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Wong Siew Boey v Lee Boon Fatt [1994] SGHC 35

Outcome: Orders made


1 The Wife applied for divorce by reason of the Husband’s unreasonable behaviour. She cited 23 paragraphs of particulars of the Husband’s behaviour which centered on the Husband not showing or showing little love and affection, and their limited communication which ended in a quarrel when they did communicate. 

Court’s Decision:

2 Whether the defendant’s conduct has been such that the plaintiff can no longer reasonably be expected to live with him or her is a finding of fact. The question of whether the plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the defendant is a subjective one, and whether the defendant’s conduct is reasonable is irrelevant. The question of whether the plaintiff can reasonably be expected to live with the defendant is an objective one for the court to answer, but the court must have regard to the personalities of the individuals before it, and must assess the impact of the defendant’s conduct and the plaintiff in light of the whole history of the marriage and their relationship: at [8].

3 The particulars taken together must amount to more than a complaint that the parties are incompatible, no longer have anything in common and cannot communicate, or that one of them is bored with the marriage: at [12].

4 Behaviour is action or conduct by one which affects the other, including any active or passive conduct and omissions. The cumulative effect of the defendant’s behaviour must be considered – minor acts which may not be regarded as serious on their own may be, when taken together, such that the plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with the defendant. Behaviour is not confined to behaviour towards the plaintiff, but must have some reference to the marriage: at [12] to [14].

5 While the Husband wanted to save the marriage and the willingness and support of his family was obvious, the Wife’s stand was clear. The court must not be asked to play the role of trying to put together a marriage that has broken down: at [24].

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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