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Divorce Lawyers in Singapore

Divorce Lawyers in Singapore

Updated on Tuesday 05th January 2021

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The legal framework for divorce in Singapore

Divorce procedures in Singapore fall under the Women’s Charter or Chapter 353. In order to apply for divorce in Singapore one of the spouses must be a resident when applying for separation or must have lived in the city for three continuous years when starting the divorce proceedings. However, it is best for spouses to ask Singapore divorce lawyers before proceeding with the application.
 
The grounds for divorce in Singapore are the following: adultery, unreasonable behavior that makes it impossible for one of the spouses to live with the other, desertion - if one of the party has left the conjugal home for more than two years or if the spouses have lived apart for three years or more. If spouses have lived apart for four continuous years, the Singapore Court will start the divorce proceedings immediately. For legal assistance and legal representation on this matter, our divorce lawyer in Singapore remains at your disposal with professional services.

 

Judicial separation and marriage annulment in Singapore

 

Judicial separation is available if one of the spouses does not want to live with the other party, but does not want to apply for divorce either. In this case, a petition with the Court for Judicial Separation must be submitted. Marriage annulment is also possible, but it is advisable to consult a law firm in Singapore before proceeding with the application because of the extended grounds for annulment.  
 
 

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What is the divorce procedure in Singapore?

 

Before commencing the divorce procedure, the lawyers in Singapore must obtain all relevant information with the HDB (Housing and Development Board) and the CPF (Central Provident Fund) Board. The second step will be filing a Writ for divorce and a Statement of Claim. Singapore litigation lawyers may file all documents electronically.
 
After the documents are submitted, an 8 day period of time is granted for the other party to contest the divorce. This period may be extended by the Family Court by issuing a Memorandum of Appearance that has 14 days validity. Then, the Court will arrange a Status Conference or a Pre Trial Conference between parties and their divorce lawyers. The divorce trial may take several days.

 

What are the steps for a divorce in Singapore? 

 
The divorce procedure in Singapore will vary based on the type of divorce the parties will file for. The legislation in Singapore defines two basic categories of divorces: the simplified uncontested divorce and the contested divorce. As presented above, after filing the papers for divorce, a period of 8 days will pass, in which one of the parties will have sufficient time to contest the divorce, if applicable. In the case in which the parties will follow the uncontested divorce in Singapore, the following steps will take place: 
 
  • the couple will file for the simplified uncontested divorce in Singapore;
  • then, they will file a memorandum of appearance, a document necessary in the situation in which both parties agree on the ancillary matters (referring to the manner in which the assets and other properties will be divided, as well as legal matters concerning the custody of the children, where applicable);
  • the next document that must be submitted is the draft of consent order;
  • after this, the court will issue an interim judgment on the divorce process in Singapore;
  • the final decision with regard to the dissolution of marriage will be issued in a period of minimum three months. 
 
A more complex divorce procedure will be carried out in the situation in which the parties do not agree on the separation, in which case they will follow the standard steps for contested divorce. If you are dealing with the possibility of a contested divorce, you can address to our divorce lawyer in Singapore for in-depth advice and legal representation on the steps you will need to go through. 
 

What is the divorce rate in Singapore? 

 
The data on divorces in Singapore is updated by the Department of Statistics, which analyzes various indexes related to the social status of the country’s citizens. The available statistics present the evolution of divorces starting with 1980 and they analyze different variables, such as the median age at which local citizens get a divorce, the median duration of a marriage and others, such as: 
 
  • in 1980, there were only 1,721 divorces and annulments registered in this country, out of which 1,551 were divorces;
  • over the years, the divorce rate increased at a constant pace, and, in 1990, there were 3,150 divorces;
  • by 2000, the number of divorces increased at 4,920 and in 2010, it reached 6,969;
  • in 2019, the number of divorces reached 7,330 cases and it must be observed that the age at which a person divorces in Singapore also increased;
  • thus, if in 1980 a man divorced at the median age of 34, in 2019, the age increased at 43,4 years;
  • the median age of women divorcees in 1980 was of 30,8 years and in 2019, it was of 39,3 years. 

 

What is the law on child custody in Singapore? 

 
Another aspect that must be dealt with during the divorce process in Singapore is the child custody, in the case in which the couple has children. Our divorce lawyer in Singapore can assist you with in-depth legal advice on the applicable legislation and can present the steps parents should expect, depending on the type of custody that will be selected. 
 
The legislation recognizes four categories of custody: sole custody, in which one parent receives full custody of the child (or children), joint custody, where both parents receive equal rights in raising the children, hybrid order, which represents a type of sole custody where the non-custodial parent has the right of being involved in the decision-making process with regards to important aspects of the child’s life, and split custody, where a parent receives the custody of one or more children, and the other parent, of the other children of the former couple. 
 
The video below offers a short presentation on the divorce procedure in Singapore
 
 
 
 
 
 
Divorcing couples in Singapore who have children with an age below 21 years old will need to file a document that is named Proposed Parenting Plan, which should provide information on the logistics of raising the children after the divorce is finalized. In the case in which the parties will enter a simplified uncontested divorce in Singapore, then they will file the Agreed Parenting Plan. 
 
The custody of the children will raise the problem of maintenance as well. In Singapore, the former husband generally has the legal obligation to maintain the children with an age of up to 21 years old, but also his former wife. However, the law on the divorce procedure in Singapore stipulates that the spouse is not required to provide maintenance to his former wife if the marriage had a short duration or if the wife has a good standard of living. 
 
During the divorce procedure, properties and assets are divided between parties and, if children are involved, custody, maintenance and visitation rights will also be decided. Whether you need legal advice or representation in divorce matters you can contact our divorce lawyer in Singapore.