Nobody thinks about divorce at the onset of marriage. However, it may wise to enter into a marriage agreement in Singapore with your spouse.
Personal background of parties
Don, from Maryland, recently wrote to The Moneyologist’s column. Both Don and his fiancée are in their 40s and divorcees. Don’s fiancée has an adult daughter.
Financial background of parties
Don and his fiancée have started to discuss about a marriage agreement. According to him, he earns about US$75,000 a year and is worth about US$800,000. His fiancée has student loans to take care of and earns about half of what he earns. The plan is for Don’s fiancée to move into his home, for which there is an outstanding loan of US$80,000 left to pay.
Don wants a marriage agreement which states that each party retains all assets he/ she owns and any income earned. Joint assets shall be divided between them equally in the event of divorce.
Don’s fiancée has other ideas. She would like to have a clause in the marriage agreement stating that Don shall purchase a property in her sole name for rental purposes. She would like to retain the property in the event of divorce.
Don feels that the economic benefits of marriage goes only in his fiancée’s direction.
- She gets to live for free in Don’s home; and
- In the event of divorce, she gets to receive free housing for life.
Don feels that his fiancée’s request to be unreasonable.
The Moneyologist thought that Don’s fiancée’s proposal doesn’t make sense and if she wants a second home, she should buy one by herself.
See: Quentin Fottrell, “My fiancée wants me to buy a second home – in her name only”, Market Watch, 6 August 2016
Under Singapore’s laws, in considering the division of matrimonial assets, the Family Justice Courts has to take into account any marriage agreement in Singapore between parties with respect to division of assets made in contemplation of divorce.
See: Section 112 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)
Hence, it is safe to say marriage agreement in Singapore does go a long way in safeguarding the interests of married parties.
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