SingaporeJudge says no to 50:50 split in child maintenance since woman earned...

Judge says no to 50:50 split in child maintenance since woman earned double her ex-husband’s income

A local woman who earned $1.2 million in four years asked to share child support with her ex-husband equally, but the judge rejected the request because her income was double that of her ex-husband, and ruled that her ex-husband should pay less child support than the woman.

Today reported that according to the judge’s written judgment on 26 January, since the income ratio of the child’s father and mother is about 34:66, she believes that the father bears 35% of the child’s monthly expenses of S$4,000. The said that this would be fair.

The judge pointed out that this amount is higher than the 30 per cent of $3,450 he was initially ordered to pay by a district judge in February last year.

According to the written judgment, the father had worked as a pilot, but his income was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Father earned about $600,000 in four years

Their income tax returns showed that the father’s total income from 2018 to 2021 was about $600,000, while the mother’s was closer to $1.2 million.

The judge said that while divorced couples should have an equal duty to support their children under the Women’s Charter, that doesn’t mean they have to pay an equal amount of maintenance, but that their earning capacity should be taken into consideration.

“A recurring premise throughout her arguments was that these were reasonable expenses because they were actual expenses paid by her,” noted Judge Ong.

The judge however ruled that just because one party had spent such an amount it “does not automatically render that expenditure reasonable” in determining maintenance quantum.

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“Parties should show how their projected expenditure for the child’s expenses is reasonable having regard to all relevant circumstances, including the child’s standard of living and the parents’ financial means and resources,” she said.

Today reported the judge as saying that the changed circumstances following a divorce are relevant as the breakdown of a household would invariably have an impact on the family’s financial needs and resources.

The judge further noted that parents may disagree over decisions such as what the child eats, what classes the child should attend and what lifestyle habits to cultivate in the child.

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