GIFTS between spouses in the course of a marriage will be treated as matrimonial assets to be totted up and split between them if they divorce.
In the case of a woman who had been given shares to three properties by her husband during their 36-year marriage.
The husband sought for all three properties to be put on the list of matrimonial assets to be divided between him and his estranged wife.
But of the three, only one – an apartment in The Riverwalk by the Singapore River that he bought with his own funds – was to be included in the list, the court has decided.
The other two in the upscale condominium of Hampton Court near the Tanglin Club are to be excluded as they were gifts the man inherited and “re-gifted” to her.
Perhaps the other important aspects for many readers to ponder are Justice Rajah’s notes
“there are many couples who hold all or most of the assets which they acquire during the marriage in just one name, without having had any serious prior discussion or agreement as to how those assets… ought to be divided in the event the marriage fails”.
With the introduction of additional stamp duty late last year, many people started to buy property under either the husband or wife’s name instead of joint name to work around the rules. While technically there is nothing wrong, many people did it without any planning.
The complications do not only rise upon divorce. If a person passed away without a will nor a plan, the family not only have to be burdened with high distribution costs and administrative delay, but may even end up going to the court due to discrepancy and arguments among the the family members and beneficiaries.
Many people have always planned for everything in life, but leave their final wishes unplanned.
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