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Where to Hire a Divorce Lawyer in Singapore

Divorce Lawyer Singapore
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Looking for helpful advice from a divorce lawyer in Singapore? We outline the divorce process in Singapore and divorce lawyer fees. These Singapore law firms have all the legal expertise you need to help settle your separation.

Getting a divorce in Singapore can be challenging, especially if you’re far from your usual support system. It can also be particularly tricky to get divorced here if you’re an expat on a DP or any other visa/pass. But if you have been considering filing for divorce and want a quick understanding of your options either as a local or an expat, we’ve put together a useful guide to some of the most common FAQs when it comes to divorce on the red dot – this useful downloadable from the Singapore courts is also a great place to start. If you and your spouse are going through a tough time, it’s worth attending marriage counselling prior to contemplating separation or divorce. Have you already made up your mind to divorce? We’ve shortlisted some top Singapore law firms and divorce lawyers in Singapore to help you get the process going.

      Read more: How to break the news of your divorce to the kids

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Singapore Divorce FAQs for Locals & Expats
Divorce Lawyers in Singapore & Divorce Lawyer Fees

FAQs about Getting a Divorce in Singapore

You probably have a million questions about how to begin the divorce process. We shortlist the most commonly asked questions about getting a divorce in Singapore.

Read More: ‘How Play Therapy helped my daughter deal with the trauma of divorce’

What are the grounds for divorce in Singapore?

In order to file for a divorce, you and your spouse must first meet these requirements:

  • Be a Singapore citizen or have lived in Singapore for three continuous years prior to the filing of a divorce application
  • Have been married for at least three years
  • Are married under civil law. Marriages under Syariah law should be filed for divorce in the Syariah Court.

You will require leave of court (permission) if your marriage is less than three years. This typically requires exceptional circumstances such as abuse, desertion etc, and is filed on top of your divorce application.

Can I get divorced without a lawyer in Singapore?

Yes, you can get divorced without a lawyer in Singapore, as you do not need legal representation to file for a divorce. However, a divorce lawyer can provide you with independent legal advice, especially if your divorce is not an amicable one.

There are a few routes for divorce in Singapore:

Contested divorce
A contested divorce is where you and your spouse are unable to agree on the terms for issues such as child custody. As such, couples divorcing this way will have to attend a trial to provide evidence that supports their respective claims and cases on how these issues should be resolved. These divorce proceedings can be challenging and may require plenty of time to resolve before the court can grant you an interim judgment. Click here to find out more about the processes for a contested divorce in Singapore.

Simplified uncontested divorce 
Previously, the sole reason for getting a divorce in Singapore was the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage, which had to be proven by one or more of these five facts – adultery, unreasonable behaviour and desertion, separation of three years with consent, or separation of four years without consent. In 2022, Singapore passed a new bill to minimise acrimonious divorce proceedings called “divorce by mutual agreement”, though this law has yet to be in force. In simpler terms, this allows couples to agree that the divorce is by mutual agreement without accusing or blaming one another. This fact can be cited in a simplified uncontested divorce, whereby you agree that your marriage has broken down and you’ve come to an agreement on all issues in your divorce, such as child custody, financial matters and other ancillary issues. Click here to read more about the differences between a simplified uncontested divorce and an amicable divorce, and the processes for each one.

Can expats get divorced in Singapore?

divorce lawyers singapore - Expat divorce in Singapore
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Yes, but this only applies where at least one party has a strong connection to Singapore. This is when one party is either:

  • Domiciled in Singapore: You have a permanent home here (not applicable to expats who are here for temporary work purposes or to study).
  • Habitually resident in Singapore: At least one party has been a resident in Singapore for at least three years immediately before applying for divorce in Singapore. In cases where there are long absences – for example, if one party has spent long periods of time out of Singapore during the course of the marriage – this may be categorised as a “break in continuity” of your residence. Business trips or brief holidays are typically not counted.

What happens to my PR, DP or LVTP after I file for a divorce in Singapore?

If you’re a long-term visit pass (LTVP) holder with a Singaporean spouse, then the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will generally facilitate the renewal of your pass until the end of your divorce proceedings – if you have a Singaporean child and a local sponsor to support your application. Should your spouse choose to not renew your LTVP, ICA will consider other mitigating factors for you to stay in Singapore. Your LTVP will also be renewed should you have custody of your Singaporean children. According to this response in the Straits Times, “Singaporean spouses cannot unilaterally cancel the LTVP held by the foreign spouse without the latter’s consent. ICA requires both the Singaporean spouse-sponsor and foreign spouse to attend an interview to assess the cancellation request.”

Singapore PRs generally retain their residency status until the point of expiry, after which you can apply for PR status that is non-spousal dependent or simply renew your re-entry permit (REP); this depends entirely on ICA rules, however.

DP holders whose passes are dependent on the spouse will typically have these revoked after the divorce has been granted. You will be issued a temporary 30-day Short Term Visit Pass. In these 30 days, DP holders going through a divorce may seek employment in Singapore in order to qualify for an employment pass or a work permit or request an extension of the Short Term Visit Pass where needed.

Hague Convention laws may also apply to your situation, making it difficult to leave Singapore after a divorce. However, these outcomes will vary entirely, depending on your personal circumstances, the type of divorce you are undergoing and ICA’s rules in general. As such, it might be more favourable for you to file for divorce in a jurisdiction that is favourable to you (your birth country or the country where you were married, for example). The best way to determine the right answer for your situation is to consult a divorce lawyer in Singapore.

How do I begin the divorce process in Singapore? What documents will I need?

Divorce Lawyers Singapore

The party that wants a divorce will have to kickstart the process by filing certain documents in the Family Justice Courts. Typically, you will require the following documents to file for a divorce in Singapore, all of which a divorce lawyer can prepare for you:

  • Writ for Divorce: This is filled by the plaintiff (the party filing for divorce) to commence divorce proceedings against the defendant (the person you are divorcing).
  • Statement of Claim: This provides information such as the length of your marriage, the number of children, and the reason why the marriage has broken down. This document will also state your claims for ancillary relief – for example, if you want to divide the matrimonial home or seek custody of the children.
  • Statement of Particulars: This typically states the details of the marriage’s breakdown alongside the date you began your separation and other relevant information.
  • Proposed Parenting Plan: This is a proposal for how children – under 21 years of age who are shared with the defendant – will be parented. In amicable divorce proceedings, you will file an Agreed Parenting Plan instead.
  • Proposed Matrimonial Property Plan: This document only applies if you both co-own an HDB flat. It will detail what happens to the flat after the divorce. If both parties have already discussed and agreed to a solution prior to filing, then you will file an Agreed Matrimonial Property Plan instead.

If you are representing yourself, the filing can be done via eLitigation (for subscribers of the service) or Divorce eService (you will need SingPass to access this). There are filing fees too, and you can click here for a list of chargeable fees for e-filing.

Note: If you have already successfully filed for divorce in another country, Singapore’s courts cannot grant you another divorce here. And while prenuptial agreements are a great way to begin an amicable divorce proceeding, the Singapore court may decline to uphold it if it goes against the requirements in the Women’s Charter. Click here to find out more about filing for a divorce as an expat in Singapore.

What are the stages of getting a divorce in Singapore?

Divorce on the red dot is a two-stage process, no matter the type of divorce. First, there is the dissolution of marriage, where the courts determine that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down”. This will result in the passing of an Interim Judgment that officially dissolves your marriage. It is followed by the ancillary matters stage, where the court decides how spousal maintenance, child custody and other affairs should be handled. You can apply to make the Interim Judgment final three months after receiving it, or if you have settled all your ancillary matters. Upon this, you will receive a Certificate of Final Judgment, which concludes all divorce proceedings.

What happens to our HDB flat or private property if we get a divorce?

This depends on what is considerd a matrimonial asset. These include assets “acquired by one or both parties during the marriage, used by one or both parties or their children for various purposes or acquired before the marriage but substantially improved in quality during the marriage” – as per section 112(10) of the Women’s Charter.

Common assets include the family car, CPF cash balances, jewellery, businesses, the matrimonial home where you both lived with your children while married and more. In the ancillary matters stage of your divorce in Singapore, the court will consider the extent of each party’s financial contribution towards “obtaining, maintaining and improving the asset”; non-financial contributions (caregiving, child-rearing or the extent of support given by one party to the other to pursue their career); debts owed; the needs of the children, and also the needs and financial independence of both parties after the divorce. Additionally, there are several other ways the division of your HDB flat or private property is determined. For example, you and your partner could agree on terms regarding the property prior to filing – you may transfer your share to your partner, or the property can be sold and the proceeds split between both parties.

Does my divorce lawyer also handle child custody?

divorce lawyers in singapore - child custody
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Yes. Divorce lawyers in Singapore typically assist divorcing parties with issues such as child custody, spousal maintenance and property division. The best way to determine this is to consult a divorce lawyer in Singapore (see below) to determine your needs prior to filing for a divorce.

It should be noted that in certain child custody disputes, the court may ask the Ministry of Social and Family Development to investigate and produce a “social report” before a decision is made. This typically applies when parents cannot agree on custody arrangements, when concerns about access to the children are raised by either party or if the Court has other concerns.

Is a marriage annulment the same as getting a divorce?

No, it is not. An annulment is where couples “dissolve a marriage and declare it null”. These typically occur on grounds such as fraud, mental illness, bigamy or underage marriage, forced consent or failure to disclose personal details such as criminal history, impotence or an STD. Either party can initiate an annulment, and you’ll need to submit evidence of your claim.

How much are divorce lawyer fees in Singapore?

Divorce lawyer
Image credit: Getty

In general, divorce lawyers charge between $150-$500 for a pre-divorce consultation (while some divorce lawyers may offer a free initial consultation). At the consultation, your divorce lawyer will run through your options with you after hearing your case and situation. Uncontested divorce costs typically range from $1,500 to $3,500 while a contested divorce could cost between $10,000 to $35,000. However, these are merely ballpark figures that depend on your divorce lawyer’s charges, disbursements or GST or the type of divorce package offered by your divorce lawyer of choice. You can ask your lawyer upfront about an “all-in” cost structure, inclusive of GST, court filing fees and other disbursements.

Where to find a divorce lawyer in Singapore

Derrick Soh Law Corporation

divorce lawyer singapore derrick soh law corporation

Derrick Soh Law Corporation is a law firm dedicated to helping clients navigate through the complex challenges and stress of a divorce. Lawyers Derrick Soh and Samantha Soh are on hand to guide you through the divorce process so you can feel confident knowing that your case is in the best hands. These lawyers have experience in dealing with all areas of divorce — both contested and uncontested divorces — with issues relating from relocation to maintenance, child custody and division of assets. They have assisted a significant number of disputes and obtained results that meet their clients’ expectations. Whether you want to reach out to understand your rights and get a feel of how the divorce process works or engage a lawyer to take on your case urgently, the lawyers at Derrick Soh Law Corporation pride themselves in getting to know their clients and fully understanding their immediate needs and long-term interests so they can help come to a satisfactory resolution. Ask about their bespoke fee structure that fits your legal needs and budget.

Derrick Soh Law Corporation, 77 High Street, #08-03, High Street Plaza, Singapore 179433, Email: [email protected]; Tel: (+65) 9810 2551

Amy Lim Law Practice

Founding partner Amy Lim is a survivor of a protracted and acrimonious divorce herself, and brings her unique perspective to the table for all her clients. She is particularly passionate about helping women in abusive or disadvantaged situations. Amy and her team work to map out a strategy that suits your needs and aim to support you from the beginning until the end of the proceedings. Amy is also an accredited family mediator, is trained in Cross-Border Family Mediation and also has experience in dealing with family disputes involving expats.

Amy Lim Law Practice, 1 North Bridge Road, High Street Centre, #08-08, Singapore 179094, Tel: (+65) 6550 6306 or (+65) 9338 5040

Gloria James-Civetta & Co (GJC Law)

Bilingual in English and Mandarin, founder Gloria James-Civetta has more than two decades of experience in local and expat divorces in Singapore. Some of her services include custody battles, child abduction matters, consent orders and cross-border divorces involving jurisdictions like the UK, Australia, USA, Europe, China and other Southeast Asian countries. In addition to being a divorce lawyer in Singapore, Gloria is also a Family Justice Court-appointed child representative and parenting coordinator lawyer – she represents children in high conflict or contested family court proceedings. Gloria and her team also work in other family law specialities such as maintenance disputes, international family law, adoptions, and prenuptial & postnuptial agreements. Gloria has her own blog dedicated to legal advice for families dealing with divorce. This Singapore law firm also offers a free, 20-minute consultation with its lawyers who will explain the process of getting a divorce in Singapore, and whether you meet the necessary requirements.

Gloria James-Civetta & Co, 3 Church Street, Samsung Hub, # 15-04, Singapore 049483, Tel: (+65) 6337 0469 or (+65) 9725 4455 (after-hours enquiries)


IRB Law’s team of divorce lawyers in Singapore work to find solutions that suit you in a non-confrontational and constructive manner. They also undertake other issues such as prenuptial agreements, division of matrimonial assets and child custody. IRB also is experienced in Syariah law practice and can advise clients on all aspects of divorcing under Syariah law in Singapore. Clients report IRB Law to be efficient and effective. Read more about IRB Law here!

I.R.B Law LLP, multiple locations in Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6298 2537 or (+65) 6980 7814 (WhatsApp) 


This award-winning Singapore law firm specialises in various areas of family law, including divorce and annulments, custody, prenups and more. The goal is to settle your divorce in Singapore as amicably as possible, and the team offers a free first consultation so you know how to best proceed. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, PKWA Law’s divorce lawyer fees are fixed, clear and transparent from the outset, starting from just $1,290.

PKWA Law, multiple locations in Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6854 5336, Tel: (+65) 9090 3158 (WhatsApp)

Populus Law

If you’re looking for one of the most affordable divorce lawyers in Singapore, we’ve heard good things about Javern Sim. His fee includes one in-person phone call to discuss your divorce terms, and one round of edits for the required paperwork to file for a divorce in Singapore. The process for a simple uncontested divorce can be completed within three months, and Javern can handle everything via Whatsapp. He will then make an appointment for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse at the Commissioner of Oath where you will sign the papers manually – easily completed within 5 minutes.

Populus Law, 2 Havelock Road, Havelock II, #05-14, Singapore 059763, Tel: (+65) 6909 3436 or (+65) 9833 0314

Tembusu Law

This Singapore law firm comprises some of the best divorce lawyers in Singapore and is committed to guiding you through each step of the process. In addition to contested and uncontested divorces, Tembusu Law can handle spousal maintenance matters, matrimonial assets, deeds of separation and other divorce-related issues and requirements. The firm offers a free consultation too, as its team of pro bono lawyers can offer free legal advice and counsel in Singapore.

Tembusu Law, 11 Keng Cheow Street, The Riverside Piazza, #02-05, Singapore 059608, Tel: (+65) 6974 0068 / (+65) 8886 0278 (24-hour hotline)

Yeo & Associates LLC

Yeo & Associates offers a full range of family law services and, like other Singapore law firms, also offers a free, initial 30-minute consultation to get you started. The team will provide you with a comprehensive consultation that covers the necessary proceedings for divorce in Singapore, the costs and all your available options. Their rates are some of the most affordable and competitive in the market, and they promise zero hidden fees.

Yeo & Associates LLC, multiple locations in Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6220 3400 / (+65) 9030 3239 / (+65) 8717 1728 

Keep scrolling for helpful reads on how to cope with your divorce in Singapore

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