Division of Matrimonial Assets

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What are matrimonial assets?

Matrimonial assets refer to

1. Assets acquired before the marriage by one party or both parties ordinarily used by them or at least 1 of their children while the parties are living together for at least of the following purposes:

a. Shelter.

b. Transportation.

c. Household.

d. Education.

e. Recreation.

f. Social or aesthetic purposes.

2. Assets acquired before the marriage by one party or both parties, which has been substantially improved during the marriage by the other party or by both parties.

3. Assets acquired during the marriage by one party or both parties.

However, matrimonial assets do not include any asset that:

1. Has been acquired by one party at any time by way of gift or inheritance; and
2. Has not been substantially improved during the marriage by the other party or by both parties; and
3. Is not a matrimonial home.

Power of Court to order division of matrimonial assets

In divorce, judicial separation and annulment proceedings, the Court has the power to order division of any matrimonial asset or proceeds from the sale of any matrimonial asset between the parties in such proportions that it thinks is just and equitable.

The Court will consider all the circumstances of the case, including the following matters:

1. Contributions made by each party in terms of money, property or work towards acquiring, improving or maintaining the matrimonial assets.

2. Any debt incurred by either party for their joint benefit or the benefit of their child.

3. The needs of the children (if any).

4. Contributions made by each party towards the welfare of the family. For instance, this can be in terms of looking after the home or caring for the family.

5. Any agreement between the parties made in contemplation of the divorce in respect of the ownership and division of matrimonial assets. This includes any separation agreement, pre-nuptial agreement and/ or marital agreement (post-nuptial agreement) which parties may have.

6. Any period of rent-free occupation or other benefit enjoyed by one party in the matrimonial home in the absence of the other party.

7. Any assistance or support given by one party to the other including the giving of assistance or support which helps the other party in the carrying on of his/ her occupation/ business.

The following factors may also be considered if the Court finds them relevant.

1. Financial resources of the parties, including the income, earning capacity, property which they have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future.

2. Financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which parties have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future.

3. Standard of living of the family before the breakdown of the marriage.

4. Age of each party and the duration of the marriage.

5. Any disability of the parties.

6. Value to which either party will lose the chance of acquiring as a result of the divorce/ annulment of the marriage.

See: Section 112 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)

Your divorce/ family lawyer can assist by:

1. Advising you on all issues involving the division of matrimonial assets.

2. Representing you in all proceedings relating to the division of matrimonial assets.

3. Drafting your (1) pre-nuptial agreement, (2) post-nuptial agreement (marital agreement) or (3) deed of separation to stipulate the ownership and division of matrimonial assets should the marriage be annulled or if parties separate/ divorce.

4. Drafting and filing the documents required by the Court as part of the divorce proceedings.

5. Representing you in negotiations with the other party, mediation sessions and in Court.

You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence