Serving Divorce Papers in Singapore


We often have clients who come to us after they have been served with divorce papers by their spouse. Understandably so, these clients would express their concerns and worries about the next steps.

Here are some commonly asked questions that we would like to share with you.

How do I respond to the divorce papers being served on me?

You will have to enter an appearance, which will inform the Court that you have received the papers and indicate whether you intend to contest the contents of the divorce papers.

  • If you do not intend to contest, this means you are agreeable to the contents of the divorce papers, the divorce matter will then be set down for hearing.
  • If you intend to contest the contents of the divorce papers, for example, you disagree with your spouse’s allegations that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and you wish for reconciliation, you will have to file a defence.

However, if you are of the view that the marriage has irretrievably broken down due to the fault of your spouse, you will have to file a defence and counterclaim. Our Singapore Divorce lawyers can advise you on the specific timelines to take note of and the contents of defence or the defence and counterclaim.

What happens if I choose to ignore the divorce papers served on me?

This is not advisable. If you do not enter an appearance upon the divorce papers being served on you, the Court will proceed the divorce matter on an uncontested basis since you are not raising any objections.

The Court will then inform you that the divorce matter has been set down for hearing. If you persist on ignoring despite the Courts informing you, interim judgment will be granted.

This means that the Court recognises that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and the marriage is dissolved. Ignorance is not bliss in circumstances like these.

Once you are served divorce papers, you are highly encouraged to seek advice from a Divorce lawyer on your next step.

I have served divorce papers on my spouse. How will I be affected if my spouse has chosen not to respond to the divorce papers?

As stated above, there are timelines specified by the Court. Ignoring these timelines will result in the divorce matter proceeding on an uncontested basis.

Our Matrimonial Lawyers will be with you every step of the way and ensure that your spouse’s choice of not adhering to the timelines will not affect you in any way.

In the event I am unable to do the necessary within the specified timelines, is it possible to ask the Court for more time?

If there are legitimate reasons, requests can be made. Our Family lawyers are well-versed with the divorce procedures and can advise you when necessary.

How do I ensure that it is my spouse who has received the divorce papers that I have filed?

Apart from providing accurate information of address and contact details of your spouse, it would help to let us have a picture to make verification of the party for the purposes of an easier serving of the papers

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At the consultation stage, our Divorce Lawyers will:

  • Assess if you can file for divorce in Singapore.
  • Help you understand each step of the divorce process.
  • Address questions & concerns related to divorce process.
  • Help you explore your divorce options.
  • Contact Us