man weighs divorce laws in countries

            Posted on August 23, 2015  

            Man weighs divorce laws in different countries

Q. My employer offered me a big promotion if I move and spend the next 4 years in either Hong Kong or Singapore. My wife thinks it’s a great idea.

It seems I’ll continue to earn a significant income, which is the source of our significant assets - except for our million dollar home which I inherited from my parents. My wife earns a nominal income working in a private day-care.

Right now things are not going so well between us so I’ve been thinking about filing for divorce. I’ve heard if I get divorced here, there’ll be a 50-50 split of everything earned during the marriage and that my wife might also get a big percentage of the value of the house.

What would I end up with if, instead, I got divorced in either Hong Kong or Singapore?

D.V., Gloucester

A. Hong Kong divorce judges must use an equal-sharing principle when dividing marital assets. A change from 50-50 share must be justified by specific findings.

Singapore has no presumption of equal-division. Martial assets are divided based on what the judge finds is equitable after considering all relevant facts and circumstances. Unlike Hong Kong, the Singapore court cannot include inheritances, gifts, or pre-marital property as part of the marital estate. Except, no matter how acquired, the marital estate in Singapore includes the marital home.

So you could sell your U.S. house and put that money in your separate account. In Singapore, rent an apartment. Then if you get divorced there you’d probably end up with much more there than if you got divorced in either Massachusetts or Hong Kong.