Family Law

Marriages are entered with the intention of “happily ever after”. Unfortunately for some of us, that is not always to be. Matrimonial matters can become thorny, complicated and just plain unpleasant. When emotions run high in such circumstances, issues become cloudy and it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We understand that these state of affairs can be extremely stressful for our clients. Dhillon & Panoo LLC has the experience and know how in aiding our clients resolve their Family Law issues. In particular, our Mr Sunil Singh Panoo is highly sought after by our clients for his proficient and professional management of matrimonial matters.

One of the unfortunate casualties of matrimonial litigation is the child and we aim to provide you with efficient legal advice so as to resolve issues as quickly as possible and to minimise its detrimental effect on the minors involved. These could range from urgent maintenance orders, to child custody issues or protection orders from a spouse.

Besides child issues, we aim to provide excellent counsel on issues regarding division of assets and maintenance.

Our experience in Family Law is not restricted to Singaporeans alone. We have also handled expatriate divorce cases, including where conflict of jurisdiction is an issue.

Before anybody begins any divorce proceeding, we will need to confirm that there is legal basis to proceed as there are a number of prerequisite conditions that need to be fulfilled before the concerned party is able to proceed with divorce proceedings.

Conditions for Divorce

Two conditions would have to be met before you can file for divorce:

1. Duration of marriage

You need to have been legally married for at least 3 years before you can apply to the Court for a Writ to proceed with a divorce suit on the basis that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.

However, if you are able to prove that you had suffered exceptional hardship or there has been exceptional depravity on the part of your spouse, then the Court will allow you to file for a Writ for divorce. However this will require you to file an application in court to obtain leave to file the divorce before the minimum of 3 years has passed.

2. Domicile / habitually resident

You or your spouse must be domiciled in Singapore; being a citizen would suffice. In the alternative either of you would have to be habitually in Singapore for at least 3 years prior to commencing divorce proceedings.

Causes for Divorce

When you apply to the Court to obtain a divorce, it has to be satisfied that your marriage has broken down irretrievably, based on one or more of the following factual basis:

1. Adultery

You have discovered your spouse’s infidelity, as such you can no longer tolerate living with him / her.

2. Unreasonable Behaviour

Your spouse’s action and behaviour are in such a way that you can no longer be expected to continue living with him / her.

3. Desertion

Your spouse has deserted you for at least 2 years

4. Separation for 3 years

You and your spouse have been living apart for at least 3 continuous years and he / she consents to a divorce.

5. Separation for 4 years

You and your spouse have been living apart for at least 4 continuous years, in which case there is no necessity to obtain his / her consent to proceed with divorce.

We will advice you on the above and also on the following:

  • Annulment
  • Maintenance
  • Custody, care and control of children. This will also include visitation rights
  • Division of matrimonial assets
  • Division and / or sale and / or transfer of your property and / or HDB flat
  • Personal Protection Orders
  • All divorce or related hearings whether in open court or in chambers

The above would involve reference to the following Legislative

  • Women’s charter
  • Guardianship of Infants Act
  • Family Justice Act
  • Maintenance Orders Act
  • Family Justice Rules