If parties wish to live apart permanently but do not wish to commence divorce proceedings for various reasons, then you may make an application to Court for Judicial Separation.
A Judicial Separation is divorce from bed and board, this means that the couple won’t have to live with each other or continue to have a relationship with each other as a married couple. Reasons for why parties may not want to get a divorce but opt for a Judicial Separation include religious commitments, moral grounds, societal norms or responsibility of their children.
A decree of Judicial Separation is a court order similar to a divorce, under which the couple remains legally separated but not divorced. In Singapore a couple has to follow certain obligations to be eligible for a Judicial Separation. The couple should be married legally for a period of 3 years; otherwise they will not qualify for Separation. There are exceptional circumstances to this rule, where events of such gravitas permit, the courts may consider the case for early Separation. If a spouse engages in illegal activities, adultery or domestic violence such that the party becomes unbearable to live with, these would be reasons sufficient for a Judicial Separation.
After the Judicial Separation is granted, parties’ normal marital obligations cease and they no longer have to go on living together. However, a judgment of Judicial Separation granted by the court does not allow parties to remarry.