Legal Updates

Legal Updates

No more blame-game: Divorce by Mutual Agreement

With effect from 1 July 2024, divorcing couples no longer have to play the blame-game and can simply cite mutual agreement as the reason for divorce. This would indeed be welcoming news for couples intending to go their separate ways.

Divorce by Mutual Agreement

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Currently, divorcing couples must cite at least one of the existing facts for divorce, ie. adultery, desertion, unreasonable behaviour, and separation for three years (with consent) and four years (without consent). With the added option of ‘divorce by mutual agreement’ (‘DMA’) , it is envisaged that couples can now undergo a smoother and less acrimonious ‘no-fault’ divorce process that would hopefully help families to ‘heal’ emotionally and facilitate co-parenting post-divorce. The DMA is thus in line with the therapeutic justice approach that is gaining recognition in our Courts.

There are currently limited judicial guidance on the DMA scheme. However, it is clear that couples wishing to proceed with the option of DMA must at least:
1) present reasons for the divorce to show the absence of any possibility for reconciliation.
2) have an agreement on ancillary matters pertaining to children and division of assets.
Ultimately, the onus is upon the divorcing couple to satisfy the Court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and that it would be just and equitable to grant the divorce.

In DMA cases, the Court would want to know that the needs of children have been duly considered and couples can expect that their agreements would be closely scrutinised. Ancillary matters pertaining to maintenance for children as well as custody must be clearly laid out and mutually agreed upon. The Court also reserves the power to determine if such terms are reasonable and protect the interests of the children.

Moving forward, if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate scenario of seriously contemplating a divorce, lawyers can help assist you to navigate through this difficult period to ensure the best outcomes for you and your children, if any.

Do look out for our upcoming article where we will provide an update and insights relating to ancillary matters (eg. children’s issues, maintenance and division of assets) following a divorce.

For further enquiries about the DMA and how to go about a divorce, please give us a call at
+ 65 6534 3552 or contact us via our website

[Insert graphic quote: Morgan Freeman once said: “Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I hate you. We need to relearn that in our society”]

Ascentsia Law Corporation
Yip Shee Yin (Director)
Kenny Khoo (Director)
Low Hong Quan (Associate Director)


21 March 2024 

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