7 Things to know before filing for Divorce based on Adultery



When you suspect or find out that your spouse is cheating on you, it can be a traumatic experince. Our family lawyers suggest that it is always best to calm down, and then to ask your spouse about the suspicions you have.  If you feel that you cannot trust your spouse again, or that the marriage has broken down, you can reach PKWA Family Lawyers here for a free consultation on your rights.


Here are 7 things you should know if you are thinking about filing for divorce based on adultery in Singapore. .


1.   Is adultery a ground for divorce in Singapore?

To obtain a divorce in Singapore, you must prove to the court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. To do this, you can rely on one of five facts.  One of these is adultery.

The other 4 facts are:

unreasonable behaviour

separation for 3 years with consent.

separation for 4 years.



2.   Is infidelity or flirting considered as adultery?

Under Singapore family law, adultery only refers to sexual intercourse between a man and woman when at least one of them is married to someone else.  So, if your spouse is flirting or engaging in any kind of sexual activity that falls short of sex with another person, that is not considered to be adultery.


3.   What can I do instead?

You can file for divorce based on unreasonable behaviour instead of adultery.  You may wish to consult a divorce lawyer on whether the facts constitute unreasonable behaviour.


4.   Can I commit adultery if  I am already separated?

Yes. Any sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex, even if it takes place post-separation, is legally adultery.


5.   Does committing adultery count against me during the divorce?

If you have committed adultery, it does not affect your position with regard to the division of matrimonial property, maintenance and children.  The adultery is only relevant for the purpose of deciding whether or not a divorce should be given.  You will not be “penalised” when the court decides on how to divide assets, maintenance or care and control of the children.


 6.   What if the adultery occurred only a single time? What if the spouse is remorseful?

A single act of adultery is sufficient to bring a divorce action.  The innocent spouse can file for divorce even if the other spouse is remorseful.


7.   When must I file for adultery?

You cannot rely on adultery if you continue to live with your spouse for a period of six months.  So, if you intend to file for divorce based on your partner’s adultery, it would be advisable that you do so within 6 months of your knowing about the extramarital relationship.




At PKWA Law, our team of Family Lawyers are consistently named as leading Singapore family lawyers by respected independent legal publications such as Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Singapore Family Lawyers. 

Contact us at tel 6854-5336 for a free first consultation.



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