Tuesday, 24 November 2015

A group of lawyers from Gloria James Civetta elaborates on the different type of court orders that can be granted under the application for matrimonial reliefs by parties seeking to terminate their marriage.

What is matrimonial relief?
The term “matrimonial relief” is used to describe orders granted by the court which affect the continuity of the spouses’ relationship. The types of reliefs that the court may grant under the Women’s Charter are
  • ·  Nullity of marriage (Relationship is      declared to not have been validly formed)
  • ·         Divorce (Termination of the relationship)
  • ·         Judicial Separation (Suspension of the relationship)

Judgment of Divorce
This court order terminates a perfectly valid marriage. It is the most frequent order granted by the court amongst the judgments of matrimonial relief.

Presumption of death and divorce
This statutory presumption is a variation of the judgment of divorce. Where your spouse has been missing for a number of years and you have no reason to believe that he or she is alive, the Women Charter allows you to apply for a judgment which presumes your spouse to be dead and to proceed to terminate your marriage by divorce.
Your spouse being missing and continually absent for a period of 7 years or more coupled with the fact that you have no reason to believe that your spouse has been living within that time, is evidence that he or she is dead, unless the contrary is proved.

Judgment of nullity
This judgment declares the marriage to be invalidly formed. There are two kinds of judgments, one being the judgment of nullity of a void marriage and the second being that of a voidable marriage.

Only the latter affects the continuation of a marriage since a void marriage is one that has never existed in law in beginning. The judgment for a voidable marriage operates from the date of its making. Hence, there could have been a formation of a valid marriage between the formation of the voidable marriage and the date it was declared to be a nullity. This judgment dissolves the invalid marriage.

Judgment of judicial separation
This judgment merely suspends the relationship. As such, this judgment has the least effect on the continuity of the marriage compared with the judgment of divorce or nullity of a voidable marriage.

In fact, the spouses can achieve the same result by separating from each other without court proceedings or by entering a separation agreement.
This judgment is a provisional one, and the making of a judgment of judicial separation does not prevent an application for the more permanent divorce relief.

Matrimonial proceedings
While the effect of each judgment may differ, there are features common to all matrimonial proceedings. Proceedings may only begin when the parties meet the requirements of the matrimonial jurisdiction – In Singapore, matrimonial jurisdiction rests in the Family Court – and both the matrimonial proceedings as well as the conduct of the proceedings must be brought following the rules specially created for them.

Gloria James Civetta is an established law firm with a team of divorce lawyers well versed with family law in Singapore and can provide legal advice to aid in your pursuit for divorce as well as court dispute resolution and alternative dispute resolution services.

Email us or call +65 63370469 to speak to one of our friendly lawyers.