As long as you meet the requirements to divorce in Singapore, no one can stop you from filing for divorce, if that is what you wish. Put simply, your spouse can’t stop you, but moving forward can be made more difficult, thus complicating the process.
This blog focuses on the two most common issues faced when you want a divorce and your spouse doesn’t – Filing for divorce and child-related issues.
Q: My Spouse has informed me that he/she will not be responding to the divorce papers and refuses to participate in the process. What are my rights?
A: You may still proceed with filing the divorce papers. The Court will still be able to give orders pertaining to dissolving the marriage and the ancillary matters (division of assets, maintenance and child issues).
In the event that the Defendant chooses to ignore the divorce papers, a Request for Setting Down Action for Trial can be filed for and the court may fix a hearing date where the divorce may be granted in the absence of the Defendant.
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Q: I expect my spouse to be very difficult when it comes to negotiating issues regarding the children. What can I do?
A: If your spouse has entered an appearance in the divorce, and your children are below 21, there is a compulsory mediation and counselling process that divorcing couples have to attend (CFRC). During or before this process,
Q: My spouse has informed me that he/she will make this process difficult and expensive. Is this correct?
A: Yes and no. Depending on the complexity (number of issues that are being contested) of your matter and whether your spouse chooses to participate in the divorce proceedings, costs will vary accordingly.
If your spouse chooses to ignore the papers, the matter can proceed in their absence.
If your spouse is contesting the divorce as well as all ancillary matters, then:-
- there will first be a trial for contested divorce to see if the marriage is to be dissolved or not;
- assuming (1) is answered in the affirmative, there will be a subsequent hearing for ancillary matters.