Singapore Expat Divorce – Is it Advantageous for You to file for Divorce in Singapore?

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For expats considering getting a divorce there may be various considerations in deciding whether doing so in Singapore will be advantageous in terms of cost or placing you in a favourable position in the division of matrimonial assets. The following information seeks to address certain questions one may have in mind when deciding to file for divorce in Singapore.

Eligibility:

Not all divorce cases will be heard by the Singapore court. One must meet the following criteria:

  1. Either spouse is domiciled in Singapore or habitually resident in Singapore for 3 or more years
  2. You have been married for more than 3 years
  3. You can show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably

Duration:

Obtaining an Interim Judgment can take around 5 to 6 months following which there is a mandatory 3-month period before the Final Judgment can be granted.

Cost:

Whilst the complexity of the case can affect costs, you may stand to gain from favourable exchange rates. Furthermore, Singapore uses a fused legal system such that you will be charged only 1 set of legal fees compared to 2 sets in other countries (e.g. UK with the barristers and solicitors system). In contested cases, it should be noted that mediation is compulsory in Singapore which may prove to be more cost effective should mediation be successful between you and your spouse.

Matrimonial Assets:

Different countries have varying ways of dividing matrimonial assets. In Singapore, the ratio of division is determined by factors such as indirect and direct contributions to the accumulation of assets, the needs of parties involved, agreements made by parties involved and so on. Beyond determining if filing for divorce in Singapore will be favourable for you in terms of division of matrimonial assets, it is important to ensure that the divorce judgment obtained in Singapore can be enforced in countries where the assets are owned. It is therefore essential that you contact a good international divorce lawyer to work out such details.

If you need legal advice before proceeding to divorce, you should engage a family law specialist. GJC Law has highly experienced lawyers who have dealt with a wide range of divorce matters. Should you wish to schedule a free initial consultation with us, please contact GJC Law at 6337 0469, or email consult@gjclaw.com.sg.