Maintenance for Husbands: Can I claim maintenance from my Wife?

claim maintenance from-wife singapore

In Singapore, pursuant to Section 69 of the Women’s Charter, maintenance for the husband is only awarded in the event the husband is incapacitated before or during the course of the marriage.

As a result of the incapacitation, the husband must be unable to support himself. The incapacitation must be further supported by clear medical evidence.

This is so even if you, as a husband, had sacrificed your career to care for the child and household. Unfortunately, while we sympathise with your predicament in this reversal of traditional roles, the law in Singapore is clear on the maintenance of husbands.

Novel Case

In USA v USB [2019] SGHCF 5, the issue of maintenance for incapacitated husbands was raised.

Briefly, the husband in USA v USB suffered from Meniere’s disease, which is a condition that causes, amongst others, hearing loss, vertigo, and tinnitus.

The Singapore High Court took into account evidence, including but not limited to, medical reports and private investigator reports.

The Court found that the husband was still able to work and earn a livelihood. Therefore, there was no basis for the Court to award maintenance for the incapacitated husband.

It is worth noting that maintenance for incapacitated husbands or former husbands is a relatively new provision in the Women’s Charter. It was only added in July 2016.

As such, there is a dearth of case law on the application of the same. It will be interesting to watch how the law develops on this issue to keep up with the ever-changing family nucleus.

At present, the “maintenance” claim can be effected through the division of assets route where the “house husband’s” efforts may be viewed as a percentage share of the assets.

In the event the divorce and ancillary matters are litigated, the Singapore Courts will take into consideration your indirect financial contributions towards the care of the child when determining the division of assets.

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