Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged issue that affects millions of individuals across the globe. In Singapore, thousands of divorce cases are filed each year, making it a common legal matter. However, couples who seek to dissolve their marriage may not be aware of the legal grounds for divorce in Singapore. It is important to note that the legal grounds for divorce in Singapore are limited, and the couple must prove that their marriage has irretrievably broken down. As an experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore, I can provide guidance and support to couples seeking a divorce and ensure that their legal rights are protected.
This article delves into the legal grounds for divorce in Singapore and outlines the necessary requirements for couples who wish to end their marriage. By understanding the grounds for divorce in Singapore, couples can make informed decisions about their legal options and seek the guidance of a knowledgeable lawyer to navigate the legal process.
- Adultery as a ground
Adultery is a sensitive and emotionally charged issue that can be used as grounds for divorce in Singapore. According to case law, adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse. However, using adultery as a ground for divorce can be complex and challenging, and it is important to seek legal advice and support when considering this option.
If a spouse wishes to use adultery as a ground for divorce, they must prove that it has taken place and that they find it intolerable to continue living with their partner. Proving adultery can be a difficult and costly exercise, and many spouses hire a Private Investigator to obtain sufficient evidence. An experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore can provide guidance and support to spouses seeking to use adultery as a ground for divorce and ensure that their legal rights are protected.
It is also important to note that if parties have lived together for more than six months after the act of adultery became known to the party seeking to use it as a ground for divorce, that act cannot be relied on. However, subsequent adulterous acts can be used as grounds for divorce.
- Unreasonable behaviour in marriage
In Singapore, divorce can be granted on various grounds, including unreasonable behaviour in marriage. This ground is frequently used when one party behaves in a manner that makes it intolerable for their spouse to continue living with them. Common examples of unreasonable behaviour that divorce lawyers in Singapore come across include physical or verbal abuse, infidelity, neglect, and addiction.
To prove unreasonable behaviour, specific instances must be provided to show that the other party’s conduct has caused an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The court will assess the severity and frequency of the behaviour, the personalities of the individuals, and the cumulative effect of the behaviour. It is important to note that the unreasonable behaviour must be significant enough to prove an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and justify ending the marriage. Trivial or minor issues will not be sufficient grounds for divorce.
Moreover, if the parties lived together for more than six months after the occurrence of the final incident, the petitioner is prohibited from claiming that it is unreasonable to expect them to continue living with their spouse. As such, it is crucial to seek legal advice and representation from an experienced lawyer in Singapore to navigate the complexities of using unreasonable behaviour as a ground for divorce.
- Desertion by spouse
Desertion is a legal ground for divorce in Singapore, and it occurs when one spouse abandons the other for a continuous period of at least two years with no good cause. The abandonment must be intentional and without the consent of the other spouse. This means that the parties must be physically living apart or separated, and one spouse must possess the intention to desert. The deserted spouse must have made reasonable efforts to locate and contact the deserting spouse, but to no avail.
In such cases, the deserted spouse may file for divorce, and the court may grant it if satisfied that the desertion has continued for the required period and there are no prospects for reconciliation. However, it is important to note that if the deserting spouse returns before the two-year period is up and the deserted spouse takes them back, the period of desertion is deemed to have ceased.
If you are considering filing for divorce on the grounds of desertion, it is crucial to seek legal advice and representation from an experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore.
- Living apart for 3 years
In Singapore, one of the no-fault grounds for divorce is living apart. This ground allows a married person to file for divorce if their spouse has lived separately from them for a continuous period of three years or more immediately preceding the filing of the Writ for Divorce, and their spouse consents to the divorce. The purpose of this provision is to enable couples with irreconcilable differences, who have lived separately for three years, to end their marriage without having to prove any fault or misconduct.
It is important to note that divorce lawyers in Singapore emphasize that the three-year period of living apart must be continuous, and that both spouses must agree to the divorce. If there is any interruption in the period of living apart, no account shall be taken of any one period (not exceeding six months) or of any two or more periods (not exceeding six months in all) during which the parties resumed living with each other.
- Living apart for 4 years
Living apart for four years is another ground for divorce in Singapore. If a couple has been living apart for a continuous period of at least four years by choice and has the intention to end their marriage, either spouse may file for divorce. This ground for divorce acknowledges that a long separation can lead to irreconcilable differences and the breakdown of a marriage.
It is crucial to note that the four-year period must be continuous and that there must be no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. The court will consider several factors, including communication between the spouses, efforts made to reconcile, and any other relevant circumstances, before granting a divorce on this ground. It is advisable for couples to seek legal advice before filing for divorce on this ground, as it can be a complex and emotionally challenging process.
- Mutual agreement
Divorce by mutual agreement is a new ground for divorce in Singapore, set to take effect this year. Under this ground, both parties must agree that their marriage has broken down irretrievably and provide the reasons for their conclusion. This method of divorce is preferred over the contested divorce process as it is quicker, more cost-effective, and less stressful for the parties involved. There is no need for a fault-finding process, making it a viable option for couples seeking an amicable divorce.
However, couples seeking a divorce by mutual agreement must fulfill the required legal criteria and provide a written agreement on matters such as child custody, property division, and financial support. The agreement must be submitted to the court for approval, and once granted, the divorce will be finalized.
As an experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore, I understand the challenges and complexities of divorce, and I am committed to providing my clients with the highest level of legal representation and support. I will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your rights and interests are protected and that the divorce process is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
If you are considering getting a divorce and need a trusted and experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore to guide you through the process, I am here to help. As an experienced divorce lawyer, I have helped numerous clients navigate the complexities of the legal system and achieve a favorable outcome.
Contact me today to schedule a confidential consultation and take the first step towards a new chapter in your life.