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Re: All you need to know about the WOMEN'S CHARTER

PART X
CHAPTER 1 — DIVORCE

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;

"court" means the High Court or a Judge thereof;

"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 Rules of Court, 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]

(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]

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 Rules of Court 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]
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