Serving the Expat Community, every step of the way


  • Can expats divorce in Singapore?

    Yes, you can divorce in Singapore if:
    - you have been habitually residing in Singapore for the last three years;
    - you have been married for at least three years preceding your divorce; and
    - you have a ground for divorce.

  • Can I still divorce in Singapore if I don’t meet one of these requirements?

    - If you have not resided in Singapore for the last three years preceding the divorce: you must prove your intention to settle permanently in Singapore. You will need to provide fact of residence and fact of intention of permanent or indefinite residence by showing evidence of permanent citizenship application, permanent residency, long term employment, bank accounts...

    - If you have not been married for at least three years before your divorce: You can file a court application for a permission to file for divorce. The court will examine whether you have suffered exceptional hardship or your spouse has shown exceptional depravity during your marriage, and will decide whether to allow you to divorce in Singapore under special circumstances.

    - You must have a ground for divorce in order to apply for a divorce in Singapore. There has to be an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

  • Is it financially beneficial for an expat to divorce in Singapore?

    Yes, it is. The Women’s Charter assures a just and equitable division of matrimonial assets for both parties involved in the marriage. The factors taken into account when determining the division of assets includes for example the homemaker and caregiver’s efforts and contribution in upbringing the children of the marriage and taking care of the household chores etc.

  • How long is the divorce process in Singapore?

    This will depend on the type of divorce you and your spouse are settling for. In the case of an uncontested divorce, the procedure can be as short as 5 to 6 months. Contested divorces can be a much longer and arduous process, which is why we advise our clients against long adversary litigation proceedings whenever possible.

  • Do I need to pay maintenance to my spouse?

    Singapore Women’s Charter stipulates that the court may order a man to pay a monthly maintenance (or a one lump payment) to his wife or former wife, or order a woman to pay maintenance to her incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband. If both parties are equally capable, then a more proportionate ruling may be ordered by the court after assessment of the needs of each party (based on the annual income, earning capacity, age and duration of the marriage, financial resources and obligations, etc.)

  • My divorce has already been pronounced in another foreign state. Can I file for a divorce in Singapore?

    If your marriage has already been dissolved by a foreign court, it cannot be dissolved again by the Singapore Court. The divorce can only be dissolved once, by the first court to pronounce it. This court will also decide on the ancillary matters such as children’s custody, maintenance, division of properties, and any other relocation issues.

  • I am staying in Singapore under an Employment Pass. Will my divorce affect my stay in Singapore?

    If you are residing in Singapore under an Employment Pass, a divorce settlement will not affect your stay in Singapore. However, if the rest of your family (ex-spouse, children) are staying in Singapore under dependent passes, their status will be directly affected by the divorce.

  • I am staying in Singapore under a Dependent Pass. Can I remain in Singapore after the divorce?

    If your Dependent Pass is reliant to your ex partner’s Employment Pass, you will unfortunately not be allowed to stay in Singapore after the divorce. Your Dependent Pass was granted on the basis of your relationship to the Employment Pass holder, and therefore will be revoked once the divorce is pronounced. You will have to leave Singapore within 14 days. If you are granted a social visit pass or tourist visa, you will be allowed to remain in Singapore for 30 to 90 days.

    If you have a child under a student pass and wish to remain in Singapore, you can apply for a long term social visit pass to accompany your child. You can also remain in Singapore by finding local employment and applying for your own Employment Pass.

  • Can I apply for maintenance from my spouse if I don’t live in Singapore?

    Yes. However, you must physically be able to come to the Family Justice Courts in Singapore, to personally apply for the maintenance.

  • Can I or my spouse leave Singapore with our children?

    Singapore follows the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which stipulates that the child is not allowed to leave Singapore without the consent of both parents or leave of the court. Therefore, neither you nor your spouse are allowed to leave Singapore or relocate to your home country with your children without having the written consent of the other parent, or the authorization of the court.

    If your spouse has taken your child out of the country without your approval, you can make an application for the return of children abducted to Singapore under the Hague Convention, with the help of the Singapore Central Authority.

  • How can I avoid a long and costly divorce? Are there alternatives?

    There are many available alternatives to what appears like the ‘normal’ divorce procedure, such as the Mediation Process, or the Collaborative Family Process (link to article presenting the Collaborative Family Process). Our expert lawyers in family law are accredited by the Singapore Mediation Centre, and will help you negotiate the ideal terms of your divorce outside of a court, in a respectful and encouraging atmosphere. Our associate director and family law expert Margaret Yeow is a qualified Collaborative Family Law Practitioner.

Contact us at Hoh Law Corporation at 67025351 or send us an email at expatsingapore@hoh.com.sg