Sunday, 24 May 2015

As an expatriate seeking a divorce in Singapore, how will matrimonial assets be divided if they are located in a foreign jurisdiction?

Many expatriates struggle with the complexities of divorcing abroad.

Often, when you live abroad, you will find yourself within the jurisdiction of the laws of that country. One of the primary concerns when seeking a divorce in Singapore is property. Many expatriates who come to work and live in Singapore tend to own many properties abroad. Some of these properties fall within the pool of matrimonial assets that are liable for division after the divorce.

Complications arise when the matrimonial assets are distributed all over the world. For example, if a French husband and a Korean wife decide to commence divorce proceedings, and they have purchased many properties together in France and the United Kingdom, where the French husband was domiciled for the earlier part of their marriage, is the division of matrimonial assets enforceable, and how should the division take place?

Things that the court may consider when making an order for the division of assets include:

1.      The financial contributions by each party towards the purchase of the property;
2.      Any non-financial contributions as towards the upkeep of the property by any party;
3.      Any pre-nuptial agreements entered into by the parties;

Do note that the above list is not exhaustive and is simply one of the many considerations by the court.

Cross-border divorce is a complex area of law, and to find out more about expatriate divorce, you may wish to seek legal advice from a Singapore matrimonial lawyer specializing in international divorce, from one of our leading family law firms in Singapore, Gloria James-Civetta & Co.

At Gloria James-Civetta & Co, we offer a free 20-minute consultation with one of our lawyers. Should you have any queries or would like more information, kindly contact us at 6337 0469 or email us at