If you are an expat considering filing for divorce in Singapore – that is, a divorce involving international elements – it is most important to establish that the family court of Singapore is able to deal with your divorce case.
In Singapore, the Family Court has jurisdiction over all marriage-related cases, including expat divorces in Singapore. The Court’s jurisdiction covers Applications for Divorce, Personal Protection Orders, Property Settlement, Child/Spousal Maintenance, Parenting and Residence Living Arrangements with respect to children. As long as there is a connection to Singapore, the Family Court is able to exercise its jurisdiction if required to do so.
It is possible to apply for a Divorce in Singapore, even if your spouse is not currently living in Singapore.
You can commence divorce proceedings in Singapore if either you or your spouse:
- are Singaporean citizen by birth, or grant of Singapore citizenship, or
- ordinarily live in Singapore and have done so for 3 years immediately before filing for divorce
What if you do not meet the above requirements?
You and your spouse can consider waiting out the 3 year period and have your ancillary issues on property, maintenance/support, and custody agreed upon or mediated to draw up a Marital Agreement.
Before the 3 year mark, either party may apply for interim orders in relation to maintenance for wife and/or child, and other relevant orders in relation to children’s issues including, custody, care and control and access.