Before you consider if this Ground of Divorce applies to you, you have to make sure you can divorce in Singapore as there are conditions to be met before you can do so. Find out: Can I Divorce in Singapore?
What is Adultery and what is not?
Commonly known as cheating, adultery is an extramarital affair, i.e. when a married person has sex with a third party.
While cheating may mean different things to different people, with or without going to the full extent of a sexual affair, what is considered Adultery in the eyes of the law requires an actual sexual relationship with a third party.
Evidence is required to prove Adultery. Direct evidence should record the adulterous act itself, or a confession of the adulterer.
Short of direct evidence, most of the time, Adultery can be proved by indirect evidence which shows the intention and opportunity to commit Adultery by the adulterer. For example, text messages between adulterer and third party, or photographs of adulterer and third party which can reasonably suggest a sexual relationship, may be sufficient proof of Adultery.
The evidence gathering process may not be easy. Engaging a professional private investigator might help, if you can afford the fees (usually charged hourly, and could be in the range of a few thousand dollars for a 30-hour package). Here are some professional private investigators you can contact. Alternatively, you could DIY (do-it-yourself) if you know what evidence to gather and how. Here are some Tips on DIY Adultery Evidence Gathering.
Can you continue to live with your partner?
Are you considering if you should give your cheating partner a chance? Adultery does not always end in divorce, a significant number stayed married. You may consider to work on the marriage despite the challenges, or giving your partner another chance. Here are some Considerations over Divorce that may help you to make a decision whether to reconcile or not. You may also wish to speak to counsellors/relationship advisors to get some professional help and advice.
However, if you have made up you mind and want to end the marriage because of Adultery, you should commence divorce within 6 months of discovering the Adultery. If you wait longer than that, you may not be able to use Adultery as a Ground of Divorce because it reflects that you could still continue to live with your partner despite the divorce.
Commence divorce proceedings
If you have checked that you can divorce in Singapore, have enough evidence of Adultery and have decided to commence divorce proceedings, you may want to find out how and whether you should DIY or engage a lawyer here: Do I need a lawyer for my Divorce? You may also wish to consult a lawyer directly to obtain professional advice on your case.
If you are married under Muslim law, the above may not apply to you. You can find out more about Divorce under Muslim Law (coming up soon).
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