Ncw v Sjw

CourtFamily Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date16 Mar 2016
Judgement NumberFCMC6612/2014
SubjectMatrimonial Causes
FCMC6612/2014 NCW v. SJW

FCMC 6612 / 2014

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

MATRIMONIAL CAUSES

NUMBER 6612 OF 2014

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BETWEEN

NCW Petitioner

and

SJW Respondent

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Coram: Her Honour Judge Sharon D. Melloy in Chambers (Not open to public)
Date of Hearing: 15 January 2016
Receipt of additional information: 28 and 29 January 2016
Date of closing submissions: 5 February 2016
Date of Judgment: 16 March 2016

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J U D G M E N T
(Variation of maintenance and remittance of sums owed)

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Introduction

1. There are two applications before the court that now require adjudication. They are both issued by the respondent husband and they are both dated the 22 May 2015. The first seeks a reduction of maintenance from ZAR 56,200 each for the wife and the two children of the family down to zero and the second asks that any sums owed by the husband under the terms of the court order dated the 10 October 2014 be remitted in full.

2. Under the terms of the first court order dated 10 October 2014 the parties agreed that the husband would pay the wife and the two children of the family US$5,233 per month each to be converted into South African rand in the amount of ZAR56,200 per month with effect from the 1 November 2014. It was also agreed that the wife would relocate to South Africa with the two children of the family. In a subsequent court order dated the 29 December 2014 it was further agreed that two properties held by the parties in London would be placed on the market for sale together for not less than GBP800,000. The net proceeds of sale were to be divided so that 77% would be paid to the wife and 23% to the husband, which was representative of the monies initially invested by each side. There were also some other minor agreements including an undertaking by the husband to pay for and maintain a life insurance policy on his life for not less than US$3 million with the wife and the two children being equal beneficiaries under that policy. There were also the normal provisions concerning the dismissal of claims upon each party’s compliance with these terms.

3. The husband says, and I would accept this to be the case, that at the time that he entered into this agreement he was earning in the region of US$22,900 per month made up of three payments, two sums in US$ i.e. US$12,872 and US$1,050 per month both of which were initially paid into a joint HSBC Jersey account and a further sum of HK$71,000 per month that were paid into a joint Hong Kong premier account. It was explained to me during the course of the hearing that the husband was employed as a “fabric professional”. These three sums represented different aspects of his professional obligations at that time including work undertaken in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. In addition he received other benefits including a rental allowance etc.

4. The husband left his original employer of many years shortly after the parties reached terms and on the 15 January 2015 he began a new job with a firm called L at a much increased salary of US$400,000 or HK$3,120,000 per annum. Unfortunately for reasons that I will not go into here, this new job was short lived and he was asked to leave after only six weeks. He was paid one month’s salary in lieu. The husband has been unemployed since that time although I am now told, in his closing submission, that he has been offered a six month consultancy contract with an American company for US$29,000 per month. He is hopeful that this will lead to full time work, but in any event is also following up on other opportunities. The wife for her part is a full time mother and she does not currently work in a paid capacity outside of the home. This may have to change in due course.

The current position

5. The husband’s current position is that he is able to pay the wife the full amount of maintenance with effect from the end of March 2016. Thus he no longer wishes to proceed with his application for a reduction in maintenance and that summons will subsequently be adjourned sine die with liberty to restore. There shall be no order as to costs. He does however ask that all arrears be discharged with effect from the date of his application. In...

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