10 Step Process To Getting Divorced Overseas

Filing a divorce in Singapore is simple. But what if you moved with your spouse abroad and the marriage breakup needs to be done in a foreign country? Here is what you have to do, and what difficulties can appear on your way during the process. Before proceeding with any legal action, we strongly advise you to seek legal counsel from a leading law firm in singapore.

Filing for a Divorce Overseas

You might think that dissolving your marriage overseas is easier. Not really. The process is prolonged and in some cases tiresome, having several phases that imply the implication of both foreign and Singapore courts, and sometimes some difficulties may arise on your way. For example, your spouse may concomitantly file for the divorce in Singapore, thinking that he or she will have bigger chance to succeed in a home court. If you insist on an overseas trial, you have to request a stay of the proceedings in Singapore. Here is where the Singapore authorities step in. After analysing the records about your family, including the current place of stay and children issues, the court will decide on whether to continue the home trial or suspend it and let the foreign authorities run your divorce process.

After an overseas trial is allowed by Singapore authorities, you have to request a foreign divorce order from the overseas court. And as you get it, you need to send the order back to the court in Singapore for recognition.

Recogniton of Foreign Divorce Order in Singapore

Since the foreign divorce order is issued by a court of a competent jurisdiction, you can use it to dissolve your marriage in Singapore, not before receiving recognition from the court. The recognition in Singapore of such a document may take place in 3 ways:
1. The country granting the order is the domicile of one of the spouses
2. The court granting the order operates under similar jurisdiction as the Singapore court does
3. Sufficient connection exists between the overseas court and one of the spouses

If Singapore recognizes the order, your marriage is officially dissolved, and you can proceed with your former spouse coming to terms regarding such issues as: asset division and child custody.

Transferring the Overseas Trial to a Singapore Court

If you want your marriage to be dissolved by a Singapore court, it can be done only if the court has jurisdiction for it, which is granted when either of the parties has:
1. the residence in Singapore at the moment the divorce proceedings begin
2. the habitual residence in Singapore for an uninterupted time space of 3 years after the beginning of the proceedings. Short trips abroad will not be taken into account.

At the same time, you will check whether your spouse begun an overseas divorce process. If so, you will need to send a request to the foreign court to suspend the proceedings.

After the foreign court stayed the process and the conditions for granting jurisdiction to the Singapore court were met, you are free to start the marriage dissolution process in Singapore.


Performing a divorce abroad is not easy. You can face many pitfalls including the refusal of your spouse to accept the overseas proceedings and insist on a home trial. If you are in the same situation, don’t hesitate to contact one of our divorce lawyers to receive the best way out of your deadlock.

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