Do you know that you must be married for at least 3 years to file for a divorce?

This involved a case of the husband, an electrical engineer, aged 42, and the wife, aged 21, residing in WenChang City in Hainan Island. They were married through the assistance of a marriage agency on 20 October 2004.

Due to the husband’s age, he was anxious to settle down and start a family, so he approached a marriage agency to help him find a wife.

During the marriage, the wife refused to let the husband hold her hands and would warn him not to put his hands over her shoulders. In addition, she refused to let him kiss or hug her and only permitted the husband to have sex with her once a week. She will sleep as far away from him as possible and place a bolster between them.

The wife ostensibly returned to her family home on 9 January 2005 to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her family. She left Singapore with 2 childhood friends, Qiongrui and Yuyin. However, the wife did not return to Singapore after 2 months. She has not made any phone calls or attempted to contact the husband. The husband discovered that his wife had taken all her clothes and jewellery with her.

The husband contacted Yuyin, who had returned to Singapore in March. Yuyin called the wife and passed the receiver to the husband. The wife said that the marriage was over and requested a divorce.

The husband spent a lot of money and went through a lot of trouble to marry the wife. He felt cheated, humiliated, and depressed. As such, he would like to file for a divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

Wife reject Husband


Within 3 months of the marriage, the wife had left the husband without leaving a note to inform him that they should go their separate ways. The wife entered the arranged marriage impulsively but had no regard for the union. Holding that the husband should wait for 3 years before filing for the divorce would be placing the wife’s wrongs on him. The wife’s unreasonable behavior clearly showed the exceptional hardship suffered by the husband. Therefore, the appeal for divorce before 3 years of marriage was allowed.

Learning Points

Married couples must be married for at least 3 years to be eligible for divorce. This is to promote the sanctity of marriage and ensure that couples do not rush into and out of marriage. However, there are exceptional cases where divorce is allowed if the marriage is below 3 years.

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You are encouraged to seek legal or professional advice for any matters relating to divorce.


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All details such as names, characters, places, companies and scenarios are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

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