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Wong Ser Wan v Ng Cheong Ling [2005] SGHC 218

Outcome: Orders made


1 The issues before the High Court Judge included the division of matrimonial assets and maintenance for the Wife and younger Son. The Wife also sought child maintenance from the Husband on behalf of the older Son, and the Daughter filed her own maintenance summons for the same. At the material time, both the older Son and Daughter were above the age of 21.

Court’s Decision:

2 The court ordered the Husband to pay maintenance for the older Son in the sum of $278,330.72 (US$3,638.31 per month) for the period he was at university, and maintenance of $100,577 ($2,234.60 for a period of 45 months) for the Daughter’s tertiary education.

3 Section 117 of the Women’s Charter, which provides for the duration of maintenance orders, only applies to spousal maintenance orders made under s 113 of the Women’s Charter, and not to consent orders made under Part VIII of the Women’s Charter for maintenance during the marriage (“Part VIII CMO”). Part VIII CMOs would have to be reconsidered or affirmed if parties subsequently divorced, and the court is not bound by such orders in exercising its powers to order maintenance under s 113 of the Women’s Charter: at [80].

4 Under s 69(5) of the Women’s Charter, the court should not order maintenance for a child over the age of 21 unless one of the three factors therein is established, or special circumstances justify the making of the order: (at [99] and [100])

(a) For s 69(5)(a) of the Women’s Charter, the child’s mental or physical disability must be of such a nature that it affects his ability to earn a living and maintain himself.

(b) Under s 69(5)(c) of the Women’s Charter, the court may order the parents to maintain a child fully or partially while he is studying, if the child is genuinely pursing a course of studies to prepare himself better for the working world and if it is reasonable in the circumstances for him to pursue that course, and the parents can afford it.

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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