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Matrimonial Assets – Inter-Spousal Gifts

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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.

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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