Sometimes, we came across clients who are concerned that if their spouses do not sign the divorce papers, they cannot proceed with the divorce case.
This is often incorrect.
Even if your spouse cannot be found at all, you can still proceed and get your divorce (provided you satisfy the court's other conditions for divorce).
If your spouse can be found, the divorce papers will be hand delivered to him.
After that, the court rules require him to:
-file a certain document (called a memorandum of appearance) within 8 days from the date that he received the divorce papers.
-file another document (called a defence (or defence and counterclaim)) within 22 days from the date that he received the divorce papers.
If he or she does not file the documents, you can proceed with the case without his or her input.
This is done by applying to court:
-for substituted service.
With the court's permission, the divorce papers can be sent to your spouse's last known address and/or last known email, WhatsApp account, etc.Even if he or she does not respond, your divorce case can still proceed.
-for dispensation of service.
With the court's permission (usually where the spouse has no last known address and no other means of being contacted), the divorce case can proceed without serving the papers on your spouse at all.
The above is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.
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Lam & Co. (Advocates & Solicitors): An International and Singapore divorce law firm.
We can help by addressing your questions and speaking about how to move forward.