Singaporean Woman Deported From UK! What Does It Mean To Be Separated?

What does it mean to be separated?

It was recently reported that a Singaporean woman, married to a British man for 27 years, was sent back to Singapore.

According to Irene Clennell, she was deported without warning. Other than her husband, Mrs Clennell has 2 sons and a granddaughter in the UK.

Husband in poor health

Mrs Clennell’s husband is in poor health and she is his primary care giver.

Being deported

Her residential status was invalidated after she spent substantial periods of time abroad. Mrs Clennell has spent a big part of her life in Singapore. After her marriage in 1992, she was given indefinite leave to reside in the UK. This lapsed as a result of her living outside the UK for more than 2 years. Between 1992 and 1998, Mrs Clennell had lived in Singapore to care for her aged mother.

Despite making numerous applications between 2003 to January 2005 for leave to remain in the UK, she was not successful. 2 more unsuccessful applications were made between 2013 and 2016.

Mrs Clennell was sent to the airport from the Dungavel Detention Centre on 25 February 2017. She did not manage to get in touch with her lawyer or collect her clothes.

See: “Woman sent back to Singapore despite 27-year marriage”, BBC News, 27 February 2017

What does it mean to be separated?

Is Mrs Clennell legally separated from her husband? Not really.

Under Singapore’s laws, separation is 2-fold. There must be physical separation as well as a conscious intention to separate. In Mrs Clennell’s case, there was never a conscious intention to separate from her husband. In fact, she would very much want to live by her husband’s side and be his care-giver.

As such, someone in Mrs Clennell’s shoes will not be able to file for divorce using the reason of “separation”. He/ she may wish to file for divorce using other reasons such as unreasonable behaviour or adultery.

What does it mean to be separated? To find out more, contact us today!

You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence

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