LIFE & FAMILY
Get the Right Divorce Advice
Breaking up is hard to do, but an expat divorce abroad is a whole different story. Ge t t i ng d i vorced in Singapore as a foreigner is a lot more complicated than it is for locals. Here, legal experts walk us through theSingapore divorce process for expats – from filing for a divorce here and jurisdiction to splitting assets, child custody and more.
Filing for a divorce in Singapore: The first steps JACQUELINE CHUA, founder of Jacque Law LLC, has extensive experience in all aspects of family law, which includes handling divorces, disputes relating to maintenance and division of assets, and cross-border custody disputes. Her expertise also extends to advising on prenuptial agreements as well as on wills, probate and estate matters. As part of her practice she also advises on employment law and medical law. She explains that if you’re an expat considering divorcing your spouse, you are entitled to file for divorce in Singapore if: #1 you’ve been married for at least three years; and #2 you or your spouse have been living in Singapore for three continuous years immediately prior to the divorce, or your spouse is a Singapore citizen. Once you’re sure you meet the criteria for divorce here, think about whether the Singapore court is the most appropriate jurisdiction for your situation. Could there be another court in another country that is more appropriate? Consider filing in your birth country, or the country where you were married. Decide if there are enough factors connecting you to Singapore (such as the location of the matrimonial assets, where the children are being educated, and the future plans of you and your spouse) as well as whether there are reasons why a divorce in Singapore would be more favourable for you in your circumstances. If you disagree with your partner’s decision to have the divorce in Singapore, you should be careful before responding or taking any step in the divorce proceedings. If your response is deemed as accepting the jurisdiction of the Singapore court, you may have jeopardised your chances of divorcing your spouse in another country. It’s best to seek legal advice on these issues early to identify if Singapore is the most appropriate forum to determine your divorce, and the steps to take in the event that parallel divorce proceedings are commenced in another country.
BY GEORGINA HOCKLEY
Jacque Law LLC #21-08 SBF Center Singapore, 160 Robinson Road 6280 7388 | jacquelaw.com
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