A Guide To Divorcing Through Mutual Agreement In Singapore

A Guide To Divorcing Through Mutual Agreement In Singapore


On 1 July 2024, Singapore enacted a significant change in its divorce laws, introducing the option for couples to divorce by mutual agreement. This has been codified in Section 95A(1)(f) of the Women’s Charter, which illustrates that a marriage is taken to have irretrievably broken down when the parties agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

This new fact of divorce, aimed at modernizing the family justice system, marks a shift towards a more amicable and less adversarial approach to marital dissolution. This new law allows couples to jointly file for divorce on the basis that their marriage has irretrievably broken down, without the need to prove fault or meet specific separation requirements.

However, this new law will not alter the requirement for parties to have been married for a period of at least 3 years before they can file a writ for divorce.

Key Features Of Mutual Agreement As A Fact Of Divorce

An Additional Fact of Divorce

Previously, couples in Singapore seeking a divorce had to establish one of the five facts under the Women’s Charter: adultery, unreasonable behavior, desertion, or separation for three or four years. The new legislation introduces "mutual agreement" as a sixth fact, where both parties can mutually consent that their marriage has broken down beyond repair.

Simplified and Less Adversarial Process

The mutual agreement approach aims to reduce the emotional and psychological toll associated with contentious divorce proceedings. By eliminating the need to assign blame or prove fault, couples can focus on resolving their differences amicably and cooperatively.

Streamlined Court Procedures

With the mutual agreement option, the divorce process is expected to be more efficient. Couples have more options to avoid lengthy court battles, reducing the burden on the judicial system and enabling faster resolution of divorce cases. This efficiency is particularly beneficial for the parties involved, who can move forward with their lives after an amicable and considered approach towards the dissolution of their marriage.

What Are The Requirements For A Divorce By Mutual Agreement In Singapore?

While not specifically relating to a Divorce by Mutual Agreement, there is a new requirement under Singapore law since 1 July 2024 for divorcing parties to complete the Mandatory Co-parenting Programme (“CPP”) and for both parties respectively to obtain the Certificate of Completion before they can proceed with an application for a simplified uncontested divorce.

For divorcing couples with children, this is the first step that has to be taken prior to initiating any sort of divorce application.

Subsequently, parties will then have to consider and come to an agreement on the reasons that their marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is crystalized in a new form for the filing of the Divorce by Mutual Agreement application – Form 271.

Both parties to the marriage will have to set out the details of the following considerations and sign this form for the purpose of the divorce application.

  • Reasons leading both parties to conclude that their marriage has broken down.
  • Details of efforts made by both parties to reconcile.
  • Reasons why further efforts will not lead to a reasonable possibility for reconciliation.
  • Details of considerations both parties have given to their financial affairs, such as the division of matrimonial assets and spousal maintenance.
  • Details of considerations both parties have given to childrens’ issues, such as custody, care and control, access and childrens’ maintenance.

Potential Issues With Proceeding With A Divorce By Mutual Agreement In Singapore?

It must be noted that under Section 95A(6)(c) of the Women’s Charter (which specifically relates to Divorces by Mutual Agreement), it is stated that “the court must not accept the agreement if it considers, in all the circumstances of the case, that there remains a reasonable possibility that X and Y might reconcile.”

This implies that there may be scenarios whereby the Singapore Court considers the Statement of Particulars and the parties’ filled-up agreement in Form 271 and rejects the Divorce by Mutual Agreement application.

How the Court decides on the considerations to take into account when deciding whether there remains a reasonable possibility that the spouses might reconcile remains to be seen as the law is still minty fresh as at the time of this publication.


If you are contemplating your options regarding a divorce in Singapore, we can assist. You can contact us at 6550 6359 or get in touch with us through our contact form below and we will follow up with you regarding your matter.

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Filed under: Divorce
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