A divorce can be an emotionally draining and financially costly process. Our lawyers at Hoh Law Corporation are committed to providing excellent and affordable legal services so as to resolve your divorce proceedings quickly and inexpensively.
You are welcome to contact us over the phone, email or alternatively walk-in to any of our 10 branches to schedule for a free 15-minute consultation with one of our family lawyers. Our affordable legal fees start from $900.00, but are subject to variation according to the complexity of the case and amount of work that needs to be done.
Pre-Conditions for a Divorce under Singapore Law
Parties must have been married for a minimum of three years before they can be granted a divorce. If parties have been married for less than three years, a spouse may ask for permission from the Family Justice Courts to file for divorce if there has been great hardship or depravity caused to the applicant by the continuance of the marriage.
Further, you or your spouse must have been living in Singapore for at least three years before commencing divorce proceedings in Singapore.
Mandatory Parenting Programme (prior to divorce)
With effect from 1 December 2016, parties with children below 14 years old are required to attend the Mandatory Parenting Programme (MPP) before they file for divorce. The MPP is a one-to-one consultation session with a counsellor aimed at helping parents to understand the implications of a divorce – the financial costs, child custody and the parenting plan. This is mandatory under the Women’s Charter Section 94A if parties do not yet have a signed formal agreement pertaining to a parenting plan and all other divorce matters.
The MPP can be applied at your convenience using your SingPass at the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s website. You may also check your eligibility for the MPP via the MSF website. This programme is compulsory and free for all eligible parents with minor children before they file for divorce. Eligible parties who do not attend the MPP will be unable to file for divorce.
1st Stage – The Divorce
A divorce in Singapore can be divided into two stages – the 1st Stage involves the application for divorce while the 2nd Stage involves other ancillary matters.
The 1st Stage deals with the reason for the divorce. There are a range of reasons on which the Plaintiff may base his/her application:
- The Defendant has behaved in such a manner that the Plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Defendant;
- The Defendant has abandoned the Plaintiff for at least 2 years immediately before filing for divorce;
- Parties have lived apart continuously for at least 3 years immediately before filing for divorce, and the Defendant agrees to a divorce;
- Parties have lived apart continuously for at least 4 years immediately before filing for divorce; or
- The Defendant has committed adultery and the Plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the Defendant.
The Court must be satisfied that one of these reasons for the irretrievable breakdown of marriage has been satisfied before a divorce order can be granted.
2nd Stage – Ancillary Matters
The 2nd Stage of a divorce in Singapore deals with the following areas, collectively known as “ancillary matters”:
- Custody, care and control and access to the children of the marriage
- Division of matrimonial assets, including the matrimonial home
- Maintenance for the wife/decapacitated husband and children of the marriage
Please refer to our sections under Family Law, or speak to our team for more information.
Annulment Of The Marriage
The effect of an annulment is to render a marriage null and void. In this way, it is different from a divorce. There is no minimum period of time before one can file for annulment.
There are a few grounds the Plaintiff can rely on:
- Either spouse lacks capacity to consummate the marriage;
- The Defendant has willfully refused to consummate the marriage;
- There was no valid consent from either spouse to the marriage;
- The Defendant was suffering from a sexually transmitted infection or disease during the marriage; or
- The Defendant was already married at the time of registration of the marriage.
To find out if an annulment applies in your circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Further, a sham marriage contracted for the purpose of immigration advantages will be deemed void and may also invite penal consequences such as a jail term and a fine.
What should I bring on my first consultation?
If you have made an appointment for a consultation with our lawyers, kindly ensure you bring the following documents with you:
1. NRIC of Client and Spouse;
2. Marriage Certificate;
3. Birth Certificate of Children or NRIC of the children;
4. (If a HDB Flat or Property is involved) The outstanding loan statement from the HDB or the Bank and CPF Housing Withdrawal Statement;
5. Deed of Separation, if any;
6. Any previous court orders, if any, such as Personal Protection Orders (PPO), Maintenance Orders (MSS) etc.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
Hoh Law Corporation is one of Singapore’s most successful community law firms.
As Singapore’s largest community law firm, HOH Law Corporation brings legal services to the masses and the ordinary man on the street. With island-wide offices and a team of committed legal professionals, our mission is to deliver affordable and quality legal services by dedicating our legal experiences and extensive resources to achieving the best outcome for every client.