USING ADULTERY AS A GROUND FOR DIVORCE IN SINGAPORE
Pursuant to section 95(1) of the Women’s Charter, the sole ground for divorce in Singapore is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
Using Adultery as a ground for divorce
Under section 95(1) of the Women’s Charter, the sole ground for divorce in Singapore is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Section 95(3) of the Women’s Charter then provides 5 facts in which the Plaintiff must prove to the Court for the marriage to be dissolved.
What are the 5 facts on which a marriage can be dissolved?
The 5 facts to be proven before a divorce can be granted are:
Unreasonable behaviour of the Defendant
Desertion by the Defendant for a continuous period of at least 2 years
3 years’ separation with Defendant’s consent (uncontested)
4 years’ separation without Defendant’s consent (contested)
What is adultery under the Singapore law?
Adultery is committed when a spouse engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is not his or her married partner.
Further, in order to plead adultery as a fact to dissolve the marriage, the Plaintiff must also show that it is intolerable for him or her to live with the Defendant as a result of the adultery.
How do you prove adultery?
The most straightforward way to prove adultery is that a confession has been made. Otherwise, it may be a challenge to prove adultery as it requires a high standard of proof. Having a Private Investigator’s (“PI”) may be persuasive depending on the circumstances but this will usually incur some cost. Having said that, if adultery is indeed proven based on the PI report, the Plaintiff may be awarded costs for the PI report.
If you are not able to prove adultery, you may still file for divorce based on the Defendant’s unreasonable behaviour.
What about the third party?
There is no need to name the third party as a Co-Defendant in the divorce proceedings.
Is there a time bar?
It is worth noting that the Plaintiff cannot rely on the fact of adultery if he or she had continued to live with the Defendant for more than 6 months after discovery the adultery.