Divorce cases in singapore: Singapore Divorce Process | Divorce Proceedings Information in Singapore

A Detailed Guide to Divorce in Singapore

Welcome to our article on Divorce in Singapore. If you prefer to listen, we have an introduction to the topic from IRB Law partner Muntaz Binte Zainuddin.

Jurisdiction and eligibility

Before divorce proceedings can be commenced, the first consideration is whether the Singapore Court has jurisdiction over the matter. In order for the Singapore Courts to have jurisdiction to hear proceedings for divorce, either of the parties:

  1. Has to be domiciled in Singapore during the commencement of divorce proceedings; or
  2. Habitually resident in Singapore for a minimum of 3 years immediately before divorce proceedings are commenced; and

In addition, the parties must have been married for a minimum of 3 years. Although the Court has the discretion to depart from this requirement, it rarely ever does so except in cases where there has been unbearable hardship or exceptionally cruel behavior.

Please note that getting a divorce is quite different from getting an annulment. A divorce is where an existing marriage is dissolved, whereas in the case of an annulment, technically the marriage did not take place. There is no requirement of having to be married for at least 3 years before a marriage can be annulled. On the contrary, an annulment is usually more likely to be granted at an earlier point in the marriage than later. However, an annulment is only granted by the Court under very specific circumstances.

Note: If you were married under Muslim Law, the previously mentioned requirements do not apply to you. Please check on how to divorce under the Muslim Law instead.

Two stages in a divorce

There are two main stages in a civil (i.e. non-Muslim) divorce in Singapore:

Stage 1: The dissolution of the marriage

Stage 2: Ancillary Matters (matters regarding custody of a child, division of matrimonial properties and maintenance)

Stage 1- Dissolution of marriage

The party seeking to get a divorce must establish the ground for divorce. Under Singapore law, the sole ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Irretrievable breakdown in the marriage may be proven by proving that any one of the following reasons has occurred:

  1. Adultery: The Plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the Defendant due to the Defendant has committed adultery. Adequate evidence is required to prove the Defendant’s act of adultery. The Plaintiff may hire a private investigator to gather evidence.
  2. Unreasonable behavior: The Defendant has behaved in an unreasonable manner that the Plaintiff finds it impossible to continue living with the Defendant.
  3. Desertion: The Defendant deserted the Plaintiff for a minimum of 2 years where the Defendant shows no intention or sign of returning.
  4. Separation: The parties have either agreed to live apart for 3 years or failing which, have lived apart for at least 4 years.

Whether or not the above situations have been proven will be a question of fact that has to be proven in Court and trial if challenged by the other party. A trial is a lengthy process involving the production of witnesses, hearings, and ultimately a judgement by the Court. If parties agree that irretrievable breakdown has occurred for any of these reasons, then a trial will not be necessary.

It is important to note that under Singapore law, the reasons for the breakdown of the marriage are usually not considered by the Court when deciding on the ancillary matters. There may be no or little advantage to be gained by either party proving that the other party has been “wrong” or “immoral”. Your lawyers would be able to advise you where the breakdown of the marriage may affect the ancillary matters.

If the Court is satisfied that the marriage has broken down irretrievably (whether proven in trial or by consent between parties), it will grant an interim judgement to dissolve the marriage, whereupon the divorce proceedings will proceed to stage 2 – Ancillary Matters.

Stage 2- Ancillary Matters

The ancillary matters to a divorce deal with the following three issues:

  1. Care and control, and custody of children including access to children
  2. Maintenance of Wife and/or children
  3. Division of matrimonial assets


There are three issues to be decided in relation to the children of a marriage:

  1. Custody; and
  2. Care and Control
  3. Access

Custody of the children generally relates to the making of the major life decisions of the children, such as education, religion, medical treatment, or migration/relocation. As a general rule, if parties are unable to agree on custody, the Court tends to award joint custody to both parents.

Care and control refer to the main caregiver to the child and the parent whom the child will primarily live with after the divorce.

Access is given to the parent who does not obtain care and control. Access can come in many forms such as supervised, reasonable, liberal etc.


A husband is generally obliged to maintain both his wife and children (generally up to the age of 21) during and after the marriage. Whilst maintenance for children of the marriage is required, maintenance for a former wife may not be required in certain circumstances including short marriages or where the wife is earning well.

In a divorce, parties are free to agree on the amount of maintenance that is to be provided to the wife and children. If parties are unable to do so, the Court will make a finding, based on a number of factors, such as the standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage, parties’ income (current and projected future), the length of the marriage, household expenditure, etc.

In establishing the above factors in Court, each party will have to produce the relevant proof of their contributions, such as by way of bank statements, invoices, etc.

Division of matrimonial assets

Upon a divorce, the matrimonial assets (which are defined in law and may not include a matrimonial home acquired by inheritance) are to be divided amongst the parties, having regard to the direct (i.e. monetary) contributions to the acquisition of that asset, as well as indirect contributions, such as:

  1. the extent of the contributions made by each party in money, property or work towards acquiring, improving or maintaining the matrimonial assets;
  2. any debt owing, or obligation incurred or undertaken by either party for their joint benefit or for the benefit of any child of the marriage;
  3. the needs of the children (if any) of the marriage;
  4. the extent of the contributions made by each party to the welfare of the family, including looking after the home or caring for the family or any aged or infirm relative or dependant of either party;
  5. any agreement between the parties with respect to the ownership and division of the matrimonial assets made in contemplation of divorce;
  6. any period of rent-free occupation or other benefit enjoyed by one party in the matrimonial home to the exclusion of the other party;
  7. the giving of assistance or support by one party to the other party (whether or not of a material kind), including the giving of assistance or support which aids the other party in the carrying on of his or her occupation or business;

In establishing the above factors in Court, each party will have to produce the relevant proof of their contributions, such as by way of bank statements, invoices, contracts etc.

Uncontested divorces

Sometimes, you may hear of what are described as “uncontested divorces” or “simplified divorces”. This is a situation where parties have agreed to the reason for the divorce, as well as all the ancillary matters described above.

From our experience, most divorces are uncontested for the following reasons:

  1. Trial only takes place where there is a dispute of fact, for example, whether adultery took place.
  2. A trial is expensive, both in terms of time and money.
  3. No advantage is gained by proving that the other party is “wrong” during the dissolution of marriage.
  4. Parties get along or want to try for the sake of their children.

Even where parties are initially unable to agree on the terms of the divorce, the Singapore Courts tend to discourage divorce litigation. Thus, even when parties commence divorce proceedings on a contested basis is it is common for the Courts to direct that parties attend mediation at an early stage of the proceedings.

With the aid of a mediator, most contested proceedings can be eventually resolved on an uncontested basis. For more detailed information you can read our article on uncontested divorce here.

Divorce $900

During this difficult period, we are reducing our fees to help. $900 for all uncontested divorces.

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Role of lawyers

You may wish to file a divorce without hiring a lawyer in order to save costs. However, do note that you are still subject to the procedures, formalities, and technicalities of the court proceedings. The court will treat you the same as the one who was represented by a lawyer and the Family Justice Courts will not provide legal advice for any divorce cases

An example of documents you would have to file to simply commence divorce includes:

  • Writ of Summons
  • Statement of Particulars
  • Statement of Claim
  • Proposed Parenting Plan
  • Proposed Property Plan
  • Acknowledgment of Service
  • Memorandum of Service

There will be more documents to file if matters remain contested such as the Affidavit of Assets and Means and Submissions for the Court.

Please be advised to seek help from a divorce lawyer, especially if you can foresee that your spouse is going to contest the divorce or what the ancillary matters as the contest may lead to complicated and prolonged court proceedings.


Step 1: Dissolution of Marriage

After serving the above-mentioned documents on the Defendant, the Defendant gets 8 days to decide whether to contest the divorce.

If the Defendant decides to contest the divorce, the Defendant is required to file 2 types of documents as follows:

  1. Memorandum of Appearance;
  2. Defence.

Before the parties’ trudge into the court trial, which can turn out to be a bitter battle, parties can try to reach an amicable settlement by the following alternatives:

  1. Resolution Conference with a Family Resolutions Chambers’ judge;
  2. Counselling Session with a Court Counsellor.

If such alternatives cannot resolve the divorce case in an amicable manner, the divorce case will be transferred to the court for Trial. The court will examine whether the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

However, if the Defendant decides not to contest the divorce, but intends to challenge the ancillary matters, the Defendant should file the Memorandum of Appearance to highlight the ancillary matters he/she intends to challenge without a Defence.

If the court concludes that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, the court will grant an Interim Judgment, which is an order to dissolve the marriage. The court then proceeds to decide the ancillary matters.

Step 2: Ancillary Matters

Before the court decides on the ancillary matters, both parties must file the document of Affidavits of Assets and Means. The parties shall disclose all assets and liabilities, earnings and expenditure in their affidavits. The parties may exchange their affidavits for a maximum of 2 times. There may also be discovery proceedings during this time.

If the total net value of the matrimonial asset(s) is exceeding SGD 5 million, the divorce case will be transferred to the High Court.

After the filing and exchange of documents, the court will set a date to hear the ancillary matters.

After the settlement of all ancillary matters, parties are required to wait for 3 months (from the date of Interim Judgment is granted) in order to apply for converting the Interim Judgment to become Final Judgment.

10 Divorce Facts You Never Knew About According To Singapore Law

The Hard Truths About Divorce


Divorce: the tricky taboo topic that still makes some couples squirm in their seats.

Excluding high profile celebrity divorces, civilian ones are always on the down low. So it’s almost inevitable there’s a ton about it many of us here in Singapore are unaware, or only vaguely aware of. But with divorces being more common these days, we interviewed Mr Lim Chong Boon – Head of Family Law at PKWA Law Practice – to shed some light on divorce in Singapore, and bring you a few little known insider facts about it.


1. Your marriage needs to be at least 3 years old


This ain’t Vegas, so you can’t file a divorce like a certain Kardashian after less than 3 months of marriage. Exceptions can be made for very rare circumstances of hardship, but these conditions are very narrow.

Alternatively, you could apply for an annulment of your marriage if it’s less than 3 years and if there was wilful refusal to consummate the marriage, but again, the odds are against your favour.

Here’s a fact: It is getting more common to see couples in marriages of over 30 years also filing for divorce.


2. Very few divorce cases actually go to court



If you think a divorce case consists of a dramatic hearing in front of a judge “The Pupil” style, you’re mistaken.

Most divorce cases are uncontested, amicable divorces – which means that the reasons and ancillary matters (custody, division of property) are agreed upon by the spouses prior to the divorce. Only the rare case of a contested trial where spouses continue to disagree are heard in front of the judge. This makes up less than a quarter of cases.


3. It can take less than 4 months for a divorce case to be resolved #efficiency



In classic Singaporean efficiency, it takes 1 month minimum to get the papers sorted, and 3-4 months for the entire process to be finished. Bear in mind that this is only the case for an uncontested divorce. If child custody and division of matrimonial assets come into the mix the entire process could drag on for a year.


4. It’s tough to prove adultery



We know the scene from our Korean dramas: a Private Investigator is hired, he magically obtains pictures of the cheating spouse and the third party gettin’ it on, and a dramatic court hearing ensues.

But in reality, getting a divorce based on adultery is not that easy. Very specific proof is required. Suggestive text messages or casual photographs are usually insufficient at proving an outside sexual relationship. As a result, many adultery divorce cases end up being cited as “unreasonable behaviour” rather than “adultery” itself.


5. It doesn’t matter who’s at fault when dividing matrimonial assets



Even after knowing how tough it is to catch a cheating spouse, many still hire PIs before going to court, being under the misconception that if they prove their spouse to be guilty of adultery, it would help their case and win them greater assets.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. The Court doesn’t divide assets according to who’s “at fault”. Rather, what matters is the spouses’ contributions to the marriage. These are both financial and non-financial – housing mortgages and utility bills fit the former, while the latter is mainly concerned with who does most of the dirty work i. e. raising the kids.


6. Equal hardships for both spouses


Many think the Women’s Charter favours women, but this is hardly the truth. Often, men contribute more in the family finances – women therefore lose out on this area when it comes to apportioning matrimonial property.

The flip side of the coin is that alimony is usually awarded from the man to the woman and not the only way around, even if the missus earns more. Bottom line, divorces are not easy – it’s equally rough patches for both corners of the equation.


7. Everything one spouse owns is also the other’s



Generally speaking, matrimonial assets include any assets acquired during the marriage. That’s right, even the handbag you treated yourself to on your birthday. So even if an asset is bought with one’s own hard earned money, the spouse still has a claim to it.


8. Even after the court has ruled on custody matters, enforcing spousal maintenance is tough business


If you’ve ever heard of the sad dad who hasn’t seen his kid for months in a row, well that’s still a problem. There are often cases where the parent who has won custody restricts the child from seeing their other parent.

In a classic issue of trying to get on the child’s good side, parents may even try to influence children into taking a stance. And because a lot of this takes place behind closed doors, enforcement is tough.


9. The Courts are very pro-mediation



The Family Justice Courts understand the Singaporean psyche – their priority concerning divorce cases is to make the process quick, cost-efficient and minimally stressful for the parties and their families. Initiatives are constantly rolled out to provide additional support to divorcing couples and their children.

For example, mediation is compulsory for parties with a minor child (below 14 years).


10. The child suffers the most


Divorces often result in broken hearts for both spouses, but we all know it – the one who suffers the most are the little ones with their hearts torn in two. I’ve had a few friends whose parents have been through one themselves, and I’ve witnessed how these usually extroverted individuals suddenly turn silent at the slightest mention of the D word.

From premature ballin’ to expert manipulation, read more about the experiences of kids who’ve seen their parents through a divorce here.


Good-to-know divorce facts


Divorces may be on an upward trend, but they’re still shielded by shushing that keeps many of us from knowing the full truths about it. For me, I was surprised to discover that enforcing spousal maintenance still poses a challenge for the Courts. Just think of the many post-divorce single parent children who live on a shoddy allowance as a result.

Even if you want to *touch wood* and not jinx your own relationship, knowing some facts about it could help you support others in the long run. You could even end up helping someone turn their life around for the better.


Specialist family lawyers at PKWA Law Practice


If you know of anyone encountering marital woes, PKWA Law Practice is a good first step to clearing them. As a leading family law firm in Singapore, PKWA Law headed by senior lawyer Mr Lim Chong Boon has seen and resolved countless divorce cases. And with a team of experienced, down-to-earth lawyers, you’ll know your needs are well taken care of.

Get tips on how to find a good family lawyer here!

Find out more about PKWA Family Law here.

Telephone: 6854 5336/6397 6100
PKWA Law main website: http://www.pkwalaw.com/
PKWA Law Family Law website: http://www. sgdivorcelawyer.sg/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pkwalaw/

This post was made possible thanks to PKWA Law Practice LLC.

Fewer marriages, more divorces in Singapore last year

SINGAPORE: Fewer couples in Singapore got married and more marriages ended in divorce last year, the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat) said on Tuesday (Jul 28).

A total of 25,434 marriages were registered in 2019, 5.8 per cent lower than the 27,007 marriages registered in 2018.



Over a five-year period, however, the annual average number of marriages registered rose to 27,389 from the 26,844 seen between 2010 and 2014.

READ: COVID-19: Couples due to get married postpone weddings, livestream small celebrations

People were also getting married later, SingStat’s figures showed, with the median age at the first marriage rising from 29.8 years to 30.4 years for men, and from 27. 5 years to 28.8 years for women between 2009 and 2019.

While the majority of grooms in their first marriages continued to be older than the bride, the proportion of women marrying younger men increased from 16 per cent in 2009 to 18.3 per cent in 2019.



Marriages involving minors (below 21 years old) also declined, with the proportion among civil marriages falling from 2.7 per cent in 2009 to 0.5 per cent last year, and from 7.3 per cent to 2.8 per cent among Muslim marriages.

Inter-ethnic marriages continued to increase, rising from 18.4 per cent in 2009 to 22.9 per cent last year.

Over the last decade, the general marriage rate declined among those aged between 15 and 49, with 40.7 marriages per thousand unmarried males in 2019, down from 43.4 in 2009, and 37.9 marriages per thousand unmarried females, down from 38.9 a decade ago.


Commentary: Want more babies? Help couples build stronger marriages first


A total of 7,623 marriages ended in divorce or annulment last year, an increase of 3. 8 per cent from 7,344 in the previous year.

Between 2015 and 2019, the average number of marital dissolutions was 7,536 a year, an increase from 7,402 in the preceding five-year period, SingStat said.

The majority of civil divorces in 2019 were initiated by wives (65 per cent), slightly higher than in 2009 (64.2 per cent). 

The top reason among women filing for divorce was “unreasonable behaviour” of spouse, cited by 58.5 per cent. Among men filing for divorce, the top reason was “lived apart or separated for three years or more”, cited by 51.9 per cent.

READ: Online portal to be set up to provide early support to couples considering divorce

People were also getting divorced later, with the median age of men in divorces rising from 40.5 years in 2009 to 43.4 years last year and from 36.9 years to 39.3 years for women.

Couples also stayed together slightly longer, with the median duration of marriage for divorces in 2019 at 10.4 years compared to the 10. 1 years in 2009.

Couples who were married for five to nine years accounted for the largest share – 29.0 per cent – of all divorces in 2019.

Over a 10-year period, the divorce rate declined for both men and women.

There were 6.9 male divorcees for every thousand married males aged 20 years and over in 2019, down from 7.5 in 2009. For women, the rate was 6.5 divorcees for every thousand married females aged 20 years and over in 2019, down from 7.1 in 2009.

FJC | Divorce

The Court will send you a letter to notify you of your next court date once you have filed your Request for Setting Down Action for Trial.

If your divorce is uncontested, your next court date will be the uncontested divorce hearing date. For uncontested divorces, the divorce hearings are generally done in chambers without the attendance of the parties or counsels. This means that no members of the public are allowed to watch the hearing. For some cases however, the divorce hearings may be adjourned to be heard in the same manner as the uncontested hearings for annulment of marriage set out in the paragraph below.

For uncontested hearings for annulment of marriage, the parties and their counsels will have to attend the hearings in a Court room.

If your divorce is contested, your next court date after the case has been Set Down for Trial will be a Case Conference date.

A Case Conference is conducted by an Assistant Registrar of the FJC in chambers – meaning that the hearing is closed to the public, and only those directly involved in the matter can attend. You do not have to attend a Case Conference yourself if you have a lawyer. Similarly, if the Defendant has a lawyer, his or her lawyer will attend the Case Conference.

The purpose of a Case Conference is to get both parties ready for the contested divorce hearing, which will take the form of a trial. If there is a possibility of settlement, the Assistant Registrar may refer the case for counselling with a Court Family Specialist or for a Family Dispute Resolution Conference.

If the settlement is not possible, the Assistant Registrar will ask both parties to file Affidavits of Evidence-in-Chief. If you are not sure what to say, or need help preparing your affidavit, you should seek independent legal advice immediately.

Further information on Case Conferences may be found at paragraph 86 of the Practice Directions.

A contested divorce hearing is very different from an uncontested divorce hearing. Depending on the number of witnesses and the complexity of the case, the whole process may require from one day to several days. Contested divorces are much more time-consuming and costly than uncontested divorce hearings.

At the end of both types of divorce hearing, the Judge will grant an Interim Judgment if he or she is satisfied that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Any Ancillary Matters will be adjourned to be heard in chambers.

The Interim Judgment is a provisional order for divorce. It is made final, or confirmed, after three months. You cannot remarry until the Interim Judgment has been made final. This is the end of the first stage of your divorce case.

Lawyers see spike in family law cases last year from Covid-19 fallout, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Senior family lawyers reviewing their 2020 caseloads saw a rise in divorce applications, maintenance payment issues and personal protection cases against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic year.

Other noticeable family law concerns included access to children, and cross-border-related issues that arose from domestic and international Covid-19 restrictions.

“While we do not yet have the exact figures from the Department of Statistics Singapore, it would not be surprising if the number of divorce cases increased last year,” said family law lecturer Tricia Ho Wei Jing from the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

“Conditions created by Covid-19 exacerbate family tensions, especially with the circuit breaker period confining the family unit in the same space for weeks,” she said.

“In families that already have an undercurrent of conflict, the higher degree of interaction inevitably results in more arguments and disagreements at home.

“Both spouses being at home for a prolonged period also creates more opportunities to discover certain undesirable conduct such as adultery or improper association that may lead to divorce.”

Veteran family lawyer Rajan Chettiar said: “Last year also gave affected couples a lot of time to think through their marital problems and file for divorce. I noted an increase of uncontested divorces I handled last year. I believe this was because couples had time to discuss and reach agreements on their divorce with their spouses.”

He said the circuit breaker and work-from-home arrangements increased the tension between the parties, resulting in an increase in family violence cases, and accelerated marital disputes.

“I recall vividly a lady who called me during the circuit breaker. She was traumatised by her husband’s conduct towards her at home. She felt helpless and had nowhere to go to seek refuge,” he said.

In 2019, 7,623 couples divorced or annulled their marriages.

This was about 4 per cent higher than the 7,344 couples who split in 2018, and the highest number of cases in at least 20 years.

Family lawyer Shone Aye Cheng said that while she saw a general rise in divorce cases filed, a dominant feature was applications by former spouses to vary maintenance payments because of reduced income as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

She cited how one of her clients, a Grab driver, had applied for and obtained a temporary reduction in maintenance payments to his former wife and their three young children, from $1,300 to $960.

His income had been affected during the circuit breaker, and he faced additional expenses as he had to rent a room in Singapore after moving back from Johor, where he had been living.

The court reduced the maintenance payments for a six-month period to give him breathing space, Mrs Shone said.

Hoh Law Corp’s director and head of family law department Margaret Yeow said she received more inquiries from spouses who discovered their partner’s infidelity, “as it was simply too contrived to be away from their homes for too long given the (circuit breaker) restrictions”.

“Consequently, there were also some who had altercations within the confines of the family home that rendered the presence of the other spouse intolerable. Recently, there was a rise in personal protection applications that involved family members,” she said.

Ms Yeow added that during the circuit breaker period, some clients called her twice to thrice daily in addition to sending e-mails, just to complain about former spouses being “a constant headache” in demanding access to their children.

She quipped that her daughter, who was then doing home-based learning, picked up terms such as “mediation”, “access” and “affidavits” due to the many calls she fielded while working from home.

Mr Rajan said that “overall, the circuit breaker and the work-from home arrangements created positive and negative impact for couples in distress”.

“In 2021, I believe the trends started in 2020 will continue as we are still in the pandemic stage.”

He also expects splits in some expat families working here.

“There will be a rise in relocation applications as trailing spouses may wish to return home with their children, as their husbands may have either lost their jobs or are unable to maintain the families in the same standard they used to.

“Like in 2020, 2021 will also see many arranging their personal matters by signing Lasting Powers of Attorney and making wills. A crisis like this pandemic does heighten concerns and give us an impetus to make arrangements for our families and loved ones,” he said.

Divorce in Singapore: Does an ex-wife really get half the man’s money?, Singapore News

Of the people who’ve advised me to just marry a rich man instead of slave away to earn money, there have been close friends, superiors at work and even complete strangers here in sunny Singapore. At least half have concluded with a triumphant, “even better, get a divorce and take half his money!”

Fortunately or unfortunately, while maintenance payments are often made out to ex-wives, it’s a myth that divorce automatically entitles her to half the ex-husband’s money.

Here are some things to know about maintenance payments in Singapore divorces just in case you’re looking to pull the plug on a marriage… or trying to get over a bad case of matrimoniophobia.


If you’re planning to serve divorce papers on a soon-to-be-ex spouse, it’s important to know why maintenance is even ordered. The court isn’t going to just order one party to pay the other because he cheated or stopped putting in effort after 10 years.

In addition, you have to bear in mind that the court often orders division of property as well, which will affect the amount of maintenance that must be paid.


There are two reasons maintenance is ordered:

1. Child maintenance:

One of the biggest decisions the court will be making is which parent gets custody, as well as care and control of the child. Once it is decided who the child will live with, the court can order any or both of the parents to pay maintenance for the child. The parent who has custody, care and control of the child can also receive maintenance from the remaining parent. This maintenance is usually payable only until the child turns 21.

2. Maintenance for ex-wife:

This is the kind of maintenance people tend to find the most interesting, and the most scandalous. The idea is that the court will try to let the ex-wife enjoy the same standard of living as they would have if their marriage hadn’t flopped. This is usually supposed to continue till one of them dies, or the wife remarries. In practice, the actual amount tends to be lower than people imagine.


Nadia, a lawyer at Kalco Law who handles divorce matters, says the ways in which assets are divided and orders to pay maintenance are made can differ wildly depending on the circumstances of the marriage.

However, guys can rest assured that in practice, it is highly unlikely the court will order the husband to divide half his assets AND pay half his salary to the wife for the rest of his life in a divorce in Singapore.


Nadia says, “The division of assets (including the HDB flat) depends on each party’s contribution to the assets over the course of the marriage. The contribution can also be non-monetary e.g. tending to household chores. However, if there is little or no contribution by the wife to a short-term and childless marriage, then the chances of her obtaining a share of the assets are slim.”

Many factors are considered when deciding on the amount to be paid, and it is quite difficult to predict beforehand exactly how much one will get. Some of the factors the judge will consider include:

Financial standing and earning capacity of both parties: A very wealth ex-husband is likely to pay more in maintenance to his ex-wife than a very poor one, all other factors being equal. Conversely, a very wealthy ex-wife with a high paying career is likely to get less than a housewife without higher educational qualifications, all other factors being equal.

Standard of living enjoyed by both parties during the marriage: If you lived a very modest lifestyle when you were married, don’t expect to transform into Cinderella after finding her glass slipper once you’re divorced.

Ages of the parties: If the ex-wife is older, the court is more likely to order higher maintenance payments.

Duration of the marriage: If you’ve only been married for a year, don’t expect to get much, if anything at all, especially if no kids are involved. Nadia says, “The longer the marriage, the higher the chances of the ex-wife obtaining a higher share of the matrimonial assets. This is because more often than not, an individual’s contribution (direct or indirect, financial or non-financial) is greater the longer the marriage.”‘


Contributions made to the family: Generally, the more a party has contributed to the family, the more favourably the court will look upon them. Contributions can include paying for the family home and looking after the children.


The short answer is that yes, in some instances an ex-wife can get nothing in a divorce in Singapore.

“If the marriage was a short and childless one and/or she is more than able to support herself on her monthly income, it is possible for the ex-wife to get no maintenance,” Nadia says.

Husbands can forget about claiming maintenance even if they marry the richest woman on the island, as Singapore law does not allow it. Sorry, guys.

So the next time you hear someone talking about marrying rich men, you have another reason to shut them up.

This article was first published in MoneySmart.SG.

How Your Property Will Be Divided

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, marriages go wrong. In an ideal scenario, everyone involved parts ways amicably. In a realistic scenario, the division of assets gets messy; and the most serious complication typically involves the home we stay in. Most Singaporean couples split the cost of their flat or condo, and no one wants to be left homeless or without a share.

Just in case the worst happens, here’s what you need to know about retaining your property.

The situation may not be as “black and white” as we often assume

When talking to homeowners about the property as a marital asset, we often encounter oversimplifications. Statements such as “I paid more for it, so the house is mine”, or “It was willed to me by my parents, so my spouse has no claim”.

There is some truth to these assumption – but it gets more complex than that. Ivan Cheong and Shaun Ho from Withers KhattarWong tells us that:

“The woman’s rights to matrimonial assets are written in law, thanks to the Women’s Charter in Singapore. However, the division of these assets between the couple are still contentious, and not many realise that the Court makes the final decision on how matrimonial assets are divided. This means that the Court has power, separate from the written law, to decide on the “grey” areas when it comes to premarital or matrimonial assets”.

We asked about some of the common scenarios encountered, such as:

You contributed to repayments, but the property is under your spouse’s name
You haven’t helped with repayments, but you’ve made other contributions
The property was willed to you by your parents
It’s a tenanted investment property, and we’re both co-owners
There are other co-owners besides just my spouse

Finally, we asked about the legal implications of joint tenancies versus tenancy-in-common when a divorce happens.

1. You contributed to repayments, but the property is under your spouse’s name

This is one of the most common disputes we hear about: the flat, condo, or other property is under your spouse’s name only; even though you’re the one who forked out the initial down-payment, maintenance fees, stamp duties, etc.

In these cases, it’s not as simple as dividing the property based on the direct costs either party has paid:

“According to the Court, there are many factors that contribute to the division of property, such as length of the marriage, size of matrimonial pool, and needs of children (if any), but the two main ones the Court would look at would be the direct and indirect contributions. One’s entitlement to the property is not a simple exercise of dividing the property in accordance with financial contributions.

Direct contributions are direct financial contributions made towards acquiring matrimonial assets, such as downpayments and monthly loan payments. Indirect contributions consist of both indirect financial contributions (or monetary contributions which do not add to the value of the assets like household expenses contributions) and non-financial contributions like caring for the children”.

As an aside, we were also told that paying for renovations does count as a direct contribution to the property:

“If you have contributed to the renovations of the property, this also in many cases amounts to a direct contribution to the property, as the renovation is usually regarded as adding to the value of the renovated property”.

Due to the complexity of these situations, it’s impossible to give a single answer as to what would happen. You’d need to speak to a good family lawyer for advice, and learn your rights based on your specific scenario.

It would probably help if you keep track of what you contribute – that’s not hard these days as bank statements are all digital. Just copy and save all your property-related bills, receipts, etc. in your personal email, or a separate discreet email account.

2. You haven’t helped with repayments, but you’ve made other contributions

So you didn’t help with the down-payment, mortgage, property taxes, or other direct property costs of your property. However, over the years you may have made other contributions anyway – such as the furnishings you’ve bought, the appliances, or even just housekeeping.

This is common with homemakers, and we have some good news for them:

“The Court takes into account all of the parties’ contributions, including both direct and indirect contributions. Even if a party has not made payments for anything during the marriage (which is typical of a homemaker spouse who has not worked throughout the marriage), the Court gives due recognition to that party’s efforts in caring for the family, taking care of the household etc. A party that has not contributed substantially to payments for the property will still get a share of the matrimonial assets upon a divorce.

So yes, even stay-at-home mums or dads may be able to lay claim to their share of the property; whether or not they were the ones directly paying the mortgage.

“However, should one party not have contributed towards the acquisition of the property, and not have contributed to the household, no part of the property will be received upon a divorce

An example would be of a very short marriage with no children, where the Court would divide the pool of assets exactly according to how much each party has paid for it, as the Court presumes that in such a short marriage, the indirect contributions are generally very minor, and pale in comparison to direct contributions.”

3. The property was willed to you by your parents

Many homeowners we meet are under the impression that, if the property was left to them by their parents, their spouse can never lay any claim on it. While generally true, it may turn out to not be so simple:

“An inherited or gifted asset is generally excluded from division. A property that was left to a husband (whether as part of the husband’s deceased parents’ estate or as a gift during their lifetimes) will generally not be divided and the wife will generally not receive a share.

However, an inherited or gifted asset can be transformed and be subjected to division in some situations, such as if the property is used as the matrimonial home. If the family has lived together for a substantial part of the marriage in the home, the inherited or gifted property is considered transformed, and will be subject to division.”

Do keep this in mind, when deciding whether to use an inherited property as your matrimonial home.

4. It’s a tenanted investment property, and we’re both co-owners

Some couples own more than one property; such as a larger condo unit they live in, and a shoebox unit that they rent out for income. We’re often asked what would happen to the tenant and rental income, if they were to get divorced.

In particular, some couples may want to split the rental income rather than sell the investment property, as the property market may be in a downcycle. In some other cases, the investment property was purchased in the past three years and would incur Sellers Stamp Duty (SSD) unless sold later; or the couple are willing to wait while an en-bloc sale is pending.

Here’s the answer:

“In a situation of an amicable, uncontested divorce, it is possible for parties to agree to continue to co-own a property post-divorce and to split the proceeds of rental in such proportions as they may agree. Parties in such a situation are however advised to negotiate and agree on an “exit plan”, i.e., what happens when one party wants to sell or is forced into a situation where they must sell. Parties should also note that this is not possible with HDB property – HDB rules require that co-owners of a property be in a familial relationship (e.g., husband/wife, parent/child, siblings). Post-divorce, HDB will require the husband and wife to regularise their ownership of the flat by either selling it on the open market or by transferring it to one party.

In a contested divorce proceeding where the division of assets is decided by the Court, the Court is extremely unlikely to order that parties continue to co-own a property post-divorce, and the parties will likely be ordered to sell the property post-divorce. In this situation, the Court will make an order as to how proceeds of rental will be divided between the parties before the sale of the property has taken place”.

5. There are other co-owners besides just my spouse

Here’s the most common version of this scenario that we encounter:

A married couple lives in a single condo unit or landed property with their in-laws. To afford the property, the in-laws also had to come in as co-owners. But now that the couple is getting divorced, they want the property to be sold and divided, even though the in-laws are unwilling to move.

This is what could happen:

“The Court has the power, in divorce proceedings, to divide matrimonial assets between the two parties to the marriage but does not have the power to make orders impacting the property rights / ownership of third parties. The Court will try to create a situation where the likelihood of a dispute over the holding / sale of a property post-division of assets is minimised. However, if this is not possible, then the party holding the property with the third-party post-divorce will need to either wait for the third party to be ready to sell or file a separate suit in the High Court to compel the sale of the property.

If you are not holding the property as joint tenants, but as tenants in common, you can exercise your right to have your share of the property sold. Do however note that it is difficult to sell a part-share of a property, and any such sale will likely be at a substantial discount. In a situation where the pool of assets is large and comprises substantial other assets, the Court will try to divide the assets in such a way that there is no need to involve the third-party co-owners in the division of assets. The Court is of course given wide powers as to how to divide assets between the parties and may exercise some discretion and creativity to address the specific factual circumstances before it”.

Extra tip:
Parents, if you have an idea to sell your property, and pool the proceeds with your children to buy and share a bigger home, we suggest you don’t. At least not until you have the means to afford a home of your own, should things not work out.

Besides the above scenario, there are numerous complications that can arise; such as finding out you don’t get along under the same roof, or being roped into your children’s financial issues when they can’t afford the mortgage.

How does your manner of holding (joint tenants or tenancy-in-common) affect your divorce?

“When it comes to dividing matrimonial assets, in most cases, there is no difference to the Court whether a property is held as joint tenants or as tenants-in-common. The Court will consider what the parties have contributed to the marriage, not how the assets are held, and divide assets in whatever ratio it deems just and equitable.

Scenarios where the manner of holding is relevant to the Court’s decision are rare but can happen when evidence is lacking, or other inferences have to be drawn. Should the Court not have evidence of the parties’ financial contributions towards a property, and the parties held an investment property in some non-equal ratio as tenants-in-common, the Court may infer that the parties intended to contribute to the property in the ratio of their legal ownership and determine the division of assets this way.

Parties should thus agree on the manner of holding their properties that makes most sense to them as a family, or that best advances their investment goals, whilst keeping good paper records of their cash-flows (both in and out) to mitigate the situation where evidence is lacking”.

For more detailed specifics, do contact a family lawyer – remember you can do this even early in your marriage before the possibility of divorce. It may be a bit of a taboo topic, but it could save you a lot of pain later.

As always, remember that these answers are not a substitute for legal advice and readers should consult a family lawyer should they have any queries.

This article was first published by Stacked Homes here.

90,000 How to file for divorce in Singapore as an immigrant? What should expats know about getting divorced in Singapore?

There are different situations in life and moving to a new country, in particular to Singapore, does not always go smoothly. Disputes and disagreements arise, perhaps one of the spouses will fall in love with a local resident – this and many other reasons can lead to the disintegration of the family. Today we will talk about how you can officially divorce in Singapore.

Divorce in Singapore is a last resort.The country’s legislation provides for a number of conditions

Getting a divorce in Singapore is not easy. There are conditions under which a divorce is possible only if both spouses are registered in the country as a permanent resident or citizen, or have lived for 3 or more years immediately before the start of the divorce. In other words, you won’t be able to get a divorce right after you move. Perhaps you can still save your marriage ?!

Second condition – You must have been married for 3 years or more.Singapore law does not preclude filing an application earlier than this deadline, subject to evidence of ill-treatment.

The third condition – if the spouses are Muslims or are married in accordance with Muslim law, they need to apply to the consulate for divorce.

Reasons for filing for divorce in Singapore :

  1. Treason.
  2. Unreasonable behavior. The defendant behaved towards the plaintiff in such a way that the plaintiff can no longer live with him / her.
  3. The Defendant left the Claimant 2 years ago and does not intend to return.
  4. Living apart. The plaintiff and the defendant have been living separately for more than 3 years and the defendant agrees to divorce. When living apart for more than 4 years, the consent of the respondent is not required.

Singapore Divorce Procedure

To file for divorce, you must contact a lawyer who will prepare all the necessary documents and speak in court on your behalf. As part of the divorce proceedings, claims are also considered:

  1. Alimony payments.
  2. Child custody, care and supervision and visitation rights.
  3. Other auxiliary claims, for example, division of property.

The Respondent, who does not wish to divorce, indicates this in the Memorandum of Attendance. Then he must file a reasoning and a counterclaim. The documents are submitted to the court and transferred to the defendant’s lawyers. The defendant, who will not contest the divorce, has the right to challenge the plaintiff’s claims regarding division of property, child custody, asset maintenance, and more.

So, the divorce procedure is approved by Writ for Divorce and looks like this:

Stage 1 – Ending the marriage . Here, the Singapore court decides to uphold the divorce claim. In case of a positive decision, the parties receive an interim court decision.

Let’s define the terms:

  • Plaintiff is a person filing a divorce suit.
  • Respondent is the spouse of the plaintiff.
  • Accomplice – a third party when the defendant commits treason.

Plaintiff’s attorneys send a standard request to the HDB and CPF before divorce commences. The processing time for the request is about 1 month.

To start the divorce procedure, the following package of documents is submitted to the court:

  1. Writ for Divorce .
  2. Statement of Claim, which indicates the reason for filing for divorce.
  3. Statement of Particulars reflects complete information and details of the facts stated in the statement of claim.
  4. Proposed Parenting Plan under 21 (subject to availability). An agreed plan is submitted subject to agreement on the child’s residence and upbringing.
  5. Proposed plan for dividing the spouses’ common property if the Housing and Development Board’s response says that the apartment can be divided between the parties. The agreed plan is submitted subject to agreement on the apartment.
  6. Acknowledgment of Service Acknowledgment of Service.
  7. Memorandum on attendance (Memorandum of Appearance).

After submission of documents to the court, the same package is sent to the defendant at the address of residence if the address is known to the plaintiff.

The process of preparing documentation and submitting it to the court and sending it to the defendant takes 2-4 weeks.

If the defendant does not receive the papers (2 attempts at service), the plaintiff has the right to file an application with the family court for the use of Substituted Service . In this case, the court order and documents for divorce are meant to be sent to the last known addresses and to the Notice Board of the Family Court, or by registered mail to the last known address of the defendant. This service is also used in the absence of information from the plaintiff about the place of residence of the defendant, but he believes that the defendant lives in Singapore. However, in this case, the notice is sent to the address of the last known place of work, on the Board of the Family Court, or an advertisement is given in the local newspaper.

The deadline for delivery of papers is approximately 1 month.

Within 8 days of the date the divorce papers were served, the defendant must appear to challenge the lawsuit or ancillary questions. If neither the defendant nor his attorneys appear within this time limit, the plaintiff can use Affidavit of Service and bring the case to court.

Situations when the defendant appeared:

  1. The Defendant agrees to the divorce and agrees to the ancillary questions. In this case, the case goes to court. A hearing date is set within 10-30 days.
  2. Defendant disputes the divorce claim. Then he / she has 22 days from the date of delivery of the order or 14 days from the moment of appearance for:
  • representations of the defense in court. If the defense is not represented, the order is considered uncontested in court.OR
  • counterclaim filing. The plaintiff is given 14 days from the date of delivery of the counterclaim documents to file a counterclaim or represent the defense.

Unless the divorce is contested, the parties are not required to be present on the appointed date of the hearing, unless required by the court. Hearing usually lasts no more than 10 minutes. If the judge is satisfied with everything, but issues an interim decision, the final decision is issued by the court after considering the claim after 3 months.

Stage 2 – Supporting Questions. When an interim decision is received, PTCs (Pre-Trial Conferences) are held, the main purpose of which is to consider issues where the parties can agree, thereby limiting the list of auxiliary issues considered in court.

If the Pre-Trial Conferences are unsuccessful, a hearing date will be set. The duration of the trial , taking into account the testimony of witnesses, consideration of affidavits and cross-examination, takes, most often, 1 day. Let’s take a closer look at this stage.

The court will require each party to submit a respective affidavit in respect of the assets, where all their assets / liabilities, income and expenses must be disclosed. There are three rounds of data exchange of readings. The parties have the right to continue to disclose information about assets, use injunctions and interviews during the proceedings.

Following the filing of a preliminary affidavit, the parties also submit a checklist, asset declarations, and a position paper on ancillary matters and facts.After the announcement of the entire volume of assets, the court decides where the claim for the division of property will be considered: in the Family Court or in the Supreme Court. The transfer of the claim to the Supreme Court is carried out on the condition that the net value of the property is more than $ 1. 5 million.

When considering a claim for the division of spouses’ property, the following is taken into account:

  1. The degree to which each party contributes to the assets (whether financial or non-financial).
  2. Debts incurred by either party to acquire these assets.
  3. The needs of minor children.

All documents supporting the asset claim must be prepared for presentation in court. These can be paid receipts, an estimate of income tax, documents confirming the right to property in the house, etc.

After 3 months from the date of the adjudication decision, the plaintiff and the defendant may receive a final divorce order.

There is an alternative to divorce

What if you have been married for less than three years? If you have moved to Singapore recently and there are no serious grounds for divorce? In these cases and in other life situations when it is not possible to start the divorce procedure, you can file an application with the court for Judicial Separation (Judicial Separation). The received court decision does not allow to remarry, since the marriage has not been dissolved. However, the spouse is entitled to similar claims as in the divorce procedure, for example, separation of assets, custody.

In some cases cancellation of marriage is possible (Court to annul your marriage):

  1. the spouse was already married at the time of marriage;
  2. 90,021 refusal of the spouse to complete the marriage;

  3. inability of the spouse to complete the marriage;
  4. at the time of marriage, the spouse is sick with a venereal disease, and you were not notified.

This list of grounds is not exhaustive. It is better to contact a lawyer for more information.

Another option is signing of the Deed of Separation , which provides for the separation of spouses, where all issues regulating relations for the period of separation are considered. The separation period can be extended, or the divorce procedure can be started after 3 years (when the spouse agrees to divorce) or after 4 years (if the spouse does not agree).

Family law of Singapore

Singapore Family Law deals with several family law matters in Singapore. He deals with adoption, divorce, child problems, division of matrimonial property, personal protection orders, wills and alimony. The Family Court in Singapore oversees these legal issues. Singapore has two separate and different sets of family laws, one for Muslims and one for everyone else.Muslim family law is enshrined in the Muslim Administrative Law Act (AMLA). Family law for non-Muslims is enshrined in the Women’s Charter. In families, the Courts of Justice of Singapore (FEO) handle all family matters.


Before deciding or considering a divorce, the grounds for divorce must be established. Admitted grounds are adultery, desertion, and unreasonable behavior. In addition, one of the parties to the marriage must have a permanent residence in Singapore or remain there for 3 years before filing for divorce in Singapore.This applies to both Singapore citizens and foreigners.

To file a divorce petition, you must file a divorce petition, statement of information, and a statement of claim. The reasons for the divorce are established in the statement of claim. In Singapore, you can continue your divorce proceedings without involving a divorce lawyer. However, the Family Court cannot provide any advice on this matter.

Once a divorce commences, any form of dispute raised by the respondent will result in the case being referred to a marriage counselor.If the consultation is unsuccessful, the parties involved will be required to provide affidavits to support this and the judge will then determine whether the case will be considered contested or uncontested divorce. At this point, the judge will issue an interim decision with a three month waiting period. This will give the parties one last chance at reconciliation. When this does not happen, a helper process is started.

Finally, when the judge finds that the marriage has broken up irrevocably, he will authorize the divorce. Both parties can remarry only 3 months after the final decision is made.

To establish an irrecoverable breakdown, the divorce applicant must prove one of the following scenarios:

  • Adultery.
  • Unreasonable behavior.
  • Desertion for 2 years.
  • Separation for 3 years (and the defendant agrees to the divorce).
  • Parting for 4 years.


A will is the process of proving and registering the last will or will of a deceased person in family courts.This legal document expresses the wishes of the deceased regarding how his property should be distributed and names the executor who manages the property of the deceased and disposes of his assets and debts. The performer obtains this right by going to court for a legal document called “Granting an inheritance.”

If the deceased did not make a will, then family members must apply for an administrative letter. Usually, but not always, the person applying is the surviving spouse or eldest child of the deceased. In this case, the assets are distributed in accordance with the Inheritance Law.


Adoption is a legal process governed by the Child Adoption Act (ACA) and the Family Court of Singapore is the body that makes decisions on applications for adoption. Singapore’s Child Adoption Law states:

  • Parents must be over 25 years of age and at least 21 years older than the child to be adopted.
  • The adoptive parent must not be more than 50 years older than the child.
  • The parent must be in good mental health.
  • Child must be under the age of 21 and be a resident of Singapore. A child born abroad can be adopted but will need to obtain a dependent pass from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
  • Both married and single couples can adopt a child. However, a single man is not allowed to adopt a girl, except in special circumstances.
  • Parents must be citizens or permanent residents of Singapore or hold any passes that family courts deem appropriate to qualify as Singapore residents.

These rules may be waived if special circumstances warrant adoption.


external references

90,000 Features of the divorce proceedings abroad | Russian Agency for Legal and Judicial Information


Russian and foreign experts in the field of family law, practicing lawyers, at the VI International Legal Forum held in St. Petersburg, discussed topical issues related to the divorce proceedings abroad.


British Barrister, Royal Counselor Timothy Bishop spoke about the peculiarities of consideration of disputes over the division of property between Russian spouses in English courts. According to the expert, London claims the status of the world capital of divorces of wealthy people, since the English courts are famous precisely for scrupulous and detailed consideration of the circumstances of the spouses’ life together, the reasons for the divorce, as well as careful attention to the balance of interests in the division of matrimonial property.

In the UK, in addition to precedents, there are statutes – laws that define the general powers of the court, as well as the factors that a judge must take into account when considering a divorce and division of property. However, English law does not provide any guidance to the courts as to how they should resolve the dispute over the division of property, Bishop said. When considering a divorce case, English judges have been given very wide opportunities for judicial discretion, despite the large number of known precedents.

In England and Wales, there is no legal regime for the community of spouses’ property, therefore, as a general rule, the property of each spouse in marriage is recognized as belonging to him alone. When resolving a dispute, the English court takes into account all the property of the spouses, in whatever country it is located. Since wealthy people tend to structure their wealth to protect it from increased taxation, many problems arise when resolving a dispute over the distribution of funds for the financial support of spouses after marriage.In each case, when considering the case, the judge determines what actually belongs to the parties, what is the composition of their property around the world, what is the contribution of each of the spouses to its multiplication. In this case, the court, within the framework of a property dispute between spouses, has the right to issue appropriate orders (decisions) only in relation to the spouses themselves, but not to third parties.

In order to file a statement of claim in an English court, a citizen must have lived in England for at least one year and have a certain status in England.Often this criterion becomes decisive for a foreign citizen, who is actually looking for a convenient judicial platform to achieve his not always conscientious goals. The English courts may refuse to consider the relevant claim on the grounds that the plaintiff’s actions are obviously unfair behavior, the creation of artificial prerequisites for going to court.

It is not uncommon for a spouse (or ex-spouse) to apply to an English court after a decision made in another foreign jurisdiction that does not suit the “losing” party.The English courts, and in such cases, can accept for consideration a claim for the division of property, but then it checks whether such a decision was made as a result of an adversarial process (for example, the weak party should have the opportunity to participate in the process), whether any property was awarded to the weak party …

As for marriage contracts, according to the barrister, they are not always strictly binding for English courts. The specific marriage contract must adequately meet the needs of the less protected party.It is advisable that it was concluded long before marriage, so that both parties have the opportunity to carefully consider its conditions, turning to specialists for help.

United States of America

Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Law, Faculty of Law, Moscow State University M.V. Lomonosova Olga Dyuzheva spoke, in turn, about the peculiarities of divorce and division of property in the United States.

According to her, it makes sense to divorce in the States for those who are in same-sex marriage (concluded in a state where such marriages are allowed by law).She does not recommend initiating a divorce process in the United States without first consulting a specialist, since in different states the applicant can expect their own surprises, despite the laws of the United States on divorce and marriage contracts.

As an example, Dyuzheva explained that not in every state anyone can go to court for divorce. To do this, one or both spouses must meet certain criteria. The court may take into account both the place of education of the children of the divorced spouses and the location of the creditors.In addition, the same basic property issues are handled differently in different states. Finally, according to Dyuzheva, it should be borne in mind that in the United States a judge adjudicates a case not only legally, but also fairly, and he will easily deviate from the principle of equality of shares if he sees that one of the parties is cheating the court.

As for the maintenance awarded to one of the spouses after divorce, in most states the amount of alimony must ensure a decent standard of living for the recipient of the alimony, often alimony is paid to the ex-spouse only for a certain period of time.The same applies to children – alimony must ensure their usual standard of living, while observing, nevertheless, the balance of interests of all parties – participants in alimony relations.


Attorney Florian Roloff spoke about the consideration of disputes between spouses in Germany. He explained that German courts are competent to consider a dispute if one of the spouses lives in Germany, or if the parties have another connection with Germany, for example, real estate on its territory.

In resolving property disputes, the German court applies the laws of the country of which the spouses are citizens. If the spouses are citizens of different states, then the court will apply the law of the state where they lived together. If difficulties arise here, then the legislation of the country that has the closest relation to marriage will be applied. In matters of the award of alimony, the applicable law is determined by the place of residence of the recipient of the alimony (be it a spouse or a child).

According to the lawyer, in Germany there is such a feature as the principle of separation of property of spouses in marriage, which acts as a general rule. This means that each piece of property belongs to the spouse who acquired it. At the same time, in case of divorce, it is possible to distribute between the spouses in equal shares of the property gain that was formed during the marriage. Thus, in the event of a divorce, the spouse whose property value is less is awarded compensation. This is typical when evaluating both real estate and business.The court also takes into account marital debts, while property received during the marriage by inheritance is not taken into account.


Attorney Akitsuyu Ogawa spoke about the peculiarities of resolving disputes between spouses in Japan, including cases involving foreigners.

In Japan, there are three types of divorce procedures: divorce by common consent, when the parties register a divorce without going to court; divorce as part of a discussion in family court upon reaching a certain written agreement; consideration of the case by a professional judge.As a general rule, going to family court is a mandatory step, this is done to try to reconcile the spouses. An exception is made only in cases where one of the spouses changes their place of residence, moving to another country.

Property acquired during the marriage period is shared. Moreover, this means that each spouse has his own property, they use this property together. At the same time, the debts of each spouse are also joint (both are considered debtors for the debts of one of the spouses).It is common in Japanese courts to divide property equally between spouses. In the case of division, only property inherited during the marriage is excluded.

Marriage contracts in Japan are not often used, their scope is extremely limited. Spouses are given the opportunity to choose the law applicable to the prenuptial agreement, but Ogawa does not recommend choosing Japanese law.

In general, divorce proceedings in Japan can take quite a long time, so the lawyer recommends paying attention to other countries, if possible.Although the Japanese court may decide on foreign property of the spouses, the implementation of such a decision will depend on the legislation of the country in which the property is located.

Custody of children after divorce is awarded to only one parent, and, as a rule, remains with the mother, while the ex-husband pays child support.

At the end of the round table, a lawyer from Russia Olesya Petrol recalled some of the procedural aspects of the consideration of spousal disputes by the English courts and how the parties should or should not behave during the entire corresponding lengthy, very expensive and psychologically exhausting procedure.

Dissolution of marriage between Russians living in the United States


Good afternoon, I need a divorce consultation. My marriage with my wife is registered in Russia, in the Moscow region. Both have their registration in the same place – in the Moscow region. We moved to the United States shortly after registering our marriage and have lived here for over 10 years. Both spouses now have both US and Russian citizenships. They have a 17-year-old son. Regarding custody of the son, the spouses have no disagreements. I want to get a divorce in Russia for reasons that a divorce can be filed there faster and without the consent of my spouse, before the division of property issues are resolved
Is it possible to use your services for a divorce by proxy?
Is Russian divorce recognized in the United States?
What documents are required for a divorce?
Is divorce possible in Russia if both spouses permanently reside in the United States?
Is it necessary to reach an agreement with your spouse on the division of property, alimony, etc., for the successful completion of the process in Russia?
Is there any way for my wife to challenge the divorce that was made in Russia in our situation – if we are both also US citizens?
Can your services be used for divorce by proxy?
For example, what happens in this situation: I file for divorce in Russia and get a divorce without the consent of my spouse She files for divorce in the USA and the divorce process is not completed due to the lack of an agreement on the division of property
According to US law, I am not divorced, according to Russian law – Divorced What document of marriage status will take precedence in the United States?
How long does the process take approximately? Is it necessary to notify the wife about the beginning of a divorce in Russia?
More on this issue I want to divorce as soon as possible so that I can invite a girl from Russia to the United States on a bride visa (K1) If I notify my wife about the start of the divorce process in Russia, before the divorce is over and the K1 visa is received – what measures is she can take to discourage these plans?


We answer in order:
Is it possible to use your services for a divorce by proxy?
Yes, you can
What documents are required for a divorce?
Power of attorney for conducting business in court in notarized form, legalized for use in the Russian Federation (if it is made by an American notary), or a power of attorney drawn up at the Russian consulate, the original of the marriage certificate or its duplicate, as well as notarized copies of the child’s birth certificate …
Is Russian divorce recognized in the United States?
Yes, since the marriage was concluded in the Russian Federation.
Is divorce possible in Russia if both spouses permanently reside in the United States?
Yes, it is possible, since both spouses are citizens of the Russian Federation, as well as since the spouse has not been removed from registration in the Russian Federation.
Is it necessary to reach an agreement with your spouse on the division of property, alimony, etc., for the successful completion of the process in Russia?
No, the question of the property of the spouses in the course of the divorce case is resolved in exceptional cases and only upon special request of one of the parties.In 99 cases out of 100, a property dispute does not arise during a divorce.
Is there any way for my wife to challenge the divorce that was made in Russia in our situation – if we are both also US citizens?
For example, what happens in this situation: I file for divorce in Russia and get a divorce without the consent of my spouse She files for divorce in the USA and the divorce process is not completed due to the lack of an agreement on the division of property
According to US law, I am not divorced, according to Russian law – Divorced What document of marriage status will take precedence in the United States?
You will also be divorced under US law.The dispute over the child, property will be considered separately.
How long does the process take approximately? Is it necessary to notify the wife about the beginning of a divorce in Russia?
On average, a process with a transboundary element takes 6-8 months. Rarely enough, a dissenting party requires the court to provide a period for reconciliation of the parties – up to 3 months. That is, with an unfavorable movement of the case, it can drag on for up to a year.
More on this issue I want to get a divorce as soon as possible so that I can invite a girl from Russia to the United States on a fiancee visa (K1) can take to discourage these plans?
In principle, if you set a goal, the process can be delayed for a longer period, but this will require a fairly large financial investment, which does not occur in practice – a divorce will be obtained in any case.

90,000 Should there be grounds for divorce?

Should there be grounds for divorce?

You need to find a “reason” (legal basis) for divorce. One of the reasons for getting a divorce is that you simply cannot live with your spouse anymore and do not want to remain married. Regardless of other circumstances, this reason is enough to get a divorce.

What are the grounds for divorce?

There are two grounds for divorce – “without guilt” and seven grounds for divorce – “with guilt.”The no-fault basis means that your marriage can no longer exist, but there is no one to blame for this, none of the parties is to blame. Grounds with “guilt” mean that either party to the marriage has done so badly that it sees it as divorce.

Foundation “no fault”

In Massachusetts, divorce on the basis of “no reason” is called Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage. For this reason, there are two types of divorce. They are called “1A” and “1B” according to the sections in Massachusetts divorce law that apply in this case.

  1. 1A Permanent destruction – both spouses are filing for divorce together: You and your spouse are filing a divorce lawsuit together. You agree to all conditions that you will be required to fulfill, such as child custody, material support, payment of money, and property issues.
    1. Both of you are making a statement stating that your marriage is ruined and can no longer continue. This document is called the Affidavit of Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage.
    2. Both of the spouses draw up and sign the divorce agreement in the presence of a notary. (You can find a notary at the bank).
    3. You must file
      1. Joint Petition for Divorce,
      2. Certificate of irrevocable destruction of the marriage union, and
      3. Notarized divorce agreement.
    4. When you file these papers with the court, ask the court clerk to set you a hearing date.You don’t have to wait.
    5. Both spouses must go to court for a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will make sure you both come to an agreement and that everything is fair.
  2. 1B Permanent destruction – spouse is filing for divorce : If you and your spouse do not agree on any issue, you can file for divorce yourself. It doesn’t matter if your spouse wants it or not. If you want to get a divorce, you can file for divorce.

Since you filed a divorce suit, you must ensure that the Domestic Relations Summons is served.After submitting the documents, you must wait 6 months before asking the court to set a date for a hearing. But when filing a claim, you can simultaneously file a motion for interim orders and the date for hearing the motion will be set within 10 days.

You will get a divorce even if your spouse does not appear at the hearing. If you do not have a written agreement, the judge will make decisions about welfare, custody, visitation, and therefore what to do with the property.

Grounds for divorce “with guilt”

There are seven good reasons that are reasons for a “guilty” divorce. With a “reason” for divorce, one of the spouses files for divorce, accusing the other spouse of breaking up their marriage. Although there are several reasons for divorce, “cruel and abusive treatment” is precisely the reason why most victims of domestic violence file for divorce.

You may be scheduled to hear your case 21 days after the sheriff or bailiff serves your spouse with the Summons and Divorce Action.You will get a divorce even if your spouse does not show up for the hearing. After the judge reviews your case, the court will issue a Judgment of Divorce Nisi. Divorce is considered final 90 days after the Judgment of Divorce Nisi is issued.

The following “reasons” can be grounds for divorce:

  1. Abuse or Abusive Treatment is the most common reason for divorce.You will have to prove that your spouse has abused or injured you with physical force. Physical abuse is cruel and abusive treatment. Psychological or emotional abuse is also considered abuse if it makes you physically hurt. For example, his drunkenness or absence at night gives you headaches or stomach pains.
  2. Leaving the family. You must show that your spouse:
    1. left you,
    2. he has been gone for at least a year, and
    3. he has no plans to return.
    4. You will have to prove that he left himself, that you were against it, and he had no good reason to leave you.

    In some cases, the family is abandoned, physically remaining in the house. In such cases, the judge must carefully consider all the facts in order to understand whether they amount to leaving the family.

  3. Severe and chronic alcoholism. This means that your spouse is addicted to alcohol or drug use. You will have to prove that your spouse is using “excessive” (too much) drugs or alcohol, and he does so of his own free will, without any coercion.You will also need to prove that he does it regularly and not occasionally.
  4. Rude, cruel, unmotivated refusal or complete disregard for the need to provide you financially. This means that your spouse refuses to give you enough money to live on. In order for this to be a valid reason, you will have to prove that your spouse is able to provide for you, but refuses to do it or simply does not do it. You must also prove that it will hurt you physically (you are sick) or that you may be in a dangerous situation as a result.
  5. Adultery or adultery is not often used as a good reason. This means that your spouse has had a sexual relationship with someone. This is very difficult to prove. Many do not use this reason even if they think that it is in fact the case.
  6. Impotence : Means that your spouse is unable to have sexual relations with you. This ground for divorce is rarely used.
  7. Sentence of imprisonment. This means your spouse is sentenced to 5 years or more in prison. This reason is based on the actual length of his sentence, not how long he actually spent in prison.
  8. 90,029 90,000 The court sentenced the Russian woman Osipova, convicted in the USA, to the already served term :: Society :: RBC

    Bogdana Osipova has been separated from her children since 2017 after trying to arrange her life in the USA

    Bogdana Osipova

    (Photo: RusEmbUSA / Facebook)

    Russian woman Bogdana Osipova must demand from the Russian authorities to cancel her custody of her own children and allow them to travel to the United States.This decision, as reported by the RIA Novosti correspondent, was made by the judge in Kansas, who was considering her case. In addition, Osipova was re-sentenced to the already served term for abducting her own child, she also faces imprisonment for failure to comply with the decision of another court in Kansas, which ordered her to bring the children to the United States on a family matter.

    “I believe that a sentence in the form of served time and 12 months probation is a sufficient sentence, clearly not excessive,” the agency quotes Judge Eric Melgren during a virtual hearing of the federal court.

    Osipova is not obliged to serve a prison sentence, but must appeal to the Russian authorities. During this year, Osipova will be deprived of the opportunity to leave the United States.

    Osipova has dual citizenship – Russia and the United States. According to the investigation, in 2014, she took a child from her first marriage and a one-year-old daughter from her second husband from the States to Russia. She gave birth to her third child in Russia two months after returning home. The American husband of the Russian woman filed for divorce and received consent.The divorce was approved by both Russian and American courts. In Kansas, a judge also ordered the return of two children to their father in the United States.

    Russian woman convicted of kidnapping her own child was released in the USA

    List of required documents | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the Russian Federation


    (Documents must be selected according to the list separately for each family member)


    The Consular Section of the US Embassy in Moscow introduces document preview system for participants DV lottery .

    ATTENTION: documents for preview are sent to the Embassy ONLY AFTER THE KCC HAS APPOINTED you the date of the interview. Before scheduling an interview date, all required documents must be sent to the KCC.

    To simplify the process of applying for an immigrant visa, it is necessary in advance (at least ten working days before the interview at the embassy) to send to the email address [email protected] scanned copies of the following documents for each family member intending to undergo an immigration interview:

    • DS-260 confirmation page,
    • International passport (photo page)
    • birth certificate
    • certificates of marriage, divorce, name change (if this applies to you)
    • Graduate Certificate of Education (Main Applicant Only)
    • police certificates
    • military ID (a page with a photo and, if you have never served in the army, a page with a mark about non-service)

    If you have changed your address in the United States, where you will receive a green card, you need to inform about it and send a new address.This must be a complete mailing address with the name and surname of the recipient and a contact telephone number.

    If you want to make changes to the DS-260 questionnaire, you need to inform about this and list in detail the changes you want to make.

    Translations: You must accompany all documents with certified English translations from any language other than Russian. The certified translation must be signed by the translator and contain a statement of his competence, as well as the correspondence of the translation to the original document.

    Additionally, in accordance with the requirements of the US Embassy in Moscow, all extracts from court decisions must be translated into English (including Russian).

    For citizens of the Russian Federation: please bring your civil (internal) passport to the interview.

    Bring a document confirming the registration of the delivery of visa documents (IV Delivery Confirmation page).

    1. Form DS-260 must be completed online. Print the DS-260 confirmation page and bring it to your immigration interview.For more information on completing this form, see the DS-260 Frequently Asked Questions and the US Department of State’s Web server. If necessary, use the translation of the questionnaire into Russian (PDF, 1.71MB).
    2. Foreign passport: original + photocopy of a page with a photo. The validity of the passport must exceed by at least 60 days the validity of the visa. The validity of the visa is limited by the duration of the medical examination, but does not exceed 180 days.
    3. Birth certificate: original, photocopy, translation into English, if required .
    4. Marriage certificate: original, photocopy, translation into English, if required . Married couples submit a photocopy and the required translation for each spouse.
    5. For those who were previously married – documents confirming the end of ALL previous marriages: originals, photocopies, translations into English, if necessary .
    6. Applicant over 16 years of age must submit a certificate of no criminal record and criminal records, (original and translation into English, if necessary), at ALL NAMES , SURNAMES (including maiden name) , which ever used, and DATES OF BIRTH, if they changed . For a certificate from the Russian Federation, you should contact the Main Information Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation or the Information Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of your region. The certificate must contain information about EACH PLACE (region, territory, republic of the Russian Federation) where the applicant has lived or has been living (including studies) for more than 6 months, starting from the age of 16. The validity of a certificate of no criminal record is limited to one year . We recommend that you check the certificate and make sure that it was issued no earlier than a year before the interview. Otherwise, you need to request a new certificate as soon as possible. If you have lived abroad, certificates are required from those countries where you have stayed for more than one year. Detailed information on obtaining certificates of absence or presence of a criminal record in various countries can be found on the website: http: // travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/fees/reciprocity-by-country.html Section Reciprocity Table .
    7. Extracts from judgments (originals, photocopies and translations): If you have ever been charged with a crime, you must provide a certified copy of each judgment, regardless of whether you have been amnestied, acquitted or pardoned.
    8. Military ID, if you served in the army (original, photocopies of all completed pages and translation into English, if necessary ).
    9. The results of the medical examination, which will be delivered directly to the Consular Section. Medical examination can be done at a medical center accredited by the Embassy.
    10. TWO COLORED MATT Full face photos 50 × 50 mm for visa. The eye image should be at the level of 28-35 mm from the bottom of the photo. Please be photographed without glasses or hats. More information can be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/photos/photo-page.html. (Five additional photographs are required for the medical examination).
    11. Educational documents and work book: (original, photocopy, translation into English, if necessary )
    12. You need to pay the consular fee. Please see the consular fee information on the website: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/fees/fees-visa-services.html. Attention! Due to technical restrictions, the American Embassy in Moscow cannot accept MIR bank cards to pay for consular services.Please consider this in your plans. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
    13. Financial documents (translated into English) showing the means available to the applicant to support himself and his family in the United States.

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