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Going through a divorce is a challenging and emotional process that can be overwhelming for anyone involved. It’s important to have the right support and guidance during this time, and an experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore can provide you with the necessary legal and emotional support to help you navigate the process smoothly. In this article, we will discuss the divorce process in Singapore, including the eligibility criteria for filing for divorce, the grounds for divorce, and the ancillary matters that must be resolved during the divorce process. We will also explore how a divorce lawyer can assist you in achieving the best possible outcome for yourself and your family.
In Singapore, the law on divorce is governed by the Women’s Charter. In order to file for divorce in Singapore, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. Firstly, either you or your spouse must have been a Singaporean citizen or a permanent resident for at least three years prior to filing for divorce. Additionally, you must have been married for at least three years before you can file for divorce. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as if you have experienced exceptional hardship or if your spouse has been exceptionally unreasonable.
If you have been married for less than three years, you may still be eligible to file for divorce if you can prove that you have suffered exceptional hardship, or if your spouse has been exceptionally unreasonable. Exceptional hardship refers to an event or situation that has caused you significant emotional or financial distress, such as domestic violence or severe financial difficulties. Exceptional unreasonable behaviour refers to behaviour by your spouse that is so unreasonable that you cannot be expected to continue living with them. Examples of such behaviour include physical or emotional abuse, infidelity, or drug addiction.
In Singapore, there are five grounds on which you can file for divorce. These are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, separation, and the “no-fault” ground of three years’ separation with consent or four years’ separation without consent. Adultery and unreasonable behaviour are the most common grounds for divorce in Singapore.
Adultery: Adultery refers to voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse. If you can prove that your spouse has committed adultery, you may file for divorce on this ground.
Unreasonable behaviour: Unreasonable behaviour refers to behaviour by your spouse that is so unreasonable that you cannot be expected to continue living with them. Examples of such behaviour include physical or emotional abuse, infidelity, or drug addiction.
Desertion: Desertion refers to the situation where your spouse has left you without your consent and without any good reason for at least two years.
Separation: Separation refers to the situation where you and your spouse have been living separately for at least three years and both parties agree to the divorce. Alternatively, you may file for divorce on the ground of separation if you and your spouse have been living separately for at least four years, even if your spouse does not agree to the divorce.
No-fault ground: This refers to the situation where you and your spouse have been living separately for at least three years with your spouse’s consent or four years without your spouse’s consent. This ground does not require you to prove any fault on the part of your spouse.
It’s important to note that if you are filing for divorce based on adultery or unreasonable behaviour, you must have evidence to support your claims. Your divorce lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence and present your case in the best possible light.
Once you have determined that you meet the eligibility criteria and have grounds for divorce, the next step is to file for divorce in the Singapore Family Justice Courts. You can either file the papers on your own or hire a divorce lawyer to assist you. It’s highly recommended that you hire a lawyer as they can guide you through the process and ensure that all the necessary documents are filed correctly.
The divorce process in Singapore typically takes about 5 to 6 months to finalize. However, this timeline may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the number of ancillary matters that need to be resolved.
During the divorce process, there are several ancillary matters that must be resolved, such as child custody, division of assets, and spousal maintenance. These matters can be resolved through negotiation, mediation, or litigation, depending on the circumstances of your case. It’s important to note that the court will always prioritize the best interests of any children involved in the divorce.
Child custody: Child custody refers to the legal and physical custody of any children involved in the divorce. The court will consider various factors when making a decision on child custody, including the child’s age, the child’s wishes (if they are old enough to express them), the parents’ ability to care for the child, and any other relevant factors.
Division of assets: Division of assets refers to the process of dividing any marital assets between you and your spouse. Marital assets include any assets acquired during the marriage, such as property, savings, and investments. The court will consider various factors when making a decision on division of assets, including the length of the marriage, the contributions of each party to the marriage, and any other relevant factors.
Spousal maintenance: Spousal maintenance refers to the financial support that one spouse may be required to pay to the other spouse after the divorce. The court will consider various factors when making a decision on spousal maintenance, including the needs of the spouse who is seeking maintenance, the ability of the other spouse to pay maintenance, and any other relevant factors.
As your divorce lawyer, I can assist you with all aspects of the divorce process, including the resolution of ancillary matters. I will negotiate on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary. I can also provide you with emotional support and practical guidance to help you manage the emotional and psychological aspects of divorce.
Going through a divorce is a difficult and emotional process, but with the right support and guidance, you can navigate the process smoothly and achieve the best possible outcome for yourself and your family. As an experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore, I can provide you with the necessary legal and emotional support to help you through this challenging time. If you’re considering filing for divorce, contact me today for a consultation. Together, we can navigate the divorce process and help you move forward with your life.
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