Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Expat Divorce in Singapore

If you are an Expat living and working in Singapore, you are eligible to divorce in Singapore, provided you satisfy the following requirements:-
- You have been married for more than three years
- As long as one party has been resident in Singapore for more than 3 years
- That you have established grounds for Divorce (fault or no-fault basis)
The procedure to divorce in Singapore takes about 5 to 6 months (2 to 3 months to Interim Judgment and 3 months to Final Judgment.) The latter is a mandatory period to wait.
It is usually cheaper and faster to divorce in Singapore due the cheaper exchange rate of the Singapore Dollar. If it is a divorce agreed by both parties and ancillary issues are agreed upon, then Fixed Divorce Fees kick in. Filing on a fault basis also means that you can initiate the divorce process immediately without having to wait or meet any time criteria.
If parties agree on the divorce but not the ancillary issues they can explore mediation and to attempt a global settlement. If that fails, parties will have to proceed with contested Ancillary Hearing and a judge makes the Final Order. Your divorce lawyer will advise on the best course of action in accordance to your circumstances.
What if halfway through the Divorce my spouse packs up and leaves the country with the children?
·         If divorce papers have not been served on the spouse, an application has to be made by your divorce lawyer to serve the divorce papers through personal service or substituted service.

·         If divorce papers have been served and if Interim Judgment to be granted/or granted, then an application can be made to proceed with only the Divorce and to obtain Final Judgment on the Divorce. Ancillary issues to be dealt with at the country where the spouse and children are residing at since they have returned to that country.

What if I have been in Singapore for more than 3 years but married for less than 3 years, can I get a divorce? Your divorce lawyer can file an application in Court to seek the Court’s permission to file for divorce.
Importantly, seek advice from a Specialist Divorce Lawyer who is familiar with expat &cross border issues that may arise.

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