GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE IN SINGAPORE
There are several requirements which you will have to meet before a Court will grant a divorce:
You must have been married for at least 3 years before you can file a Writ for divorce on the ground that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. However, and with permission from the Court, you may proceed to file a Writ for divorce before 3 years of marriage if you can prove that you have suffered exceptional hardship or if your spouse has been exceptionally unreasonable and cruel.
You or your spouse must be domiciled (treated Singapore as your permanent abode) at the commencement of the divorce proceedings. Alternatively, either of you must have resided in Singapore for 3 years immediately before the commencement of divorce proceedings.
What is ‘Irretrievable Breakdown?
The Court will only grant a divorce if you can prove that the marriage has “broken down irretrievably.” To prove this, you must show one or more of the following facts to prove that you have grounds for divorce in Singapore:
The Defendant (the person being sued) has committed adultery with another person (the Co-Defendant) and the Plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the Defendant.
The Defendant has behaved in such a way that the Plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her.
The Defendant has deserted or left the Plaintiff for a continuous period of 2 years without any intention of returning.
Separation for 3 years
The Plaintiff and Defendant have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 3 years and the Defendant agrees to a divorce.
Separation for 4 years
The Plaintiff and the Defendant have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 4 years. No consent is required from the Defendant.
In a divorce proceeding, the parties may apply for:
- custody, care and control of children and access (such as visitation rights); and
- division of matrimonial assets, including the matrimonial home.
In deciding on the division of matrimonial assets, the Court will take into consideration various factors including:
- the extent of contributions made by each party in money, property or work towards the acquiring of the assets and non-financial contributions made by parties;
- any debts owing by either party which were contracted for this joint benefit; and
- the needs of the minor children (if any) of the marriage.
You should organise all the documents you have in support of your claim as these will have to be shown to the Court. Documents include evidence of mortgage payments, pay slips, CPF statements, Income Tax assessments and documents relating to the matrimonial home amongst others.