Divorce Procedure in Singapore
The divorce procedure in Singapore depends on whether it is a simplified, uncontested divorce or whether it is a contested divorce.
Requirements for divorce in Singapore
In order to divorce in Singapore, you and your spouse must meet the following requirements as stipulated under the Women’s Charter:
- The marriage must be over 3 years old.
- Either party must be a Singapore citizen (or if both parties are not Singapore citizens, at least one party must have been habitually resident in Singapore for more than 3 years).
- The marriage must have broken down irretrievably as a result of:
- Unreasonable behaviour;
- Separation of 3 years with consent;
- Separation of 4 years; or
- Divorce by mutual agreement (only available in 2023).
Simplified Uncontested Divorce in Singapore
Are you curious about the meaning of an uncontested divorce in Singapore? An uncontested divorce in Singapore means a divorce wherein all terms are fully agreed and there is no disagreement of any sort between parties.
The uncontested divorce procedure in Singapore is straightforward.
You will need to provide your divorce lawyer with a copy of your marriage certificate, children’s birth certificates and identification documents (if the ID number differ from the ID numbers in the marriage certificate). Your divorce lawyer will only require the following basic information from you for the purpose of completing Court forms:
- Date of birth of parties;
- Occupation of parties;
- Religion of parties;
- Educational levels of parties; and
- Citizenship status of parties.
Your divorce lawyer will prepare the simplified uncontested divorce papers and make an appointment for parties to sign the papers before a Commissioner of Oaths. The uncontested divorce papers will be submitted to Court for the Court’s approval.
How long does an uncontested divorce in Singapore take? It will take between 4 to 6 months to complete.
Contested Divorce Procedure in Singapore
If terms are not agreed, you will need to go through the contested divorce procedure in Singapore.
At Populus Law Corporation, we offer a cost-effective negotiation package that has a high successful rate. This will minimize the cost and time taken for your divorce process.
In the event that you wish to proceed to Court straightaway, the contested divorce procedure in Singapore is as follows:
- If you have a child under the age of 21, you will need to undergo the Mandatory Parenting Programme which is free of charge! Your spouse need not attend the programme with you.
- Your divorce lawyer will file the divorce papers on your behalf and serve them on your spouse. The documents required are:
- Writ of Divorce;
- Statement of Claim containing the parties’ information and the claims by the Plaintiff;
- Statement of Particulars detailing the reasons for divorce;
- Proposed Parenting Plan explaining the Plaintiff’s future parenting proposals; and
- Proposed Matrimonial Property Plan explaining the Plaintiff’s future proposals on the matrimonial HDB flat.
- Thereafter, your spouse will have 8 days to enter his appearance. This means that your spouse will need to inform the Court if he is contesting the divorce.
- If your spouse wishes to contest the divorce, the matter will proceed on to mediation (if there is at least 1 child under the age of 21 or if both parties consent to the process of mediation)
- Parties will exchange financial documents and proposals at the mediation stage. The Court appointed mediator (usually a district judge) will help parties and lawyers negotiate with each other. If a full settlement is reached, this is the end of the contested divorce procedure.
- If parties are unable to reach a full settlement at mediation, they may continue the contested divorce procedure by proceeding for a hearing in Court, where a Court Judge will make a decision on the issues at hand.
- On average, it takes about 6 to 9 months to complete a contested divorce.
Do You Need a Lawyer for the Divorce Procedure in Singapore?
This depends on your comfort level. Assuming you are well-versed with family law in Singapore and confident of representing yourself in Court, you may choose to represent yourself in Court. However, do note that you will not receive any assistance from judges or mediators in the divorce proceedings.
Contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp) for more information.
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