FAQs You May Have About the Singapore Divorce Process

Most people view marriage as a lifelong commitment wherein two people pledge themselves to one another. People expect a married couple to spend their lives together and potentially raise children. In an ideal world, marriages are supposed to be one of the strongest bonds individuals make in their lifetime, but the reality is not always so simple. Marriages may not survive some challenges. Couples may find themselves incompatible in the long run. When this happens, the best choice for the two might be to explore divorce in Singapore.


Divorce is a touchy subject for many, but for many couples, they may not have any other option to pursue. An unstable, toxic, or rocky marriage is not only dangerous to partners but also to any children they may have. Forcing a union to work may place all parties at risk. If you have exhausted all other means, you (and possibly your partner) might want to consider a split.


The Singapore divorce process allows you to safely and legally sever ties with your spouse. But even if both partners agree to the split, that does not mean divorce will be easy. The process is hard to navigate– you might not always get the outcome you envisioned. The legal system does not always work to your advantage, even if you are the one who requested the split.

FAQs of divorce in Singapore

Singapore’s legal system does not make it simple for couples to divorce. The roadblocks are there for two reasons. Firstly, to prevent the abuse of marital status and its accompanying rights; and secondly, to ensure that married couples explore other avenues before deciding separation is the best option.


Before initiating the process, you should be aware of how divorce works. Going in blind can result in decreased odds of receiving a favourable outcome. You can find a wealth of resources on divorce when you check out official government websites. You might also want to search for the best divorce lawyer in Singapore even if you only want to solicit advice or a second opinion.


While your divorce lawyer will be doing much of the work to ensure a smoother process, it pays to know more about the process. You can work together with your lawyer to know more about your future strategies and directions. Here are a few frequently asked questions and their answers.

1) What is the role of a divorce lawyer in the process?

When you have decided on getting a divorce, you will need the help of a family lawyer in Singapore. A lawyer that specialises in family law knows important information about legal matters of families. Family law is a branch of civil law that concerns internal affairs between families, such as divorce, child custody, inheritance disputes, and more. You can hire a family lawyer to represent you in court, ask them for advice on approaching certain areas of the divorce process, negotiate for better terms, and much more. They can function as consultants and also provide other essential services.

2) What are “grounds for divorce”?

The Singapore legal system currently does not allow any ground for divorce other than an“irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” To prove this, you are required to  prove one of four facts:


  • Unreasonable behaviour;
  • Adultery;
  • Desertion of 2 years or more;
  • Separation of 3 years or more(if partner consents to divorce); or
  • Separation of 4 years or more


In 2023, the legal system will accept a new fact as part of the grounds for divorce in Singapore. The fact is known as “divorce by mutual agreement,” wherein the two parties agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In the future, it may offer the smoothest path to divorce.

3) What are the requirements for divorce?

As stated earlier, Singapore’s legal system dissuades couples from divorcing easily. To file for a divorce, you must prove that you have exhausted all means of reconciling. Ask a good divorce lawyer in Singapore about your specific case. Most people have to fulfil 3 requirements before proceeding. Here are the 3 basic requirements:


  • The couple must be married for at least 3 years. The only exceptions to this rule are if the party requesting the divorce has suffered exceptional hardships under their partners, such as physical or mental abuse, extremely cruel situations of adultery, severe emotional or mental distress, and more. Talk to your lawyer to know more about your options.
  • Either party must be: 1) a Singaporean citizen (or at least a resident of Singapore), 2) treat Singapore as a permanent home, or 3) have lived in Singapore for 3 years or more, immediately preceding the divorce application.
  • Lastly, the party filing the divorce must show the “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” It can be proven using one of the facts stated earlier.


4) How much does a divorce cost?

If you plan to file a divorce, take a moment to consider its costs. The process costs money. Divorce is a messy affair in many cases– when that happens, fees can add up. If you and your partner disagree on many key issues such as property ownership or child custody, the divorce proceedings may lengthen. Your lawyer fees for your divorce will balloon as a result. Sometimes the process may last as short as a few months, while other contentious cases can last over a year.


Divorce is oftentimes a complicated and messy affair. If you want to navigate the process and increase your chances of a favourable result, you need a competent lawyer to help you. Lie Chin Chin is a firm that specialises in assisting individuals concerning their family matters. Learn about divorce in Singapore, its cost, and how to get help by checking their website.