How does the court deal with matrimonial assets and property in a divorce?
What Are Considered Matrimonial Assets?
Any other assets of any nature acquired during the marriage, but may also include assets acquired before marriage.
The cash balance in the parties’ respective Central Provident Fund Accounts, the family car, jewelry, shares and savings, all accumulated during the marriage are considered as matrimonial assets and therefore will be divided between the parties to the marriage upon the marriage being dissolved.
After a marriage has been dissolved, the Court would decide how the matrimonial assets are to be divided between the husband and the wife. The Court has to make an order as to the division between the parties of the matrimonial assets or the sale of any such assets and the division of the proceeds of such a sale in such proportions as the Court considers fair.
In deciding on the division of the matrimonial assets, the Court will take into account various factors including the following, which are not exhaustive:
The Court may make any one or more of the following orders:-
How Does The Court Decide On Our Shares Of The Matrimonial Assets?
The Court will look at:
Some common questions
What happens to your HDB flat upon Divorce?
Under the HDB's prevailing policy for divorce (not due to non-consummation of marriage or annulment or break-up of Fiancé / Fiancée relationship), a divorced party who has the custody of the child (including care and control) is allowed to retain the flat subject to the eligibility conditions.
If there are no children from the marriage, the divorced party (flat owner) may retain the flat under the Single Singapore Citizen (SSC) Scheme, provided:
If the matrimonial flat is bought directly from HDB (including resale flats bought with the CPF Housing Grant for Family), the 5-year minimum occupation period (MOP) must be satisfied before the divorced party is allowed to take over the flat under the SSC Scheme.
What If One Or Both Of Us Is Bankrupt?
When a person is made bankrupt, the Official Assignee will step in to manage all his assets except for the HDB flat and CPF money.
The Court will still divide the matrimonial assets in the same way as in a case where neither spouse is bankrupt. But the Official Assignee may attend the hearing to make representations on behalf of the bankrupt spouse. If you and your spouse have reached an agreement on the division of the matrimonial assets, you will need to obtain the Official Assignee’s approval before the Court will endorse your agreement.
Recent CPF Rule Changes - To Help Divorced Women Get Their Fair Share From Sale Of Matrimonial Home
DIVORCED couples have benefited from recent changes in Central Provident Fund (CPF) rules, which allow for a more ‘equitable’ distribution of their CPF monies when they divide their matrimonial assets.
Previously, divorced women often got very little from the sale of the matrimonial home. The changes are an attempt to help them get more money and not face financial hardship.
One of the changes allows a member to transfer money from his or her CPF account into the CPF account of his or her former spouse.
For instance, under the old ruling, if $100,000 had been used out of a member’s CPF account to buy the matrimonial property, the $100,000 would have had to go back into his CPF account together with the accrued interest once the property was sold. This was the case even if the court had awarded his ex-spouse half the proceeds, or $50,000. The reason was that members were not allowed to withdraw their CPF money until the age of 55.
With the change, the court can order the transfer of $50,000 from the member’s CPF account into his ex- spouse’s account.
Another change allows for the immediate transfer of a piece of property to the former spouse.
In the past, when a member had used his CPF money to buy property and the court ordered ownership to be transferred to his ex-spouse, the member had to return the due amount to his CPF account.
In cases where a wife had no money to make the refund to her ex-husband’s account, the transfer could not take place. The court might then have to order a sale of the property, which might not be ideal in a weak property climate.
With the rule change, the member or his former spouse no longer needs to put back into his CPF account whatever money had been taken out for the property.
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