What is a Deed of Separation
A Deed of Separation, or sometimes called a Separation Agreement, is a contract entered into between a husband and wife, where they agree to live separately. The deed or agreement deals with all other issues arising from their separation, such as living and financial arrangements, sale or transfer of property, custody of children, support and maintenance etc.
A Deed of Separation is possible only if you and your spouse can agree on the terms. The parties must enter into the deed voluntarily. You cannot force a Deed of Separation upon your spouse.
Ground for Divorce
In Singapore a divorce is possible only if a Judge of the Family Justice Courts agrees that your marriage has effectively ended or, in legal terms, your marriage has irretrievably broken down. One of the ways to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down is to show the Court that you and your spouse have been separated for at least three years (or four years if your spouse does not agree to the divorce).
A Deed of Separation can be used by a party who wish to apply to court for a divorce on the basis of three years separation. The signing of the Deed of Separation may be taken as the ‘point of separation’ for any future divorce petition based on separation.
Deed of Separation does not always lead to Divorce
Having a Deed of Separation does not mean that a divorce is inevitable. Separation can result in reconciliation or divorce. Parties can also continue to live separately indefinitely without getting a divorce.