Divorce Is Not Always The Answer – A Family Lawyer’s Perspective

Dealing with divorce matters, we have had many enquiries by callers that tell us that they want to divorce their husbands and wives. However, in many cases, divorce is not the answer that they are seeking for.

When is divorce not the answer

When is divorce not the answer? Very simply, there are certain situations when divorce is not the answer.

In the first situation, under the laws of Singapore, if a couple has not been married for 3 years, they will not be able to file for a divorce unless 1 of them can show to the Court that he/she has suffered exceptional hardship or that the other party has exhibited exceptional depravity. Alternatively, if parties have not consummated the marriage, they can consider filing for an annulment instead.

In the second situation, we have seen cases where 1 party simply feels that they are incompatible and cannot get along, always getting into frequent quarrels. In such cases, they do not fulfil any of the grounds for divorce under Singapore law.

The couple should first seek help, either by seeking advice from their family and friends, or seek professional counselling. They will have to first separate for 3 years and file for a divorce with the other party’s consent. In the event that the other party does not consent, then the minimum separation period will have to be 4 years.

When is divorce the answer

A couple can only seek for a divorce in Singapore if the divorce is based on the following reasons that show that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable/Abusive behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Living separately (for 3 years with the other party’s consent, or for 4 years without the other party’s consent)

Briefly, adultery is when 1 party has been caught sleeping with other people. This ground may be the hardest to use, as the person alleging adultery on the other person’s part has to prove that there has been adultery committed.

For unreasonable behaviour, any form of mental or physical abuse will suffice to prove that there has been unreasonable behaviour exhibited by the other party, but it cannot be a one-off incident. In a case where a person suspects their spouse of committing adultery but is unable to get evidence of any sexual relations between their spouse and the 3rd party, this ground of unreasonable behaviour, in that their spouse has improper associations with another person, can be used.

For desertion, where one’s spouse has abandoned the family, it has to be for a continuous period of at least 2 years before filing of the divorce.

The most commonly used reason for divorce is separation. This is a reason that is neutral as it does not rely on the wrong-doing of any party to the marriage. There are 2 prescribed periods of 3 years with both parties’ consent or 4 years without the consent of the other party.

Many times, the divorce can be resolved without going for a full trial and hearing, which will save all parties time and money.

Case study 1: Successful mediation

In cases where the divorce is contested, when parties cannot come to an agreement before filing for a divorce, the Courts will always ask parties to attend mediation to see if they can resolve all the issues in the divorce amicably including the ancillary matters of child custody, care and control, access, division of matrimonial assets and maintenance.

We have gone for mediations where both parties are unwilling to even talk to each other. However parties must not forget that although they do not want to stay married to each other, they still remain parents of their children. Settling the divorce at mediation may spare parties and their children of the pains of the divorce. Thus when attending mediation, parties should not have the mindset that they are going to stick to their guns and not give in on any grounds.

Case study 2: Uncontested divorce

In many cases, we have successfully negotiated all the terms of the divorce on behalf of our client and proceeded to file for the divorce on a simplified uncontested basis. In these type of cases, parties and/or their lawyers do not need to attend Court and the whole process from the filing of the divorce documents to Court to the conclusion of the divorce can be as fast as 4 and a half months.

If you are contemplating divorce, speak to our family matters experts today (we’re multi-lingual; English, Mandarin, Tamil).

Please contact us to schedule an appoint for a complimentary consultation in order for us to better understand your needs and to advise you.

Adrian’s profile

Adrian read law at the University of Bristol, UK and graduated in 2003. In 2009 he completed the Diploma in Singapore Law from the National University of Singapore and was called to the Singapore bar in 2010.

Adrian’s main practice areas are corporate, civil, family and general criminal litigation.

Adrian’s experience in Corporate includes general contracts, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, joint ventures as well as circulars for share buyback mandates, change of auditors and employee share option/share award schemes.

Adrian also has several years of experience in civil litigation relating to companies, employment, tenancy disputes and debt recovery.

He has also assisted many clients with family disputes, wills and probate.

While Adrian was working with a prominent criminal lawyer in Singapore, he gained tremendous criminal litigation experience in various offences under the Penal Code including cheating, corruption, theft, evasion of tax and offences under the Road Traffic Act. His experience has assisted many of his clients faced with these criminal charges and others relating to companies.
Adrian was an appointed prosecutor for the (then) Council for Private Education for offences under the Private Education Act and the Insolvency & Public Trustee’s Office for offences under the Bankruptcy Act.

Apart from being a practising lawyer, Adrian is a bowling enthusiast and was part of the Singapore National Youth Development Squad in Bowling in his earlier years. He was also the recipient of the South Zone Colours Award for Bowling.

Like most Singaporeans, Adrian is definitely a foodie and enjoys trying all the local cuisine around Singapore and invites you to join him for a gastronomical food tour.

Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of the Republic of Singapore (2010)


Testimonials

“这间律师事务所的律师办事效率很好,服务态度亲切友善,很感谢你们在我遇到任何问题都不厌其烦的一一帮我解答。张律师给我很多法律上的建议和许小姐给我很多精神上的支持。谢谢!”
– Miss Ong

“张律师和许小姐为我提供了专业,及时的法律服务,帮我在遇到困难和问题的时候,找到了解决方案.”
– Mr Nigel

“DLLC律师楼,之我非常感谢的张律师和徐小姐:本人何女士感谢你们为我解决了这次婚姻的问题。你们的服务、态度、认真、尽责让我非常满意。一切事情做到尽善尽美。谢谢你们的认真对待。谢谢你们”
– Miss Li

“亲爱的安尼尔先生和伙伴。非常感谢你们在这困难的期间给于我的帮助和支持.”
– Miss Joanne

“In short, the service provided was very professional and meticulous. There is no shortfall and as a client, I am very satisfied. Charges wise, it was very reasonable and the lawyer is always ready to help. As to how I am going to give rating, it gonna be 11/10. Thanks Winnie and Adrian, for the immense help rendered during the period.”
– Mr Teh

“I would like to take this opportunity to give my thanks to DL Law Corporation for providing an efficient and rapid delivery of the service that I acquired.”
– Mr Justin

DL Law has provided excellent service in my recent case. Their team is very reliable and meticulous. Special thanks to Winnie and Adrian, who were there for me every step of the way and had great patience with all my questions. Would definitely recommend DL Law Corporation.
– Ms Karin

DLLC律师楼,至我非常感谢的张律师和许小姐:本人何女士感谢你们为我解决了这次婚姻的问题。你们的服务态度认真尽责让我非常满意。一切事情做到尽善尽美。谢谢你们的认真对待。
– Ms Li

我在DLLC办了离婚证,他们的服务很好,价格合理,非常感谢你们。
– Ms Annie

非常感谢徐小姐极其公司律师给与我的建议和帮助,让我可以摆脱不幸福的婚姻并开始自己新的生活,你们的建议都是非常诚恳并且为客户着想。
– Ms Chen

Dear Mr Teo and winnie,
I just want to drop you a quick note to thank you so much for your excellent service and wonderful job your company and especially MrTeo and Winnie did for me.Winnie was extremely knowledgeable and kept me informed every step of the way. It was along tedious process for me but you made a difficult time a little easier and less stressful what just i greatly appreciate. I have no hesitation in recommending DL Law Corporation for anyone who needs an professional service.
– Ms Song

我是在网络上看到 DL LAW CORPORATION 的广告,因我正要找律师辨离婚,及写遗嘱 ,我就找DLLC,它们的服务辨离婚和写遗嘱 它们效率很快,一个多月就把遗嘱文件全部整理好,而且也签名辨好了 , 价钱合理,五个星是满分,我给⭐⭐⭐⭐。谢谢。
– Mdm Loh

办理文件很棒,效率快。服务好又亲切。👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾
– Mdm Neo

Dear Mr Teo and Winnie, I am grateful that my sister recommended me to Ms Winnie and Mr Teo for the legal advice in my divorce case. Mr Teo had brief me on the consequences and outcome of my case. Mr Teo and Winnie has put in their outmost effort in my case. And thankful for the excellent and efficient service rendered during to me.
Heartfelt thanks to both of you 🙏
– Mdm Lim

对winnie和张律师的服务我非常满意。我们到了20层后,没有找到98号房间,winnie出来办公室找寻我们。进了办公室后,winnie把我们带进会客室,很热情的为我们冲了咖啡,并安排张律师与我们见面。张律师在法律专业知识方面也让我们非常满意,他把我们需要咨询的事情都做了一一解答,并提出了合理化的意见。临走时,winnie依然非常热情的把我们送到门口,让我们感到十分亲切。通过这次法律咨询,我对贵律师行的专业能力和服务态度都十分满意,满分评价,将来有其他法律问题,我依然会优先选择贵律师行。
– Mr Ryan

Thank you DL law corporation for helping me with my divorce proceedings. I want to thank you for being patient to me when i was confused and guide me through the entire process and helped me fight for my rights. 很感谢DL law corporation Mr.Adrian and Winnie在我最无助的时候给最大的帮助和体諒非常感谢你们的服务🙏🏽🙏🏽
– Mr Ong