SINGAPORE – In the event of a divorce, when one party has the opportunity to take over a share of another property relationship between the spouse, who should take on current mortgages and pay taxes on immovable property until the transfer is completed?
The appeal court explained on Thursday (November 8th) that it rejected the wife's claims that she should not only be carrying current obligations – about $ 30,000 – for the 1.78 million condominiums she would have herself.
Mortgage payments should be borne by the potential owner of the property, the three court judges said, given that the payment of any outstanding mortgage would only benefit that person.
However, the court found that it is necessary to distinguish between mortgage payments and payments of property taxes, which are the tariffs charged for the ownership of the property.
Therefore, payment of the property tax is covered by the person who is considered as the owner of the property on the day of the court's decision, the court said in the judgment of the Judge of the Court of Appeal Andrew Phang.
In the judgment, the court, which also consisted of Judge Steven Chong and Judge Chao Hick Tin, emphasized that these were merely prima facie positions – correct until proven otherwise.
It was still available to courts that decide on such cases to take the opposite, if, for example, an appropriate situation would arise if it was unfair to order the potential owner to assume current obligations.
The court decision came about when the woman agreed to buy the husband's share of the law for $ 377,684.
She appealed against the decision of the High Court that she is solely liable for the transfer of mortgage and property benefits.
In its judgment, the court of appeal rejected the woman's claim that it actually did not gain any benefit as the value of the property fell from $ 1.78 million to $ 1.73 million.
With the possibility of taking over a possible share of the property, I would know that there is a real possibility that the value of the property will decrease, the court said.
"It does not matter at our discretion whether the woman actually generated a profit or loss after the transfer was completed."
The Supreme Court ruled that the woman was the ultimate owner and nominee owner, as she confirmed in two hearings before the High Court in 2017 that she would take over the possibility of buying her husband in the ownership.
There were no special circumstances that would shift the prima facie position that he had to pay a mortgage and pay a property tax, the court said.