The Court has granted the interim divorce – now you’re left to wondering, how would your Matrimonial Assets be divided among the parties during the ancillary hearings?
The distribution of matrimonial assets is left to the discretion of the court – meaning the Courts have the ultimate say – yet there can be uncommon exceptions. While keeping the aim of distributing matrimonial assets in a just and equitable manner, the Court will take a broad perspective in approaching the matter.
To start, this article shall help you define, as it is in Court, what exactly matrimonial assets are.
What exactly are Matrimonial Assets?
As per the Women’s Charter Act of the Republic of Singapore, Section 112(10), Matrimonial Assets are as follows:
- Any assets acquired by one or both parties during the marriage,
e.g. Essentially, anything that is acquired by any one of the spouses of the marriage, at any point of time during the marriage, will immediately be deemed as a matrimonial asset. This includes if the asset is purchased solely by a single party and even if only used by said party – it will still be considered a matrimonial asset. For instance, both the parties’ balance in their Central Providence Fund account, insurance policies and shares can be considered Matrimonial Assets and are liable for the division.
- Any assets acquired before the marriage and are used by them or their children,
e.g. A car solely purchased by a party of the marriage, even if it was done so before the marriage, in which it has been used by any other members of the family is liable to be considered under a matrimonial asset by Court too. This can include, as examples, if it was used to for family travels or when sending the children to school;
- And any assets acquired before the marriage that have been substantially improved on by the other party during the marriage,
e.g. Although it sounds similar to the 2nd point as mentioned above, there is a distinct difference that you should note – where the other member of the marriage may not have directly used it but may have helped considerably improved the value and/or the condition of the asset. Take for instance, if you owned a property outside the matrimonial home, and it has risen in value due to the handiwork of your spouse – it will be liable to be deemed as a matrimonial asset.
Take notice that when it comes to gifts or inheritance of any type of assets, typically it will not be applied as a matrimonial asset in Court. However, it can still be considered if it has been substantially improved on by the other party during the marriage. This works similarly to the 3rd point as mentioned above.