updated 6 Sep 2013, 19:03
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Wed, 07 Aug 2013
The Straits Times
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Couple spent $1.7m, and counting, on divorce case
by K.C. Vijayan

SINGAPORE - A warning Singapore-based couple committed "financial suicide" by spending a staggering $1.7 million on legal costs - to decide where their divorce should be heard as well as litigation costs linked to their child.

A British judge expressed his dismay at the amount spent by a 42-year-old lawyer and his 39-year-old anaesthetist wife, who have a two-year-old son.

London High Court Justice James Holman said it was "tragic" that the couple had not concentrated on a "straightforward matter of how much to provide for the wife and son". Instead, "so much firepower" has been directed on the issue of where the divorce case should be heard.

His judgment grounds, released last week, ruled that the London court had the jurisdiction to hear their divorce suit.

The husband had objected to this, arguing the case should be heard in India, as he denied being domiciled in England at the time of the divorce petition.

The wife qualified as an anaesthetist in England in 2002 and the couple married there in 2009.

Their son was born a year later.

Neither of the couple can be named under the law to protect the child's identity.

Justice Holman described both parents as "highly intelligent, very well-educated, energetic, successful and ambitious professional people".

The wife, a British citizen, sought for the divorce to be heard in England, where she believed she could get more in financial provisions.

The husband, whose nationality is unclear, moved to Singapore in December 2009 as a top corporate lawyer for a heavyweight international law firm.

She followed in 2010.

Their relationship soured with occasional violence alleged to have flared between the pair.

Within two years, "divorce became inevitable", said the judge.

Though habitually resident in Singapore, the wife filed for divorce in London in August last year.

Read the full story here.

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