How is adultery defined?
In Singapore, a married person would be deemed to have committed adultery if he/ she voluntarily engages in sexual intercourse with another person other than his/ her spouse. This act of sexual intercourse must be voluntary. If, for instance, a person is raped, he/ she is not deemed to have committed adultery.
How can adultery be proved?
Should you suspect your spouse of having committed adultery, you may wish to engage a private investigator to investigate further. In Singapore, a private investigator’s report is frequently presented to the Court when one spouse seeks to prove the other spouse’s commission of adultery.
In general, adultery is proved by the following ways:
1. Confession by the spouse who committed adultery.
2. Direct evidence of commission of adultery- for instance, having a witness to the commission of adultery.
3. Indirect evidence of commission of adultery.
4. A child is born to the spouse who committed adultery but the child does not belong to the other spouse. However, there are certain evidential difficulties in proving this.
You must find it intolerable to live with your spouse who has committed adultery
It is important to note that if you continue living with your spouse for a period or periods totaling 6 months or more after discovering the commission of adultery by him/ her, you may not be able to rely on the fact of adultery to file for divorce in Singapore. In this case, you may have to rely on another fact (such as his/ her unreasonable behavior) to commence divorce proceedings in Singapore.
Third party shall be made a party to the divorce proceedings
The third party who allegedly committed adultery with your spouse should be named as a “co-defendant” to the divorce proceedings. The third party may take part in the divorce proceedings if he/ she wishes to. However, in cases where the identity of the third party is not known to you, he/ she will not be named.
Who can file for divorce using the fact of “adultery”?
Only the innocent spouse (who did not commit the adultery) can file for divorce using the fact of adultery. The spouse who committed the adultery would not be able to use the fact of his/ her own commission of adultery to commence divorce proceedings in Singapore.
See: Section 95 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)
Your divorce lawyer can assist by:
1. Advising you on the strength of your case (if you wish to file for divorce based on your spouse’s adultery).
2. Representing you if you decide to file for divorce based on your spouse’s adultery, or defending you if your spouse files for divorce based on your alleged adultery.
3. Drafting and filing the documents required by the Court.
4. Representing you in negotiations with the other party, mediation sessions and in Court.
You may also be interested to read more about:
2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage
5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)