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  #16  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:18 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

I would prefer to settle the divorce amicably with my spouse, instead of having to go for a contested divorce hearing. How can I do this?

You can request that you and your spouse go for "mediation", to try and settle your divorce matter amicably. The court will fix a mediation session for you, if your spouse is agreeable to attending.

to read more on "mediation" click on this link ( PDF format)

http://www.familycourtofsingapore.go...0AND%20YOU.pdf

or

mediation
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  #17  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:19 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

Do I need a lawyer to get divorced? What if I can't afford a lawyer?

You can, if you wish, conduct the divorce proceedings yourself. However, you must ensure that the documents that you file in ("submit to") court are in the correct format, and are "stamped" (i.e. court fees must be paid for each document filed in court). All documents filed in court must be through the Electronic Filing System. There are procedural rules as to which documents must be filed at different stages of the proceedings, and there are also legal arguments that you may have to make if the matter is a complex one, or is contested. The court will not be able to give you any legal or procedural advice. So if you are conducting the divorce proceedings yourself, you cannot expect to obtain any assistance or advice from the court. If, at any stage, you are unsure of what to do or say, then you may wish to obtain the assistance of a lawyer.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may wish to apply to the Legal Aid Bureau for assistance. However, you will have to satisfy the legal aid "Means Test" and "Merits Test" to qualify for legal aid. For more details, you may wish to view the website of the Legal Aid Bureau @

http://app.minlaw.gov.sg/lab/default.asp
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  #18  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:20 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

My spouse and I got married overseas/My spouse and I have not lived in Singapore for many years--can we still get a divorce in the Singapore courts?


You can get a divorce in the Singapore courts even if you got married overseas, or if you do not live in Singapore, so long as:

(a) Either you or your spouse has lived in Singapore for a period of 3 years just before your divorce proceedings start; or

(b) Either you or your spouse is "domiciled" in Singapore at the start of your divorce proceedings, i.e. that Singapore is your permanent home. A Singapore citizen and a Singapore permanent resident is assumed to be "domiciled" in Singapore, unless the contrary is proved.

But even if you can prove one or both of the above factors, your spouse may argue that it would be more appropriate for the divorce proceedings to be dealt with in another country, for various reasons, for example, because you are both citizens of that country, and are intending to return there to live permanently in a short while.
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  #19  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:23 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

If I get divorced, what will happen to my children and my house? If I get divorced, can I still ask my husband to maintain me?/Must I still maintain my wife if I get divorced?

Your children and your house and maintenance are considered to be "ancillary matters", and will be dealt with after the granting of the "Decree Nisi". . Under Singapore law, the wife has the right to claim maintenance from the husband (but the husband does not have the right to claim maintenance from the wife ).
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  #20  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:24 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

What should I do if my spouse wants me to divorce him/her but I do not want a divorce?

The decision to commence or start divorce proceedings should be your own. In this regard, you do not have to file divorce proceedings against your spouse just because he or she wants you to. If your spouse wants you to commence divorce proceedings but you wish to save the marriage, you may consider seeking marital counselling.
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  #21  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:25 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

My wife and I were married in the 1960s (or before the 1960s) and our marriage is not registered. We have been separated for a long time. Do we have to get a divorce "officially"?

If you were married before 15 September 1961, this was before the Women's Charter (which is the law governing marriage and divorce in Singapore today) was enacted. However, under Section 181 of the Women's Charter, your marriage is still considered valid, so long as it is valid under the particular law, religion, or custom under which it was solemnized. If your marriage is a valid one, in this regard, you will still have to get an "official" divorce if you want to end your marriage, and the rights and duties arising from the marriage. A separation is not enough to end your marriage.
If you got married on or after 15 September 1961 and before 2 June 1967, your marriage is still considered valid under Section 184 of the Women's Charter, (i) if it was contracted (made) in accordance with the law, religion or custom under which it was solemnized; (ii) if it is not a bigamous marriage (i.e. not having more than one husband or wife at the same time); or (iii) if it is not a marriage with a close relative (e.g. a daughter and father, mother and son, uncle and niece, etc.-the full list of relationships where parties cannot get married is set out in the First Schedule of the Women's Charter. If your marriage is a valid one in these circumstances, you will still have to get an "official" divorce if you want to end your marriage, and the rights and duties arising from the marriage. A separation is not enough to end your marriage.
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  #22  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:26 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

I have been served with a divorce petition. What shall I do?

You should complete the form entitled "Acknowledgement of Service" , to let the other party know that you have received the divorce papers. You should also complete the Memorandum of Appearance to indicate whether you agree with the divorce and whether you wish to be heard on the ancillary matters (that is, issues concerning custody, maintenance and division of matrimonial property). You should file the Memorandum Appearance at the Family Court within 8 days of your receipt of the Divorce Petition. In addition, if you intend to contest the divorce, you should file an Answer within 22 days of the receipt of the Divorce Petition. These documents must be filed in court through the Electronic Filing System. (Please note that stamp fees of $10 are payable for each of these documents: the Acknowledgement of Service, the Memorandum of Appearance and the Answer. There are also transmission, handling and processing fees for filing the documents through Electronic Filing System.) It is important to note that the court may proceed to hear the case in your absence and grant a divorce, if you fail to take these steps.
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  #23  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:27 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

Do I need a lawyer to handle the divorce proceedings for me if I am the Respondent? What if I can't afford a lawyer?

You can, if you wish, conduct the divorce proceedings yourself. If you are not contesting any of the proceedings, you may not have to do anything that would require the assistance of a lawyer. But if you intend to contest the proceedings, you will have to file certain documents and make legal arguments in court. If you do this, you must ensure that the documents that you file in ("submit to") the court are in the correct format, and are "stamped" (i.e. court fees must be paid for each document filed in court). There are rules as to which documents must be filed at different stages of the proceedings. The court will not be able to give you any legal or procedural advice. So if you are conducting the divorce proceedings yourself, you cannot expect to obtain any assistance or advice from the court. If, at any stage, you are unsure of what to do or say, then you may wish to obtain the assistance of a lawyer.
If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may wish to apply to the Legal Aid Bureau for assistance. However, you will have to satisfy the "Means Test" and "Merits Test" to qualify for legal aid. For more details, you may wish to view the website of the Legal Aid Bureau.
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  #24  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:28 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

What can I do to save my marriage?

1. You can try to repair the relationship between your spouse and yourself. If you need the assistance of a counsellor, and your spouse has also agreed to attend the counselling session with you, you can attend counselling at the Family and Juvenile Justice Centre, or a Family Service Centre or at a private counselling organisation.

2. you must stop following uncle DNAT to kio kway..
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  #25  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:30 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

What happens if I wish to 'fight' the divorce? Will my spouse be able to obtain a divorce if I refuse to sign any papers or to attend court?

If you wish to 'fight' or contest the divorce petition, you should enter an appearance by filing a Memorandum of Appearance to indicate that you intend to 'answer' the petition. You should thereafter file an answer to state your version of the facts as well as defend the allegations contained in the divorce petition. It is important to note that if you refuse to sign the divorce papers and attend court, the court may proceed to hear the case in your absence and make orders as it deems appropriate, including an order to dissolve the marriage.
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  #26  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:31 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

What can I do if I too want a divorce but I disagree with the contents of the divorce petition?

As long as you disagree with the allegations made in a divorce petition, you should file an Answer to state your defence or objections. If you also wish to apply for a divorce, you may file an 'Answer and Cross Petition' instead of only an Answer. In your Cross-Petition, you must state why you are applying for a divorce and ensure that the facts revealed by you satisfy one of the five facts to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
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  #27  
Old 28-07-2005, 11:32 AM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

Now On Children

This section sets out the legal principles that are applicable when the Family Court deals with applications involving the custody of and access to children. Such applications can be heard under Part X of the Women's Charter or the Guardianship of Infants Act. These principles apply to both Muslim as well as non-Muslim parties. However, Muslim parties should refer to questions 27-29 on when the Family Court can deal with custody cases involving Muslim parties.


My spouse/partner has left home with my children. I want my children back or at the least, a chance to see my children from time to time. What can I do?

You can apply to the Family Court for an order that the children be returned to you and that you be given the custody and/or care and control of the children, if you wish to have the children living with you. If you want to have contact with the children from time to time, you can apply for an access order, that is, an order to allow you to see the children. To apply for custody or access, you can:

(a) file an originating summons under the Guardianship of Infants Act; or
(b) include a 'prayer' or application for custody of or access to the children in the Divorce Petition if divorce is contemplated.
If legal proceedings have already been commenced, and an immediate order is required, you can also file a Summons-in-Chambers for interim custody and access.
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  #28  
Old 28-07-2005, 12:09 PM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

What are the factors that will be considered when deciding who to 'give' the child to?

The court does not award the child to either parent as a child is not a piece of property. What the court decides is to whom to grant the 'custody' of the child (that is, the right to make major decisions concerning the welfare and upbringing of the child) and the 'care and control' of the child (that is, the right to have the child live with you and to make day-to-day decisions concerning the child).

In deciding custody and care and control issues, the paramount or most important consideration is the welfare of the child. 'Welfare' has a wide meaning; it encompasses all aspects of the wellbeing (includes emotional and physical wellbeing) and upbringing (includes the education and religious and moral upbringing) of the child.

Generally, the court will consider the following factors (not in order of importance) in deciding the custody and care and control issues:


(a) the conduct of the parties: the role each parent has played in the child's life and the stability which each of you is able to offer the child will be considered. It should be noted however that adultery by itself will not disqualify a parent from getting custody or access;

(b) the status quo: where the child has grown accustomed to his living environment or attached to a care-giver, the court will try to preserve the status quo for a drastic change may be detrimental to the well-being of the child;

(c) the age of the child: if all factors were equal between the parties, a child of tender years should be with the mother;

(d) sibling bond: siblings should generally not be separated as they can provide a measure of security and stability for each other when their parents live separately;

(e) the wishes of the parents: while the parents' wishes will be considered, their wishes are subordinate to the child's welfare;

(f) the wishes of the child, if the child is of an age to express an independent opinion.

The above factors will not be applied rigidly by the court. The overriding consideration is the welfare of the child, to be considered on all the facts and circumstances of each case.
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  #29  
Old 28-07-2005, 12:10 PM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

I would like to 'share' the children with my spouse/partner. In other words, even though I agree that the children can stay with my spouse/partner, I want to have an equal say in making decisions for the children. What can I do?


You can apply to the court for an order that you be awarded 'joint custody' of the children. This will compel your spouse/partner to consult you and make joint decisions over the major issues concerning your children. You should however note that the court may not order joint custody if there is a very high level of conflict between your spouse and you as it is unlikely that parties would be able to make joint decisions
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  #30  
Old 28-07-2005, 12:11 PM
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Re: All you need to know about "Marriage/Divorce" under the SG Law

How can I get to see my children if they do not live with me? Would the court allow me to see my children?

You can apply for an access order to ensure that you get to see your children regularly. In deciding the access issue, the paramount or most important consideration is the welfare of the children. As a general rule, the court will grant a non-custodial parent access to the children to enable the children to build a bond with both parents. If both parents are cooperative and want the access arrangements to be flexible, an order that 'reasonable access' is granted will suffice. If however, more certainty is required, the access order may specify:

(a) the time and venue of access;

(b) whether the access should be supervised and by whom;

(c) whether overnight access is allowed (that is, the children will stay over at the non-custodial parent's residence);

(d) whether overseas access is allowed;

(e) whether access during school holidays, public holidays and significant days (such as children's birthdays etc.) is allowed; whether third parties (such as a new partner) can be present during access; and

(f) other conditions to safeguard the interests of the children.

The type of access order that the court will make will depend on many factors such as the age of your children, the relationship between your children and your spouse, you and your spouse's working hours, your children's school schedules, and so on. Circumstances will be different in every case, but the court will make a decision that it feels is in the best interests of the children.
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