Divorce in Singapore
If you are considering getting a divorce in Singapore, you may be wondering about what you need to prepare.
To file for a divorce in Singapore, you have to satisfy the basic requirements as laid down in the Women’s Charter:
- You have to be married for at least 3 years prior to filing for divorce in Singapore; and
- At least one of the parties has to be a Singapore citizen. If both parties are non-Singaporeans, at least one of the parties has to be habitually resident in Singapore for more than 3 years prior to filing for divorce in Singapore.
There are 2 types of divorce in Singapore- uncontested, simplified divorce and contested divorce.
Uncontested Divorce in Singapore
For an uncontested divorce in Singapore, you will need to agree on the following matters with your spouse:
- Reason for divorce; and
- Terms of divorce, including children’s custody, division of matrimonial assets, spousal maintenance and children’s maintenance.
Once the terms are agreed, you may engage a divorce lawyer to prepare the draft divorce documents. Your divorce lawyer will require a copy of your marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates (if any) as well as personal particulars of you and your spouse. Both parties will sign the divorce documents before a Commissioner of Oaths and the documents will be submitted to Court for the Court to grant the divorce.
The process for an uncontested divorce in Singapore is relatively simple and can be completed in 4 to 6 months if all documents are in order.
Contested Divorce in Singapore
For a contested divorce in Singapore, the divorce proceedings is broken down into the main proceedings and the ancillary proceedings.
During the main proceedings, you will have to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably as a result of:
- Unreasonable behaviour;
- Separation for 3 years (with consent);
- Separation for 4 years; or
- Divorce by mutual agreement (with effect from 2023)
After the main proceedings, the Court will grant an interim judgment if the Court determines that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
During the ancillary proceedings, parties will be presenting documents showing the financial capabilities of both parties, including:
For the purpose of maintenance
- List of expenses;
- CPF statements;
- Employment documents;
- Bank statements; and
- Income tax statements.
For the purpose of division of matrimonial assets
- Housing loan documents;
- CPF statements showing CPF monies paid to the purchase of the home;
- Renovation receipts;
- Bank statements;
- Credit card statements;
- Valuation reports;
- Income tax documents; and
- Insurance policies (if any).
At the end of the ancillary proceedings, the Court will make a decision on the following matters:
- Custody, care and control and access to children;
- Children’s maintenance;
- Spousal maintenance; and
- Division of matrimonial assets.
This marks the end of the process for divorce in Singapore.
For couples who have at least 1 child under the age of 21, mediation is mandatory. Hence, if parties are able to resolve all their differences at mediation, they will not need to go through adjudication by the Family Justice Court.
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