Court dismisses appeal by man who said wife did not reveal lesbian status when she sought a divorce

SINGAPORE - A man told the court that his wife was a lesbian and used that as the basis of his appeal against an interim divorce judgment granted to her.

He thought that if his appeal was granted, his wife - who left to live with her female partner - would return to him.

But on Friday (July 23), his appeal was dismissed by Justice Choo Han Teck, who commented that it was too late and, for the man, love was no longer on the cards.

The couple married in 2009, and had a daughter in 2011 and a son in 2013.

According to the wife, 2013 was also when the marriage broke down.

She left the matrimonial home in 2019 and filed for divorce in 2020 on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

The husband did not file his defence, and an interim judgment was entered in her favour in November 2020.

He applied to rescind the judgment but this was dismissed.

He then appealed against that decision.

The basis of his appeal was that the wife did not disclose that she was a lesbian who left the marriage to live with her female partner.

The man claimed the interim judgment would not have been granted if the court had known of this.

He also claimed that she "disclosed facts which are untrue and thus misrepresented the true state of affairs".

The man's lawyer conceded that the wife being a lesbian was not a defence, but said the interim judgment would not have been granted if this had been disclosed.

In his written judgment, Justice Choo said there was no merit to the argument.

"That, on the face of it, made no legal sense," he added.

"But the point is that the claim of that particular non-disclosure as a ground for setting aside the interim judgment has no merits whatsoever."

The judge noted that the husband claiming they previously had a "reasonably happy marriage" was just so he could blame the breakdown solely on the wife.

He added that nothing in the material submitted to him showed any warmth between the spouses after 2013.

"It is too late now," said Justice Choo.

"And it is, from the evidence before me, unlikely to achieve anything but a prolongation of mutual grief.

"Whatever his reasons for wanting to set aside the interim judgment, love is not even in the queue."

The question of costs for the legal battles will be heard by the court at a later date.

The Straits Times understands that custody of the children is yet to be decided.

They are currently living with their father and visited by their mother.

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