Tuesday, 19 August 2014

What is a Deed of Separation?

It is a document stating the intention of the parties to cease their lives as husband and wife. A Deed will set out the terms and conditions governing the separation period and a provision listing divorce as an option after separation.

Why a Deed of Separation?

There are five grounds for divorce in Singapore. These are

1.    Adultery
2.    Desertion for at least 2 years
3.    “Unreasonable behavior”
4.    Separation for at least 3 years with both parties consenting to a divorce; and
5.    Separation for at least 4 years with only one party consenting to the divorce.

Parties who are unable to file for divorce based on the first three grounds may wish to consider the last two grounds. A Deed of Separation will serve as documentary evidence that parties have formally separated and will facilitate the divorce process.

You may also wish to sign a Deed if you are unsure of whether you want a divorce. A Deed gives you time to reconsider and perhaps work towards reconciliation.


It is recommended for you to consult a Singapore lawyer regarding this matter, especially one who is experienced in divorce matters. Your lawyer can draft the Deed for you and witness its signing.

There is no requirement for the Deed to be filed with the Singapore Court or registered with any organization.

Contents of a Deed of Separation

A Deed ought to state the date when the parties have been separated.

A Deed may make provisions for ancillary matters in the event of a divorce. This includes maintenance, custody of children under the age of 21 and division of matrimonial assets.

For the sake of clarity and to prevent future conflict, issues such as the division of household bills and payment of mortgage installments could be included in the Deed.

If you need legal representation, kindly contact Gloria James-Civetta & Co, to get the legal advice you need.