What are some of the reasons for divorce in Singapore? Here are some of the more common reasons from our experience as divorce lawyers.




A 2016 Prudential Relationship Index, based on an online survey of 500 Singaporeans, shows about a quarter of married people are thinking of divorce.

What are some of the most common reasons for divorce in Singapore? Note that reasons for divorce are not the same as grounds for divorce, which were discussed in an earlier article here.  The reasons why you want a divorce will lead to the legal grounds for a divorce.

Here are some of the more common reasons why couples divorce.


1. Communication breakdown

This is a primary reason many marriages end in divorce. After a period of time, couples commonly no longer have meaningful conversations with each other.  Worse, these conversations may even turn caustic or hurtful. Communication breakdown happens especially when there is incompatibility – it is difficult to communicate meaningfully when couples do not share the same interests.


2.  Cheating on spouse

Cheating on the spouse is a major reason why people get divorced in Singapore.  If this does not show up in official court documents, it is because proving adultery may be difficult or parties may have decided to divorce amicably instead of slugging it out.  In many cases we see, many clients see cheating as one of the reasons why they want a divorce.  However, as they do not have the proof that is required to prove adultery, most file for divorce citing “unreasonable behaviour” instead.

Many spouses (husband or wife) can put up with a lot of unhappiness – but most want out once they discover  the spouse has cheated.  It is the betrayal of trust  in what was supposed to be a scared relationship and this usually spells the end of the marriage.


3.   Money problems

Money problem is another major reason for break ups.  In many cases we have seen, one spouse (usually the wife) finally gets tired of the other spouse’s perpetual money problems. The wife feels it is time to stop giving money to the husband to feed his gambling debt or to solve his perpetual business woes, and time to start saving money for herself and the children.


4.   Different Parenting Ideas

Most couples have no idea of the difference of opinions that can arise once they have children. This can cause real conflict in a marriage, and could even result in the end of the marriage.


5.   Cultural Issues

In Singapore, where more locals are marrying foreigners, this can be an issue.  About one in every three marriages in 2015 was between a Singapore citizen and a foreigner (source:  Population in Brief 2016 report released on Sept. 27 2016 by the National Population and Talent Division).  Among marriages registered in Singapore in 2009, 7.9 per cent of those involving a Singaporean and a non-resident ended before the fifth year of marriage.  This is higher than the 6.4 per cent for resident marriages – those involving at least one Singapore citizen or permanent resident.

It is not uncommon for us to see situations in which the foreign spouse left Singapore with little or no warning.  This can be attributed to the foreign spouse having no real commitment to the spouse or an inability to adapt to life in Singapore with the local spouse.


6.   Boredom with the spouse

A lack of excitement in the marriage also contributes to couples getting a divorce.  After a few years, the romance fades and the life with the spouse just isn’t as exciting as before.  The marriage is gong through the motions, and more than not, couples stay together because they have young children.  But where there is boredom and no commitment, this usually spells the beginning of the end of the marriage.  This can also lead to extra-martial affairs.


Seek help

If you are having marital difficulties, recognise the symptoms and do not be afraid to seek counselling.

Seek help early from a professional counsellor to work with you and your spouse to improve your marriage relationship.   If you wish to seek help, a good start is to contact your nearest Family Service Centre.  You can locate the nearest Family Service Centre by going to the Ministry of Social and Family Development website here.

A counsellor can help you and your spouse to:

  • understand the problems and conflicts in your marriage
  • improve your marriage by resolving these conflicts.
  • rediscover why you married each other in the first place.
  • regain the trust and commitment in your marriage.



Adultery and Divorce under Singapore Law – 10 Things to know

Ministry of Social and Family Development website

Grounds for divorce in Singapore under the Women’s Charter 

10 Things you never knew about divorce according to Singapore law




At PKWA Law, our divorce lawyers only practise family law, which means that when you engage us, you are engaging specialists in family law.

At PKWA Law, our team of Family Lawyers are consistently named as leading Singapore divorce lawyers by respected independent legal publications such as Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Singapore Family Lawyers.




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