Divorce in Singapore for Foreigners Married Overseas

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foreigner divorce in singapore

Having journeyed with clientele from different backgrounds, our International Divorce Lawyers understand the applicable laws in cross-border divorces where you may be considering divorcing in Singapore but have married overseas.

Our expertise is divorce with an international cross-border element.

Where do you start?

This article will explore some preliminary information you need to understand about cross-border divorces.

CAN YOU DIVORCE IN SINGAPORE?

To be eligible to commence divorce proceedings in Singapore, either of the following criteria needs to be met: –

  1. Parties must be married for at least three years prior to the filing of a Writ for Divorce in the Singapore Family Justice Courts; AND
  2. One party to the marriage is a Singapore Citizen; OR
  3. One party to the marriage has been habitually residing in Singapore for at least three years before proceeding proceedings.

In the event neither party has not habitually resided in Singapore for three years, the party who wishes to commence divorce proceedings may consider showing his/her intention to be domiciled in Singapore. This means that he/she has to show the following: –

  1. A voluntary residence as an inhabitant rather than a casual visitor;
  2. His/her intention to remain in Singapore indefinitely.

This will depend on the facts of the case that our specialist divorce Lawyers will assess. A typical example to show the same would be shifting a party’s substantial assets to Singapore.

DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED

As part of the procedural requirements when submitting the divorce documents to the Court, one of the documents required is a copy of the parties’ marriage certificate in English.

In the event parties’ marriage certificate is not in the English language, a translated copy of the English language’s marriage certificate is required.

Related Article: Documents Required to File for Divorce in Singapore

EXCEPTIONAL DEPRAVITY

If parties have not been married for at least three years, you can only commence divorce proceedings if you have obtained the Court’s permission to do so.

To obtain the Court’s permission, you must prove “exceptional depravity” or “exceptional hardship.”

What constitutes “exceptional depravity” or “exceptional hardship” depends on the facts of the case.

Our matrimonial Lawyers can evaluate whether your circumstances meet the legal threshold of “exceptional depravity” or “exceptional hardship.”

THE ALTERNATIVE

You may wish to consider entering into either of the following:

  1. Deed of Separation,
  2. Post-Nuptial Agreement or
  3. Marital Agreement

These agreements will set out parties’ respective rights and obligations until they are eligible to divorce in Singapore. Our expat and international divorce lawyers can assist in the drafting of these agreements.

Are you considering divorcing in Singapore but hold an overseas marriage certificate? Do you have queries on cross-border elements that you wish to clarify? At Gloria James-Civetta & Co, our Divorce Lawyers specialise in cross-border divorces and can advise you comprehensively to protect your rights.

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