Singapore Expats Forum

common-law marriage in Singapore

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

Seeny
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Location: Singapore

common-law marriage in Singapore

Postby Seeny » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 9:15 pm

Dear all,

Have found and read several threads on the subject, but could not find an answer to my specific question (correct me if I am wrong):

What are the legal consequences of common-low marriage in Singapore?

I am about to apply for LTVP as a unmarried partner of a EP holder.
We have lived together for 6 years in Europe (rent contracts, common bank account, insurance etc to prove this) and the embassy could probably issue a statement that back in the Netherlands we were considered a couple..
Another option: a Statutory Declaration of common-law marriage in front of Commissioner for Oaths here in Singapore.

But what are the long-term consequences of this declaration/statement from the Embassy?
Is there a "divorce" procedure? What about assets? Inheritance?

Don't get me wrong, I am not pessimistic about our relationship. It's good to be informed.

Thanks!

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Re: common-law marriage in Singapore

Postby JR8 » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 10:35 pm

Seeny wrote:Dear all,

Have found and read several threads on the subject, but could not find an answer to my specific question (correct me if I am wrong):

What are the legal consequences of common-low marriage in Singapore?

I'd suggest none, as it is not recognised in SGn law.


I am about to apply for LTVP as a unmarried partner of a EP holder.
We have lived together for 6 years in Europe (rent contracts, common bank account, insurance etc to prove this) and the embassy could probably issue a statement that back in the Netherlands we were considered a couple..
Another option: a Statutory Declaration of common-law marriage in front of Commissioner for Oaths here in Singapore.

But what are the long-term consequences of this declaration/statement from the Embassy?
Is there a "divorce" procedure? What about assets? Inheritance?

Well it's a good question, and one I've suggested a few times should be approached with caution. For example if you go and swear/attest/document that you're as good as married, well, if you split SG law might have no interest, but what if the spouse has a copy of the declaration and files for divorce in your home jurisdiction? That then depends on how common-law marriages are regarded in your home jurisdiction. You'd likely be OK in the UK and common-law marriage does not exist in law, as in SG. The US, I reckon you'd be toast, especially in 'Spanish-law' states. Don't know about NL, you should do some research on that!



Don't get me wrong, I am not pessimistic about our relationship. It's good to be informed.

I have a feeling that some people use any route/visa/pass to get a partner in without thinking of the potential ramifications. So you are most wise to consider this now

Thanks!

Seeny
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Seeny » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 11:47 am

Thank you, JR8!
Very helpful!
Yes, I have noticed you warning against it several times, fair enough.
NL is quite relaxed on this matter. By what I understood common-law marriage is not recognized by any law in Singapore and is only used as a sort of loophole to get LTSVP, correct?
Any chance to find something on paper about it? Precedents? Guidelines?...

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby carteki » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 12:06 pm

Do you have an inheritance / family money coming to you that you don't want your partner to have a claim to? Does you partner know this? JR8 I disagree - the consequences should not be looked into just because they're changing country, but should be mutually discussed and agreed on.
You've been together for 6 years. Is it not enough to sit down and decide in the event of a split / death who gets what? On a LTVP you can't work, so you willing to leave with nothing if it fails?

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby carteki » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 12:12 pm

PS - Even being resident in SG now doesn't make you not subject to the possibility of a foreign court ruling on the split. Have the case now. Both PR's and resident in SG for many years. She packs up the kids and moves them to Germany. He remains here. She leaves kids with grandparents and returns to her business here. Both SG residents therefore divorce per SG rules? You'd think so, but 1st 6 months has been spent fighting jurisdiction bet Germany and SG - $$$$

Seeny
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Seeny » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 12:28 pm

Carteki, thank you for your insightful remarks. Very true!
I am not trying to shield family money or anything like that from my partner. The Netherlands offers three options: cohabitation, registered partnership and marriage. Terms and conditions for all three options are very clear and can be found on government websites. We were happy to make in informed choice there.
Here we came across the term 'common-law spouse' while researching for type of Passes. LTSVP sounds better than a tourist visa when you need to leave the country each 3 months and risk of being stopped at the immigration control..I hope to convert it into EP when I find a job..
Our natural instinct was "sure, lets arrange the "common-law marriage", no problem". But here again, you just want to make an informed choice. Unfortunately, the information about "common-law marriage" in Singapore is very hard to find...that's why I (among other place) searched here..
(sorry for this very lengthy reply)

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Thu, 26 Jan 2012 7:16 pm

Seeny wrote: NL is quite relaxed on this matter. By what I understood common-law marriage is not recognized by any law in Singapore and is only used as a sort of loophole to get LTSVP, correct?

I think you sum up my understanding quite well, it can also be used to get a DP from MoM, if the sponsoring 'other half' has an EP (hope you're getting the hang of all the acronyms).

As recently as c3 years ago there was no concept of common-law marrriage/spouse with respect to getting an LTVP/DP from ICA/MoM - it was marriage or nothing. The first informal mention I heard of it was it being granted to dependents in same sex couples from western countries (though it still was not explained in any shape or form on the ICA/MoM sites). Then all of a sudden it seems about c6 months ago ICA/MoM suddenly explicitly stated that LTVPs/DPs were available to common-law spouses. This is as said despite there being no recognition of it in law.

So you will see a pattern there. It is the gahmen making allowances for western lifestyles to facilitate the arrival of people in such relationships to the country. Doesn't mean that CLM or same-sex partnerships will ever be recognised for Singaporeans though!

Any chance to find something on paper about it? Precedents? Guidelines?...

Nope. ICA are notorious for holding their cards close to their chest. The best source of info I am aware of is following the many anecdotes that slowly started popping up here starting around 18 months ago.


p.s. Kim, I'm trying to help answer the OPs question and suggest some avenues to research. I'm not here to give him lectures in how to lead his relationship.


Seeny
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Seeny » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 1:48 pm

Thank you, JR8!

It all sounds very reasonable.

A bit off-topic: I was very surprised by lack of information from ICA. Was trying to research how many days per year can you stay in total on tourist visa. (e.g. EU allows only 6 months per year). No chance! No info on the website & and the official at ICA repeating "each case is assessed individually at the border"...

I've made an appointment with a local lawyer here to get more details.
Hope this thread will be helpful to someone else in a similar situation.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 1:58 pm

Seeny wrote:Thank you, JR8!

It all sounds very reasonable.

A bit off-topic: I was very surprised by lack of information from ICA. Was trying to research how many days per year can you stay in total on tourist visa. (e.g. EU allows only 6 months per year). No chance! No info on the website & and the official at ICA repeating "each case is assessed individually at the border"...

I've made an appointment with a local lawyer here to get more details.
Hope this thread will be helpful to someone else in a similar situation.


Like I said: ICA/cards/chest/close :-)

I'm not in the slightest surprised ICA don't publish what you're looking for as you'd then have the great hordes exploiting 'these rules' to the max.

You are already looking at repeat SVPs as a route to not simply visit, but live in SG as permanently as possible. ICA know this well worn route... and are not inclined to make it any easier for you! :)

User avatar
Strong Eagle
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11044
Joined: Sat, 10 Jul 2004
Location: Off The Red Dot
Contact:

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 3:00 pm

Seeny wrote:Thank you, JR8!

It all sounds very reasonable.

A bit off-topic: I was very surprised by lack of information from ICA. Was trying to research how many days per year can you stay in total on tourist visa. (e.g. EU allows only 6 months per year). No chance! No info on the website & and the official at ICA repeating "each case is assessed individually at the border"...

I've made an appointment with a local lawyer here to get more details.
Hope this thread will be helpful to someone else in a similar situation.


There is no fixed number, nor is there a restriction on the number of entries you can make. What matters is what you are up to. A Malaysian business man can fly in and out countless times for business purposes and no one will raise an eyebrow.

OTOH, if it looks like you are actually living here over an extended period, only flying out and in periodically, you may be strongly limited... to even a few days. It all really depends upon the circumstances... happens to work that way in Malaysia as well.

Seeny
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Seeny » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 6:36 pm

JR8 wrote:
Seeny wrote:
Like I said: ICA/cards/chest/close :-)

I'm not in the slightest surprised ICA don't publish what you're looking for as you'd then have the great hordes exploiting 'these rules' to the max.

Sure, ICA won't facilitate me in any way, shape or form, no doubt about that. I just had an impression that governmental agencies in Europe are obliged to make their documents public (unless classified for security reason). Won't it be the case in Singapore too?

You are already looking at repeat SVPs as a route to not simply visit, but live in SG as permanently as possible. ICA know this well worn route... and are not inclined to make it any easier for you! :)


I really would not like the idea to renew my tourists visa indefinite number of times. LTSVP to stay here with my partner seems a much more suitable option. Was just trying to understand what are the rules, can I fly home and not to risk to be stopped at the immigration control.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 10:01 pm

Seeny wrote:Sure, ICA won't facilitate me in any way, shape or form, no doubt about that. I just had an impression that governmental agencies in Europe are obliged to make their documents public (unless classified for security reason). Won't it be the case in Singapore too?

Nope.
EU immigration couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, and that is why hallf of the world's great-unwashed have fled there, and now get paid to live in Kensington townhouses and such-like. Singapore is not the same. It runs a policy, the kind that if you were given a project tasked to outline an intelligent and efficient immigration service for a 30*20mile island, you would come up with yourself :)


I really would not like the idea to renew my tourists visa indefinite number of times. LTSVP to stay here with my partner seems a much more suitable option.


Yep don't do it, get the LTVP and residency. If you try repeatedly border-hopping on an SVP and ICA get their hooks into you it is a very steep and slippery slope towards the deep doodoo...



Was just trying to understand what are the rules, can I fly home and not to risk to be stopped at the immigration control. [/color]

Don't quite follow, please clarify



User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby carteki » Sat, 28 Jan 2012 9:50 am

me again... while in SG neither partner has any right to the others assets (if there are children, then that can be an exception). You need to make sure that each of you agree and document what should happen in the event of a split.
Common law partners have received DP's (better than LTVP's). Read the loooong thread already going for that one.
Please also note that this is NOT Europe. Some things are done better. Others way worse but an expectation of 'similar' is a waste of time.

User avatar
Mad Scientist
Director
Director
Posts: 3459
Joined: Thu, 03 Dec 2009
Location: TIMBUKTU

Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 28 Jan 2012 3:05 pm

OP

READ

ftopic71419.html&highlight=

Rule of thumb

EU countries max is three SVP of 90 days at a stretch

Asian countries max three SVp of 30 days

Malaysian , Indian , Indon or PRC pick your straw on the third visit if you are lucky
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

Seeny
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Location: Singapore

Postby Seeny » Sat, 28 Jan 2012 3:32 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
Seeny wrote:Thank you, JR8!

It all sounds very reasonable.

A bit off-topic: I was very surprised by lack of information from ICA. Was trying to research how many days per year can you stay in total on tourist visa. (e.g. EU allows only 6 months per year). No chance! No info on the website & and the official at ICA repeating "each case is assessed individually at the border"...

I've made an appointment with a local lawyer here to get more details.
Hope this thread will be helpful to someone else in a similar situation.


There is no fixed number, nor is there a restriction on the number of entries you can make. What matters is what you are up to. A Malaysian business man can fly in and out countless times for business purposes and no one will raise an eyebrow.

OTOH, if it looks like you are actually living here over an extended period, only flying out and in periodically, you may be strongly limited... to even a few days. It all really depends upon the circumstances... happens to work that way in Malaysia as well.


Thank you, Strong Eagle!

I will make sure it does not appear as if I am living here. I am less than one month here now, but I need to fly home in march for 2 weeks. Was just wondering if I can re-enter was another 90days of it will be already problematic. Anyway, I still have a valid EPAC certificate. I hope it is helpful too if any questions will be asked at the immigration control.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests