Matrimonial Assets – Inter-Spousal Gifts

As seen in the case of Chan Siew Fong v Chan Fook Kee, SCA, [2002] 1 SLR(R) 93 – Significant and exceptional contributions made by one party which resulted in the acquiring of substantial matrimonial assets in which the party might receive more in a just and equitable division.

Facts of The Case

  • This was an appeal case, heard with regard to the division of matrimonial assets and the order of maintenance.
  • The main issue in this appeal was whether an inter-spousal gift is a matrimonial asset 
  • The husband was a company executive whilst the wife was a homemaker. Parties had been married for 28 years.
  • The parties owned three properties.
  • The relationship deteriorated through the years and, in 1999, entered into a Deed of Separation
  • In 2007, the Husband agreed to sever the joint tenancy in one of the apartments and gave 40% from his share to the Wife. As a result, she held 90% of that property, the result of the husband having committed adultery. (according to the wife)
  • The wife’s case was based around the fact that the husband had given her 90% equity of the property, with the balance of 10% kept by him merely to continue servicing the loan.
  • The husband argued that he had not” made a gift of his share of the apartment to the wife, but that he had merely severed his share without the intention of giving it away to the wife.

Allow us to take it from here.

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The judge`s decision

The Judge justified the inclusion of an inter-spousal gift in the pool of matrimonial assets on the ground that such a gift was “purchased with a pre-existing matrimonial asset” and therefore “does not lose its nature as a matrimonial asset”.

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