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ANJ v ANK [2015] SGCA 34 | Decision Date: 07 Jul 2015

Curiously, I got to know of this case while I was unabashedly eavesdropping on a couple of family law lawyers discussing it, and upon spotting me, one of them urged me to read it and helpfully gave the name. Basically, what the Court of Appeal did was to clarify how the so-called broad brush approach should be used in division of matrimonial property. Especially useful was the point that direct contributions should be placed on equal standing with indirect contributions. So you first figure out the proportion of direct contribution to the marriage, eg, money-wise, and then you figure out the proportion of indirect contribution, and do some algebra, and then you get a division. Nice to have a guide on it all.
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JBB v JBA, [2015] SGHCF 6 | Decision Date: 29 Jul 2015.

Caught my attention for:

1) The judge noting that while divorce under the Women's Charter is effectively a "no-fault divorce", of the grounds to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, three are fault-based.

2) So if a party is proven to be at fault for the marriage breaking down, eg, having an affair, that means the other party has "won"?

3) So it's common for parties to bear own costs and not for court to order costs in matrimonial cases so as to avoid acrimony, where there is a "winner" and a "loser".

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August 2015

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