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Syariah Divorce in Singapore - some quick lessons

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offshoreoildude
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Syariah Divorce in Singapore - some quick lessons

Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 9:42 am

I divorced a Malay woman here in the Syariah about 7 years ago. There were a few things I learnt along the way that I wish I had known earlier.

Firstly the Syariah court comes under the MFLA - and specifically section 56A gives it complete authority (except by appeal to the president). This wasn't always the case but after the 9/11 arrests here the government 'may' have given this up as a way of swinging the vote back (purely my personal belief - I'm happy to be corrected on this). I mention this because some people still mistakenly believe that the High Court can over ride a bad Syariah court judgement - it cannot and you know the chances of an appeal to the president!

Secondly - if you're divorcing a Muslim woman she should have lived her life by the law of Islam. This means that she should not have left the house without her husbands permission and even suspicion of an affair is important. IF you have any of this going on - MAKE A POLICE REPORT. The cops won't do anything but it is very useful evidence in the Syariah court, particularly when you are trying to paint your child's mother as the harpy she actually is.

Thirdly - if you decide to divorce you really need a Malay or Muslim lawyer to help you through it. IF the first question your lawyer asks if 'Did you beat your wife' - then, you, like I - truly understand how bad the Marriage and Divorce rates are in the Malay community.

Financially - if you have a suspicion that in your marriage you will separate try to keep as much possible in single names - property, accounts, credit cards. The Syariah court simply returns all property to the named owned and splits the mutually owned assets 50/50. Hence the more that's in your name - the more you leave with.

Timing - a Syariah court divorce is MUCH quicker than a civil court one. Mine took about 6 months. It's a horrible experience of course.

There is some compensation paid to the woman - it really isn't much.

Child Access and 'custody' (called control, care and custody in Singapore). Bottom line; unless you can show that your child's mother is a drug using whore; your shit out of luck to get custody if you're a man - particularly if the child is young and you are a non Malay. HOWEVER you should and must get some access. Even murderers get child access in Singapore. FIGHT for it. As male children get older they are expected to spend more time with their fathers. As femaile children get other it goes the other way somewhat.

APOSTASY and respect for Islam - critically important. You married a Muslim. Bottom line is no one in the other court system cares about the workings of the Syariah court. At all times you need the Syariah court on your side. Committing apostasy or showing disrespect to Islam or the old men on the bench will not help you. In some countries it would be a death sentence.

Enforcement. Unfortunately in Singapore the family court enforces Syriah court orders and they would probably rather not. Bottom line is you'll spend a lot of time, tears and sweat getting access orders enforced. PRO-TIP - you'll find a range of judges in the FC system - keep fighting till you get in front of some of the more modern younger Chinese judges (who may not be Muslim). There is also a huge disparity between the effectiveness of the FC in enforcing access orders (almost none - they never jail mothers) and financial orders (expat daddy will go to jail if he doesn't pay child support!).

There you have it. Bottom line - don't marry outside your religion and race and it will be much easier!
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Sergei82
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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 12:27 pm

Yeah, but some Malays look so loveable, hard stay aside!
On the other hand, after experiencing being with them for a couple of times, if I have a choice between local Malay and Chinese, I'd go for Chinese without thinking.

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Postby v4jr4 » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 12:43 pm

Sergei82 wrote:Yeah, but some Malays look so loveable, hard stay aside!
On the other hand, after experiencing being with them for a couple of times, if I have a choice between local Malay and Chinese, I'd go for Chinese without thinking.


Well, this may change your mind :P
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Re: Syariah Divorce in Singapore - some quick lessons

Postby v4jr4 » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 12:46 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:I divorced a Malay woman here in the Syariah about 7 years ago.


AFAIK, if you marry a Muslim woman, you must embrace the Islamic law (as well as convert your religion). Did you convert?
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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 1:34 pm

v4jr4 wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:Yeah, but some Malays look so loveable, hard stay aside!
On the other hand, after experiencing being with them for a couple of times, if I have a choice between local Malay and Chinese, I'd go for Chinese without thinking.


Well, this may change your mind :P

Every single word in that article is nonsense.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 1:34 pm

v4jr4,

This is true, but I was given to understand it is not true when a non-Muslim woman marries a Muslim man. The non-Muslim woman is not required to convert.

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Postby v4jr4 » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 1:39 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:v4jr4,

This is true, but I was given to understand it is not true when a non-Muslim woman marries a Muslim man. The non-Muslim woman is not required to convert.


Perhaps what I understand is the "localized" version. In Indonesia, the Islamic law is strict. That's why the conversion process is required if one of them embraces Islam.

Sergei82 wrote:Every single word in that article is nonsense.


On a certain situation, let's call it "Bad Luck Brian". That's why such article pops out :P
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Postby the lynx » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 2:57 pm

v4jr4 wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:v4jr4,

This is true, but I was given to understand it is not true when a non-Muslim woman marries a Muslim man. The non-Muslim woman is not required to convert.


Perhaps what I understand is the "localized" version. In Indonesia, the Islamic law is strict. That's why the conversion process is required if one of them embraces Islam.


Ditto for Malaysia.

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Re: Syariah Divorce in Singapore - some quick lessons

Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 2:59 pm

v4jr4 wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:I divorced a Malay woman here in the Syariah about 7 years ago.


AFAIK, if you marry a Muslim woman, you must embrace the Islamic law (as well as convert your religion). Did you convert?


No but we were married in the Australian High Commission and had a traditional ceremony later. The civil court would not recognize the marriage and hence the need to go to Syariah.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 3:11 pm

Two other final (maybe) pointers;

Physical Abuse: IF you wish physical abuse to be recognized by the court or cops (note - psychological, mental and emotional abuse are not) you need to have it recorded at a government hospital by a government doctor (not a private one). It probably won't mattter a shit anyways - esp. if it's your wife who has been beating you (the local cops think it's funny).

Ex wives who never disappear: The best thing for you is for your ex to remarry - hopefully quickly. IF they don't - they hang around like a bad smell that can't be rid of. Although the Syariah - interestingly - cannot award alimony to your ex it can award child support - and the useless wenches basically try to live off it instead of using it for the kids.
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Re: Syariah Divorce in Singapore - some quick lessons

Postby Mad Scientist » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 3:25 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:
v4jr4 wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:I divorced a Malay woman here in the Syariah about 7 years ago.


AFAIK, if you marry a Muslim woman, you must embrace the Islamic law (as well as convert your religion). Did you convert?


No but we were married in the Australian High Commission and had a traditional ceremony later. The civil court would not recognize the marriage and hence the need to go to Syariah.


I have many Muslim friend married in civil court. This is taken out from wik

Civil marriages

The two parties have to register a date either at the Registry of Marriage (ROM) or on the ROM website. The chosen date will be at least 21 days after the date of registration and within 3 months of the date of registration.

They will then bring their approval to the Licensed Solemniser which can be a Religious Leader (order of the church, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sikh), Judge, Justice of Peace, grassroots leaders.

Note: Malay in Singapore can declare that they are non-Muslim to marry in a civil manner. This is allowed by the oath of Religious Order.
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Re: Syariah Divorce in Singapore - some quick lessons

Postby offshoreoildude » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 3:28 pm

Mad Scientist wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:
v4jr4 wrote:
offshoreoildude wrote:I divorced a Malay woman here in the Syariah about 7 years ago.


AFAIK, if you marry a Muslim woman, you must embrace the Islamic law (as well as convert your religion). Did you convert?


No but we were married in the Australian High Commission and had a traditional ceremony later. The civil court would not recognize the marriage and hence the need to go to Syariah.


I have many Muslim friend married in civil court. This is taken out from wik

Civil marriages

The two parties have to register a date either at the Registry of Marriage (ROM) or on the ROM website. The chosen date will be at least 21 days after the date of registration and within 3 months of the date of registration.

They will then bring their approval to the Licensed Solemniser which can be a Religious Leader (order of the church, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sikh), Judge, Justice of Peace, grassroots leaders.

Note: Malay in Singapore can declare that they are non-Muslim to marry in a civil manner. This is allowed by the oath of Religious Order.


You're correct - however in my case my ex would not do that and pretty much made it impossible for a civil court divorce. In the end I was happy enough with the result of a Syariah court divorce anyways.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Postby durain » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 9:01 pm

do what i do.... married my muslim wife as a non-muslim. after meeting me, she doesnt practice it anyway, so what's the point. we are still happily married. :)

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Re: Syariah Divorce in Singapore - some quick lessons

Postby JR8 » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 9:30 pm

Mad Scientist wrote:Note: Malay in Singapore can declare that they are non-Muslim to marry in a civil manner. This is allowed by the oath of Religious Order.


I married a muslim and we did it at ROM. At absolutely no point was it suggested that I might, should, or must convert to Islam. I find it most unlikely that my wife was asked to declare herself a non-muslim to have facilitated our wedding, I am as close as one can be to saying 'she wasn't', short of asking her when she gets home later.

However she did receive two letters from some Muslim organisation in SG (MUIS? or similar) inviting her in 'for a discussion about what she was planning'. Presumably they would have picked up on her religion and mine from our ROM filing. But both of their letters were tossed in the bin (by her) without batting an eye. I remember reading them and was a little taken aback by their tone of 'presumed jurisdiction' over the affairs of a complete stranger. I also thought that younger or less worldy people would potentially find the wording intimidating.

My 'best friend' (English, a Catholic no less) is married to my wife's cousin. However she hails from KL rather than SG, and he for reasons of necessity and practicality had no choice but to convert.

p.s. Interesting topic OSOD, I hope it might be of help to others in these kind of shoes...



p.s. Edit, just to clarify who binned the MUIS letters...
Last edited by JR8 on Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Syariah Divorce in Singapore - some quick lessons

Postby durain » Tue, 11 Dec 2012 9:48 pm

JR8 wrote:I am as close as one can be to saying 'she wasn't', short of asking her when she gets home later.


just sms her ;) we live in a modern world, you know :D


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