How is desertion defined?
Desertion happens when you are abandoned against your wish by your spouse.
The desertion must be for a minimum continuous period of 2 years. However, if you were to resume living with your spouse for a period or periods that do not exceed six months in total, this period(s) shall not terminate the desertion and you can still use the fact of desertion to file for divorce in Singapore. The period(s) during which you resume living with your spouse is excluded from the count of the length of your spouse’s desertion.
Intention to desert
To rely on the fact of desertion to file for divorce in Singapore, you would need to prove to the Court that your spouse has the intention to desert you during the entire period of desertion. This intention refers to the intention to bring your marriage to a permanent end.
Separation cannot be consensual
The desertion cannot be consensual, and it must be a unilateral decision to desert on the part of your spouse. In other words, you cannot consent to being deserted.
There must be no good reason for desertion
There cannot be any good reason for your spouse to desert you (such as him/ her leaving for overseas studies or work). Further, your spouse should not have deserted you because of your behaviour.
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 desertion).
2. Representing you if you decide to file for divorce based on your spouse’s desertion, or defending you if your spouse files for divorce based on your alleged desertion.
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)