Desertion for Divorce in Singapore
What is desertion? Desertion refers to the abandonment of one party by the other against his/ her own wishes. This means that the deserting spouse has rejected wholly the marriage.
Minimum Period of Desertion for Divorce in Singapore
If you are using desertion as the reason to file for divorce in Singapore, you will have to prove that the deserted spouse has deserted you for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately before the filing of the divorce. (See: Section 95(3)(c) of the Women’s Charter)
To clarify, a “continuous period of at least 2 years” does not mean a period of 2 years without break. The Plaintiff (person filing for divorce) can still rely on the reason of desertion for divorce in Singapore if:
1. Parties resumed living together for one period of 6 months or less, or 2 periods of 6 months or less (cumulatively).
2. And after deduction of such period of living together, the period of desertion still amounts to 2 years or more.
Proving Desertion for Divorce in Singapore
In order to prove desertion for divorce in Singapore, you will have to prove that there is physical separation. This means living in separate households (not necessarily separate homes). For instance, parties are sleeping in different bedrooms in the same house.
You should also prove the Defendant’s intention to desert. Intention to desert is the intention to bring the marriage permanently to an end. The intention must be non-consensual, where one party refuses to separate but the other party insists on separating.
In addition, desertion implies the intentional breakdown of a common household by one party by choice. There is no intention to desert if parties are living apart by their situation (for instance, work commitments).
Difference Between Desertion and Separation
Separation is another reason that one can rely on to prove the irretrievable breakdown of marriage.
Parties are separated if they are legally married but choose to live apart. Separation involves both physical and mental separation. Desertion is non-consensual separation, where one party wishes to continue the marriage union but the other party refuses to continue the union.
Secondly, to rely on the reason of separation, parties have to be separated for a period of 3 years (if both parties consent to the divorce) or 4 years (if only 1 party consents to the divorce). As for desertion, parties need to be separated only for a period of 2 years.
If you are unable to rely on the reasons of separation or desertion for divorce in Singapore, there are other reasons for divorce which may be applicable to you (such as unreasonable behaviour or adultery).
To find out more about how to prove desertion for divorce in Singapore, you may wish to contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp) for more information.
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