Imagine spending three decades with the same man and having kids together only to find out years later that he was cheating on you all along. Heartbreaking, isn’t it? Well, for one women, it wasn’t.
In fact, she turned out to be so generous that she allowed her husband to bring home the mistress to live together, disregarding any extra marital affair law!
In a seemingly surprising incident, a man who was married for over 30 years not only found himself a mistress but also got her to live in his family home.
Mistress Stayed In The Same Home
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The incident dates back to 2014, when the man sought his ‘wife’s acceptance’ for his mistress, to which she reluctantly agreed, according to The Straits Times.
It all began when the man took a mistress when he found himself a new job. His wife unwillingly agreed to his extramarital affair. This affair lasted for three years until in December 2017, after which the wife and their two grown-up sons left the matrimonial home.
Two months later, his wife filed for divorce and an interim judgment was granted in June 2018 on the grounds that the husband had behaved in such a way that the wife could not reasonably be expected to live with him.
Family Court District Judge, Kathryn Thong, said, “Such behaviour included the husband requesting the wife to accept his mistress into the family and into the matrimonial home, which the wife agreed to.”
To which the husband expressed shock as he claimed in these proceedings that his wife was happy with the arrangement.
Their two sons said in a deposition to the court that they had grudgingly accepted the mistress out of fear of their “harsh disciplinarian” father losing his temper.
Extra Marital Affair Law: The Court’s Judgment
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The man repeatedly stated in his affidavit and at the hearings that he wanted his wife to return home. The court then assessed the contributions of each party to decide on what each should get from their joint matrimonial pool of assets.
The court said that woman had joined civil service at the age of 18 and was 56 at the time of the hearing. She sacrificed her career so that her husband could progress ahead. Her promotions were delayed because she had to care for the family.
On the other hand, her husband even after he left the civil service, was preoccupied with his career. Then from 2014, he was focused on his affair.
The judge noted, “Parties had amassed their wealth together, through the wife’s efforts in caring for the family and attending to the children’s needs financially and non-financially; the husband by focusing on upgrading himself and switching careers.”
“In contrast, the wife was wedded to her job as a technician in the civil service,” the judge added.
Judge Thong recognised the woman’s stabilising role in raising their two sons and being around for them. This allowed the man to go abroad on assignments.
‘Fair’ Turn Of Events: Wife Becomes A Millionaire
The court found the total known asset pool to be some $2.74 million, which included the matrimonial home, insurance policies and a condominium unit.
The asset pool excluding the condo was about $2.45 million, from which the judge awarded 55 percent to the wife and 45 percent to the husband, based on their direct and indirect contributions over the years.
For the condo unit, the division was 31 percent to the wife and 69 percent to the husband. The husband is now appealing against the judgment.
While the husband amassed the majority of the wealth, he was able to do so because his wife made several sacrifices during the course of their 30 years of marriage.
If you are in such a situation where you have been cheated on by your partner and you want to come out of the toxic marriage, know that there are things you can do.
But first, it is very important to understand the extramarital affair law in Singapore.
Divorce On Grounds of Adultery: 8 Things to Remember
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1. There must be sexual intercourse
In order to establish adultery as the ground for divorce, there must be sexual intercourse. It is insufficient when you provide proof of your spouse communicating intimately through text messages and emails.
Even other intimate activities such as hand-holding or kissing, with the alleged third party are also not counted as solid proofs.
2. Third party has to be of the opposite gender
In Singapore, adultery can only be committed between the defendant and a third party of the opposite sex.
So, if your spouse has engaged in an intimate relationship with another party of the same gender, it may not be considered legitimate grounds for divorce.
3. Must be married for at least 3 years
You will be able to commence divorce proceedings if you are married for three years or more.
This would mean that even if you have knowledge that your partner is involved in an adulterous relationship a few months into the marriage, you will be unable to file for divorce on adultery grounds.
4. You get 6 months to file for divorce
Divorce is not that easy and obviously not the first option in mind. Even after you come to know that your partner is cheating. Most would try to sort the differences and make an attempt to salvage the marriage.
You will not be allowed to divorce your spouse based on adultery. This is especially true if you continue to live with him or her for six months and longer even after finding out about the adulterous relationship.
It can be argued that you have acknowledged the actions, and forgiven the grievance caused by your spouse’s infidelity.
5. Not a crime
Remember, adultery is not a crime in Singapore. So, neither the third party nor the defendant (your spouse) would be punished with a jail sentence or be fined. But the court’s decision is always made on a case-by-case basis.
So for instance, if the defendant is proved to be a serial adulterer, or has been proven to lead a lifestyle that is grossly immoral, it could impact the court’s decision in awarding custody of children.
6. Naming and shaming of “third party” won’t help
You may decide to identify the third party in court. However, naming or shaming the other person does not lead to being given a better settlement at the divorce suit.
7. Prove it’s intolerable to live with your spouse
You will have to prove that living with your spouse has been intolerable since adultery has been committed.
The courts will then consider if a reasonable person in your position would find it intolerable to live in such a scenario.
8. What can I claim from the “other party”?
Apart from legal fees and private investigator fees, you will not be able to claim anything. Proving adultery is often rather difficult as Singapore courts have adopted such a high standard of proof. This means you may need to hire a Private Investigator (PI). Plus, the fee for hiring a PI can be quite high.
So this makes filing a divorce on the grounds of adultery to be time-consuming, stressful, and costly. You will need a good divorce lawyer who can guide you through the divorce procedure.