- 3 March 2016
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When can I apply for a divorce?
The divorce procedure in Singapore is generally based on no-fault regime.
Parties will be able to get a divorce as long as they have been married for more than three years and can prove that their marriage has irretrievably broken down.
However, given permission from the Court, the Plaintiff (the party initiating the divorce) will be able to file a Writ of Divorce before three years of marriage, when he/she can prove that he/she has suffered exceptional hardship or if his/her spouse has been exceptionally cruel physically or verbally.
Parties must also have been living permanently (domiciled) in Singapore when commencing divorce proceedings. Otherwise, either parties must have resided in Singapore for 3 years or more immediately before embarking on divorce proceedings.
The 5 grounds for Divorce
To prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, the Plaintiff must prove either one or more from the five grounds.
The Plaintiff will be required to adduce evidence (video, pictures, texts etc.) of adultery and that it is intolerable to live with the Defendant (the spouse of the Plaintiff).
However, if after learning about the adultery, the aggrieved party chooses to continue living with the spouse for a length of 6 months or more, the Plaintiff will not be able to rely on adultery for divorce.
2. Desertion of at least 2 years
The Plaintiff will be required to prove that he/she is living separately from his/her spouse and that his/her deserting spouse possessed the intention to desert him/her.
3. Separation of 3 years (consent is required from the defendant)
The two parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 3 years and the Defendant agrees to a divorce.
4. Separation of 4 years or more (consent is not required from defendant)
When both parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 4 years, no consent is required from the Defendant.
5. Unreasonable behaviour by the plaintiff (Gambling, physical or verbal abuse)
The Defendant has behaved in such a way that the Plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her.
(This article is for your general information only and is not to be considered as formal legal advice to you. You may contact us at 6836-5944 should you require specific legal advice. )