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Singapore - Marriage and Divorce


If you plan on getting married in Singapore there are several steps you’ll have to follow.

First, you must file a Notice of Marriage. This can be filed online with the Registry of Marriages (ROM). You will also need the passports of both the bride and the groom. Excluding the day of arrival, 15 days of continuous residence is required and you will need to show proof of the termination of any previous marriages. This can include a death or divorce certificate. If you are planning on marrying a Singapore citizen or PR, then at least one of you must have been in Singapore for at least 15 days before you can file a notice of marriage.

After you have filed online with ROM, you will need to visit it in person. At this time, a verification of documents will be performed and a statutory declaration that all the legal requirements for a marriage have been met will be made. Both of you must attend this meeting.

After the 21-day Notice of Marriage is sent, the marriage license is granted. This license is only valid for 90 days from the issue date.

The civil ceremony, also called the solemnisation, can be performed at the same time as the religious or customary ceremony. However, two witnesses over the age of 21 must be present. In addition, the ceremony has to be held during the period that starts 21 days after and before the 90 period has ended or else it will not be valid. After the civil ceremony, the marriage will be registered and everyone will sign the Certificate of Marriage.

Fees for the marriage license vary depending on the day that you get married and whether or not both of you are foreigners or at least one of you is a PR or citizen. For instance, for two foreigners getting married on a popular date, the fee is $198. If at least one of you is a PR or citizen, however, that fee is only $26. You can visit http://www.rom.gov.sg for more information.

You should check with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and the Ministry of Manpower to see if you must notify them of your marriage. For instance, if you hold a work permit then you should check with MOM to see if a marriage interferes with the conditions of your permit.

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority: http://www.ica.gov.sg

Ministry of Manpower: http://www.mom.gov.sg You must choose your own solemniser to perform your ceremony. You can find a list of authorized officiates on the ROM website. These work as volunteers.

Although your marriage should be legal in most countries, you should check with your home country if you marry a Singapore citizen and you later want to move back (with them) to your home country. It will probably have its own immigration process for your spouse and you will need to comply with these procedures.

Singapore does not currently recognize same-sex unions. In fact, Section 3777A of the Singapore Penal Code criminalizes even consensual sex between men (but not women). However, an individual who has had a sex change can get married as long as they are marrying a member of the opposite sex. (Opposite of their new sex.)

Getting a divorce in Singapore will require going through the Family Court system. After you file for a divorce, you will visit the family Court and a judge will give you an Interim Judgment. This will not settle any issues regarding your maintenance, children, or property. These are considered ancillary matters and are normally handled after the Interim Judgment has been granted.

After the Court has dealt with these matters, or after three months (whichever is more) you can apply for a Certificate of Making Interim Judgment Final, or Final Judgment. Once you have obtained a Final Judgment you are free to remarry if you wish.

Family Court pamphlets can be found at: http://www.subcourts.gov.sg/family.

More information about who can apply for divorce can be found at http://statutes.agc.gov.sg


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