Fighting For Matrimonial Home In Husband’s Name During Divorce Proceedings
In divorce proceedings, competent and experienced lawyers are able to assist women to fight for a share of matrimonial assets acquired during marriage. Even if the property has been registered in the name of the husband, this does not mean that a divorced wife could not have a share in the said property. The court has power to order division of matrimonial assets under section 76(3) of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 in respect of assets acquired during the marriage by the sole effort of one party or proceeds from the sale of such assets. Further, section 76(1) of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, inter alia, gives power of the court to order division of any assets acquired during the marriage by their joint effort, or the proceeds from the sale of such assets. So women, it is not the end of the road for you to have a share of the properties acquired during the marriage even though they could be registered in the name of your husband alone.
What Is Taken Into Consideration?
For division of property, the court is empowered under section 76(4) of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 to consider when dividing the assets acquired during the marriage by the sole effort of one party to the marriage or the proceeds from the sale of such assets, first the extend of the contributions made by the other party who did not acquire the assets, but, did contribute to the welfare of the family, such as, by looking after the children of the family or home.
My Husband Employed A Housekeeper
What would happen if the husband had employed a housekeeper or maid to look after the house and children and the wife seldom cook and did the laundry? Women in divorce proceedings need competent lawyers to assist them when faced with such as situation.
In Lee Yu Lan v. Lim Thian Chye  1 MLJ 56, the wife claimed that she had contributed to the matrimonial home by “caring and rearing the children at home”. She also said she also provided for “housewifely” duty. The house was bought by her husband but sold it for RM191,000.00 It was decided by the court that she was entitled to RM60,000.00 However it need to be understood that the court normally will give greater portion of proceeds to the party who sole effort the property been acquired – please see Lim Bee Cheng v. Christopher Lee Joo Peng  2 CLJ 697.
What will happen if the husband incurred debts in the course of acquiring the matrimonial property?
Besides taking into consideration the contributions made by each party towards the acquiring of the property, the law also provides that the court shall also take into consideration of any debts owing by either party which were contracted for their joint benefit when dividing the matrimonial assets. If the husband incurred debts in the course of acquiring the matrimonial property, the court shall have to consider the debts the husband had to pay and also the possibility of creditors chasing for payment of some of the husband’s liabilities before diving the assets between the husband and the divorced wife. So, woman in a divorce proceeding although is entitled to some of the assets acquired during marriage, but, may not also be able to get substantial sums if the court takes into consideration of debts incurred by the husband in acquiring the matrimonial property.
Want to know more about Divorce and Matrimonial Proceedings, read our article on Divorce and Matrimonial Proceedings in Malaysia.
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