What is a Divorce in Singapore?
A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage.
When the judge in the Family Court approves your divorce application, you will receive an Interim Judgment of Divorce. This ends the first phase of the divorce proceedings,
In the second phase, the ancillary matters will be dealt with, namely the issues concerning the custody of your children, the properties and maintenance amount.
Who can apply for a divorce in the Family Court of Singapore?
You can apply for a divorce in the Family Court if either your spouse or yourself
- is a Singaporean
- is domiciled in Singapore
- have lived in Singapore for at least three years before applying for a divorce in the Family Court
You cannot apply for divorce if you are married for less than three years unless permission is granted by the court.
The Family Court is not for couples who were married under the Muslim law.
Do check the law if you are eligible before you apply for a divorce.
What are the legal requirements for a divorce in Singapore?
The judge in the Family court only grant a divorce if your marriage is irretrievably broken down.
You must show proof of at least one of these conditions:
- that your spouse had committed adultery, and you find it intolerable to live with your spouse.
- that you cannot tolerate your spouse’s behaviour.
- that your spouse has deserted you for at least two years.
- that your spouse had agreed to the divorce and have been separated for at least three years.
- that your spouse did not agree to the divorce but you have been separated for at least four years.
How do I apply for a divorce in Singapore?
Submit to the Family Court the following:
Then you will need to pay the appropriate filing fees.
You can either prepare your own divorce paper or ask our divorce lawyer in Singapore to do it for you.
Please read the divorce procedure page for more information.
What if my spouse cannot be located?
You can still continue with your divorce application in the Family Court.
However, you will still have to serve the paper on your spouse.
Can I oppose a Divorce application filed by my spouse?
Yes you can.
But it is pertinent that you follow the correct procedures and you have to clear on what you are opposing to.
Is it the end of the marriage or the ancillary issues?
If you ignore the Court Order, the Court will proceed with the case and make the judgment without you. Whatever decisions made will be binding even if you were not at the court hearing during judgement.
To oppose the writ of divorce, you will have to file a defense if you wish to remain married to your spouse.
If not, you can file the Memorandum of Appearance indicating which ancillary issues which you wish to be addressed by the court with you. (Custody of children, division of assets, alimony, etc.)
At the end of the Interim Judgment hearing, the Court will call for an Ancillary Matters Pre-Trial Conference.
And you will be asked to file an Affidavit of Assets and Means.
Can we avoid a contested divorce?
Can I proceed with divorce without a lawyer in Singapore?
A divorce or family lawyer is optional if you can do it yourself.
But make sure you file the necessary documents to the Court in the correct format through the Electronic Filing System. And pay the correct filing fees.
Do note that the Family Court is not in the position to give you any advice if you are getting the divorce on your own.
Only your engaged family lawyer can give you the legal advice that is to your interest.
Feel free to call us for a FREE phone consultation today!
When can I remarry after divorce?
You can only remarry after you have obtained the Final Judgment, which is known as a Certificate of Making Interim Judgment Final. (Nullity / Divorce / Presumption of Death and Divorce).
Before you apply for the Final Judgment, you must wait for at least three months and all the ancillary matters must have been dealt with.