in the position of the spouse filing for divorce finds it reasonable to live with the other spouse. The court may take into account the personalities and behaviour of the parties in the marriage: at [7]

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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