Lie Chin Chin

Commencing an Application for Divorce


Having a Personal Being informed of the actual steps and procedure of divorce can be reassuring and may give you a sense of security. There are also practical steps you can take to save costs and make the commencing of an application for divorce easier. This article will provide you with information on how a divorce suit is commenced and what you can do to prepare for it.


A divorce is commenced by a Writ for Divorce. We will need to serve the Writ for Divorce and other accompanying documents on your spouse (who will be called “the Defendant”) via personal service generally. However, there are cases where personal service may not be possible. This article discusses a few common issues faced regarding the service of a Writ for Divorce.

1. How should I serve a Writ for Divorce on the Defendant if he/she has moved overseas?

We can serve the Writ out of the jurisdiction. The defendant will have to sign and return an acknowledgement of service to us. Even if you and the Defendant do not wish to keep in contact, you should still note his/her address, contact number, and/or email address so that serving divorce papers on him/her and any subsequent correspondence with him/her will be easier.

2. What if I cannot carry out personal service because I cannot find my spouse? 

You may still proceed with your divorce application even if you are unable to find the Defendant. However, the Court will still require service of divorce papers on the Defendant, unless the Court approves an application for dispensation of service. Read more about what you should do if you cannot find your spouse.

3. What if the Defendant ignores the divorce papers?

Even if the Defendant ignores the divorce papers, you can still proceed with the divorce. We will have to submit evidence that the Defendant has received the divorce papers but chose not to act within the timeframe stipulated by law. Thereafter, the Court may direct for the case to proceed without the Defendant’s participation.

Generally, it is advisable to keep yourself updated on the whereabouts and contact details of your spouse even if you do not have any desire to contact them. This will save you much time and money in the event of divorce, where you will need to serve divorce papers on him/her.

It is advisable to engage an experienced divorce lawyer to help you in the divorce process as there are many rules and procedures to comply with. A good divorce lawyer will help you to avoid any potential pitfalls or problems, and can also provide advice and give you peace of mind in this difficult period.

Need a good divorce lawyer in Singapore? Consult Lie Chin Chin today!

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