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There are pre-conditions to fulfil before a court will order a divorce. They are:

  • Parties must be married for at least three years
  • Either the husband or the wife must be domiciled in Singapore and habitually resident here for a period of at least three years preceding the petition of divorce

What are possible grounds for divorce?

The only ground for divorce is that ‘the marriage has irretrievably broken down’. To prove this, one must show at least one of the following situations:

  • Adultery

Pursuant to Section 95(3)(a) of the Women’s Charter, the Respondent must have committed adultery and the Petitioner must find it intolerable to live with the Respondent.

  • Unreasonable behavior

Pursuant to Section 95(3)(b) of the Women’s Charter, the respondent must have behaved in such a ways that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent. While this should be unique to each case, the Petitioner should refrain from including isolated incidents that happened many years ago.

  • Desertion

Pursuant to Section 95(3)(c) of the Women’s Charter, desertion occurs when the Respondent has have left the Petitioner for a continuous period of two years without any intention of returning. As such, the Respondent has the intention to bring the marriage to an end.

  • Separation for three years

Pursuant to Section 95(3)(d) of the Women’s Charter, the Petitioner and Respondent must have lived apart for a continuous period of  at least three years and the respondent has to agree to a divorce.

This is the only situation in which consent of the Respondent is needed before one can file the divorce petition.

  • Separation of four years

Pursuant to Section 95(3)(e) of the Women’s Charter, the Petitioner and the Respondent must have lived apart for a continuous period of at least four years.

How does one initiate the Divorce Proceedings?

In order to initiate the Divorce Proceedings, the Plaintiff will have to file the following documents:

  • Writ of Divorce
  • Statement of Claim
  • Statement of Particulars
  • Proposed Matrimonial Property Plan/Agreed Matrimonial Property Plan
  • Proposed Parenting Plan/Agreed Parenting Plan

After filing the documents, the Plaintiff will have to serve it on the Defendant.  

For more information contact Singapore divorce or family lawyer Raphael Louis (Ray) or visit his website at www.raylouis.com.sg