How To Find Out If Someone Divorced – Divorce in Singapore is a two-step process for contested and uncontested divorces. The first stage is called dissolution of marriage, where the court decides whether the marriage has irretrievably broken down. If applicable, the court will issue a temporary divorce decree.
The second phase of the divorce is called the secondary phase of the proceedings, in which the court decides how the parties’ cases should be handled. Such cases include spousal support and child custody.
How To Find Out If Someone Divorced
The parties may apply for a final interim decision only after 3 months have passed or after all additional issues have been resolved, whichever is later. The parties will then receive confirmation of the final judgment. This ends all divorce proceedings.
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In this Article, “plaintiff” refers to the spouse who files for divorce, and “respondent” refers to the other spouse who defends the divorce.
To obtain a divorce in Singapore, you or your spouse must meet the following requirements under Sections 93 and 94 of the Women’s Charter:
If you are married under Muslim law, the above conditions may not apply to you. Here you can find out how to get a divorce according to Muslim law.
After that, it is necessary to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is the only legal ground for divorce in Singapore.
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There are several ways to show that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. These possibilities are found in Article 95(3) of the Women’s Charter:
If you and your spouse have at least one child under the age of 21 and you cannot agree on the legal grounds for divorce and any additional issues, you will both be required to attend a parenting program.
The program is run by counselors from a specialist divorce support agency and aims to help divorcing parents make informed decisions that put the needs and welfare of their children first. You can learn more about the compulsory education program in our second article.
Below is a step-by-step infographic summarizing the eligibility requirements for divorce and the divorce process in Singapore. You can click to download it in a new tab.
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This infographic explains the divorce procedure in Singapore, the 2 stages in divorce after the conditions for divorce in Singapore (ie dissolution of marriage and secondary issues).
A party intending to file for divorce must file certain documents with the family courts in order to begin the divorce process. The applicable application fee must also be paid. These documents include:
A statement containing information about the parties, such as the length of their marriage, whether they have children, and the reason for the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (ie, adultery, misconduct, desertion, or divorce).
In the claim, the plaintiff’s claims for additional relief are also stated, e.g. that the plaintiff seeks custody of the children or division of the matrimonial home.
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Affidavit detailing the cause of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, inter alia (as stated in the complaint).
For example, if the plaintiff alleges that the parties have been separated for 3 years, the Statement of Facts should include the following information:
Petitioner’s Motion to Parent Children Under 21 After Divorce.
The prosecutor’s proposal for what should happen to the HDB flat after the divorce. If both parties can agree on this, an arranged marriage plan will be provided instead.
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You may want to hire a divorce attorney to help you prepare the documents.
After the divorce petition and all supporting documents are filed with the court, they must also be served on the defendant.
The defendant then has 8 days to decide whether to contest or oppose the divorce and/or the additional issues.
If the defendant chooses to contest the divorce, he must file a memorandum of appearance and defense. You can also request a problem-solving conference with a family court judge or court counselor to help you and your partner reach an amicable settlement through divorce mediation.
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If both parties cannot resolve the cause of the divorce on their own, the case goes to court to determine whether the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The defendant must address the court and submit to the prosecutor:
In total, the defendant has 22 days to file and serve the Memorandum of Agreement and Defense.
Alternatively, if the defendant wishes to file his cause of action for divorce and/or other motions for additional issues, the defendant shall file a defense and counterclaim within the above time period, in lieu of a defense.
If the defendant chooses not to contest the divorce but wants to be heard on additional issues, he or she must refer to the Memorandum of Agreement to specify the issues they still want to hear.
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If the court is satisfied that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, it will issue a temporary divorce decree. The case then moves on to the additional issues phase of the divorce process.
Before the hearing on additional issues, both parties must file declarations of assets and funds. They claim they have to disclose all their assets/liabilities, income and expenses. Oaths are exchanged for up to 3 rounds.
If the net worth of the property exceeds $1.5 million, the case will be transferred to the Supreme Court and heard there.
After the filing and exchange of documents, the court will schedule an additional hearing to address additional issues such as alimony and child custody.
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After all additional issues have been resolved, either party may appeal the final decision if at least 3 months have passed since the interim decision was made.
You can get a divorce in Singapore without a lawyer. It certainly costs less financially than a lawyer. However, please note that this does not exempt you from the legal, procedural and formal requirements of legal proceedings.
In other words, you are held to the same standards as if you were represented by a lawyer. Furthermore, family courts cannot give advice about your case.
So seek the help of a divorce attorney, especially if you think your spouse will oppose the divorce. This is because it can lead to complex and time-consuming processes.
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Yes, you can get a divorce in Singapore after 3 years of marriage if you can prove that you have experienced extreme hardship or that your spouse engaged in extreme misconduct.
Previously, divorces were granted for those who had been married for less than 3 years, for example, when one of the spouses committed adultery at home, the other was in the same home, and the other was depressed.
The thresholds for a situation to be considered a special difficulty or a special offense are very high. If you are considering a divorce before 3 years of marriage, we recommend that you consult a divorce attorney.
Hiring a divorce lawyer for a simplified uncontested divorce in Singapore can cost between $1,500 and $3,500, while contested divorces can cost at least $10,000. These figures may not include fees and GST.
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If you need some guidance on the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer in Singapore, check out our Divorce Fees Guide.
The length of the divorce process depends on factors such as the complexity of the case. Simplified uncontested divorces are settled more quickly, usually between 6 months and a year. On the other hand, contested divorce cases can take a year or more to resolve in Singapore.
In addition, at least 3 months must pass from the decision of the Temporary Court before the final judgment is passed. If there are additional issues that have not yet been resolved within these 3 months, the final decision will be made only after all additional issues have been resolved.
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This article was co-authored by Christa Beck. Krista Beck is a dating and relationship coach and matchmaker. With more than ten years of experience, she specializes in helping people open up to love and find a partner. Krista has been featured in numerous media outlets including ABC, NBC, Fox and TEDx. She is also the author of Breaking the Glass Slipper: Break Free from Fairy Tale Fantasy and Find True Love in Real Life. Krista graduated in communication with an emphasis on interpersonal communication at the University.
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