How Long Does It Take to Get A Divorce In Singapore?




How long will my divorce case take?  How long does it take to get a divorce in Singapore?  This is a frequent question many divorce clients ask.


The good news is that Singapore Family Justice Courts are very efficient and pro-mediation.  The result is that divorce cases are usually concluded within a fairly quick time.


For Uncontested Divorces (where both parties agree to a friendly and mutual divorce),  you should get Interim Judgment (provisional divorce) within 1 month of filing the papers.


For Contested Divorces (where both parties cannot agree on a divorce and ancillary matters), the divorce should take – on average – about 1 year.


Even for these Contested Divorce cases, only a small percentage go all the way to trial.  At PKWA Law, a majority of our divorce clients settle their cases without going for trial.  The settlement typically takes place after we have examined financial documents, salary slips, proof of expenses, list of assets and parenting plan.  We study them to determine what our clients can realistically get if the matter goes for trial.


The official statistics from the Family Justice Courts show that in 2016, 74% of divorce cases were settled within the year they were filed.  This compares favourably to 46 per cent in 2012.


There are many reasons why couples settle half way.   The most common reasons are:


  1. Divorce fees are naturally more expensive if you don’t settle.
  2. Divorce litigation is stressful.
  3. To spare the children the agony and stress of seeing their parents fight out in court.
  4. There is no guaranteed result if you litigate all the while.
  5. A compromise is better than an ugly court victory, which can strain ties beyond the divorce.


The cases where we find it is difficult to settle are due to various reasons.  Chief among them are:

a. where parties feel strongly about having care and control of the child.

b.  where the assets are very substantial.

c.  where assets are hidden.

d.  where one party has unrealistic expectations.

e.  where one party has committed adultery and the aggrieved spouse wants his/her day in court.


So, if you are thinking of divorce in Singapore, do know that the divorce cases in Singapore are concluded very quickly.  And in 80% of these Contested Divorce cases, there is a good chance that you and your spouse are likely to reach an amicable settlement.


On a final note, it is important that you have a lawyer who adopts a constructive and conciliatory approach to family law disputes.  It is a happy state of affairs that most family lawyers in Singapore are constructive and conciliatory.  As we always like to say at PKWA Law – “A good divorce lawyer is calm.  He encourages settlements, not arguments.”



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