Going through a divorce is a significant life event that involves various legal proceedings and paperwork. Whether the divorce is amicable or contested, being well-prepared with the necessary documents and evidence can streamline the process and ensure that your rights and interests are protected. In this article, we’ll outline the essential documents and evidence to gather when preparing for a contested divorce.

Personal Documents

As with any legal proceedings, personal documents such as identification are required. The following personal documents are required for a divorce matter: 

  1. Identification card of both the husband and wife; 
  2. Marriage certificate; and 
  3. Birth certificate of the children. 

Proof of an Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage 

In Singapore, under section 95(3) of the Women’s Charter 1961 (“Women’s Charter”), there is only one ground for a divorce, i.e., the marriage has broken down irretrievably. The court must inquire into the alleged facts causing or leading to the breakdown and be satisfied that the marriage has in fact broken down irretrievably. There are currently 6 facts which can be relied upon to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, these facts are: 

  1. Adultery; 
  2. Unreasonable behaviour; 
  3. 2 years Desertion; 
  4. 3 years separation with consent; and 
  5. 4 years separation without consent. 

As such, relevant documents and information must be provided to prove 1 of the 6 facts to show an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Examples of evidence and documentation are: 

  1. Private Investigator Reports: When relying on adultery as a fact that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, a private investigator report is required to show that the defendant has in fact committed adultery. 
  2. Emails, Text Messages and/or Written Correspondences: Preserve copies of relevant emails, text messages, and other electronic communications between you and your spouse that may be pertinent to the divorce proceedings. 
  3. Medical Reports and/or Police Reports: In cases of unreasonable behaviour such as domestic abuse or family violence, medical and police reports are useful to support that such acts have taken place. 

Financial Documents

During divorce proceedings, a common issue relates to the division of matrimonial property and assets and maintenance of the wife and children. As these issues relate to the parties’ finances, financial documents are necessary for the court’s determination on these matters. 

  1. Income Statements: Gather recent payslips, CPF statements, income tax documents and other documentation that provides a clear picture of your income and earning capacity.
  2. Bank Statements: Obtain copies of bank statements for all joint and individual accounts, including checking, savings, and investment accounts.
  3. Credit Card Statements: Collect credit card statements for both spouses, as well as any other debt-related documentation, such as loan agreements, outstanding balances and Credit Bureau Report.
  4. Property Ownership Documents: Compile documents related to the ownership of marital property and assets such as property and vehicle titles, documents relating to the property such as housing loans, renovation and valuation reports. 
  5. Insurance Policies: Gather copies of health insurance, life insurance, and any other insurance policies held by either spouse.

Legal Documents

  1. Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement: If you and your spouse have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, make sure to have a copy readily available.
  2. Court Orders or Legal Agreements: Collect any existing court orders or legal agreements related to child custody, support payments, or other matters that may impact the divorce proceedings.

Documentation of Assets and Debts

  1. Inventory of Assets, Expenses and Liabilities: In order to assist your lawyer, it would be useful to prepare an inventory or list of assets owned jointly or individually, and also expenses and liabilities of the parties. Assets would include properties, vehicles, insurance policies, investment plans, bonds and stocks, shares or any other relevant assets. 

Expenses and liabilities would include housing and car loans, outstanding credit card payments, mortgage, utilities, groceries or expenses for the upkeep of the household and any other relevant expenses and liabilities incurred during the marriage.  

  1. Appraisals or Valuations: Obtain appraisals or valuations for significant assets such as real estate, businesses, or high-value personal property to establish their fair market value.

Evidence of Child-Related Matters

If there are children of the marriage, it would be useful to provide a list of expenses in relation to the children and the relevant supporting documents. Examples of expenses and supporting documentation would include: 

  1. Daily Expenses: These are the routine costs associated with raising a child on a day-to-day basis. This includes expenses for food, clothing, and transportation. For instance, grocery receipts, clothing receipts, and transportation receipts can serve as supporting documents.
  2. Education: Education expenses encompass all costs related to the child’s schooling and educational development. This includes school fees, tuition fees, expenses for extracurricular activities or enrichment classes, as well as costs for school supplies and uniforms. Supporting documents might include school invoices, receipts for tuition or extracurricular activities, and receipts for educational materials purchased.
  3. Health: Health-related expenses pertain to medical and healthcare costs incurred for the child. This includes expenses for doctor visits, medical treatments, medications and supplements, vaccinations, and any other health-related services. Supporting documents may include medical bills, receipts for medications and supplements, invoices from healthcare providers, and receipts for medical supplies or equipment.
  4. Insurance Policies: Any insurance policies taken out for the child’s benefit should be documented. This includes health insurance, life insurance, or any other relevant insurance policies. Supporting documents would include insurance policy documents, premium payment receipts, and correspondence related to insurance coverage.
  5. Baby Care: For infants, there are additional specific expenses that need to be accounted for. This includes costs for items such as diapers, baby formula or milk powder, baby clothing, and other necessities like baby wipes or baby toiletries and/or other consumables. Supporting documents could include receipts from purchases of these items.


Preparing for a divorce involves gathering and organizing a variety of documents and evidence to support your case and protect your interests. By being proactive and thorough in collecting the necessary documentation related to finances, legal matters, assets and debts, child-related issues, and communication records, you can help ensure a smoother and more efficient divorce process. Additionally, consulting with a family lawyer, even a cheap lawyer, can provide valuable guidance and assistance in navigating the complexities of divorce proceedings and ensuring that your rights are protected every step of the way.

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