Foreigners in Singapore

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Can I commence divorce proceedings in Singapore if I am not a citizen of Singapore?

Under the law, you can file for divorce in Singapore if either you or your spouse is:

1. “Domiciled in Singapore at the time of the commencement of the proceedings”; or

2. “Habitually resident in Singapore for a period of 3 years immediately preceding the commencement of the proceedings.”

Hence, you can file for divorce in Singapore if either you or your spouse is a Singapore citizen, or either of you has lived in Singapore for at least 3 years prior to filing for divorce.

In addition, you would also have to be married for a minimum period of 3 years before you are eligible to file for divorce in Singapore.

See: Sections 93 to 94 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)

Can I commence annulment proceedings in Singapore if I am not a citizen of Singapore?

If you intend to nullify your marriage instead of filing for divorce in Singapore, it would be sufficient if both you and your spouse reside in Singapore at the time of commencing the annulment proceedings.

If I am unable to file for divorce in Singapore, what remedies are available to me?

Children’s issues: You may wish to file an interim custody application in Singapore by way of an originating summons to protect your rights to your children. Key children’s issues to be decided includes:

1. Custody of your children: Who should be making major decisions for your children between now and the finalization of the divorce?

2. Care and control of your children: If you decide to live away from your spouse in the meantime, who would get to live with the children on a day-to-day basis?

3. Access to your children: How often would you be seeing your children, if your spouse gets care and control of them?

Interim order for maintenance (alimony): This is important if you require maintenance support from your spouse for your and the children’s living and education expenses in Singapore.

Your divorce lawyer can assist by:

1. Advising you on whether you are eligible to file for divorce in Singapore.

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

3. Representing you if you decide to make an interim custody/ maintenance application, or defending you if your spouse makes an interim custody/ maintenance application.

4. Advising you on your rights in relation to matters concerning interim custody and interim maintenance.

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

6. 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