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Divorce in Singapore: Common Divorce Questions

As one of Singapore`s largest matrimonial law departments, lawyers at Gloria James-Civetta & Co, have the experience required to obtain the best outcomes on your divorce. Our experienced divorce lawyers provide honest advice based on your individual circumstances.

  1. What is required to file a divorce in Singapore?
  2. If you want to divorce, you and your spouse must both have resided in Singapore for three years or more, and you must have been married to each other for at least three years.

    To file a divorce in Singapore, you must satisfy the court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You must show proof any one of the following requirements:

    1. Your spouse has committed adultery, and you find it intolerable to live with him/her;
    2. Your spouse has behaved unreasonably to such a degree that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her;
    3. Your spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of at least 2 years;
    4. You and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 3 years, and your spouse agrees to getting a divorce;
    5. You and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 4 years.
    To apply for a divorce, you must then submit to the Family court the following documents:
    1. Writ for divorce;
    2. Statement of Claim; and
    3. Statement of Particulars.
    You may prepare these documents by yourself or engage a divorce lawyer to assist you.

  3. How long does it take to complete a divorce?
  4. An uncontested divorce occurs when a couple has come to an agreement on the dissolution of their marriage as well as ancillary matters such as child custody and the division of matrimonial assets. An uncontested divorce is generally a shorter process. On the other hand, a contested divorce tends to be longer and more arduous as the couple will have to attend trial and be cross-examined. The Court will only grant a divorce after ancillary matters such as custody, care and control and the division of matrimonial assets have been decided.

  5. What is the difference between a divorce and annulment?
  6. An annulment is a legal procedure that cancels a marriage. An annulment declares the marriage invalid as though it never existed. On the other hand, a divorce is a legal procedure that ends a valid marriage.

  7. How long is the divorce process?
  8. An uncontested divorce occurs when a couple has come to an agreement on the dissolution of their marriage as well as ancillary matters such as child custody and the division of matrimonial assets. The divorce process in Singapore in relation to an uncontested divorce is generally a shorter one.

    On the other hand, the divorce process in a contested divorce tends to be longer and more arduous as the couple will have to attend trial and be cross-examined. The Court will only grant a divorce after ancillary matters such as custody, care and control and the division of matrimonial assets have been decided.

  9. Am I entitled to Spousal support?
  10. In Singapore, a wife is entitled to receive maintenance from her husband throughout the marriage, during the course of any matrimonial proceedings, or subsequent to the grant of a decree of divorce or even nullity of marriage.

    In determining the quantum of maintenance, the Court will take into consideration all the circumstances of the case, in particular the following:
    • The wife’s financial needs;
    • Her income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources;
    • Any physical or mental disability;
    • The age of both parties and the duration of the marriage;
    • What contributions each of the parties made to their marriage and to the welfare of the family, including contributions such as looking after the home or caring for the family;
    • The conduct of both parties to the marriage.
  11. What is child support?
  12. Parents have a duty to maintain or contribute to the maintenance of his or her child, or to provide child support. The law provides that this duty continues until the child reaches the age of 21. However, the court may in certain circumstances make an order for the benefit of a child above 21 years of age, such as where the child suffers from a disability, is serving national service full-time, or is still receiving education or professional training.

    In determining how much maintenance a parent must give his or her child, the Court will consider factors including the manner in which the child was being and in which the parties to the marriage expected him or her to be, educated or trained.

    Parties may also submit a parenting plan to the court laying down their agreement as to how much each parent should contribute to the maintenance of the child after the divorce. You may engage a Singapore divorce lawyer to assist you in drafting such an agreement

  13. How does a court determine how our assets are divided?
  14. In determining how your matrimonial assets are to be divided, the court takes into account various factors in order to achieve a fair result between you and your spouse, including the following:
    1. Each party’s financial contributions toward the matrimonial assets;
    2. Each party’s non-financial contributions toward the marriage and the welfare of the family;
    3. Whether the assistance of one spouse has allowed the other spouse to pursue his or her career and hence earn an income;
    4. Any debt owed for the joint benefit of you and your spouse or for your child’s benefit
    5. The child’s needs;
    6. Any pre-nuptial agreements as to how the assets are to be divided;
    7. Each party’s ability to be financially independent after the divorce; and
    8. Each part’s needs after the divorce.
Gloria James-Civetta & Co (“GJC Law”), is an established Law Firm, with one of the largest matrimonial law departments in Singapore. We can help you, no matter what situation you`re in.

“You don`t just get lawyer – you get an entire team” Email us or call +65 63370469 to speak to one of our friendly lawyers
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