- 丈夫在与妻子分居10年后提出离婚申请。 然而妻子以本身是天主教徒的关系，提出反对并希望与司法分居的方式来取代。
- 法庭认为双方的婚姻已经到了无法挽回的地步，不能因为女方宗教信仰的关系而勉强在一起。The marriage ought to be dissolved irrespective of the religious belief of the respondent a practicing Catholic.
- 至于赡养费方面，法庭认为RM10000的数额太高；理想的费用应该是每个月RM5000。这是因为妻子并没有太多的负担。对于妻子提出得到婚姻产业(联名)的所有权，在考量了妻子对该房产的全部贡献后，法庭认为妻子的要求是合理的。After taking in totality of the evidence specifically on the contribution of the respondent towards the purchasing of the property and its up-keeping, I am of the view that it is only fair for the petitioner’s share over the property be transferred to the respondent.
- 至于EPF的要求，法庭批准妻子获得丈夫剩余的4分之1EPF金额。As to the claims on the petitioner’s EPF which is estimated standing now at RM900,000 this court is of the view that the respondents is entitled 1/4 of the remaining amount of the petitioner’s EPF as to the date of the order。
- This divorce petition dated 25.07.2006 is filed by the petitioner husband seeking for the following orders:
(a) that the said marriage be dissolved;
(b) that the custody of Divya Menon, the only child of the marriage, be granted to the respondent wife;
(c) that the petitioner will transfer his half undivided shares in property known as Blok A-2-10 Palm Ville Condominium, Jalan Lagun Timur, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor to the respondent and said child Divya Menon, equally; and
(d) other relief as this court thinks fit.
- Vide Amended Answer and Cross-Petition dated 20 May 2010 (pp 24–48, bundle A), the respondent on the other hand seeks the following order:
(a) bahawa permohonan pempetisyen dalam petisyen rayuan ditolak dan sebaliknya satu perpisahan kehakiman (judicial separation) dibenarkan atas alasan yang diberikan oleh responden;
(b) bahawa pempetisyen memindahmilik separuh bahagian tidak terbahagi atas hartanah yang dikenali sebagai Blok A-2-10, Palm Ville Condominium, Jalan Lagun Timur, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor kepada responden dalam masa tiga bulan dari tarikh decri nisi;
(c) bahawa pempetisyen diperintahkan membayar nafkah bulanan pada kadar RM10,000 setiap bulan pada atau sebelum 5 haribulan setiap bulan kepada responden;
(d) bahawa pempetisyen diperintahkan membayar nafkah bulanan tertunggak pada kadar RM10,000 setiap bulan kepada responden dari tarikh pemisahan;
(e) bahawa pempetisyen diperintah untuk membayar kepada responden satu perdua (1/2) daripada kesemua wang simpanan pempetisyen di akaun simpanannya, akuan-akaun semasa, akuan-akaun deposit tetap dan akaun-akaun yang telah ditutup oleh pempetisyen di mana-mana bank tempatan atau luar negara atas nama pempetisyen atau atas nama pihak ketiga yang berjumlah dalam lingkungan RM5 juta atau lebih;
(f) bahawa pempetisyen diperintahkan untuk membayar kepada responden satu perdua (1/2) daripada kesemua wang simpanan pempetisyen di dalam HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd yang pada tahun 2008 berjumlah lebih kurang RM2 juta atau jumlah yang paling tinggi dalam simpanan tersebut sepanjang simpanan pempetisyen;
(g) bahawa pempetisyen diperintahkan membayar separuh (1/2) daripada wang simpanan caruman pempetisyen dalam akaun KWSP kepada responden termasuk duit yang telah dikeluarkan oleh pempetisyen pada tarikh dekri nisi;
(h) bahawa pempetisyen diperintah membayar separuh (1/2) gaji dan bonus yang diterimanya kepada responden dari tarikh pemisahan sehingga tarikh dekri nisi;
(i) bahawa pempetisyen diperintah membayar kos pembelian satu kereta baru yang bernilai tidak melebihi RM150,000 dalam masa 3 bulan dari tarikh dekri nisi kepada responden;
(j) bahawa pempetisyen akan membayar untuk semua perbelanjaan perubatan termasuk pergigian, optikal, perundingan, rawatan dan perbelanjaan penghospitalan untuk responden di mana-mana hospital swasta;
(k) bahawa pempetisyen membayar responden separuh (1/2) nilai matang kesemua insurans di bawah namanya termasuk insuran yang telah di ‘redeem’ setakat ini;
(l) bahawa pempetisyen menebus responden kesemua perbelanjaan responden ke atas perbelanjaan penyelengaraan rumah matrimoni dan ke atas dirinya;
(m) bahawa pempetisyen membayar satu bayaran sekali gus sebanyak RM4 juta secara alternative;
(n) bahawa pempetisyen membayar kesemua kos guaman ini;
(o) apa-apa perintah sampingan yang difikirkan sesuai dan adil.
ISSUES TO BE DETERMINED
- The issue to be determined between the parties are as follows:
(a) dissolution of the marriage between the parties;
(b) or judicial separation between the parties;
(c) maintenance of the respondent; and (d) distribution of matrimonial assets.
- The petitioner is an engineer who is now working in Indonesia in palm oil business. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and in Masters of Business Administration (MBA). According to the petitioner, he is currently drawing a monthly income of RM25,000 which is tax free. He is also provided with a car, driver, maid and accommodation. The respondent is a house wife. She was an officer with United Asian Bank Bhd prior to and at the time of the marriage but had quitted her job six months subsequent to the marriage.
- The petitioner husband and the respondent wife were married on 23 November 1991. The petitioner was 54 years old and the respondent was 55 years old at the time of the filing of the petition. The petitioner and the respondent since marriage have stayed together at No 10, Lorong 3/57C, Petaling Jaya, Selangor and the last cohabited address was at Blok A-2-10, Palm Ville Condominium, Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya, Selangor (‘the matrimonial home’) before the petitioner left the matrimonial home in 1999. The parties have living apart since then. There is one child namely Divya Menon (born on 12 December 1986) who is now aged 25 years old and a degree holder. Divya Menon was 11 years old when the petitioner left the matrimonial home. The matrimonial home is registered jointly under the petitioner and respondents’ name. The respondent continues to live at the matrimonial home with the said child. After quitting her job, she relied entirely upon the petitioner for monies related to the upkeep of the matrimonial expenses and maintenance of the only child of the marriage.
- At the outset, both the petitioner and the respondent agreed that the marriage had irretrievably broken down. Many incidences happened in between. Attempts by the conciliatory body to reconcile the marriage have failed and certificate dated 19 December 2000 was issued certifying that it has failed to reconcile the parties.
- After taking the totality of the evidence and based on the testimonies of both the petitioner and the respondent, this court is of the view that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and the parties could no longer be expected to live with one another. Guided from the principle in Chee Kok Choon v Sern Kuang Eng  4 MLJ 461 this court is of the view that the marriage ought to be dissolved irrespective of the religious belief of the respondent a practicing Catholic. Decree nisi is therefore granted and to be made absolute after three months. Prayer (a) of the petitioner’s petition is therefore be allowed.
- The provision to award maintenance is provided under Section 77(1) of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. The statutory provision for the assessment of maintenance for a wife or a former wife is Section 78 of the Act. The assessment will be based primarily ‘on the means and needs of the parties’.
- The petitioner has set that her current expenses amounting to about RM10,000 per month as detailed out in documents marked as D3, D4, D5 and D6 in bundle C1 and C2, respectively. In 2001 she was awarded maintenance of RM3,500 monthly by the magistrate’s court for herself and the child Divya Menon who was 13 years old at the time. Since then she receives the monthly maintenance of RM3,500 from the petitioner till to date. It was contended by the respondent that the RM10,000 prayed for in her cross-petition is to place her in a position to enjoy the same standard of living as she had during the existence of marriage, which she has been denied since the separation. It was also contended that the respondent had given up her full time employment so that she could attend to the needs of the petitioner as well as care for the household. Learned counsel for the petitioner on the other hand contended that the respondent claims are not tenable for the following reason:
(a) there is no mortgage instalment to pay;
(b) no rental;
(c) the house is free of encumbrances;
(d) the respondent’s description of her lifestyle seems inexpensive; and
(e) her demeanour and dressing does not appear to be a poor woman nor as a person living a sub-standard life.
- As mentioned earlier the power to award maintenance for a wife or a former wife is provided under Section 77(1) and s 78 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. The assessment will be based primarily ‘on the means and needs of the parties’. Having considered in totality of the evidence, and based on the ‘need and means’ of the parties, this court is of the view that a monthly maintenance of RM5,000 is reasonable to be ordered to be paid by the petitioner to the respondent as her maintenance and to take effect from the date of the order. The petitioner is therefore ordered to pay RM5,000 monthly maintenance to the respondent and the maintenance to be paid before the seventh day of the beginning of the month and its subsequent months.
- Matrimonial house which is in the joint name of the petitioner and the respondent. After taking in totality of the evidence specifically on the contribution of the respondent towards the purchasing of the property and its up-keeping, I am of the view that it is only fair for the petitioner’s share over the property be transferred to the respondent. I therefore allowed for the matrimonial home known as Blok A-2-10, Palm Ville Condominium, Jalan Lagun Timur, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor be transferred to the respondent within three months of the order.
- As to the claims on the petitioner’s EPF which is estimated standing now at RM900,000 this court is of the view that the respondents is entitled 1/4 of the remaining amount of the petitioner’s EPF as to the date of the order.
- As to the other prayers, I find that the respondent has failed to proof her claims and I therefore dismissed all the other prayers.
- Lastly, it is ordered that each party to bear their own costs. Divorce granted and each party ordered to bear their own costs.
Source: Satheesan a/l TA Menon v Ayginus Shirley a/p John  7 MLJ 257. High Court Shah Alam. Yaacob Md Sam J.
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