Frequently Asked Questions on Adultery in Singapore
An adultery occurs when a legally married person engages in extra-marital sexual affairs with another person.
When can I use adultery as a basis for divorce in Singapore?
Under Singapore law, to ensure that a claim of adultery is valid, the plaintiff (person initiating a divorce) has to prove the following; that an adultery has taken place and; that it is no longer tolerable to co-habit with the defendant (spouse of the plaintiff).
How can I prove adultery? What kind of evidence do I require?
An adultery may be proven via confession of the defendant, via evidence gathered by a private investigator and indicated in a report, or if there is proven existence of an illegitimate child born out of marriage with another person.
What if I do not possess sufficient proof for a basis of adultery?
In the absence of sufficient proof, you may want to engage the services of a private investigate to accumulate further proof. Alternatively, you may want to initiate a divorce under ‘unreasonable behavior with improper association’, rather than under ‘adultery’. Engaging a private investigator in this case may lead to substantially higher costs without assurance that sufficient proof may be accumulated. If under cost constraints, it may be better to opt for a divorce under ‘unreasonable behavior with improper association’.
Who may initiate a divorce on the basis of adultery?
The person who committed adultery may not initiate a divorce on the basis of his/her own adultery. Only his or her spouse may opt to do so.
Is there a stipulated time frame for initiating a divorce on the basis of adultery?
If the plaintiff is aware of adultery committed by his or her spouse and continues to co-habit with the spouse for more than 6 months, the plaintiff will not be eligible to initiate a divorce under the basis of adultery.
What are the advantages of a successful divorce under the basis of adultery?
If successful in getting a divorce on the basis of adultery, the defendant and co-defendant (person the adulterer commits adultery with) will be required under Singapore law to bear the costs of court proceedings and private investigations, if any.
Children custody issues may also be ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The courts decides in the best interests of the child. If the adulterer is proven to lead a promiscuous lifestyle that could affect his or her role as a responsible parent, this could lead to him/her losing favor with the judge ruling your case.
Does proving an adultery lead to a faster or immediate divorce?
In short, no. After making sure that you are eligible for a divorce and proving that an adultery has taken place, you will still be required to go through the regular divorce process.
What about for recent marriages? Can I still initiate divorce on the basis of adultery?
Under Singapore law, one may not initiate a divorce if he or she is married for less than 3 years, regardless of whether adultery has taken place. Special permission will be required from the Singapore Family Justice Courts if one wishes to divorce in under 3 years of a marriage.