'Pain' damages should not be among marital assets: Judge

Justice Debbie Ong said compensation for pain and suffering awarded following an accident are not assets acquired by the efforts of a spouse during marriage.
Justice Debbie Ong said compensation for pain and suffering awarded following an accident are not assets acquired by the efforts of a spouse during marriage.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Compensation awarded for pain and suffering to a man who was injured in an accident should not be included in the pool of assets to be divided between him and his wife during their divorce, the High Court has ruled.

In a decision last week, Justice Debbie Ong said some components of compensation - such as lost earnings prior to the divorce - may be considered matrimonial assets, but not compensation for pain and suffering as this is not acquired by a spouse's efforts during marriage.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline ''Pain' damages should not be among marital assets: Judge'. Print Edition | Subscribe