Popular keywords
Note

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

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.

Note

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.

Key facts

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

Through eLitigation.

How to file and serve

Refer to the following for the steps to file and serve your divorce papers.

Step

Result

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.


You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

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.

The LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau will notify you via email or SMS of the outcome of your submission. If the court accepts your divorce papers, they will contain the respective court's seal and registrar's signature.

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.

You must serve the sealed documents on the defendant as soon as possible after the court accepts your divorce papers.

This is to alert the defendant that you have started the divorce proceedings in court.

How you can serve

You can serve your divorce papers on the defendant through one of the following ways:

Service method

What it is

Personal service

Hard copies of the documents will be handed directly to the defendant by someone authorised to do so such as:

  • A lawyer or a lawyer’s clerk whose name and particulars have been notified to the court to serve the documents.
  • (If you have special reasons) A court process server.

Registered post

Sending hard copies of the documents in an envelope to either of the following:

  • The defendant's last known residential address
  • (If a lawyer represents the defendant)The lawyer's registered address.

The court accepts this form of service only if the defendant or their lawyer signs and returns the Acknowledgment of Service Form to you.

eLitigation

(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. 

After you file

The defendant may file the following documents after you have served the divorce papers on them.

The defendant will file the following:

  • The Memorandum of Appearance (MOA) (Defendant) Form (Form 18, FJC Practice Directions) within 8 days (if the defendant is located in Singapore) or within 21 days (if the defendant is located outside of Singapore).
  • A defence (or a defence and counterclaim) within 14 days of filing the MOA.
  • The Defendant's Proposed Parenting Plan Form (Form 24, FJC Practice Directions) within 14 days of filing the MOA.
    • If the defendant agrees with your proposed parenting plan, you will receive the Defendant's Agreement (Parenting Plan) Form (Form 23, FJC Practice Directions) instead.
  • (If you own a Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat with the defendant)The Defendant's Proposed (Matrimonial Property Plan) Form (Form 26, FJC Practice Directions) and the Particulars of Housing Arrangement Form (Form 13, FJC Practice Directions) within 14 days of filing the MOA.

You will then have to inform the court that you are ready for your divorce case to be heard (setting down).

If the defendant agrees to the divorce but not the ancillary matters, they will file the following:

  • The Memorandum of Appearance (MOA) (Defendant) Form (Form 18, FJC Practice Directions) within 8 days (if the defendant is located in Singapore) or within21 days (if the defendant is located outside of Singapore).
    • Their MOA will indicate an agreement to the divorce and for the court to decide on the ancillary matters.
  • The Defendant's Proposed Parenting Plan Form (Form 24, FJC Practice Directions) within 14 days of filing the MOA.
    • If the defendant agrees with your proposed parenting plan, you will receive the Defendant's Agreement (Parenting Plan) Form (Form 23, FJC Practice Directions) instead.
  • (If you own a Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat with the defendant)The Defendant's Proposed (Matrimonial Property Plan) Form (Form 26, FJC Practice Directions) and the Particulars of Housing Arrangement Form (Form 13, FJC Practice Directions) within 14 days of filing the MOA.

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.

Need help?

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

Resources

Refer to:

Refer to:

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

Share this page:
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Print