In this day and age, everyone has heard something about divorce or the legal process from a friend or relative. Indeed, some of our clients have shared what they have heard but unfortunately, more often than not, the information is not correct. A such, we thought it may be useful to compile a list of the 5 most common misconceptions,
#1 You can file for divorce any time after you are married
Unfortunately, you need to be married at least 3 years before you may file a divorce. If there are extenuating circumstances, you may seek permission from the Family Court to commence the divorce before the 3 years is up but there is a high threshold to meet before the Court would grant such permission.
#2 You need to be separated to file for divorce or once you are separated for some years, a divorce will immediately be granted
Unless both spouses agree to an uncontested divorce, a divorce may not be granted if it is contested and the grounds for divorce is not proven. Do note that if the grounds for divorce is 3 years separation, consent from the other spouse is required.
#3 You can obtain compensation for your spouse’s unreasonable or adulterous behaviour
To file a divorce, you have to satisfy one of five facts for the divorce to be granted. This includes, amongst others, adultery and unreasonable behaviour. However, you do not receive additional compensation or a higher percentage from the matrimonial assets if your divorce proceeds on unreasonable behaviour or adultery on the part of your spouse.
#4 Only joint assets are matrimonial assets to be divided
Matrimonial assets include any assets acquired or improved on during the marriage. As such, sole assets such as personal bank account and CPF accounts may constitute matrimonial assets.
#5 If a parent doesn’t pay for the child’s expenses or caused the breakdown of the marriage, he/she can’t have care and control of the child.
The grounds for divorce and child’s maintenance are considered separately from which parent should have care and control. The key consideration for care and control is what is in the best interest of the child regardless of whether the parent is paying for the child’s expenses or had caused the breakdown of the marriage.