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Family Law

Prenuptial Agreement Upheld in Singapore

The Singapore High Court has enforced a prenuptial agreement entered into in the Netherlands between a Swedish wife and a Dutch husband. TQ v. TR, [2007] SGHC 106; decision date July 11, 2007.

The couple had lived together in England, had moved for a short time to the Netherlands, where they had married and executed the prenuptial agreement under Dutch law before a notary who had acted for both of them. They had then returned to live in England before moving to Singapore with their three children and had then remained in Singapore. The prenuptial agreement provided that there was to be no community of assets and that each spouse would keep his or her own assets.

The Court found that the wife was not domiciled in the Netherlands, so that Dutch law would not govern the division of matrimonial property. Accordingly it looked to Singapore law and specifically to the “Women’s Charter.” Section 112 of Singapore's Women’s Charter empowers the courts to order such division of matrimonial assets as they deem “just and equitable” and requires the courts to consider a host of specified factors in making that decision. Such factors include “any agreement between the parties with respect to the ownership and division of the matrimonial assets made in contemplation of divorce.”

The court awarded “maintenance” (i.e. alimony or spousal support) in the form of a lump sum in the full amount that the wife requested, as well as child support. It then upheld the prenuptial agreement in light of those apparently generous awards.

From International Family Law posted 2007-07-26.

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