Divorce is still a taboo topic in Singapore. There are couples who stay in unhappy unions due to the social stigma attached to a divorce. However, staying in a toxic environment may be harmful, especially where there are children involved. The children are exposed to daily arguments and violence, which might affect their development. Couples are therefore encouraged to have an amicable divorce (otherwise known as "uncontested divorce").
In 2021, there is a rise in the number of divorcing couples who opted for an amicable split. This is because divorce cases that are filed on the simplified track are generally faster and cheaper. This article will set out the things you need to know to file your divorce on the simplified track.
Step 1: Eligibility to apply for a divorce in the Family Courts
You and your spouse must meet the following requirements:
1. Be a Singapore Citizen; or
2. Have been living in Singapore for a continuous period of 3 years prior to the filing of the divorce application.
Step 2: Reasons for the divorce
Adultery: your spouse has a sexual relationship with a third party and you find it intolerable to live with your spouse.
Unreasonable Behaviour: your spouse has been mentally or physically abusing you or your spouse has neglected you and the family and that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with.
Separation: you and your spouse have lived separately for a period of 3 years (with consent) or 4 years (without consent).
Desertion: your spouse left you against your wishes and rejected any marital relationship.
Step 3: Consider all ancillary matters relating to the divorce
You will have to discuss with your spouse on the following ancillary matters:
· Division of Assets (eg. how should the assets be divided)
· Children's care arrangements (custody, care and control, access and maintenance)
· Wife's maintenance (the amount of financial support that you require)
· Costs of the divorce proceedings (eg. who will bear the costs)
Step 4: You and your spouse have reached an agreement
Once you and your spouse have reached an agreement on the reason for the divorce and the ancillary matters, you can proceed to look for a lawyer to assist you with the filing of the divorce papers on a simplified track,
A hearing date will be given within 4 to 6 weeks upon the filing of documents. You and your spouse are usually not required to attend the hearing.
Step 5: Extraction of the Interim Judgment for divorce
When the Court grants the divorce at the hearing based on the agreed terms between you and your spouse, your lawyer will assist you with the extraction of the Interim Judgment.
Step 6: Waiting period before the divorce process is completed
Upon the extraction of the Interim Judgment, three (3) months waiting period is required before your lawyer can assist you to apply to extract the Certificate of Final Judgement (Divorce). This will mark the conclusion of your divorce proceedings.
Do contact us at +65 6970 8287 if you wish to find out more about the divorce on a simplified track.