DIVORCE

A divorce is a legal procedure to end a marriage. The procedures for a Muslim divorce and a civil divorce are different. Cases in which all parties to the application are Muslims or where the parties were married under the provisions of the Muslim law are heard in the Syariah Court. Divorce for a civil marriage is heard in the Family Court.

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What are the types of Muslim divorce?

There are four types of divorce under the Administration of Muslim Law Act, Chapter 3.

Am I eligible to apply for a Muslim divorce?

You may submit your application for a divorce at Syariah Court if you satisfy the following:

  • Your marriage is a Muslim marriage.
  • You have attended counselling sessions under the
    Marriage Counselling Programme (MCP).

I have decided to apply for divorce. What should I do?

Please register at Syariah Court. You can download the registration form from the Syariah Court website and submit it with photocopies of the following documents:

  • Your marriage certificate
  • Children’s birth certificates
    (from current marriage and for
    children below 21 only)
  • Your identity card/passport

Do note that your application will not be processed if copies of the supporting documents are not attached or information provided by you in the registration form is incomplete.

Once your registration is accepted, you will be required to attend counselling at Syariah Court’s appointed agency before you are able to commence divorce proceedings.

NOTE: From 1 January 2015 onwards, if you have children up to 14 years old, you and your spouse are required to submit the parenting plan to Court when filing for divorce. During counselling, the MCP counsellors will discuss the parenting plan with you. The Parenting Plan Discussion template will be used as reference by both parties. You and your spouse should use this template to include all details discussed during the counselling session.

What happens after counselling?

If there is no resolution and either party wishes to proceed with the divorce, the filing party will be given a date to commence divorce proceedings. The person who files the originating summons is known as the plaintiff. The other party is known as the defendant.

How does the divorce process work?

How do I commence divorce proceedings?

To commence divorce proceedings, you must file the following documents:

  • Register with Syariah Court
  • Originating summons
  • Agreed parenting plan or proposed parenting plan
    (for couples with children aged 14 years old and below)

  • Completed case statement (Form 7 for male plaintiff / Form 8 for female plaintiff

Your case statement MUST specify the ground or grounds for divorce which you are relying upon. (Please see the types of divorce mentioned above). Incompatibility is not a valid ground for divorce.

My marriage was solemnised in Singapore.
What can I expect from my first court session?

Mediation is your first court session. Both you and the defendant must attend a mediation session in person even though you and/or the defendant have engaged a lawyer. At the mediation, the divorce and ancillary issues such as custody of children, division of matrimonial property and payment of nafkah iddah (maintenance) and mut’ah (consolatory gift pursuant to divorce) will be discussed. If there is an agreement at the mediation, the court will grant a divorce following the terms of the agreement.

If no agreement is reached, the Syariah Court will fix the proceedings for a PreTrial Conference where further directions will be given. After that, the case goes on to the trial. The court may also decide to refer the case to a hakam (arbitrator) who has been selected by the divorcing parties on the direction of the court. Throughout the course the divorce proceedings, if no maintenance has been provided for, the wife can make an application for interim maintenance in the Family Court.

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