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 Separation and what is not?
Physical separation alone is not enough. Both parties must have the intention to be apart. For example, living in two different countries for work reasons may not be Separation for divorce if the parties do not intend to separate from each other in the marriage.
Physical separation is also not necessary. A couple under Separation can still live in the same house but must run separate households, i.e. living separate lives. For it to be considered Separation, the couple should not be performing spousal duties for each other, for example, cooking and cleaning for each other.
Most importantly, there must be a loss of companionship and association with each other, for example, no longer spending time together, contacting or dealing with each other on a regular basis.
If the couple has agreed to divorce, then there is a requirement of at least 3 years of separation to divorce on the Ground of Separation.
If one party does not agree to divorce, then the requirement is at least 4 years of separation before one can divorce on the Ground of Separation.
The separation period will not be discounted if the couple resumed the relationship for less than 6 months during the separation period in an attempt to reconcile.
A formal separation agreement can also be signed to record the separation arrangement, but this is not necessary. Separation can be informal and still valid without a formal agreement.
Are you considering if you should give the marriage another chance? Or you are considering other reasons why you may want to hold on? 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.
Commence divorce proceedings
If you have checked that you can divorce in Singapore, have satisfied the Separation requirements 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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