One of the legal grounds for divorce in Singapore is legal separation (for three years before filing the divorce and with the spouse’s consent). As a result, when a couple decides to separate ways, whether temporarily or permanently, a Deed of Separation becomes a vital instrument for defining the most critical issues.
The Deed of Separation, whilst now no longer a public document, is thought best to the spouses and, possibly, their lawyers. It officially begins the period of separation and, in many cases, also establishes the date for initiating divorce proceedings.
It may assist a couple in reaching an agreement on the most important aspects of living apart before the marriage is dissolved, such as child care and custody or the division of matrimonial property, and avoiding potential court battles and high costs associated with contested divorces in Singapore.
Considering the significance of such problems for the family members, it is generally a good idea to have a Deed of Separation drawn out by an expert lawyer. The attorney will ensure that the Deed of Separation matches the client’s wishes and does not contain any conditions that could be challenged in court.
What is a deed of separation?
In Singapore, the Deed of Separation is a written agreement (completed as a deed) among husband and spouse that governs the duration all through which the spouses stay legally married; however, stay apart, both one after the other or below the identical roof, however without retaining own circle of relatives relations.
There may be no requirement to sign in or record the Deed of Separation with the courtroom docket or any public entity by Singapore law. As a result, the Deed remains a private document between the spouses, who can conceal its existence from anyone, including relatives and friends, for as long as they wish.
Since it is tough to verify the presence of an oral contract in the case of a disagreement, the Deed of Separation must be in writing. To be legitimate, both couples must execute the Deed of Separation, ideally before a Commissioner for Oaths.
Get Fast & Accurate official notarization for ICA, MOM, MFA.
When you might require a deed of separation
Although the Deed of Separation is not required by law to file for divorce on the grounds of separation, there are numerous situations in which having a deed of separation is preferable to having nothing to regulate the terms of separation between the spouses.
Examples include situations in which the spouses: are attempting to avoid the possibility of a contested divorce and the high costs associated with the resulting litigation; want to divorce while remaining married for religious or other reasons; prefer not to divorce while the children are pretty small; pick now no longer to divorce at the same time as the kids are nevertheless small;
Are unsure about the divorce but select to begin living apart and should resolve so-known as ancillary problems collectively with little one custody and asset division; have decided to divorce but would prefer to postpone it for a variety of reasons to have certainty over ancillary issues;
They are unable to divorce legally in Singapore because they have been married for less than three years. Want to stay in an HDB flat during the minimum occupancy period to keep it after divorce and set a start date for their separation in writing to start a countdown and file for divorce based on separation.
As formerly stated, the Deed of Separation may be used later in divorce lawsuits on the subject of ancillary matters. It would assist in minimizing inter-spousal conflicts and legal battles, saving time and money. Furthermore, the Deed of Separation establishes the date on which the spouses are legally separated, so that they are eligible for divorce on the grounds of separation after three years if both husband and wife agree on divorce or after four years if one of the spouses’ objects to the divorce and contests it in court.
Terms of the deed of separation
First and foremost, the Dead of Separation shall encompass the date the separation starts and the date on which the events will provoke the divorce procedure. It should be noted that separation does not automatically result in divorce, So if you want to establish a date for your divorce after you’ve separated, you should do so in the Deed.
The Deed of Separation may also include a provision for the spouses’ residential arrangements, stating that they will begin living separately, either in separate residences or under the same roof, but without maintaining marital relations or running a joint household.
Other essential terms of the Deed should include provisions for:
- Child custody, specifying whether one parent will have sole custody, joint custody, or no custody. When each mother and father need to agree on top choices affecting their kid’s lives, one of the most unusual place alternatives in Singapore is joint custody. This indicates who will live with the child and make day-to-day decisions.
- Children’s accessibility determines who’re incapable of being concerned for and controlling their children. Free access or decent access are the two possibilities, with liberal access offering the maximum leeway in terms of schedule and visiting rights. These provisions should also include terms for access through phone, email, or instant messengers.
- Asset splitting shared controlled services and choosing who gets the own circle of relative’s automobiles or maybe different valuables.
- Maintenance for the spouse and children in most cases in Singapore, the wife is entitled to maintenance during separation and/or after divorce, unless the husband is disabled or unable to support himself.
To be considered fair and/or reasonable by the court during divorce, these terms should take into account the standard of living enjoyed by spouses before the breakdown of the marriage, the extent of contributions made by the spouses, including indirect contributions such as taking care of the family and maintaining the property, as well as the rights, needs, and interests of the children.
Frequently, spouses mistakenly believe that separation is the same as divorce or initiates the divorce process. It should be noted that, while the Deed of Separation outlines the terms for resolving ancillary issues following divorce, the spouses remain legally married during the separation.
In Singapore, getting a divorce requires filing a separate divorce application with the Family Justice Courts. If the spouses want to remarry after their divorce, they must first settle their divorce. It is also worth noting that after signing the Deed of Separation, a spouse can “back out” by petitioning the Family Court to set aside the deed if they believe that some of the terms of the Deed were unfair, that there was a misrepresentation of facts before the signing of the deed, or that they were coerced or unduly influenced to enter into the deed without the benefit of legal advice.
While separation is one of the legal grounds for divorce in Singapore, putting it in writing in the form of a Deed of Separation increases the spouses’ chances of a favorable divorce settlement. Outlining its terms, including maintenance for the spouse and children, child custody, and financial considerations, aids in the early resolution of ancillary issues, avoid contested divorce proceedings, and saves money on legal fees.
Given the ramifications of signing the Deed of Separation in Singapore for all parties involved, it is always advisable to seek the advice of professional divorce lawyers.
However, if you need a translation service for legal documents then our translators at Singapore translators can provide you best translation services Singapore for all the respective deeds given in a foreign language.