DIVISION OF MATRIMONIAL ASSETS – WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BANK ACCOUNTS?

Asset division in divorce – what is the law on when and whether parties can spend from their respective bank accounts?

 .

DIVISION OF MATRIMONIAL ASSETS – WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BANK ACCOUNTS?

In a divorce, all matrimonial assets have to be divided.  Can the husband or wife continue to spend from their respective bank accounts while the divorce proceedings are on-going?

 .The wrongful dissipation and legitimate spending of funds in bank accounts has long been a concern of parties amidst the division of matrimonial assets during divorce proceedings. The recent High Court case of UBD v UBE [2017] SGHCF 14 has brought much needed assurance to parties undergoing a divorce by clarifying the operative default date for valuation in relation to bank accounts.

The default position, outlined in the Court of Appeal case of TND v TNC [2017] SGCA 34, for determining the appropriate operative date of the valuation of a matrimonial asset is that of the ancillaries hearing, unless a departure is warranted by the facts.

However, a departure from the default position was raised in UBD v UBE, where it held that there are two separate default operative dates relevant for dividing matrimonial assets: the date of the interim judgment for delineation issues and the date of the ancillaries hearing for valuation matters. The delineation issue arises during a preceding inquiry of whether any particular asset initially forms part of the matrimonial pool.

This departure was warranted in relation to bank accounts of the Plaintiff Husband. The High Court had taken into consideration the fact that the parties had lived independent lives for more than six (6) years when the Husband moved out of the matrimonial home and that it was a reasonable expectation for parties to spend from the respective bank accounts as they deemed necessary from the date of the formalisation of their separation. However, this was subject to the adherence that the original funds used for any form of investment would be restored to the common pool.

In addition, the High Court stated that a further benefit would accrue both the delineation and valuation dates for the bank accounts were as the date of the Interim Judgment. This would minimise any subsequent disputes about issues of wrongful dissipation from these bank accounts after the date of Interim Judgment and prevent any potential unfairness that may result from the division process.

This determination by the High Court enables parties to utilise their respective funds from their own bank accounts with a peace of mind when they have clearly started leading separate lives.

 .

Related articles:

Division of matrimonial assets

 .

Share

 .

Keen to discuss more?  Kindly contact PKWA Law for your free consultation with our lawyers.
Call Us At +65 6854 5336
Email Us At mail@pkwalaw.com