Divorce with Foreign Spouse in Singapore

With more and more Singaporeans marrying foreigners, I regularly meet clients who ask me about getting a divorce with foreign spouse in Singapore.

There are many issues that can crop up.

Divorce with foreign spouse in Singapore

Issue 1: Will the child relocate with the foreign spouse after the divorce?

Maybe or maybe not, depending on what is best for the welfare of the child. It does not mean that the party with custody/ care and control will automatically get to relocate with the child.

Issue 2: What will happen to the long term visit pass of the foreign spouse?

It may be cancelled.

However, if you are a PR, your PR status will not be affected.

Issue 3: What if I can’t find my spouse?

I have handled many divorces for clients who are unable to locate their spouse after trying every possible way to do so (especially if the foreign spouse decides to return to their home country). There are also cases wherein one party intentionally avoided service of divorce papers. In such cases, it may be necessary to make an application for substituted service or dispensation of service.


Case of runaway bride

In one recent episode of the reality TV show Married At First Sight, single mum Lauren who was supposed to be married to Andrew disappeared on the wedding day. She claimed that she wanted to be with somebody who had been through a broken marriage and had kids. She said she felt “vulnerable” on her wedding day and said she’s “scared of getting hurt”. When she asked to get back with Andrew on national TV, Andrew said no.

See: James Weir, “Married At First Sight’s jilted groom rejects runaway bride’s request for a second chance”, news.com.au, 8 February 2017

Andrew is lucky that he is not married. If he were married in Singapore and his bride ran away, he would most likely have to make an application for substituted service or dispensation of service.

Getting a divorce with foreign spouse in Singapore can be more complicated that a divorce between 2 Singaporeans. You would have to be aware of the issues that may crop up. See also: Foreigners in Singapore.

If you are contemplating divorce with foreign spouse in Singapore, contact us today for more information!

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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