This page describes the process for filing a divorce application on a normal track.
Refer to File a divorce application (simplified track) if you and your spouse can reach an agreement on the divorce and all ancillary matters before filing the divorce papers.
Before you file your divorce application, make sure you understand:
If you are filing the divorce application, you are the plaintiff.
Your spouse is the defendant.
You do not need a lawyer to represent you in a divorce case. However, you may choose to engage one if you need independent legal advice on the merits of your case and the normal divorce process.
The courts are not able to provide legal advice or recommend lawyers. Find out where to get help.
Refer to the following on how you can file and serve your divorce papers.
Eligibility to file
Depending on the facts you are relying on to show your marriage has irretrievably broken down.
When to serve
As soon as possible after the court has accepted your divorce papers.
How to file
Refer to the following for the steps to file and serve your divorce papers.
|1. File your divorce papers|
The court will accept or reject your application.
|2. Collect the approved documents|
You will receive a copy of the sealed documents via eLitigation.
|3. Serve papers on the defendant|
The defendant is notified that you have started divorce proceedings.
If you are representing yourself, you must file the divorce papers through eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.
You must follow Part 5 of Division 2 of the Family Justice Rules and the Family Justice Courts (FJC) Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.
Your divorce papers will then be submitted to the Family Courts for review.
A divorce case number will also be assigned to your divorce application.
You will have to collect the approved divorce papers for service on the defendant from the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.
This is to alert the defendant that you have started the divorce proceedings in court.
You can serve your divorce papers on the defendant through one of the following ways:
What it is
Hard copies of the documents will be handed directly to the defendant by someone authorised to do so such as:
Sending hard copies of the documents in an envelope to either of the following:
The court accepts this form of service only if the defendant or their lawyer signs and returns the Acknowledgment of Service Form to you.
(If a lawyer represents the defendant) Submitting soft copies of the documents to the defendant's lawyer.
The court accepts this form of service only if the defendant's lawyer indicates on the documents that they accept service on behalf of the defendant.
If you are unable to find the defendant or if there are difficulties serving the divorce papers, you will have to file a summons supported by an affidavit (Form 171, FJC Practice Directions) to ask for leave (permission) from the court to serve the copies by other modes or to dispense (forgo) with the service.
If the defendant is located outside of Singapore (out of jurisdiction), refer to How to serve court documents to find out the process of serving documents out of jurisdiction.
The defendant may file the following documents after you have served the divorce papers on them.
You will then have to inform the court that you are ready for your divorce case to be heard (setting down).
You will then have to inform the court that you are ready for your divorce case to be heard by filing a request for a hearing. This is known as setting down.
The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.Find out more