What are the legal requirements to apply for a Divorce in Singapore?
You can apply to get a divorce in the Singapore Family Justice Courts if you or your spouse:
- Is a Singaporean or is domiciled in Singapore at the time of commencement of the divorce case. Generally, to be regarded as being domiciled in Singapore, you must have been living in Singapore and you intend to remain here indefinitely or permanently. A temporary stay for work purposes is not enough to qualify you as being domiciled in Singapore.
- Must have lived in Singapore for at least 3 years immediately before the commencement of the divorce case.
You cannot apply for a divorce if you and your spouse have been married for less than 3 years unless you get the Court’s permission by proving:
- You have suffered exceptional hardship during the marriage, or
- Your spouse has behaved with exceptional depravity, meaning that your spouse has behaved unusually and exceptionally badly.
You must apply for permission of Court by originating summons, supported with a supporting affidavit explaining the reasons for your application.
It is very rare for the Court to approve a divorce application for couples married for less than 3 years. The standard that you’ll need to prove in order to convince the Court that there has been exceptional hardship and/or exceptional depravity is very high.
You’ll be granted a divorce only the Family Court agrees that your marriage has ended.
In legal language, the Court must find that your marriage has irrevocably broken down.
To prove that your marriage has irrevocably broken down, you must convince the Court that one or more of these facts is true:
- That your spouse has committed adultery, and you find it intolerable to live with him or her.
- That your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with him or her.
- That your spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of at least two years.
- If your spouse agrees to the divorce, that you and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 3 years.
- If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, that you and your spouse have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 4 years.
So, there you’ve it, some basic information on: What are the legal requirements to apply for a Divorce in Singapore?