The Differences Between Marriage Annulment (Nullity) And Divorce

marriage annulment singapore

1. After the judgment of nullity is granted, the marriage is deemed never to have existed and parties are returned their “single” status. On the other hand, if you are divorced, your marriage is deemed to have existed from the time marriage was solemnized to the time of the final judgment. Instead of being a “single”, you would be a “divorcee”.

2. You would not be able to file for divorce in Singapore if you have been married for a period of less than 3 years. However, if you wish to nullify your marriage, you can do so within the first 3 years of your marriage. In fact, you would not be able to do so after the first 3 years of your marriage if you are proceeding on grounds other than “non-consummation due to incapacity of either party” or “non-consummation due to wilful refusal of the other party”.

See: Sections 94 and 106 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)

3. In uncontested divorce proceedings, both parties are not required to appear in Court. However, in uncontested annulment (nullity) proceedings, it is mandatory for the Plaintiff to attend a short hearing in Court.

4. If you are a foreigner living in Singapore, you would have to be habitually resident in Singapore for a period of 3 years immediately before the commencement of divorce proceedings in Singapore. However, if you wish to file for annulment, you do not need to meet the 3-year residency rule. Instead, the only requirement is for both parties to reside in Singapore at the time of the commencement of the annulment (nullity) proceedings.

See: Section 93 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)


Your marriage annulment/divorce lawyer can assist by:

1. Advising you on whether you should file for divorce or annulment.

2. Representing you if you decide to file for divorce/ annulment, or defending you if your spouse files for divorce/ annulment.

3. Ensuring that your interests and concerns are addressed.

4. Drafting and filing the documents required by the Court.

5. Representing you in negotiations with the other party, mediation sessions and in Court.


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