You can only apply for a divorce at least 3 years after getting married. In exceptional cases (e.g. where there is a high degree of cruelty, hardship of depravity caused to one party), the court may grant permission to do so within 3 years of the marriage.
Getting a divorce does not have to be expensive, and can be affordable. If you and your spouse are able to agree on the reason for divorce and the ancillary matters (eg how the matrimonial assets will be divided, who will have care and control of the children, how much maintenance will be paid by one party to the other), then you can file for a simplified uncontested divorce.
In deciding which parent should be granted care and control of your child, the court will take into account the welfare of the child as of utmost importance. Factors to be considered include, amongst others: the child’s age, the child’s relationship with each parent, the parent’s ability to care for the child, and the child’s wishes (if the child is mature enough).
WILL & PROBATE
Because a Will is not just to provide for how your assets should be distributed after death. It also sets out important arrangements you may have made for your child who may be below 21 years of age at the time of your passing. You can name a Guardian who will look after your child and an Executor and Trustee who will look after the money for your child until he or she turns 21.
If your child is born out of wedlock, you must make a Will in order for your assets to be gifted to your child. Otherwise, if you die without a Will, your child will not get anything because the law does not recognize your child as your “legal” child under the law when it comes to the distribution of assets under the law of intestacy.
CONTRACT, COMPANY, SHAREHOLDERS
On a basic level, a contract is made when there is an intention to create legal relations, there is an offer, an acceptance and consideration. A contract can be oral, in writing or by conduct. In the most common commercial context, when Party A and Party B sign a document in which Party A agrees to sell certain goods to Party B for $x and Party B agrees to these terms, that is a contract.
There are three sources to find out what rights you may have as a shareholder. These are:
- The Company’s Constitution (previously known as Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association)
- Shareholder Agreement (if any)
- The Companies Act
LGBT LEGAL ISSUES
- Sign a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). The LPA allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions for you on a personal level and on a financial level should you become mentally incapacitated (e.g. in a coma or suffering from dementia). If you have a partner and something happens to you, he or she will not be recognized legally as a family member and will not be entitled to make decisions for you.
- Write a Will. If you die without a Will, under the rules of distribution under the law, your partner and/or your biological child (who is considered in law to be “illegitimate” if the child is born outside of a marriage recognized under Singapore law) will not receive any of your assets.
- Shared property. If you and your partner own a property together and the property is registered in both names, if both of you are registered as “joint tenants”, it means that in law, when one dies, the property will automatically pass to the survivor. Thus, there is no need to include this asset in your Will. If the two of you are registered as “tenants in common”, this means that if one of you dies, his or her share in the property will, by law, go to his or her family members, unless there is a Will which distributes this share in the property. If you and your partner both pay for a property which is registered only in your partner’s name, then you have to be aware that if your partner dies without a Will, the property will pass to his family members.