An uncontested divorce is one where (i) both parties decide to divorce amicably; and (ii) they also settle between themselves all the terms (e.g., the children, maintenance, flat, legal costs, etc.).
Even after the above two conditions are satisfied, the Singapore Court has other conditions which must be satisfied before it will grant the divorce.
For example, either the husband or the wife must be a Singapore citizen. Otherwise, at least one of them must have been habitually resident in Singapore for the most recent 3 years (leading up to the filing of the application for Divorce). If none of these conditions are satisfied, the Singapore Court will not accept the case.
Apart from the above, for couples who have been married for 3 years or more, they must also satisfy at least one of the following conditions:
- (a) 3 years' separation and the defendant consents to the divorce.
- (b) 4 years' separation.
- (c) the defendant committed adultery (and the plaintiff (applicant) finds it intolerable to live with the defendant).
- (d) the defendant's
behaviourwas so unreasonable that the plaintiff (applicant) cannot reasonably be expected to live with the defendant.
- (e) 2 years' desertion (i.e., the defendant abandoned the plaintiff for 2 years).
It is also important to ensure that the Housing & Development Board (HDB) have no objections to what the parties decide to do with their HDB flat after the divorce.
In order to ensure that all the details are in order, it is best to call Lam & Co. (at 6.535.1800) to discuss the matter. We will be glad to address critical issues such as:
- (a) Is not having sex with your spouse for 3 years the same as 3 years' separation? Is sleeping in separate rooms for 3 years the same as 3 years' separation? In order to separate from your spouse by moving out to a different address, must you update the address in your Identity Card? If 3 years ago, you moved out but did not update the address in your Identity Card, can you still get a divorce based on 3 years' separation?
- (b) What is the difference between joint custody and sole custody of the children? What does it mean if you let your spouse get care and control of the children?
- (c) Can you split up the children after the divorce so that each of you can apply for an HDB flat with one of the children? Would the Court accept such a reason for splitting up the children? If not, what reasons can the Court accept for splitting up the children?
- (d) How to check that HDB
haveno objection to what you intend to do with the HDB flat? What will happen if HDB objects? Will this stop the divorce?
- (e) What is the point of S$1.00 per month maintenance (which you keep hearing your friends talking about)? When your spouse remarries, do you still have to continue paying her maintenance?