This involved a marriage of 6 years and 3 months. The parties were married in February 2006, and the divorce was made in May 2012. In June 2014, the husband was ordered to pay maintenance of $300 monthly, and the amount was increased to $600 monthly in October 2014 after an appeal. Part of the maintenance fee includes the rental of accommodation.

The husband appealed in July 2021 to reduce the maintenance to ‘no maintenance’ because the wife had purchased her home and was no longer paying rent.

He believed that maintenance should only be used towards the rental of accommodation, not the purchase of accommodation, such as purchase price or mortgage loan payments.

Rent or Buy


The court rejected the husband’s argument as the law on maintenance does not contain any absolute prohibition against using maintenance funds to acquire assets. In addition, the maintenance fees for rent or money towards the mortgage loan is to ensure that the wife and child has a roof over their head.

In this case, although the wife has stopped paying rent but instead is making mortgage payments, there is no material improvement in her overall financial position.

Learning Point

In assessing the maintenance fee, the court would regard all circumstances, such as financial needs, obligations, and responsibilities that both parties have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future. It would be illogical if the court restricted the use of maintenance fee to rental of accommodation and not towards the purchase of accommodation. The order of maintenance is not to create lifelong dependency of the former wife on the husband. The rationale of the law encourages former wives to strive towards self-sufficiency.

To read more about the case, visit

You are encouraged to seek legal or professional advice for any matters relating to divorce, which includes the division of matrimonial assets.


This content is meant for information purposes or reference only and not is not to be relied upon as professional or legal advice. This content does not constitute either advice or an offer or an invitation to offer to acquire, dispose of, subscribe for, or underwrite any of the financial instruments described herein.

You should seek advice from an attorney or professional who will be able to provide you with the relevant advice before you make any decision.

All details such as names, characters, places, companies and scenarios are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

Schedule appointment

Split Smartly