Foreigners Divorce in SG
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Foreigners Divorce in SG

Foreigners can file for a divorce in SG with the following requirement:

  • Marriage should be at least 3 years, and;
  • One of the spouses should have strong ties with Singapore by being either a citizen or being domiciled in Singapore or reside in Singapore for at least 3 years.

Muslim spouses or those married under Muslim should turn to Syariah Court for their divorce.


The reasons for contested or uncontested divorce should fall under categories:

  • Adultery when the defendant had sexual relations outside marriage, and the plaintiff finds it intolerable to continue living in marriage.
  • Unreasonable behavior when for example the defendant inflicts physical or mental abuse or has behaved in an unreasonable and intolerable manner. Common examples such as spending too much time at work and failing to spend meaningful time with the spouse may also be considered behavior which is unreasonable.
  • Desertion if the defendant has left the plaintiff for a minimum of 2 years, cannot be contacted at all and shows no signs or intention to return.
  • Separation when spouses live separately or maintain separate households under mutual consent for at least 3 years or without mutual consent for more than 4 years.


Married business and professional couples are increasingly spending time living overseas. Expanding globalization has meant that the family model with only one permanent resident in a country is becoming more and more frequent.

In Singapore this can mean that either party may reside in another country, hold joint property or have business interests and other assets abroad. It may also involve one parent wanting to relocate with children abroad.

All expat divorce cases are unique and require an approach that is tailored to their particular circumstances.

Our beliefs centre around:

  • strong communication between our lawyers and client in order to attain our client’s goals
  • presenting our client with money-saving alternatives to expensive court room battles such as mediation and the Collaborative Divorce Process
  • thorough research and preparation for every case right from the word go


For the purposes of jurisdiction in Singapore, expats may only divorce in Singapore if they meet the 3 year marriage bar; that is, they have been married for at least 3 years and either party has resided in Singapore for at least 3 years.

You need a team that is highly experienced in dealing with international divorce cases which involve cross-border and international aspects.

Our team of dedicated family law practitioners, headed by principal partner Ms Gloria James-Civetta, includes accredited family and matrimonial law mediators and collaborative practice lawyers.

For further detailed information on international divorce, please visit our dedicated web-page at

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