“Living apart (separated) for a continuous period of 3 years” and “Living apart (separated) for a continuous period of 4 years” are facts which married couples in Singapore can rely on to prove to the Court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, for the purpose of filing for divorce.
Difference between “living apart (separated) for 3 years” and “living apart (separated) for 4 years”
If you and your spouse have been living apart (separated) for a continuous period of 4 years or more immediately before filing for divorce, the divorce judgment will be granted even without the consent of the other spouse.
However, if you and your spouse have been living apart (separated) for a period between 3 to 4 years, the consent of both parties is needed for the divorce judgment to be granted. If your spouse does not consent to the proposed divorce, you can still file for divorce using other facts (for instance, his/ her unreasonable behaviour or adultery).
What is “living apart”? Can I live under the same roof with my spouse while “living apart”?
“Living apart” signifies physical separation by choice of one or both spouses. As such, the separation cannot be a result of some other reasons, such as overseas work postings or overseas studies.
During the separation period, you can continue to live under the same roof with your spouse, provided that you live in separate households, sleep in separate bedrooms and in general, lead separate and distinct lives.
It is advisable for you and your spouse to enter into a deed of separation during the period of separation. The deed of separation will ensure that your interests are protected.
See: Section 95 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)
Your divorce lawyer can assist by:
1. Advising you on whether you and your spouse are able to file for divorce based on separation.
2. Representing you if you decide to file for divorce in Singapore based on separation.
3. Drafting and filing the documents required by the Court.
4. Representing you in negotiations with the other party, mediation sessions and in Court.
5. Preparing a deed of separation in Singapore for you and your spouse.
You may also be interested to read more about:
2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage
5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)