PART X
Chapter 1DIVORCE
Interpretation of this Part
92.  In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires —
“child of the marriage” means any child of the husband and wife, and includes any adopted child and any other child (whether or not a child of the husband or of the wife) who was a member of the family of the husband and wife at the time when they ceased to live together or at the time immediately preceding the institution of the proceedings, whichever first occurred; and for the purposes of this definition, the parties to a purported marriage that is void shall be deemed to be husband and wife;
[Deleted by Act 27 of 2014 wef 01/10/2014]
“desertion” implies an abandonment against the wish of the person charging it;
“judgment of judicial separation” includes a decree of judicial separation granted in proceedings for judicial separation commenced before 1st April 2006;
“writ” means a writ of summons for divorce, presumption of death and divorce, judicial separation, nullity of marriage or rescission of a judgment of judicial separation, as the case may be.
[42/2005]
Jurisdiction of court in matrimonial proceedings
93.—(1)  Subject to subsection (2), the court shall have jurisdiction to hear proceedings for divorce, presumption of death and divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage only if either of the parties to the marriage is —
(a)domiciled in Singapore at the time of the commencement of the proceedings; or
(b)habitually resident in Singapore for a period of 3 years immediately preceding the commencement of the proceedings.
[42/2005]
(2)  In proceedings for nullity of marriage on the ground that the marriage is void or voidable, the court may, notwithstanding that the requirements in subsection (1) are not fulfilled, grant the relief sought where both parties to the marriage reside in Singapore at the time of the commencement of the proceedings.
[42/2005]
(3)  For the purposes of proceedings for nullity of marriage, “marriage” includes a marriage which is not valid by virtue of any of the provisions of this Act.
[42/2005]
Restriction on filing of writ for divorce during first 3 years of marriage
94.—(1)  No writ for divorce shall be filed in the court unless at the date of the filing of the writ 3 years have passed since the date of the marriage.
[42/2005]
(2)  The court may, upon application being made in accordance with the Family Justice Rules made under section 139, allow a writ to be filed before 3 years have passed on the ground that the case is one of exceptional hardship suffered by the plaintiff or of exceptional depravity on the part of the defendant, but if it appears to the court at the hearing of the proceedings that the plaintiff obtained leave to file the writ by any misrepresentation or concealment of the nature of the case, the court may, if it grants an interim judgment, do so subject to the condition that no application to make the judgment final shall be made until after the expiration of 3 years from the date of the marriage, or may dismiss the proceedings without prejudice to any proceedings which may be brought after the expiration of the said 3 years upon the same, or substantially the same, facts as those proved in support of the proceedings so dismissed.
[42/2005]
[Act 27 of 2014 wef 01/01/2015]
(3)  In determining any application under this section for leave to file a writ before the expiration of 3 years from the date of the marriage, the court shall have regard to the interest of any child of the marriage and to the question whether there is reasonable probability of a reconciliation between the parties before the expiration of the said 3 years.
[42/2005]
(4)  The court may, before determining an application under this section, refer the differences between the parties to a Conciliation Officer so that a reconciliation between the parties might be effected.
[42/2005]
(5)  Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the filing of a writ based upon matters which have occurred before the expiration of 3 years from the date of the marriage.
[42/2005]
Parenting programme
94A.—(1)  Every prescribed party must complete a parenting programme within the time prescribed by rules made under section 180.
(2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), different times may be prescribed for different prescribed parties.
(3)  No writ for divorce, and no counterclaim in proceedings for divorce, is to be filed in the court by a prescribed party, unless the prescribed party —
(a)has completed a parenting programme;
(b)is an excluded party; or
(c)is allowed by the court under subsection (4) to do so.
(4)  Despite subsection (3)(a) and (b), even though a prescribed party has not completed a parenting programme and is not an excluded party, a court may —
(a)upon the application of the prescribed party, and on such terms as the court thinks fit, allow the prescribed party to file in the court a writ for divorce; and
(b)upon the application of the prescribed party or on the court’s own motion, and on such terms as the court thinks fit, allow the prescribed party to file in the court a counterclaim in proceedings for divorce.
(5)  A court hearing any proceedings for divorce may, if the court considers that doing so is in the interests of the parties to the marriage and any child of the marriage, at any stage in those proceedings order either or both of the parties to the marriage to complete a parenting programme.
(6)  Where any party who is required or ordered under this section to complete a parenting programme fails to do so, the court may make such orders as the court thinks fit.
(7)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (6), the orders which the court may make under that subsection include the following orders:
(a)a stay of the proceedings for divorce until the defaulting party in that subsection completes the parenting programme;
(b)such order as to costs as the court thinks appropriate against the defaulting party in that subsection.
(8)  Anything said, any document prepared, and any information provided, by any person for the purposes of or in the course of participating in a parenting programme is not to be admitted in evidence in any court.
(9)  The Minister may —
(a)determine the form, contents and duration of a parenting programme; and
(b)appoint any person to conduct a parenting programme.
(10)  Each person appointed under subsection (9)(b) to conduct a parenting programme is to determine whether any person who attends that programme has completed that programme.
(11)  Any person who is dissatisfied with a determination under subsection (10) may appeal to the Minister, whose decision is final.
(12)  The Minister may designate the following persons to consider and determine, in his or her place, any appeal under subsection (11):
(a)any Minister of State or Senior Minister of State, for his or her Ministry;
(b)any Parliamentary Secretary or Senior Parliamentary Secretary, for his or her Ministry,
and any reference in that subsection to the Minister includes a reference to the Minister of State or Senior Minister of State, or the Parliamentary Secretary or Senior Parliamentary Secretary, so designated for that appeal.
(13)  No liability shall lie personally against any person appointed under subsection (9)(b) to conduct a parenting programme who, acting in good faith and with reasonable care, does or omits to do anything for the purposes of that parenting programme.
(14)  In this section —
“excluded party” means a prescribed party who is exempted, by rules made under section 180, from subsection (1);
“parenting programme” means a programme —
(a)which provides information on matters relating to marriage, divorce and how divorce may affect a child of a marriage; and
(b)the form, contents and duration of which are determined by the Minister under subsection (9)(a);
“prescribed party” means a party to a marriage who is prescribed, by rules made under section 180, for the purposes of this section.
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/12/2016]
Irretrievable breakdown of marriage to be sole ground for divorce
95.—(1)  Either party to a marriage may file a writ for divorce on the ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
[42/2005]
(2)  The court hearing such proceedings shall, so far as it reasonably can, inquire into the facts alleged as causing or leading to the breakdown of the marriage and, if satisfied that the circumstances make it just and reasonable to do so, grant a judgment for its dissolution.
[42/2005]
(3)  The court hearing any proceedings for divorce shall not hold the marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless the plaintiff satisfies the court of one or more of the following facts:
(a)that the defendant has committed adultery and the plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the defendant;
(b)that the defendant has behaved in such a way that the plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with the defendant;
(c)that the defendant has deserted the plaintiff for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ;
(d)that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 3 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ and the defendant consents to a judgment being granted;
(e)that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 4 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ.
[42/2005]
(4)  In considering whether it would be just and reasonable to grant a judgment, the court shall consider all the circumstances, including the conduct of the parties and how the interests of any child or children of the marriage or of either party may be affected if the marriage is dissolved, and it may make an interim judgment subject to such terms and conditions as the court may think fit to attach; but if it should appear to the court that in all the circumstances it would be wrong to dissolve the marriage, the court shall dismiss the proceedings.
[42/2005]
(5)  Where the parties to the marriage have lived with each other for any period or periods after it became known to the plaintiff that the defendant had, since the celebration of the marriage, committed adultery, then —
(a)if the length of that period or of those periods together was 6 months or less, their living with each other during that period or those periods shall be disregarded in determining for the purposes of subsection (3)(a) whether the plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the defendant; but
(b)if the length of that period or of those periods together exceeded 6 months, the plaintiff shall not be entitled to rely on that adultery for the purposes of subsection (3)(a).
[42/2005]
(6)  Where the plaintiff alleges that the defendant has behaved in such a way that the plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with him, but the parties to the marriage have lived with each other for a period or periods after the date of the occurrence of the final incident relied on by the plaintiff and held by the court to support his allegation, that fact shall be disregarded in determining for the purposes of subsection (3)(b) whether the plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with the defendant if the length of that period or of those periods together was 6 months or less.
[42/2005]
(7)  In considering for the purposes of subsection (3) whether the period for which the defendant has deserted the plaintiff or the period for which the parties to a marriage have lived apart has been continuous, no account shall be taken of any one period (not exceeding 6 months) or of any 2 or more periods (not exceeding 6 months in all) during which the parties resumed living with each other, but no period during which the parties lived with each other shall count as part of the period of desertion or of the period for which the parties to the marriage lived apart, as the case may be.
[42/2005]
(8)  References in this section to the parties to a marriage living with each other shall be construed as references to their living with each other in the same household.
[42/2005]
Rules to provide for agreements to be referred to court
96.  Provision may be made by the Family Justice Rules made under section 139 for enabling the parties to a marriage, or either of them, on application made either before or after the filing of the writ for divorce, to refer to the court any agreement or arrangement made or proposed to be made between them, being an agreement or arrangement which relates to, arises out of, or is connected with, the proceedings for divorce which are contemplated or, as the case may be, have begun, and for enabling the court to express an opinion, should the court think it desirable to do so, as to the reasonableness of the agreement or arrangement and to give such directions, if any, in the matter as the court thinks fit.
[42/2005]
[Act 27 of 2014 wef 01/01/2015]
Intervention of Attorney-General
97.—(1)  In the case of any proceedings for divorce —
(a)the court may, if it thinks fit, direct all necessary papers to be sent to the Attorney-General and he may argue before the court any question in relation to the matter which the court considers it necessary or expedient to be fully argued; and
(b)any person may, at any time during the progress of the proceedings or before the interim judgment is made final, give information to the Attorney-General on any matter material to the due decision of the case, and the Attorney-General may thereupon take such steps as he considers necessary or expedient.
[42/2005]
(2)  If the Attorney-General intervenes or shows cause against an interim judgment in any proceedings for divorce, the court may order one or more of the parties to the proceedings to pay the costs of the Attorney-General.
[42/2005]
Relief for defendant in divorce proceedings
98.  If in any proceedings for divorce the defendant alleges and proves any such fact as is mentioned in section 95(3) (treating the defendant as the plaintiff and the plaintiff as the defendant for the purposes of that subsection), the court may give to the defendant the relief to which he would be entitled if he had filed a writ seeking that relief.
[42/2005]
Interim judgment and proceedings thereafter
99.—(1)  Every judgment of divorce shall in the first instance be an interim judgment and shall not be made final before the expiration of 3 months from its grant unless the court by general or special order from time to time fixes a shorter period.
[42/2005]
(2)  Where a judgment of divorce has been granted but not made final, then without prejudice to section 97, any person may show cause why the judgment should not be made final by reason of the material facts not having been brought before the court, and in such a case the court may —
(a)notwithstanding subsection (1), make the judgment final;
(b)rescind the interim judgment;
(c)require further inquiry; or
(d)otherwise deal with the case as it thinks fit.
[42/2005]
(3)  Where an interim judgment of divorce has been granted and no application for it to be made final has been made by the party to whom it was granted, then, at any time after the expiration of 3 months from the earliest date on which that party could have made such an application, the party against whom it was granted may make an application to the court and on that application the court may —
(a)notwithstanding subsection (1), make the judgment final;
(b)rescind the interim judgment;
(c)require further inquiry; or
(d)otherwise deal with the case as it thinks fit.
[42/2005]
Proceedings for interim judgment of presumption of death and divorce
100.—(1)  Any married person who alleges that reasonable grounds exist for supposing that the other party to the marriage is dead may file a writ to have it presumed that the other party is dead and to have the marriage dissolved, and the court, if satisfied that such reasonable grounds exist, may make an interim judgment of presumption of death and of divorce.
[42/2005]
(2)  In any such proceedings, the fact that for a period of 7 years or more the other party to the marriage has been continually absent from the plaintiff, and the plaintiff has no reason to believe that the other party has been living within that time, shall be evidence that he or she is dead until the contrary is proved.
[42/2005]
(3)  Section 99 shall apply to a writ and a judgment under this section as it applies to a writ for divorce and a judgment of divorce, respectively.
[42/2005]
Chapter 2JUDICIAL SEPARATION
Judicial separation
101.—(1)  A writ for judicial separation may be filed in court by either party to a marriage on the ground and circumstances set out in section 95(3), and that section shall, with the necessary modifications, apply in relation to such a writ as it applies in relation to a writ for divorce.
[42/2005]
(2)  Where a court grants a judgment of judicial separation, it shall no longer be obligatory for the plaintiff to cohabit with the defendant.
[42/2005]
(3)  The court may, on an application by writ of the spouse against whom a judgment of judicial separation has been made and on being satisfied that the allegations in the writ are true, rescind the judgment at any time on the ground that it was obtained in the absence of the plaintiff or, if desertion was the ground of the judgment, that there was reasonable cause for the alleged desertion.
[42/2005]
Judicial separation no bar to writ for divorce
102.—(1)  A person shall not be prevented from filing a writ for divorce, or the court from pronouncing a judgment of divorce, by reason only that the plaintiff or defendant has at any time been granted a judicial separation upon the same or substantially the same facts as those proved in support of the writ for divorce.
[42/2005]
(2)  On any such writ for divorce, the court may treat the judgment of judicial separation as sufficient proof of the adultery, desertion or other ground on which it was granted, but the court shall not grant a judgment of divorce without receiving evidence from the plaintiff.
[42/2005]
(3)  For the purposes of any such writ for divorce, a period of desertion immediately preceding the institution of proceedings for a judgment of judicial separation shall, if the parties have not resumed cohabitation and the judgment has been continuously in force since it was granted, be deemed immediately to precede the filing of the writ for divorce.
[42/2005]
Judicially separated spouses not entitled to claim in intestacy of each other
103.  If, while a judgment of judicial separation is in force and the separation is continuing, either of the parties whose marriage is the subject of the judgment dies intestate after 1st June 1981, all or any of his or her movable or immovable property shall devolve as if the other party to the marriage had been then dead.
[42/2005]
Chapter 3NULLITY OF MARRIAGE
Writ for nullity of marriage
104.  Any husband or wife may file a writ claiming for a judgment of nullity in respect of his or her marriage.
[42/2005]
Grounds on which marriage is void
105.  A marriage which takes place after 1st June 1981 shall be void on the following grounds only:
(a)that it is not a valid marriage by virtue of sections 3(4), 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 22;
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/10/2016]
(aa)where the marriage was solemnized on or after the date of commencement of section 6 of the Women’s Charter (Amendment) Act 2016, that it is not a valid marriage by virtue of section 11A; or
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/10/2016]
(b)where the marriage was celebrated outside Singapore, that the marriage is invalid —
(i)for lack of capacity; or
(ii)by the law of the place in which it was celebrated.
[42/2005]
Grounds on which marriage is voidable
106.  A marriage which takes place after 1st June 1981 shall be voidable on the following grounds only:
(a)that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the incapacity of either party to consummate it;
(b)that the marriage has not been consummated owing to the wilful refusal of the defendant to consummate it;
(c)that either party to the marriage did not validly consent to it, whether in consequence of duress, mistake, mental disorder or otherwise;
[21/2008 wef 01/03/2010]
(d)that at the time of the marriage either party, though capable of giving a valid consent, was suffering (whether continuously or intermittently) from mental disorder within the meaning of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act 2008 of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage;
[21/2008 wef 01/03/2010]
(e)that at the time of the marriage the defendant was suffering from venereal disease in a communicable form;
(f)that at the time of the marriage the defendant was pregnant by some person other than the plaintiff.
[42/2005]
Bars to relief where marriage is voidable
107.—(1)  The court shall not, in proceedings instituted after 1st June 1981, grant a judgment of nullity on the ground that a marriage is voidable (whether the marriage took place before or after that date) if the defendant satisfies the court that —
(a)the plaintiff, with knowledge that it was open to him to have the marriage avoided, so conducted himself in relation to the defendant as to lead the defendant reasonably to believe that he would not seek to do so; and
(b)it would be unjust to the defendant to grant the judgment.
[42/2005]
(2)  Without prejudice to subsection (1), the court shall not grant a judgment of nullity on the grounds mentioned in section 106(c), (d), (e) or (f) unless it is satisfied that proceedings were instituted within 3 years from the date of the marriage.
[42/2005]
(3)  Without prejudice to subsections (1) and (2), the court shall not grant a judgment of nullity on the grounds mentioned in section 106(e) or (f) unless it is satisfied that the plaintiff was, at the time of the marriage, ignorant of the facts alleged.
[42/2005]
(4)  Subsection (1) replaces, in relation to the grounds mentioned in section 106, any rule of law whereby a judgment may be refused by reason of approbation, ratification or lack of sincerity on the part of the plaintiff or on similar grounds.
[42/2005]
Marriage governed by foreign law
108.  Where, apart from this Act, any matter affecting the validity of a marriage would fall to be determined (in accordance with the rules of private international law) by reference to the law of a country outside Singapore, nothing in section 105, 106 or 107 shall —
(a)preclude the determination of the matter as aforesaid; or
(b)require the application to the marriage of the grounds or bars to relief mentioned in those sections except so far as are applicable in accordance with those rules.
[42/2005]
Application of sections 97 and 99 to nullity proceedings
109.  Sections 97 and 99 shall apply in relation to proceedings for nullity of marriage as if for any reference in those sections to divorce there were substituted a reference to nullity of marriage.
[42/2005]
Effect of judgment of nullity in case of voidable marriage
110.—(1)  If the court finds that the plaintiff’s case has been proved, it shall grant a judgment of nullity.
[42/2005]
(2)  A judgment of nullity granted after 1st June 1981 on the ground that a marriage is voidable shall operate to annul the marriage only as respects any time after the judgment has been made final, and the marriage shall, notwithstanding the judgment, be treated as if it had existed up to that time.
[42/2005]
Legitimacy of children of annulled marriages
111.—(1)  Where a marriage is annulled, any child who would have been the legitimate child of the parties to the marriage if it had been dissolved, instead of being annulled, at the date of the judgment shall be deemed to be their legitimate child, notwithstanding the annulment.
[42/2005]
(2)  The child of a void marriage born on or after 2nd May 1975 shall be deemed to be the legitimate child of his parents if, at the date of such void marriage, both or either of the parties reasonably believed that the marriage was valid.
[42/2005]
Chapter 4FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
CONSEQUENT ON MATRIMONIAL
PROCEEDINGS
Power of court to order division of matrimonial assets
112.—(1)  The court shall have power, when granting or subsequent to the grant of a judgment of divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage, to order the division between the parties of any matrimonial asset or the sale of any such asset and the division between the parties of the proceeds of the sale of any such asset in such proportions as the court thinks just and equitable.
[42/2005]
(2)  It shall be the duty of the court in deciding whether to exercise its powers under subsection (1) and, if so, in what manner, to have regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the following matters:
(a)the extent of the contributions made by each party in money, property or work towards acquiring, improving or maintaining the matrimonial assets;
(b)any debt owing or obligation incurred or undertaken by either party for their joint benefit or for the benefit of any child of the marriage;
(c)the needs of the children (if any) of the marriage;
(d)the extent of the contributions made by each party to the welfare of the family, including looking after the home or caring for the family or any aged or infirm relative or dependant of either party;
(e)any agreement between the parties with respect to the ownership and division of the matrimonial assets made in contemplation of divorce;
(f)any period of rent-free occupation or other benefit enjoyed by one party in the matrimonial home to the exclusion of the other party;
(g)the giving of assistance or support by one party to the other party (whether or not of a material kind), including the giving of assistance or support which aids the other party in the carrying on of his or her occupation or business; and
(h)the matters referred to in section 114(1) so far as they are relevant.
[42/2005]
(3)  The court may make all such other orders and give such directions as may be necessary or expedient to give effect to any order made under this section.
[42/2005]
(4)  The court may, at any time it thinks fit, extend, vary, revoke or discharge any order made under this section, and may vary any term or condition upon or subject to which any such order has been made.
[42/2005]
(5)  In particular, but without limiting the generality of subsections (3) and (4), the court may make any one or more of the following orders:
(a)an order for the sale of any matrimonial asset or any part thereof, and for the division, vesting or settlement of the proceeds;
(b)an order vesting any matrimonial asset owned by both parties jointly in both the parties in common in such shares as the court considers just and equitable;
(c)an order vesting any matrimonial asset or any part thereof in either party;
(d)an order for any matrimonial asset, or the sale proceeds thereof, to be vested in any person (including either party) to be held on trust for such period and on such terms as may be specified in the order;
(e)an order postponing the sale or vesting of any share in any matrimonial asset, or any part of such share, until such future date or until the occurrence of such future event or until the fulfilment of such condition as may be specified in the order;
(f)an order granting to either party, for such period and on such terms as the court thinks fit, the right personally to occupy the matrimonial home to the exclusion of the other party; and
(g)an order for the payment of a sum of money by one party to the other party.
[42/2005]
(6)  Where under any order made under this section one party is or may become liable to pay to the other party a sum of money, the court may direct that it shall be paid either in one sum or in instalments, and either with or without security, and otherwise in such manner and subject to such conditions (including a condition requiring the payment of interest) as the court thinks fit.
[42/2005]
(7)  Where, pursuant to this section, the court makes an order for the sale of any matrimonial asset and for the division, application or settlement of the proceeds, the court may appoint a person to sell the asset and divide, apply or settle the proceeds accordingly; and the execution of any instrument by the person so appointed shall have the same force and validity as if it had been executed by the person in whom the asset is vested.
[42/2005]
(8)  Any order under this section may be made upon such terms and subject to such conditions (if any) as the court thinks fit.
[42/2005]
(9)  Where the court, by any order under this section, appoints a person (including the Registrar or other officer of the court) to act as a trustee or to sell any matrimonial asset and to divide, apply and settle the proceeds thereof, the court may make provision in that order for the payment of remuneration to that person and for the reimbursement of his costs and expenses.
[42/2005]
(10)  In this section, “matrimonial asset” means —
(a)any asset acquired before the marriage by one party or both parties to the marriage —
(i)ordinarily used or enjoyed by both parties or one or more of their children while the parties are residing together for shelter or transportation or for household, education, recreational, social or aesthetic purposes; or
(ii)which has been substantially improved during the marriage by the other party or by both parties to the marriage; and
(b)any other asset of any nature acquired during the marriage by one party or both parties to the marriage,
but does not include any asset (not being a matrimonial home) that has been acquired by one party at any time by gift or inheritance and that has not been substantially improved during the marriage by the other party or by both parties to the marriage.
[42/2005]
Power of court to order maintenance
113.—(1)  The court may order a man to pay maintenance to his wife or former wife, or order a woman to pay maintenance to her incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband —
(a)during the course of any matrimonial proceedings; or
(b)when granting or subsequent to the grant of a judgment of divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage.
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(2)  The court may make an order under this section regardless when the marriage was solemnized, whether before, on or after the date of commencement of section 23 of the Women’s Charter (Amendment) Act 2016.
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Assessment of maintenance
114.—(1)  In determining the amount of any maintenance to be paid by a man to his wife or former wife, or by a woman to her incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband, the court shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case including the following matters:
(a)the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
(b)the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
(c)the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
(d)the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
(e)any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
(f)the contributions made by each of the parties to the marriage to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family; and
(g)in the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to either of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage that party will lose the chance of acquiring.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(2)  In exercising its powers under this section, the court shall endeavour so to place the parties, so far as it is practicable and, having regard to their conduct, just to do so, in the financial position in which they would have been if the marriage had not broken down and each had properly discharged his or her financial obligations and responsibilities towards the other.
[42/2005]
Power of court to order security for maintenance
115.—(1)  A maintenance order may provide for the payment of a lump sum or such periodical payment as the court may determine.
[42/2005]
(2)  The court may, in its discretion, when awarding maintenance, order the person liable to pay such maintenance to secure the whole or any part of it by vesting any property in trustees upon trust to pay the maintenance or part thereof out of the income from that property and, subject thereto, in trust for the settlor.
[42/2005]
Compounding of maintenance
116.  An agreement for the payment, in money or other property, of a capital sum in settlement of all future claims to maintenance, shall not be effective until it has been approved, or approved subject to conditions, by the court, but when so approved shall be a good defence to any claim for maintenance.
[42/2005]
Duration of orders for maintenance
117.  Except where an order for maintenance is expressed to be for any shorter period or where any such order has been rescinded, an order for maintenance shall expire —
(a)if the maintenance was unsecured —
(i)on the death of either spouse or former spouse;
(ii)in the case of maintenance payable to a former wife, upon her remarriage; or
(iii)in the case of maintenance payable to an incapacitated former husband, upon his remarriage; or
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(b)if the maintenance was secured —
(i)in the case of maintenance payable to a wife, on her death;
(ii)in the case of maintenance payable to a former wife, on her death or upon her remarriage;
(iii)in the case of maintenance payable to an incapacitated husband, on his death; or
(iv)in the case of maintenance payable to an incapacitated former husband, on his death or upon his remarriage.
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Power of court to vary orders for maintenance
118.  The court may at any time vary or rescind any subsisting order for maintenance, whether secured or unsecured, on the application of the person in whose favour or of the person against whom the order was made, or, in respect of secured maintenance, of the legal personal representatives of the latter, where it is satisfied that the order was based on any misrepresentation or mistake of fact or where there has been any material change in the circumstances.
[42/2005]
Power of court to vary agreements for maintenance
119.  Subject to section 116, the court may at any time and from time to time vary the terms of any agreement as to maintenance made between husband and wife, whether made before or after 1st June 1981, where it is satisfied that there has been any material change in the circumstances and notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any such agreement.
[42/2005]
Maintenance payable under order of court to be inalienable
120.  Maintenance payable to any person under any order of court shall not be assignable or transferable or liable to be attached, sequestered or levied upon for, or in respect of, any debt or claim whatsoever.
[42/2005]
Recovery of arrears of maintenance
121.—(1)  Subject to subsection (3), arrears of unsecured maintenance, whether payable by arrangement or under an order of court, shall be recoverable as a debt from the defaulter and, where they accrued due before the making of a bankruptcy order against the defaulter, shall be provable in the defaulter’s bankruptcy and, where they accrued due before the defaulter’s death, shall be a debt due from the defaulter’s estate.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(2)  Subject to subsection (3), arrears of unsecured maintenance which accrued due before the death of the person entitled thereto shall be recoverable as a debt by the legal personal representatives of such person.
[42/2005]
(3)  No amount owing as maintenance shall be recoverable in any suit if it accrued due more than 3 years before the institution of the suit unless the court, under special circumstances, otherwise allows.
[42/2005]
Chapter 4AFINANCIAL RELIEF
CONSEQUENTIAL ON FOREIGN
MATRIMONIAL PROCEEDINGS
Interpretation and application of this Chapter
121A.—(1)  In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires —
“applicant” means the person who applies for an order for financial relief;
“country” includes a territory;
“judicial or other proceedings” includes acts which constitute the means by which a divorce, an annulment of marriage or a legal separation may be obtained in a country and which are done in compliance with the law of that country;
“matrimonial asset” has the same meaning as in section 112(10);
“order for financial relief” means an order made under section 121G of a description referred to in that section.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(2)  This Chapter shall only apply to proceedings, decrees, orders or judgments commenced, made or given, as the case may be, on or after the date of commencement of section 12 of the Womenʼs Charter (Amendment) Act 2011.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
Applications for financial relief after overseas divorce, etc.
121B.  Where —
(a)a marriage has been dissolved or annulled, or the parties to a marriage have been legally separated, by means of judicial or other proceedings in a foreign country; and
(b)the divorce, annulment or judicial separation is entitled to be recognised as valid in Singapore under Singapore law,
either party to the marriage may apply to the court in the manner prescribed in the Family Justice Rules made under section 139 for an order for financial relief under this Chapter.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
[Act 27 of 2014 wef 01/01/2015]
Jurisdiction of court
121C.  The court shall have jurisdiction to hear an application for an order for financial relief only if —
(a)one of the parties to the marriage was domiciled in Singapore on the date of the application for leave under section 121D or was so domiciled on the date on which the divorce, annulment or judicial separation obtained in a foreign country took effect in that country; or
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(b)one of the parties to the marriage was habitually resident in Singapore for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding the date of the application for leave under section 121D or was so resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding the date on which the divorce, annulment or judicial separation obtained in a foreign country took effect in that country.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
Leave of court required for applications for financial relief
121D.—(1)  No application for an order for financial relief shall be made unless the leave of the court has been obtained in accordance with the Family Justice Rules made under section 139.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
[Act 27 of 2014 wef 01/01/2015]
(2)  The court shall not grant leave unless it considers that there is substantial ground for the making of an application for such an order.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(3)  The court may grant leave under this section notwithstanding that an order has been made by a court of competent jurisdiction in a foreign country requiring the other party to the marriage to make any payment or transfer any matrimonial asset to the applicant or a child of the marriage.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(4)  Leave under this section may be granted subject to such conditions as the court thinks fit.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
Interim orders for financial provision
121E.—(1)  Where leave is granted under section 121D and it appears to the court that the applicant or any child of the marriage is in immediate financial need, the court may make an interim order for —
(a)a man to make financial provision for his wife or former wife, as the case may be, or any child of the marriage;
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(aa)a woman to make financial provision for her incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband, as the case may be, or for any child of the marriage; or
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(b)a parent to make financial provision for any child of the marriage.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(2)  An interim order under subsection (1) may be made for such term, being a term beginning not earlier than the date of the grant of leave and ending with the date of the determination of the application for an order for financial relief, as the court thinks reasonable.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(3)  An interim order under subsection (1) may be made subject to such conditions as the court thinks fit.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
Duty of court to consider whether Singapore is appropriate forum for application
121F.—(1)  Before making an order for financial relief, the court shall consider whether in all the circumstances of the case, it would be appropriate for such an order to be made by a court in Singapore, and if the court is not satisfied that it would be appropriate, the court shall dismiss the application.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(2)  The court shall, in particular, have regard to the following matters:
(a)the connection which the parties to the marriage have with Singapore;
(b)the connection which those parties have with the country in which the marriage was dissolved or annulled or in which judicial separation was obtained;
(c)the connection which those parties have with any other foreign country;
(d)any financial benefit which the applicant or a child of the marriage has received, or is likely to receive, in consequence of the divorce, annulment or judicial separation, by virtue of any agreement or the operation of the law of a foreign country;
(e)in a case where an order has been made by a court of competent jurisdiction in a foreign country requiring the other party to the marriage to make any payment or transfer any property for the benefit of the applicant or a child of the marriage, the financial relief given by the order and the extent to which the order has been complied with or is likely to be complied with;
(f)any right which the applicant has, or has had, to apply for financial relief from the other party to the marriage under the law of any foreign country, and if the applicant has omitted to exercise that right, the reason for that omission;
(g)the availability in Singapore of any matrimonial asset in respect of which an order made under section 121G in favour of the applicant could be made;
(h)the extent to which any order made under section 121G is likely to be enforceable; and
(i)the length of time which has elapsed since the date of the divorce, annulment or judicial separation.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
Orders for financial relief
121G.—(1)  On an application by a party to a marriage for an order for financial relief, the court may make any one or more of the orders which it could have made under section 112, 113 or 127(1) in the like manner as if a decree of divorce, nullity or judicial separation in respect of the marriage had been granted in Singapore.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(2)  Sections 112(2) to (10), 114 to 121 and 127(2) shall apply, with the necessary modifications, and as appropriate, to an order made under subsection (1).
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(3)  Upon the court making a secured order under subsection (1) or at any time thereafter, the court may make any order which the court could have made if the secured order had been made under section 112, 115 or 127.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
Chapter 5WELFARE OF CHILDREN
Meaning of “child”
122.  In this Chapter, wherever the context so requires, “child” means a child of the marriage as defined in section 92 but who is below the age of 21 years.
[42/2005]
Arrangements for welfare of children
123.—(1)  Subject to this section, the court shall not make final any judgment of divorce or nullity of marriage or grant a judgment of judicial separation unless the court is satisfied as respects every child —
(a)that arrangements have been made for the welfare of the child and that those arrangements are satisfactory or are the best that can be devised in the circumstances; or
(b)that it is impracticable for the party or parties appearing before the court to make any such arrangements.
[42/2005]
(2)  The court may, if it thinks fit, proceed without observing the requirements of subsection (1) if —
(a)it appears that there are circumstances making it desirable that the interim judgment be made final or, as the case may be, that the judgment of judicial separation should be granted without delay; and
(b)the court has obtained a satisfactory undertaking from either or both of the parties to bring the question of the arrangements for the child before the court within a specified time.
[42/2005]
(3)  In this section and section 124, “welfare”, in relation to a child, includes the custody and education of the child and financial provision for him.
[42/2005]
Orders on welfare of children
124.  In any proceedings for divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage, the court may, at any stage of the proceedings, or after a final judgment has been granted, make such orders as it thinks fit with respect to the welfare of any child and may vary or discharge the said orders, and may, if it thinks fit, direct that proceedings be commenced for placing the child under the protection of the court.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Paramount consideration to be welfare of child
125.—(1)  The court may at any time by order place a child in the custody, or in the care and control, of the child’s father or mother or (where there are exceptional circumstances making it undesirable that the child be entrusted to either parent) of any other relative of the child or of any organisation or association the objects of which include child welfare, or of any other suitable person.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(2)  In deciding in whose custody, or in whose care and control, a child should be placed, the paramount consideration shall be the welfare of the child and subject to this, the court shall have regard —
(a)to the wishes of the parents of the child; and
(b)to the wishes of the child, where he or she is of an age to express an independent opinion.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Orders subject to conditions
126.—(1)  An order for custody may be made subject to such conditions as the court may think fit to impose and, subject to such conditions, if any, as may from time to time apply, shall entitle the person given custody to decide all questions relating to the upbringing and education of the child.
[42/2005]
(2)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), an order for custody may —
(a)contain conditions as to the place where the child is to reside, as to the manner of his or her education and as to the religion in which he or she is to be brought up;
(b)provide for the child to be temporarily in the care and control of some person other than the person given custody;
(c)provide for the child to visit a parent deprived of custody, or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or has been deprived of custody, at such times and for such periods as the court may consider reasonable;
(d)give a parent deprived of custody or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or has been deprived of custody the right of access to the child at such times and with such frequency as the court may consider reasonable; or
(e)prohibit the person given custody from taking the child out of Singapore.
[42/2005]
(2A)  An order for the care and control of a child may be made subject to such conditions as the court may think fit to impose.
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(2B)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2A), an order for the care and control of a child may —
(a)contain conditions as to the place where the child is to reside;
(b)provide for the child to visit a parent who does not have custody or care and control of the child, or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or does not have custody or care and control of the child, at such times and for such periods as the court may consider reasonable;
(c)give a parent who does not have custody or care and control of the child, or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or does not have custody or care and control of the child, the right of access to the child at such times and with such frequency as the court may consider reasonable; or
(d)prohibit the person given care and control of the child from taking the child out of Singapore.
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(3)  Despite subsections (1) and (2A), where an order for custody, or an order for care and control, is in force, a person must not take the child who is the subject of the order out of Singapore, except with the written consent of both parents or the leave of the court.
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(4)  Subsection (3) does not prevent the taking out of Singapore for a period of less than one month of the child by the person given custody, or care and control, of the child or by any other person who has the written consent of the person given custody, or care and control, of the child to take the child out of Singapore.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(5)  Any person who contravenes subsection (3) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
[42/2005]
Power of court to order maintenance for children
127.—(1)  During the pendency of any matrimonial proceedings or when granting or at any time subsequent to the grant of a judgment of divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage, the court may order a parent to pay maintenance for the benefit of his child in such manner as the court thinks fit.
[42/2005]
(2)  The provisions of Parts VIII and IX shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to an application for maintenance and a maintenance order made under subsection (1).
[42/2005]
Power of court to vary order for custody, etc.
128.  The court may at any time vary or rescind any order for the custody, or the care and control, of a child on the application of any interested person, where it is satisfied that the order was based on any misrepresentation or mistake of fact or where there has been any material change in the circumstances.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Power of court to vary agreement for custody, etc.
129.  The court may, at any time and from time to time, vary the terms of any agreement relating to the custody, or the care and control, of a child, regardless when the agreement was made, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in that agreement, where it is satisfied that it is reasonable and for the welfare of the child to do so.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Court to have regard to advice of welfare officers, etc.
130.  When considering any question relating to the custody, or the care and control, of any child, the court shall, whenever it is practicable, have regard to the advice of a person, whether or not a public officer, who is trained or experienced in child welfare but shall not be bound to follow such advice.
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Power of court to restrain taking of child out of Singapore
131.—(1)  The court may, on the application of the father or mother of a child —
(a)where any matrimonial proceedings are pending; or
(b)where, under any agreement or order of court, one parent has custody, or care and control, of the child to the exclusion of the other,
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
issue an injunction restraining the other parent from taking the child out of Singapore or may give leave for such child to be taken out of Singapore either unconditionally or subject to such conditions or such undertaking as the court may think fit.
[42/2005]
(2)  The court may, on the application of any interested person, issue an injunction restraining any person, other than a person having custody, or care and control, of a child, from taking the child out of Singapore.
[42/2005]
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(3)  [Deleted by Act 19 of 2016 wef 01/10/2017]
Power of court to set aside and prevent dispositions intended to defeat claims to maintenance
132.—(1)  Where —
(a)any matrimonial proceedings are pending;
(b)an order has been made under section 112 and has not been complied with;
(c)an order for maintenance has been made under section 113 or 127 and has not been rescinded;
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
(d)maintenance is payable under any agreement to or for the benefit of a wife or former wife, an incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband, or a child; or
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(e)an order has been made under section 121E or 121G and has not been rescinded or complied with,
[2/2011 wef 01/06/2011]
the court shall have power on application —
(i)to set aside any disposition of property, if it is satisfied that the disposition of property has been made within the preceding 3 years, with the object on the part of the person making the disposition of —
(A)reducing that person’s means to pay maintenance; or
(B)depriving that person’s wife, former wife, incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband of any rights in relation to that property; and
[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
(ii)if it is satisfied that any disposition of property is intended to be made with any such object, to grant an injunction preventing that disposition.
[42/2005]
(2)  In this section —
“disposition” includes a sale, gift, lease, mortgage or any other transaction whereby ownership or possession of the property is transferred or encumbered but does not include a disposition made for money or money’s worth to or in favour of a person acting in good faith and in ignorance of the object with which the disposition is made;
“property” means property of any nature, movable or immovable, and includes money.
[42/2005]
Chapter 6GENERAL PROVISIONS
Procedure
133.  Subject to the provisions of this Part, all proceedings under this Part shall be regulated by the Family Justice Rules made under section 139.
[42/2005]
[Act 27 of 2014 01/01/2015]
Evidence
134.—(1)  In proceedings under this Part, the parties and the husbands and wives of such parties shall be competent and compellable to give evidence.
[42/2005]
(2)  No witness whether a party to the proceedings or not shall be liable to be asked or bound to answer any question tending to show that he or she has been guilty of adultery unless such witness has already given evidence in the same proceedings in disproof of his or her alleged adultery.
[42/2005]
135.  [Repealed by Act 27 of 2014 wef 01/10/2014]
Power to rescind interim judgment in certain cases
136.  Where the court on granting a judgment of divorce held that the only fact mentioned in section 95(3) on which the plaintiff was entitled to rely in support of his writ was that mentioned in section 95(3)(d), the court may, on an application made by the defendant at any time before the judgment is made final, rescind the judgment if it is satisfied that the plaintiff misled the defendant (whether intentionally or unintentionally) about any matter which the defendant took into account in deciding to consent to the grant of a judgment.
[42/2005]
Appeals
137.—(1)  All judgments and orders made by the court in proceedings under this Part shall be enforced, and may be appealed from, as if they were judgments or orders made by the court in the exercise of its original civil jurisdiction.
[42/2005]
(2)  There shall be no appeal on the subject of costs only.
[42/2005]
Power to allow intervention on terms
138.  In any case in which any person is alleged to have committed adultery with any party to any proceedings under this Part, or in which the court considers, in the interest of any person not already a party to the proceedings, that that person should be made a party to the proceedings, the court may, if it thinks fit, allow that person to intervene upon such terms, if any, as the court thinks just.
[42/2005]
Family Justice Rules
139.—(1)  The Family Justice Rules Committee constituted under section 46(1) of the Family Justice Act 2014 may make Family Justice Rules regulating and prescribing the procedure and the practice to be followed for the purposes of this Part and any matters incidental to or relating to any such procedure or practice.
(2)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), Family Justice Rules may be made for the following purposes:
(a)fixing and regulating the fees and costs payable in proceedings under this Part; and
(b)providing for the forms to be used in proceedings under this Part.
(3)  The Family Justice Rules may, instead of providing for any matter, refer to any provision made or to be made about that matter by practice directions issued for the time being by the registrar of the Family Justice Courts.
(4)  All Family Justice Rules made under this section shall be presented to Parliament as soon as possible after publication in the Gazette.
[Act 27 of 2014 wef 01/01/2015]