A divorce is the legal procedure that ends a marriage. To get a divorce, you will need to file for a divorce with the Family Justice Courts (Civil marriages) or the Syariah Court (Muslim marriages).
To get a divorce, you need to file for divorce with the Family Justice Courts and comply with the legal requirements of divorce. The law on divorce for civil marriages in Singapore is governed by the Women’s Charter.
To encourage divorcing couples to make informed decisions that prioritise the well-being of children, divorcing parents with minor children below 21 years of age and do not have a signed formal agreement pertaining to a parenting plan and all other divorce matters, will need to attend a mandatory parenting programme before they can file for the divorce.
Find out more and how to apply for the Mandatory Co-Parenting Programme.
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Family Justice Courts
Established in 2014, the Family Justice Courts (FJC) are a restructure of our Court system to better serve litigants by bringing together all family related work under a specialised body of courts. FJC is comprised of the Family Division of the High Court, the Family Courts and the Youth Courts and is administered by the Presiding Judge of the FJC. The cases dealt with by FJC include those relating to divorce and ancillary matters, family violence, maintenance, adoption and guardianship, youth court, mental capacity and probate and succession. Its mission is to make justice accessible to families and youth through effective counselling, mediation and adjudication.
Divorce Support at Family Assist
FAQs on Divorce
To file for a divorce, you need to apply at the Syariah Court (SYC) and comply with the requirements under the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA). Parties applying for divorce will be required to attend marriage counselling at one of SYC's appointed counselling agencies.
Divorce may have negative effects on the affected couples, on their children, on their families and on the community at large. Hence, Islam discourages divorce.
If couples decide to proceed with divorce after attending counselling, they will be required to attend mediation. The aim is to help couples settle the ancillary issues amicably. If parties cannot reach a settlement, the Court schedules a hearing and makes the appropriate orders on divorce and related issues under the provisions of (AMLA).
For more information on the SYC, click here.
Divorce support comprises specialised programmes and services that provide support and care for divorcing and divorced families through a child-centric approach. Divorced support is delivered by FAM@FSCs and two Divorce Support Specialist Agencies (DSSAs).
Find out more about the programmes and services offered.
The Women’s Charter was enhanced in 2011 and allows the Family Justice Court to utilise a wider range of measures with respect to maintenance enforcement cases.
A referral protocol between the Community Justice Centre (CJC) and Social Services Offices (SSOs) was put in place to ensure that vulnerable families receive the necessary support they require. The protocol allows:
- parties (both men and women) identified at the CJC to be referred to the nearest SSO for timely assistance; and
- parties (both men and women) seeking help at the SSOs to be referred to the CJC for legal assistance.
In both cases, as long as a party is in need, the SSOs and/or CJC will render appropriate assistance, e.g. cash or food vouchers. The primary concern is to ensure the family’s welfare.
From 1 July 2016, a husband or ex-husband who is incapacitated (supported by medical certification) up to the point of divorce, cannot earn a livelihood and is unable to support himself may apply for maintenance. This incapacitation must be evident throughout the maintenance application process.