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When a House is not the (Matrimonial) Home: The Division of Multigenerational Matrimonial Homes in Singapore

Leon Vincent Chan

(2023) 35 SAcLJ 217

The ways in which families organise their lives are neither uniform nor universal. The recent decisions of TQU v TQT [2020] SGCA 8 and VOD v VOC [2022] SGHC(A) 6 have demonstrated the difficulty in understanding the place of a multigenerational matrimonial home – a single property that is a matrimonial home to two different family nuclei. In this article, using Singapore as a case study, the author argues that a single property can be the matrimonial home for two different families and that a party’s part interest in the multigenerational matrimonial home should be included in the pool of matrimonial assets for division. The author further advances a novel argument that the classification methodology can be applied by the courts to take into account the ownership and residence of the other family in the multigenerational matrimonial home as a “clear reason to make a different calculation” for the multigenerational matrimonial home vis-à-vis the other matrimonial assets, and may be applied alongside the use of unequal weightages being ascribed to direct and indirect contributions.