Financial Disputes in Syariah Court: Dividing Matrimonial Assets


Financial Disputes in Syariah Court

Financial disputes in terms of matrimonial assets are resolved only at the syariah court for muslims. All other financial disputes are dealth with at the civil courts. It is important to know that all assets acquired after marriage are matrimonial assets. These include monies in the bank, cpf account, insurance and properties be it in joint or single names. Even if an asset is not held under joint names, it may still be considered a matrimonial asset. There are many thing that the court will take into account when dividing matrimonial assets. A non exhaustive list is as follows:

You may take a look at section 52(8) of the administration of muslim law act which lists the following as factors:

(8) It is the duty of the Court in deciding whether to exercise its powers under subsection (7) and, if so, in what manner, to have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the following matters:

(a) the extent of the contributions made by each party in money, property or work towards acquiring, improving or maintaining the property;

(b) any debt owing or obligation incurred or undertaken by either party for their joint benefit or for the benefit of any child of the parties;

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[Act 11 of 2022 wef 17/08/2022]

(C) the needs of the children (if any) of the parties;

[Act 11 of 2022 wef 17/08/2022]

(d) the extent of the contributions made by each party to the welfare of the family, including looking after the home or caring for the family or any aged or infirm relative or dependant of either party;

(e) any agreement between the parties with respect to the ownership and division of the property made in contemplation of divorce;

(f) any period of rent-free occupation or other benefit enjoyed by one party in the matrimonial home to the exclusion of the other party; 

(g) the giving of assistance or support by one party to the other party (whether or not of a material kind), including the giving of assistance or support which aids the other party in the carrying on of his or her occupation or business;

(h) the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(i) the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(j) the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;

(k) the age of each party and the duration of the marriage;

(l) any physical or mental disability of either of the parties;

(m) the value to either of the parties of any benefit (such as a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

We must not assume that there will be a 50:50 division. It is also important to note that in short childless marriages, the wife may only be able to claim mutaah and nafkah iddah and not a higher share of the house. It will likely be based on direct contribution which means if you paid 30% for the house, you get 30% of the profit.

Mutaah is also based on the salary of the husband generally. Mutaah is not a measurement of our daily expenses. It is like a gift. Generally is a man makes 3k a month, mutaah may be anywhere between 4 to 5 dollars a day. 

Last but not least do that note that some.assets bought before marriage may be considered a matrimonial asset subject to certain conditions.

Contact a lawyer for detailed advice. 

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Mohammad Rizuan

Rizuan has a practice that deals in a wide area of practice including but not limited to Civil and Criminal Litigation, Family Litigation and Syariah Divorces.

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