With the increase in numbers of marriages between Singaporeans and foreigners, I have a large proportion of clients come to me looking to divorce a foreign spouse.
According to Minister of Social and Family Development Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, there appears to be an upward trend when it comes to Singaporeans who want to divorce a foreign spouse.
The 2007 to 2009 marriage cohorts were used to analyse the divorce/ annulment rates before the 5th year of marriage.
In the 3 years (2007 to 2009), there were about 6,000 to 7,000 marriages a year between Singapore citizens and non-residents. Of these, about 400 to 500 were dissolved before the 5th anniversary (7.1% to 7.9%).
About 6.4% to 6.8% of marriages were dissolved when it came to cases with at least one Singapore resident. This works out to about 1,500 to 1,600 marriage dissolution cases per year.
For grooms with higher educational qualifications, the number of dissolved marriages was higher.
See: “More marriages between Singaporeans and foreigners breaking up: MSF”, Channel News Asia, 10 October 2016
What are the common issues to take note of if you are looking to divorce a foreign spouse?
Which country will the children be living in after the divorce? Whose care will the children be under? Does the foreign spouse have suitable accommodation in Singapore if he/ she is going to have care and control of the children?
Do you have assets overseas? What are the assets in Singapore? If you have a HDB flat with your foreign spouse, it is unlikely that your foreign spouse can retain the flat by himself/ herself. Can you retain the flat by yourself?
Does your foreign spouse have a job in Singapore? Will there be issues on alimony/ maintenance?
Residential status in Singapore
Can your foreign spouse continue to live and work in Singapore?
Locate your spouse
Above all, can you even locate your spouse? What can you do if you can’t?
There are many more questions to consider if you are looking to divorce a foreign spouse.
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