Recognition of "spouse"

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jezzman
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Recognition of "spouse"

Post by jezzman » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 9:25 am

Okay, this one is tricky but I hope that there is someone somewhere who can help me.

I have been living here in Singapore the last 3 years. I moved here with my wife but we got separated 1½ years ago. We were then separated for 1 year and ½ a year ago we got officially divorced. So that chapter of my life is closed.

A little more than a year ago, I met a fantastic woman and we are now living together and have been for app. 3 months.

I have now been offered a new contract with the company I work for. The old expired in February 2011. However the company I work for says that they can't recognize my girlfriend as my spouse and therefore cannot include her in my contract.

I don't know the legal term of the word spouse but to me it doesn't matter if you are married or un-married, as long as you live together as if you were married. Please correct me if I am wrong?

We are, like I said, currently living together and we have talked about getting married one day but not yet. It is still a bit premature. Would be the easiest just to do it but I won't be forced into marriage by the company I work for, in order for them to recognize my girlfriend as my spouse.

Can anyone help me out here. Situation is simple: I claim that my girlfriend is my spouse, the company I work for refuse to acknowledge her as such?

Who is right in legal terms - anyone know?
Me, fail English?
But nooo, that's unpossible....

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Post by gravida » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:20 am

As far as I know, spouse from common in law marriage is only 'recognized' here while applying for long term social visit pass. Other than that, if you are not officially married, you are not considered a 'couple' and the company does not have to offer any benefits to your spouse.

I was on LTSVP not being married to my current husband. I was allowed to stay in Singapore etc., but received no other benefits. However, once we got married, even though I was already on my own employment pass then, my husband's company paid for my tickets home etc.

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:21 am

I am not a lawyer... and... you are wrong.

You are living with your girlfriend, not your spouse, a female spouse being a 'wife'.

While Singapore will recognize common law marriages from countries that permit them, I do not think Singapore recognizes common law marriages in this country.

Prior to 1961, there was only 'customary marriage', marriage through religion, etc. In 1961, the Women's charter was passed giving women, including Muslims, specific marital rights, including divorce, property, children, etc.

All marriages in Singapore must be registered, and if you aren't registered, you aren't married.

+1 for the company.

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Post by x9200 » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:22 am

Please search this forum with the words/phrases: girlfriend and "common law", etc. Sooner (your company) or later (MOM/ICA) you will need a proof supporting your defacto marriage.

On not legal but logical note you could claim you are a King of Singapore (lets be modest). Does this legally oblige anybody to do anything for you?

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Post by jezzman » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:45 am

Ok... I see now that I left out some vital information....

I work for a Danish company and my contract is based on the Danish employee act. On top of that my new job is not here in Singapore. The contract I have been offered is in Thailand.

I don't know if that changes anything?
Me, fail English?
But nooo, that's unpossible....

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Post by jezzman » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:49 am

x9200 wrote:Please search this forum with the words/phrases: girlfriend and "common law", etc. Sooner (your company) or later (MOM/ICA) you will need a proof supporting your defacto marriage.

On not legal but logical note you could claim you are a King of Singapore (lets be modest). Does this legally oblige anybody to do anything for you?
I am king of Singapore, thought you knew that :)

Souse or common law spouse.... what is the difference?
Me, fail English?
But nooo, that's unpossible....

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:51 am

jezzman wrote:Souse or common law spouse.... what is the difference?
If you are legally resident in Singapore you can have a spouse by registering your marriage but you can't have a common law spouse because Singapore doesn't recognize common law marriage (in Singapore).

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Post by jezzman » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 10:56 am

Strong Eagle wrote:
jezzman wrote:Souse or common law spouse.... what is the difference?
If you are legally resident in Singapore you can have a spouse by registering your marriage but you can't have a common law spouse because Singapore doesn't recognize common law marriage (in Singapore).
Does that mean..... e.g. Man and woman living together in Singapore for 25 years, have 5 kids. All possesions is in the husbands name. He dies and she will be left with nothing?

I know that in my home country, if that should happen to an unmarried couple, then after 24 months, she will be acknowledged as his "spouse" and are able to inherit him.

I know this is a step off topic...
Me, fail English?
But nooo, that's unpossible....

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Post by Saint » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 12:28 pm

jezzman wrote:
Does that mean..... e.g. Man and woman living together in Singapore for 25 years, have 5 kids. All possesions is in the husbands name. He dies and she will be left with nothing?

I know that in my home country, if that should happen to an unmarried couple, then after 24 months, she will be acknowledged as his "spouse" and are able to inherit him.

I know this is a step off topic...
If I recall correctly, the Man wouldn't actually be legally recognised as the kids father. The kids birth certificates would have "Father Unknown"

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 3:51 pm

jezzman wrote:Ok... I see now that I left out some vital information....

I work for a Danish company and my contract is based on the Danish employee act. On top of that my new job is not here in Singapore. The contract I have been offered is in Thailand.

I don't know if that changes anything?
Where is your legal residence? Where is the legal residence of your girl friend and what nationality is she?

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Post by Strong Eagle » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 5:17 pm

jezzman wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
jezzman wrote:Souse or common law spouse.... what is the difference?
If you are legally resident in Singapore you can have a spouse by registering your marriage but you can't have a common law spouse because Singapore doesn't recognize common law marriage (in Singapore).
Does that mean..... e.g. Man and woman living together in Singapore for 25 years, have 5 kids. All possesions is in the husbands name. He dies and she will be left with nothing?

I know that in my home country, if that should happen to an unmarried couple, then after 24 months, she will be acknowledged as his "spouse" and are able to inherit him.

I know this is a step off topic...
An unmarried woman in Singapore with kids is at a serious disadvantage. She cannot buy a discounted HDB flat because she is not a 'nucleus family'. She cannot file with IRAS for relief from maids levy (for children) unless she can show a marriage certificate.

I suspect that in the case that you mentioned, it would be possible to petition the courts in the best interests of the children but this woman has no marriage in Singapore... and if she is Muslim, operates under another entire set of laws.

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Re: Recognition of "spouse"

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 6:19 pm

jezzman wrote:Okay, this one is tricky but I hope that there is someone somewhere who can help me.

I have been living here in Singapore the last 3 years. I moved here with my wife but we got separated 1½ years ago. We were then separated for 1 year and ½ a year ago we got officially divorced. So that chapter of my life is closed.

A little more than a year ago, I met a fantastic woman and we are now living together and have been for app. 3 months.

I have now been offered a new contract with the company I work for. The old expired in February 2011. However the company I work for says that they can't recognize my girlfriend as my spouse and therefore cannot include her in my contract.

I don't know the legal term of the word spouse but to me it doesn't matter if you are married or un-married, as long as you live together as if you were married. Please correct me if I am wrong?

We are, like I said, currently living together and we have talked about getting married one day but not yet. It is still a bit premature. Would be the easiest just to do it but I won't be forced into marriage by the company I work for, in order for them to recognize my girlfriend as my spouse.

Can anyone help me out here. Situation is simple: I claim that my girlfriend is my spouse, the company I work for refuse to acknowledge her as such?

Who is right in legal terms - anyone know?
Bit rough that. Technically, your girlfriend cannot and will not be recognized either by the local employer nor the gahmen. The only common law/de facto marriages/unions that they will recognize (only for EP holders) is if the relationship existed prior to their arrival to Singapore. For unions entered into here in Singapore, no way. The only way that's going to happen is if it's a legal marriage here.

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Post by ksl » Thu, 28 Oct 2010 6:47 pm

jezzman wrote:Ok... I see now that I left out some vital information....

I work for a Danish company and my contract is based on the Danish employee act. On top of that my new job is not here in Singapore. The contract I have been offered is in Thailand.

I don't know if that changes anything?
If it is a Danish employment contract, you do not have to be married but living together is the norm of Danish society, you will have to go to the Danish Embassy to get it officially solemnised, on oath that you are living as man and wife for a small fee, so that it can made official and accepted in Singapore. That's if the Embassy will do it, and i don't see why not. I have used the Danish Embassy myself for taking oath but not in Singapore. They are much more open to this kind of thing.

You will have to make the circumstances clear, that you are living as man and wife, and you need to make it official by taking the Oath, it can be done with most legal entities that deal with English law too. Though a Danish contract and the Danish embassy will be more clear cut.

Don't forget to let the forum know, how it went on.

Here's a legal definition: dependent 1) n. a person receiving support from another person (such as a parent), which may qualify the party supporting the dependent for an exemption to reduce his/her income taxes. 2) adj. requiring an event to occur, as the fulfillment of a contract is dependent on the expert being available Though it must be officially done and stamped. This also covers emotional dependency.

Though there are some factors that could jeopardise the application and acceptance and that would be, if the woman was on a work permit, or other kind of pass, which forbids her to enter into marriage. I mean the Danes would still accept it, but obviously she will have broken Singapore rules if it forbids her in her work pass. It may also forbid her, if she is a Singapore citizen I don't know, but you can find this out. All you need is to make it legal with your embassy.

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Post by jezzman » Fri, 29 Oct 2010 2:34 pm

Thanks a lot guys. I will let you know how it all went soon :)
Me, fail English?
But nooo, that's unpossible....

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