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HOW DO I GET MY FAIR SHARE IN A DIVORCE – DIVISION OF MATRIMONIAL ASSETS

If you are a homemaker or you did not contribute financially to the matrimonial assets, an important question you will naturally ask in divorce is:

“How do I get my fair share of the matrimonial assets?”

division of assets

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How to get your fair share in a divorce – Division of matrimonial assets

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If you are a homemaker or you did not contribute financially to the matrimonial assets, an important question you will naturally ask in divorce is:

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“How do I get my fair share of the matrimonial assets?”

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The good news for you is that under Singapore law, the courts have consistently said that marriage is a partnership and that your work in looking after the children and the home is just as important as your spouse’s monetary contributions. When it comes to division of matrimonial assets, the court will do all it can to achieve a fair and equitable outcome.

However, in trying to achieve a just and equitable division, the family court must follow certain rules.  Below are some of the important pointers you should understand.

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No presumption that assets will be divided equally

As a start, you should understand that there is no set formula for splitting up matrimonial assets. There is also no presumption that assets will be divided equally.

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Don’t spend too much time trying to show fault 

You should also note that fault plays no part in the court’s decision.  So, if your spouse has been unfaithful or the marriage ended because of your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour, the Singapore courts generally do not take that into account when deciding on division of matrimonial assets.

We get a number of enquiries from potential clients who want to spend a lot of time and money to show that their spouse was at fault in the mistaken belief that they would get more assets if they can prove fault.  You should resist that, and not spend too much energy and money on proving fault.

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Long marriages vs short marriages

In general, if you had a long marriage, the courts are inclined towards an equal division of matrimonial assets, even if you did not contribute financially towards the assets.  The reverse is also true – in a short marriage, the courts are inclined towards a division of assets based on parties’ financial contributions.

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Show that you have looked after your spouse and your family

As there is no set formula, and no presumption that matrimonial assets will be divided equally, it is hard to generalise what the outcome might be. The court will consider many factors, including the length of your marriage and how much indirect contribution was involved. The court will also look to the needs and contributions of both parties.

You should show in what manner you have supported your spouse and your family.

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Find out the assets, and then value them

Some spouses have no idea what assets their spouse have. They hope their divorce lawyer can uncover these assets for them.  The truth is that if you – the person who is closest to your  spouse – do not know what assets your spouse has, your divorce lawyer is not likely to be able to find out for you.  Divorce lawyers cannot go on an expensive fishing expedition in the court to find out the existence and whereabouts of your spouse’s assets.  Do be aware that the discovery process in court to uncover assets is difficult, tedious and expensive.

The court also cannot assume that your spouse has expensive assets simply based on your suspicion.

So, do your own homework. You should at least know roughly what assets your spouse has.

If your spouse is a high net worth person with substantial assets, valuation of matrimonial assets is very important.  You would need to have an expert say what the value of assets are, so that your spouse cannot get away with understating their true value.

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Help your divorce lawyer to tabulate your expenses

You should start tabulating and collecting proof of your expenses.  This is to help your divorce lawyer to justify your claim for maintenance.  You would need to show your standard of living during the marriage.

These are some of the expenses for you to consider (with supporting documents):

  1. Mortgage loan;
  2. Telephone (residence and mobile);
  3. Electricity/water/gas;
  4. Conservancy charges;
  5. Cable TV/Internet;
  6. Food/groceries;
  7. Eating out;
  8. Clothing.
  9. Grooming;
  10. Personal insurance;
  11. Medical;
  12. Vehicle Loan;
  13. Motor Insurance and road tax;
  14. Public transport.
  15. Domestic help (Levy and salary);
  16. Sports and hobbies;
  17. Tours/holidays/family outings;
  18. Entertainment;
  19. Household products;
  20. Allowance for parents.

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Section 112(2) Women’s Charter

You should also understand that the Family Court must take into account the factors listed in section 112(2) of the Women’s Charter when they are deciding on division of matrimonial assets.  These factors are:

1. The extent of financial contributions by each party towards the assets.

2. The extent of non-financial contributions towards the welfare of the family made by each party.

3. Debt owed by each party.

4. The needs of the child.

5. Any agreements on the divisions of assets between the parties.

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What PKWA Family Law can do for you

Whatever your situation, it is important to have strong arguments for the court to understand and recognise the contribution you have made. If your marriage has been an equal partnership between you and your spouse,  you deserve to get a just and equitable division from your divorce.

We offer a free first consultation at our office.  Please contact us at tel 6854-5336.

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ABOUT PKWA Law

PKWA FAMILY LAWYERS - group photo

PKWA Law is one of Singapore’s largest family law firms, specialising in divorce law, family law, wills and probate. We are consistently named as a leading family law firm by respected legal publications such as Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Singapore Family Lawyers.  

Our team of family lawyers are accredited specialist Collaborative Family Lawyers with the Singapore Mediation Centre.

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Have a question? Contact PKWA Law today for your free consultation.
Call Us At +65 6854 5336
(Family Law)
Call Us At +65 6397 6100
(Conveyancing)
Email Us At mail@pkwalaw.com