are a few preliminary points to be ascertained
before filing a divorce Writ in Singapore.
the jurisdiction issue- whether the applicants are Singapore citizen or resident
in Singapore (for more than 3 years). A foreigner married in a foreign country may
also file for divorce in Singapore if either party qualify under
the domicile or habitual resident clause, assuming that the ground for irretrievable breakdown has also been satisfied.
the parties must have been married for more than 3 years. For parties
who are married for at least less than 3 years, leave will only be granted
under certain circumstances.
whether one of the five reasons which have caused the irretrievable
breakdown of the marriage stated in section 95(3) (a ) to (e) of
the Woman's Charter has been satisfied. The most commonly used reason
is unreasonable behaviour, which encompass behaviour such as
violence, gambling, intimate association with third parties, insufficient
payment of maintenance, the use of vulgarities or abusive language, or even reluctance to engage
in sexual intercourse without valid reason. For adultery, the burden
of proof appears to be higher, and invariably requires a private investigator's
report, even if the hearing is uncontested. The other reasons are
desertion and separation. The Court does not order costs to be paid
by the Defendant in the case of a Divorce Writ filed on the basis of separation.
unwise to conduct or defend the proceedings yourself, especially if
the matter is heavily contested, as the rules of procedure and evidence
are complicated. Certain evidence may not be admissible, or if admissible,
may not carry weight.
If you are
unable to afford a lawyer, you should seek legal aid (if you qualify),
at the Legal Aid Bureau.
Court Website provides a very detailed write up on the procedure
at www.familycourtof singapore.gov.sg.
In a nutshell,
your divorce lawyer will have to ascertain certain information from
HDB (for those with a HDB flat) and the CPF Board prior to commencement of proceedings.
The Proceedings are started by filing a Writ for divorce and a Statement of Claim electronically.
You would also have to state your preferred mode of dealing with
the flat, your arrangement for care of the children.
the documents are filed and served on your spouse, he or she will
decide within 8 days whether to contest the divorce or otherwise,
for a Writ served in Singapore. The Family Court may exend time
for the filing of a document called a Memorandum of Appearance.
Thereafter the spouse who wishes to contest the divorce will have
to file a Defence within 14 days. Sometimes, a Counter Claim is
the Court would arrange for the parties or their solicitors to attend
a Status Conference, or a Pre Trial Conference.
divorce is uncontested, the matter would be fixed for hearing.
hearings would be either at 9.30am/10.30am. The afternoon hearing list
would be at 2.30pm/3.30pm.
hearings, the trial may take a few days. For cases wherein violence
has been committed by the spouse, a doctor may be called to testify
and admit the medical reports, neighbours or friends may be subpoena
to testify in the proceedings. Children who are mature enough to
give a lucid account of what they saw or heard may also testify.
marriage certificate must be produced at the hearing unless it is
not in the Plaintiff's possession, then the Court would accept
a certified extract.
To seek legal help for your
intended divorce, call us at 6534 1328 or
submit the form below for an appointment.
We have to conduct a conflict search before the said appointment.
Kindly do not e-mail us
with any confidential information until we have conducted a conflict
search confirming that we are not acting for your spouse.