Case Law

  • Plaintiff (husband) applied to vary the terms for arrears of maintenance.
  • The court scrutinised sections 86 and 98 of the LRA and commented that those sections are provisions that relate to applications for arrears of maintenance
  • Section 83 of the LRA relates to the power of court to vary any subsisting orders for maintenance of a spouse.
  • Section 96 of the LRA on the other hand, relates to the power of court to vary orders for custody or maintenance of a child.
  • As such, the court held that there is no provision in the LRA that confers power on a court to vary the terms for arrears of maintenance.

EPF is a matrimonial asset

  • It has been established on case authority that EPF is a matrimonial asset (See: [1997] 3 MLJ 133; [1997] 1 MLJ 109).
  • It is settled law that orders for division of matrimonial assets made pursuant to section 76 of the LRA cannot be varied.

 

You need a court order or a written agreement to claim outstanding maintenance

  • Section 86(1) of the LRA expressly provides that in order for the petitioner to claim for maintenance in arrears, there must be an existing court order to compel the respondent to pay maintenance to the petitioner or alternatively there must be an agreement between the parties that the respondent to pay monthly maintenance to the petitioner.

 

Source: [2014] 1 LNS 621

Source: The Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (Commentary and Cases), Sweet & Maxwell.

 

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Family Law: Can Ex-Husband Vary the Terms for Arrears of Maintenance?