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Pro Bono: Divorce

Divorce: Introduction

This library guide collates relevant resources relating to divorce, separation and nullity of marriage from various government sites and online sources.

Overview

The Women's Charter (Cap 353, 2009 Rev Ed) provides for the grounds of divorce, judicial separation and nullity of marriage under Part X Chapters 1, 2 and 3 respectively, for non-Muslim marriages.

  • Divorce is the legal proceeding that terminates the marital relationship with permanent effect.
  • Judicial separation allows spouses to separate in a temporary capacity.

The grounds for both of these is that the marriage is irretrievably broken down under s 95(3) of the Women's Charter.

  • Void: A marriage is void where its formation is grievously flawed in not complying with the most critical prescriptions in the Women's Charter.
  • Voidable: A marriage is voidable where its formation is less grievously flawed for breach of a cause which allows the spouses to choose whether to act upon the flaw and have the marriage declared void, or ignore the flaw so the marriage continues as valid.

The grounds for the nullity of marriage are laid out under ss 105 and 106 of the Women's Charter.

Muslim marriages and divorce are administered by the Syariah Court under a separate regime, pursuant to s 35 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (Cap 3, 2009 Rev Ed).

(Source: Leong Wai Kum, Elements of Family Law, 3rd Ed (2018))

Resources for Divorce Matters

A. Civil Marriage and Divorce

Family Justice Courts - Divorce
The Family Justice Courts of Singapore provides a general overview of divorce proceedings. See in particular:

MSF Divorce Support Resources
Information provided by the Ministry of Social and Family Development on dealing with divorce:

B. Muslim Marriage and Divorce

FAQs on Muslim Divorce (Syariah Court)
Answers to steps for an application for Muslim divorce and other family-related matters

MSF Divorce for Muslim Marriages
Provides a brief overview of the divorce regime in relating to Muslim Marriages, including links to the Syariah Court.

Muslim Divorce Materials
Refer to Islamic Law LibGuide - Singapore resources. See in particular Muslim Marriage and Divorce Rules (Cap 3, R 1, 2001 Rev Ed).

1. Family Justice Courts (FJC)
The Family Justice Courts (FJC) are established pursuant to the Family Justice Act in 2014 and restructured the family justice system by bringing together all family-related work under a specialised body of courts.
Add: Divorce Registry, Level 3, Family Justice Courts @ Havelock, No. 3 Havelock Square. Singapore 059725
Contact: Write To Us
Tel: (65) 6435 5398 (Writ for Divorce) ; (65) 6435 5473 (Originating Summons)

2.  Legal Aid Bureau 
The Legal Aid Bureau advances access to justice for applicants with limited means, including providing legal representation and advice, as set out in the Legal Aid and Advice Act.
Add: Ministry of Law Services Centre, 45 Maxwell Road, #07-11 The URA Centre (East Wing), Singapore 069118
Contact: Contact Us@OneMinLaw
Tel: 1800 2255 529 (1800-CALL-LAW)

3. Ministry of Social and Family Development - Divorce Support
The Family Support Division of MSF maintains support services, including Divorce Support Specialist Agencies (DSSA) like Family Service Centres, as well as administration of the compulsory Mandatory Parenting Programme.
Add: Family Support Division, Ministry of Social and Family Development, 7 Maxwell Road, MND Building Annex B, #04-11, Singapore 069111
Form: Contact Us

4. Family Mediation Services

  • Family Justice Courts: The Family Dispute Resolution Centre of the FJC is dedicated to assisting the parties in coming to an amicable arrangement on the divorce and ancillary matters.
    Add: Child Focused Resolution Centre (CFRC) and the Family Resolution Chambers (FRC), Level 4, Family Justice Courts @ MND, 5 Maxwell Road, #04-00, Tower Block, MND Complex, Singapore 069110
    Tel: (65) 6236 9050
  • Singapore Mediation Centre: Private mediation may be available in certain circumstances, and is to be conducted by the Singapore Mediation Centre or an agreed private mediator chosen by the parties.
    Add: 1 Supreme Court Lane, Level 4, Singapore 178879
    Contact: enquiries@mediation.com.sg
    Tel: (65) 6332 4366
  • Community Mediation Centre: The CMC provides mediation as a dispute resolution service for matters, including family disputes in Singapore.
    Add: 45 Maxwell Road, #07-11 The URA Centre (East Wing), Singapore 069118
    Contact: Contact Us@OneMinLaw
    Tel: 1800-CALL-LAW (1800 2255 529)

5. Syariah Court of Singapore
The Syariah Court has jurisdiction over judicial proceedings relating to Muslim marriages and divorce, pursuant to s 35 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act.
Add: Family Link @ Lengkok Bahru 8, Lengkok Bahru, #03-01 Singapore 159052
Tel: (65) 63548371 (Hotline)

Refer to the following statutes and related subsidiary legislation on Singapore Statutes Online:

Key Legislation

Practice Directions and Circulars

Please refer to the Family Justice Courts Legislation help page for a list of Rules, Practice Directions, Circulars and amendments

General

Most of the Singapore family case law can be found on Lawnet Singapore

Unreported judgements pre-2001 are not available on Lawnet but are available in print in the NUS C J Koh Law Library (Magistrate's Appeals decisions here and District Court Judgements here)

Muslim Law

Syariah court judgements may be found on Lawnet Singapore. 

Alternatively, C J Koh Law Library has in print the Singapore Syariah appeals reports. - Singapore. Syariah Court. [Singapore] : Academy Publishing, c2012-

Related image

Law & practice of family law in Singapore

Thean, Valerie. Singapore : Sweet & Maxwell/Thomson Reuters, 2016. (e-book)

Elements of family law in Singapore

Leong, Wai Kum. Singapore : LexisNexis, 2018.

Image result for international issues in family law in singapore

International issues in family law in Singapore 

Ong, Debbie Siew Ling, author. Singapore : Academy Publishing, 2015.

Image result for singapore women's charter 50 questions

Singapore women's charter 50 questions 

Leong, Wai Kum. Singapore : Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2011. (e-book)

 

Family law in Singapore 

Randolph Khoo, Drew & Napier LLC (online publication)

Image result for navigating muslim law in singapore

Navigating Muslim law in Singapore 

Singapore : Syariah Law Forum Organising Committee, National University of Singapore, 2017.

Image result for know the law now

Know the Law Now 

Created by the Law Society Pro-Bono Services

Chapter III contains information on:

Family Proceedings, grounds for divorce, nullification of marriage, custody of children, maintenance, matrimonial assets, Muslim divorce, domestic violence, adoption

 

Legal Clinic Manual : Family Law

Published by the Law Society of Singapore, this book contains detailed guidance to volunteer lawyers.

The family law section contains information on divorce, nullity and ancillary matters.

If a password is required for access, NUS Law students may request it from the Centre for Pro Bono & Clinical Legal Education (probono@nus.edu.sg).