Divorced Couple Fought Over 3YO’s $4,888 Monthly Expenses

Last Updated on 2023-01-10 , 5:11 pm

While custody battles often seem super dramatic in TV shows, most of us probably haven’t seen one unfold right in front of our eyes before.

But recently, a custody battle that a Singaporean woman and American man have been having over their three-year-old daughter was thrust into the spotlight.

The reason?

The woman said that her daughter spends around $4,888 in monthly expenses, and her husband said that the value was “unreasonable”.

Here’s what happened.

More About the Ex-Couple

According to court documents, the former couple married on 17 December 2019 but conceived their daughter before marriage.

They also signed a prenuptial agreement one day before their wedding.

The man is a 41-year-old American who owns a construction company in his home country, while his ex-wife is a 31-year-old Singaporean who works as a senior staff member in a bank.

When their marriage fell apart, they went to court under the Guardianship of Infants Act to fight for custody of their daughter.

Initial Ruling

When the case was brought to court, the judge ruled that the pair should have joint custody of their daughter.

It was also ruled that the young girl would stay with her mother while her father would get to see her four times a week.

The judge also expressed that $4,888 was a “reasonable” amount for the girl’s monthly expenses.

This also included the $1,500 that the girl’s mother had to pay her own parents after moving back in with them after the divorce.

Based on the pair’s incomes, the man was responsible for 65% of his daughter’s expenses and was ordered to pay his ex-wife $3,200 in alimony every month.

Man Appealed the Ruling

However, the man appealed this decision and said that $4,888 in monthly expenses was too much. He even claimed that his daughter’s expenses only amounted to $1,660 per month when she stayed with him.

He also noted that even though his ex-wife was staying at her parents’ house, there was no evidence that she was paying rent to her parents every month.

Apart from that, the man added that he would like to bring his daughter back home overnight to spend the night with him from time to time since she is already three years old.

Wife’s Opinions

In response to her ex-husband’s appeal, the woman retorted sarcastically by saying that her ex-husband wants their daughter to “live the life of a princess”.

Regarding the rent she pays to her parents, she revealed that her mother opposed their marriage from the very beginning and has always been upset at how the pair conceived their daughter out of wedlock. As such, part of why she pays her parents rent is to appease her mother.

She also pointed out that she now takes up two rooms in her parents’ house as she is living there with her daughter and domestic helper, meaning that her parents have been unable to rent the two rooms out.

Hence, the rent also makes up for her parents’ income losses.

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Judge’s Opinions

The judge who heard the appeal in the High Court mentioned that the man would be abroad for three months this year due to business purposes.

In addition, the judge noted that his daughter is “still young” and concluded that it would be more appropriate for him to request permission to let his daughter stay at his house overnight when she is older.

The judge added that the alimony fees should include the rent that the woman pays her parents but said that $4,388 is a “more reasonable amount” for the girl’s monthly expenses.

The judge also revealed during the hearing that the woman earns $7,920 monthly. Considering that, the judge ruled for the woman to continue paying 35% of her daughter’s monthly expenses.

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Featured Image: Burdun Iliya / Shutterstock.com