The 3-years Rule
The general condition to getting a divorce is to have been married for at least 3 years before divorce, with the exception which is described in the latter part of this Article.
Connection to Singapore
If you are a Singaporean, you can get a divorce in Singapore if your marriage is at least 3 years.
If you are a foreigner and have married outside of Singapore, you need to show connection to Singapore before you can divorce in Singapore:
- Either you are Domiciled in Singapore when commencing divorce
“Domiciled” means you have a permanent home in Singapore.
- Or you are Habitually Resident in Singapore for at least 3 years before divorce
“Habitually Resident” means you have been living in Singapore for a voluntary and settled purpose for at least 3 years before commencing the divorce.
Exception to 3-years Rule
If you have been married for less than 3 years, you can only divorce if you can prove exceptional hardship or exceptionally unreasonable and cruel behaviour. Such extreme situations would include:
- Extreme mental distress.
- Physical or mental spousal abuse.
- Unusually cruel adultery.
- Adultery-induced pregnancy.
- Homosexual tendencies in either parties.
Commence divorce proceedings
If you have checked that you can divorce in Singapore, believe you have a reason based on the Exception, 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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