When Love doesn’t stand the test of time

When Love doesn’t stand the test of time

Ideally, marriage is a commitment between two parties to share their love till the end of time. However, no marriage can escape conflicts. There will be times where the relationship is tested regardless of the reasoning: Lost of romantic interest between parties, communication problems or incompatible personalities to name a few. When this happens, you might find yourself in a situation where your marriage cannot be saved and that getting a divorce, might be the best solution for you and your partner.


Before you can file for a divorce, you must first meet the legal requirements for a Divorce in Singapore. Often, clients intending to divorce their spouse, cite their reasoning that both they and their partner can no longer get along together. In the Court of Law, however, an incapability to get along with their partner is not enough to obtain a divorce. Sufficient facts and evidence must be produced before a marriage can be considered divorced.

Requirements to Apply for a Divorce in Singapore

There are some requirements that you must first meet before filing for a divorce in Singapore:


  • Must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident
  • Domiciled in Singapore at the time of the commencement of the divorce proceedings
  • Resided in Singapore for a period of at least three (3) years immediately before the commencement of the divorce proceedings.


You must also have been married for a minimum of three years before you can apply for a divorce. If you wish to divorce your spouse even though you have been married for less than three years, you may want to consider filing for an annulment.


An annulment is a means of dissolving the marriage due to specific circumstances. While a divorce will result in the marriage getting legally terminated, an annulment of marriage would result in the marriage never existing at all. This would mean that all the property and debt of the original owners before the marriage will be reassigned back to them by the Court.


The Court may grant a divorce even if you have not been married for three years, provided that you have gone through lots of hardship and degradation by your spouse. If you are unsure of your legal options, it is best to seek legal advice to aid your situation from a reputable Singapore Divorce Lawyer.

Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage

There is only one ground for Courts to grant a divorce and that is the marriage must be broken down irretrievably. This means that the marriage is in a position where it can no longer be saved. Irretrievable breakdown of marriage has to be proven, and there are five (5) ways to do this. They are:


  • Adultery: If your spouse has committed adultery and that you find it intolerable to live with him or her any longer, you can file for a divorce against them. Veritable evidence such as text messages or photos is required to prove your spouse’s adulterous behaviour.
  • Unreasonable Behaviour: Unreasonable behaviour in the Court of Law can be held to include any act, active or passive, or failure to act, of your spouse. If your spouse has behaved in such a way that you find it unreasonable to live with them, you can file for a divorce. Some examples of unreasonable behaviour include domestic violence, compulsive gambling habits, drug addiction or constant verbal abuse by your spouse.
  • Desertion: You will need to prove that your spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of at least two (2) years immediately before the start of your divorce proceedings and that he or she has clearly stated that they intended to desert you.
  • Separation for 3 Years: Where both parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least three (3) years, with the consent of both parties.
  • Separation for 4 Years: Where both parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least four (4) years immediately preceding the start of the divorce proceedings. In this case, consent by the other party is not necessary.


In the case that you do not fall within any of these categories, you may consider filing for a legal separation as there are no prerequisites for the length of marriage or where you and your spouse are residing. A legal separation will allow you to live separately from your spouse and you can file for a divorce after 3 years. Legally however, you are still considered married to your spouse. This arrangement might allow you time to reconsider your divorce option and pursue reconciliation with your partner.

How We Can Help

Divorce in Singapore can be a long and emotionally draining process. Depending on whether you and spouse in the marriage can establish agreement on the terms of the divorce, the process may take as short as 4 months to finalise the divorce.


That being said, these procedures may be technical and complex for you. Worry not, at I.R.B. Law, we have experienced lawyers who are well versed in Singapore Family Law proceedings. We will be able to guide you through and explain to you throughout each and every stage of your divorce or your annulment. We understand that going through such an event in your life is difficult and emotional.


So contact us to receive advice on how your divorce proceedings can be best handled so that you can focus on getting back up on your feet. Our first consultation is usually free as we wish to focus on you and not on your wallet. So don’t hesitate and reach us at hello@irblaw.com.sg or call us at 6298 2537 and schedule an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers today.