Expat Divorce

Everything You Must Know For Expat Divorce Singapore:

Getting a divorce is an emotionally draining and daunting task. And if you are an expat living in Singapore, the intricacies of expat divorce Singapore will increase your stress levels.

But not to worry as we are here to help you with the difficult expat divorce process in Singapore. Our specialist divorce lawyers are capable of handling your complex expat divorce case with great ease. However, if you need some heads-up guidelines for expat divorce Singapore, read on…..

Are you eligible to file for expat divorce Singapore?

There is some criterion for filing an expat divorce case in Singapore court.

Firstly, either you or your spouse must be a citizen of Singapore.

However, if not a citizen, either one of the parties should be a habitual resident of Singapore. And that too for at least 3 years prior to filing the Divorce (without any absent period). Three years must also have expired from the date of marriage before you can file the Divorce.

These laws are imposed to make sure that people are not flying from other countries just to file a divorce because Singaporean expat divorce laws suit their interests.

What are your grounds for divorce?

According to the Singapore divorce act, you can only file for a divorce if your marriage is proven to be broken down irretrievably. Meaning there is no possibility of reconciliation. There are five ways to prove that:

  1. Adultery :   If your partner has committed adultery and it is not tolerable for you.
  2. Unreasonable Behaviour :   This may include many factors. However, some common factors are extremely messy, argumentative, failing to provide for the family financially or abusive relationship (physically and verbally).
  3. Separation with consent :   when both parties have parted ways with consent and living separately (this means without any sexual relationship) for at least 3 years. The separated spouse will have to give a written consent.
  4. Separation without consent :   When you are living separately (without any sexual relationship) for 4 years. The separated spouse need not give any consent whatsoever.
  5. Desertion :   when your spouse has left you high and dry without any consent and with no plans of return for 2 years.

For further clarifications regarding divorce grounds, you can consult specialist divorce lawyers at D Rani & Co.

Can You apply for a stay in proceedings?

If your partner has filed for a divorce in Singapore but you want to file for divorce in any other country you have lived in, you can certainly file for a stay in proceedings. This mainly happens because of better divorce settlement laws in other countries. This will be decided by the Court/Judge that is hearing the Divorce proceedings whether they have jurisdiction to hear the matter in that country.

How will the assets be divided?

There is no set proportion of dividing the assets among the parties. The Singapore jurisdiction considers various factors like financial contribution, duration of the marriage, the volume of assets, and non-financial contributions such as needs of the children or moving to Singapore for the sake of the other party’s career.

However, if you have overseas property, the Singapore court will not deal with them. You will have to apply in a foreign court for the division of any such properties.

Specialist divorce lawyers can further guide you through the intricacies of assets division in expat divorce Singapore.

Who can apply for maintenance?

A wife can file for maintenance of children (under 21 years of age) and herself from the husband. However, a husband can only apply for maintenance if he suffering from an illness or is incapable of earning.

Children above 21 years of age can also apply for maintenance from their parents. They will have to file a separate application stating they need maintenance to continue their tertiary education.

Child settlement laws in Singapore:

The Singapore family court always gives verdict in children’s best interest. And for that, they consider factors such as who is the primary caregiver, age and choice of children, and physical and financial capabilities of the parent.

If children are Singaporean citizens, they can easily stay in Singapore. However, in case of S pass or employment pass, children can stay in Singapore as dependent provided they are below 21 years of age. Above 21 years of children will have to apply for a study visa to stay in Singapore.

In the case of expat parents wanting to take the child along, they will have to take consent from other parents. Otherwise, it will be considered as child abduction.

Can you live in Singapore after the divorce?

You are entitled to stay freely in Singapore provided you have an employment pass, S pass, or work visa. However, if you had a dependent pass, you will not be allowed to stay in Singapore because you are no more dependent on your spouse.

If you wish to stay in Singapore, you will be provided a 30 to 90 days grace to find a job. After that, you stay in Singapore on your employment pass or work permit. If you fail to find a job during the grace period, you can apply for a long-term visit pass which is also renewable.

We hope our guide has succeeded to highlight the intricacies of expat divorce in Singapore. However, expat divorce is a complex matter and you will need specialist divorce lawyers to handle your case. Feel free to contact us and discuss your expat divorce Singapore with specialist divorce lawyers at D Rani & co.