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ASK THE EXPERT: What Is It Like Filing For Divorce In Singapore?

The grounds for divorce is irretrievable breakdown of marriage. To prove this, you can cite one of the following reasons.

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1. Desertion

If your spouse has abandoned you for two years or more, and has not returned or resumed living with you, then this is considered as desertion.


2. Separation

Both of you must have lived in separate bedrooms or apart for a period of time before filing for divorce and must not have performed any spousal duties such as holidaying or eating together.

If the both of you move in together, the chain of separation is broken.

If you decide to divorce after three years of separation, then your spouse must give his or her written consent for the divorce, and agree that you have both been separated for those number of years. The separation date cannot be backdated .


3. Adultery

The act of adultery must not have happened more than six months prior to the divorce filing and will require a private investigator’s report as proof.

Also, the third party in the marriage must be named as a Co-Defendant in the proceedings and will be personally served with divorce papers.

However, you won’t obtain a large amount of maintenance or share of assets if you file for divorce based on this reason.

Adultery can also be classified as improper association and categorised under unreasonable behaviour, which saves you the cost of hiring a private investigator.


4. Unreasonable behaviour

An oft-cited reason, unreasonable behaviour helps obtain a divorce order, but does not affect either party’s personal or professional life, or Singapore visa status.

You will need to list out the details of your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour in a Statement of Particulars to convince the Court that the marriage has broken down.


Once your reason for the divorce is established, these papers will be prepared: A Writ of Summons must be filed to initiate divorce proceedings, then a Statement of Claim will detail each party’s particulars, your children’s details, information of marriage and the claims you are making in the divorce. This is followed by a Statement of Particulars, a Memorandum of Appearance (the other spouse uses this to inform the Court whether he or she is contesting the divorce) and an Acknowledgment of Service document to declare that the other party has received the complete set of divorce documents. These documents will be filed in the Family Justice Courts and then served to the other spouse by the lawyer’s clerk personally.


By The Finder, January 2017

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