Considering a Deed of Separation
1. Divorce Proceedings in Singapore
- If you have been habitually resident in Singapore for the past 3 yrs, you qualify to file for divorce.
- This means you can proceed with filing of divorce on a fault basis or no fault basis.
- Fault basis means, you would have to cite the ‘unreasonable behaviour’ of your spouse that caused the breakdown of the marriage.
- No-fault basis means, parties opts for a divorce based on separation. This can take the form of 3 years of separation.
- If both parties have been separated for a lesser period before the 3 year requirement , then we suggest that parties consider entering into a Deed of Separation.
2. What is a Deed of Separation?
It is a legal document / agreement entered between parties as a Deed (ie signed sealed and delivered).
It states the agreed terms pertaining to the divorce and the ancillary issues related to and arising from the marriage.
3. What must the Deed of Separation state?
The Deed should state the date when parties have been separated.
4. What are the terms to be addressed in the Deed?
The terms are the ancillary issues pertaining to the issues of child custody, care and control and access; spouse and child support (maintenance); and division of matrimonial assets.
5. Is the Deed recognised internationally? Yes.
6. Can it be used when proceeding with the divorce officially? Yes.
7. Who is entitled to file for divorce? Any party ie the husband or the wife.
8. Who pays for the Deed of Separation? The party initiating the Deed.
9. What are the terms pertaining to custody care and control ?
It takes various forms, as follows:
- Joint custody
- Sole custody
- No custody order
Though the usual practice in Singapore is Joint Custody, with care and control to the Mother who is taking care of the children.
10. What are the terms of access ?
It is usually, liberal or reasonable access.Thus, liberal is the best option.It will provide flexibility in timings, and visitation rights can be arranged for the short and long term school holidays, and whenever you are in Europe.There can also be skype, email, and telephone access.
11. What does spousal and child support mean?
This means providing maintenance support for the wife and children. Usually, the court looks at the previous conduct of the husband when providing maintenance. You can also offer to provide for the children’s related academic expenses, even university fees. You can also consider get a children’s education policy that matures when they enter university.
12. What does division of matrimonial assets mean?
It means a just and equitable division of assets bought during marriage, and in joint names.