International divorce cases in Singapore present unique jurisdictional challenges and complexities that require careful consideration and understanding.

Navigating these challenges is crucial if you are seeking to dissolve your marriage when multiple jurisdictions are involved.

In this blog post, we will explore the jurisdictional challenges that are faced in international divorces in Singapore and the solutions available to overcome them.

Determining the Appropriate Jurisdiction

In international divorce cases, determining the appropriate jurisdiction to file for divorce can be complex. Couples must assess their connections to different countries, residency requirements, and the jurisdictional laws that may be most favourable to their case.

A couple may be eligible to divorce in either country if one spouse lives overseas and the other in Singapore, or if one spouse is an overseas citizen or national.

Read more: International Divorce: The Advantages of Filing Divorce in Singapore

Forum Shopping and Jurisdictional Disputes

Forum shopping, where one party attempts to choose a jurisdiction most advantageous to their case, can lead to jurisdictional disputes in international divorces.

There are two ways in which foreigners can prove sufficient ties to Singapore.

Firstly, through proving that you are domiciled is in Singapore at the time of the commencement of the divorce proceedings, whether by origin, dependence, or choice

Secondly, through proving that you are a habitual resident in Singapore for a period of 3 years immediately preceding the commencement of the proceedings.

Resolving jurisdictional disputes requires skilled legal representation to present a compelling case and demonstrate why Singapore is the appropriate jurisdiction for the divorce.

Read more: The Divorce Process in Singapore: A Comprehensive Guide for Expats

Financial considerations

Financial considerations are crucial when deciding in which country to pursue a divorce, including factors such as;

Asset Division

: The legal framework for property division, the treatment of marital assets, and the potential impact on one’s financial interests in each jurisdiction.

Maintenance Payments

: The laws and guidelines regarding spousal support, the duration and amount of payments, and the enforceability of maintenance orders in each jurisdiction.

Economic Stability & Cost of Living

: Considering factors such as employment opportunities, job market conditions, inflation rates, healthcare costs, housing expenses, education expenses, and overall economic indicators, as these factors can significantly impact the financial well-being, standard of living, and long-term financial sustainability of both parties involved in the divorce.

Read more: Financial Matters in a Divorce

Deciding between Singapore and another country for divorce is a critical decision, particularly when it comes to child-related matters.

Assessing child custody laws, visitation rights, child support guidelines, and the legal framework for protecting the best interests of the child in each jurisdiction is essential.

Questions that our divorce lawyers are often get asked:

  • Will child custody orders made in Singapore be enforceable across borders?
  • What factors do Singapore courts consider when determining the best interests of the child?
  • Is there a way to stop my spouse from taking the children out of Singapore without my consent?
  • What are the legal requirements and procedures for relocating with a child to another country after divorce?
  • How can international parental abduction be prevented or addressed in an international divorce?

International Enforcement of Court Orders

Once a divorce is finalized in Singapore, enforcing court orders in another jurisdiction can be a challenge. However, Singapore is a signatory to several international conventions, such as the Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments.

These conventions facilitate the recognition and enforcement of Singapore court orders in many countries, providing couples with assurance that the orders will be honoured in other jurisdictions.

Read more: What if a Court in another Country has made a Maintenance Order?

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

In international divorce cases, Mediation, and alternative dispute resolution methods such as Collaborative Divorce can be effective in resolving jurisdictional challenges.


allows couples to discuss their issues and reach agreements in a neutral and amicable environment. In Singapore, mediation is is mandatory (where there are minor children involved) encouraged, and the Family Justice Courts provide mediation services to assist couples in finding mutually acceptable solutions, even when faced with jurisdictional complexities.

Collaborative divorce

offers a cooperative and non-adversarial approach for settling international divorces, where couples work together with their respective lawyers to reach mutually beneficial agreements on various issues, such as child custody, asset division, and support, fostering a more amicable and efficient resolution process.

Read more: Benefits of Resolving Marital Conflict via Divorce Mediation

Our firm has a strong reputation for handling international and divorces and have established strong relationships with overseas lawyers in jurisdictions worldwide.

With our experience, dedication, and personalized approach, we strive to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients while protecting their rights and interests every step of the way.

Our International Divorce Lawyers will explain the steps involved when considering a Singapore divorce and advise on your rights and options.