If parties wish to live apart permanently but do not wish to commence divorce proceedings for various reasons, then you may make an application to Court for Judicial Separation.
I. JUDICIAL SEPARATION
- The decree of a judicial separation is a court order whereby a married couple is legally separated but not divorced.
- Once the couple has been granted a Judicial Separation, they are relieved from any marital obligations to each other and are free to permanently live apart from each other.
- Sufficient and reasonable grounds for legal separation in Singapore:
- The couple should be legally married for no less than 3 years.
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, on the grounds of adultery, unreasonable behaviour, or desertion.
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II. JUDICIAL SEPARATION VS DIVORCE
- A judgement of Judicial Separation granted by the Court does not permit either party to remarry, since the decree of judicial separation does not terminate a marriage, unlike in divorce.
- In a judicial separation, parties would be entitled to similar claims as in a divorce, e.g. custody of the children, matrimonial assets etc.
- The court has the same range of powers as in divorce cases to issue orders on dividing the matrimonial property and providing for the custody, care and control and maintenance of children.
- When a married couple do not wish to continue living together yet do not wish to pursue divorce proceedings, they have legal recourse in Singapore to apply to the family court for a Judicial Separation.
- Reasons for why parties may but opt for a Judicial Separation instead of proceeding with a divorce:
- religious commitments,
- moral grounds,
- societal norms or
- responsibility of their children.