May 10, 2009
YOUR PERSONAL ADVISER: FINANCE
Keeping the flat after a divorce
Q My son-in-law has left my daughter for another woman. He has decided to divorce her and wants the HDB flat to be sold so that he can get half the proceeds of it, which is in joint names. Both have contributed equally to the payments.
The flat is rented out because he is not providing any maintenance, and my daughter and her two children are living in my flat. My daughter needs the flat as a home for the children in the future.
The divorce cannot take place yet as the period of separation has not been four years. What worries us is: Will the court order the sale of the HDB flat in this situation? We are afraid to lose the flat.
A In all divorce proceedings in which an HDB flat is involved, the Housing Board will complete a Standard Query in which it will set out if the flat can be sold in the open market or surrendered. If the occupancy period is not satisfied, generally the HDB would ask that the flat be surrendered.
If your husband is not paying your daughter maintenance, she should apply to court for interim maintenance as her renting out of the whole flat may be construed that she does not need the flat and that she has alternative accommodation.
Upon divorce, the flat will stand to be divided and even though they may both have contributed equally, her indirect non-financial contributions in looking after the welfare of the family would also be taken into account. She may therefore be given more than her 50 per cent share in the flat. At the divorce stage, she may wish to explore the possibility of the flat being transferred to her by buying out her husband's share or a transfer to her with or without refund to his CPF account.
Amolat & Partners