Compared to some of the other countries, filing and getting a divorce in Singapore doesn’t have to be complicated. This is particularly true for couples, who have agreed to the terms of consent and can work around factors like alimony, distribution and division of assets, child custody and maintenance. This kind of divorce is called an uncontested one, while in a contested divorce, couples are usually at war and disagreement, and they may not agree on one or several aspects that may concern them. If you are filing for divorce in Singapore, here are some of the critical aspects that you must know about.
Filing for divorce
First things first, your application for divorce has to meet the criteria set by law, and you have to explain and suffice the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and there is no scope for you and your spouse to live together.
The term “irretrievably broken down” can be considered under many circumstances, such as-
- One of, or both spouses have committed adultery, and the other person chooses not to live with the spouse.
- If one or both partners has behaved in a way that’s unreasonable and hurtful, and the other partner doesn’t want to continue the marriage.
- When one party has left the other for more than two years and hasn’t shown any intent of continuing the marriage or returning back.
- If the couple has been living apart for more than three years, an application can be filed by the plaintiff and the defendant can choose to agree to the divorce. In case the couple has been living apart from more than four years, the consent of the other party is not required.
The actual process
Divorce in Singapore is a two-step process, where in the first step the court will deal with the termination of marriage and take a call if the application for divorce can be considered in the first place. If the court decides to agree to the divorce, an Interim Judgment will be passed. Following this, there will be a wait period of three months, during which the court will decide on some of the ancillary matters, such as division of assets, custody, maintenance and other expenses. Once all the matters have been settled, a Final Judgment will be passed, which is binding on both the parties, and the divorce will be finalized.
Do I need legal help for divorce in Singapore?
While the process may seem like a straightforward one, having legal advice from a competent team or lawyer is more than important. You can check online for Singapore divorce lawyer free consultation, which is a great way of knowing where you stand in the case and if you can actually get divorce based on your current standing. Keep in mind that contested divorces can be complicated, and there is no way you can protect your interests without an experienced lawyer. Please note that divorces require understanding of various components, and if your spouse doesn’t agree to an uncontested divorce, there could be considerable effort required. The process can take more than a year, and your lawyer is the best person to explain what you can possibly do to keep the costs and time in check.
Divorces can be heartbreaking, but at the end of the day, you want to be absolutely sure that the judgment is in favor of you and your child. If the couple has a child under the age of 21 years, the court will decide and may ask both partners to attend counseling and mediation sessions. Check online for the best lawyers in Singapore.