No sole ownership of flat for divorcee

No sole ownership of flat for divorcee

A partially paralysed Singaporean woman who won a $4.6 million insurance payout due to an overseas car accident has failed in her bid to gain sole ownership of an HDB flat that she co-owned with her former husband.

The dispute over the matrimonial flat and maintenance payable to her following their divorce was brought up in the High Court on Tuesday.

Madam Ho Shin Hwee, 35, and her husband Mark Kwik, 36, separated a year after the accident in July 2003 in Brisbane, Australia, which left her with serious head injuries. As a result of the accident, Madam Ho was wheelchair-bound and needed permanent medical and domestic care.

They had married in Singapore some 10 months earlier and she had joined him in Brisbane, where he worked as a technician. The following year, Mr Kwik moved out of the five-room Sengkang flat. She divorced him in 2011.

In August 2011, Madam Ho received a A$3.8 million (S$4.6 million) insurance payout for the accident in Brisbane.

Her lawyers urged the court not to include the payout sum in the matrimonial assets to be divided. Mr Kwik accepted this but argued that the payout showed that she could support herself. Madam Ho had sought sole ownership of the flat - currently worth $495,000 - without having to refund her former husband's CPF monies that were used to pay for the flat.

The issue at hand was the HDB Home Protection Insurance Scheme (HPIS), which kicked in following her accident. Funds from HPIS had helped to settle the flat's mortgage debt.

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