Court rejects husband's bid to divorce wife and marry another woman, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Court rejects husband's bid to divorce wife and marry another woman

This article is more than 12 months old

Judge dismisses husband's claims of unreasonable behaviour by wife, including no physical intimacy

A judge refused a man's bid to get a divorce so he can marry another woman, rejecting his claims of unreasonable behaviour by his wife, including no physical intimacy.

In a rare case, the judge said he was not convinced by the 47-year-old man's claims against his wife, 49.

"I accepted the (wife's) submission that (she) is not the unreasonable person the (husband) has made her out to be, and this was even taking into consideration the cumulative effect of her alleged behaviour," said District Judge Eugene Tay.

"(His) testimony that he is in love with (another woman) and is in a relationship with her, that he is renting an apartment with her at the material time, and that if he does not divorce the (wife) he cannot marry another woman speaks for itself," added the judge in decision grounds issued last month.

The couple were married in 1999 and have a son who was born in 2005.

The man works in a management position while she is a housewife. They lived together until end- 2018, when the man moved out.

Two months later, he filed for divorce under the Women's Charter, claiming the wife behaved in such a way that he could not be reasonably expected to live with her.

He claimed she was short-tempered, verbally abusive to him and very disrespectful to his family. According to him, she had also failed to show sufficient care, affection and appreciation for him during the course of the marriage.

He claimed that over the last few years, she had increasingly declined to be physically intimate with him, and this had completely ceased since June 2018.

The wife, who contested the divorce, conceded that she had found difficulty in being physically intimate with him since June 2018, but the judge noted the man had testified he did not do anything to help with their intimacy, including seeking counselling or medical treatment for the wife.

The judge found "considerable doubt" over the extent to which the husband was genuinely concerned about it, "but more importantly, for the purpose of this case, whether the decline in physical intimacy between them actually made it unreasonable to expect him to live with her".

The husband further claimed his wife emotionally blackmailed him when he told her he wanted a divorce.

She also attempted suicide on two occasions in December 2018, and asked their son to confront him about his affair.

The judge noted the wife did not deny the incidents and said he did not condone her actions.

"However, her overall behaviour and actions should be seen in the context of her being told by the (husband) that he was having an extramarital affair, and that he intended to divorce her and abandon her and the child, all of which would invariably have deeply hurt and affected her, such that she became emotionally unstable," said the judge.

Rejecting the man's divorce bid, District Judge Tay said: "I accepted the (wife's) submission that the (husband) had failed to make out his case that (she) had behaved in such a way that he cannot reasonably be expected to live with her."

He also ordered the man to pay $11,000 in costs.

The husband, represented by lawyer Low Jin Liang, is appealing the decision.