Monday, 18 August 2014

How to get a divorce in Singapore

divorce in Singapore

Not all marriages end happily ever after. There are times when you may face the difficult decision of having to end your marriage. In that event, here’s what you need to know about the legal procedures involved in getting a divorce before you make up your mind:

Can you divorce in Singapore?

Before you can file for a Writ for a divorce in court, you need to have been married for at least 3 years. If you do not fulfill these criteria and wish to obtain a Singapore divorce before that, you need to be able to prove that you have suffered exceptional hardship or exceptional depravity. What constitutes exceptional depravity or hardship is up to the courts to decide, but generally includes issues like spousal or child abuse.

Both parties must have lived in Singapore for at least 3 years before commencement of divorce proceedings.

Irretrievable breakdown of marriage

As laid down in the Women’s Charter of Singapore, one must prove to the court that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is to be the sole ground of divorce. An irretrievable breakdown is defined by one of the following conditions:

·         Adultery: one party has committed adultery and the other spouse finds it intolerable to live with the other
·         Unreasonable behavior: one party has behaved in a way that makes it intolerable to live with each other
·         Separation of 3 years: both parties have lived apart for a continuous period of 3 years
·         Separation of 4 years: both parties have lived apart for a continuous period of 4 years and no consent is needed from the defendant party in this case

Ancillary matters

Apart from the application for a Singapore divorce, (through the services of a Singapore divorce lawyer), one would need to submit to the court an affidavit regarding ancillary matters such as maintenance for the wife and children as well as custody issues.

You are advised to engage the services of an experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore before submitting a Writ for divorce as there is a substantial amount of paperwork involved.

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