Case Study – Love conquers All: The Divorce That Didn’t Happen

Last updated on April 5, 2016

Featured image for the "Case Study - Love conquers all_ The divorce that didn’t happen" article. It features a couple exchanging rings at their wedding.

by Mohamed Baiross

The Background

When H approached me for divorce advice, his wife had already engaged a lawyer and served him with a stack of legal documents including a Writ of Divorce, a Statement of Claim, and a Statement of Particulars. I had managed to arrange an appointment with him the day he contacted me, and he was still shaking with rage when he walked into my office.

At the time, H was 40 years old, and his wife W was 26. They had been married for 5 years and had two young children.  H was a surveyor, and W had given up her job to become a housewife after marriage. H was besotted by his young bride and he had lavished her with everything.

Reason for Wanting Divorce

W now felt that H was not her soul mate. She could not imagine living with him for the rest of her life. She could only spell out H’s faults. She complained that H was always at work and that he didn’t spent time with family. She could not remember the last time they had a date.

H on the other hand felt that he was working hard for his family. He was sacrificing his life for his family so that they could have everything that he did not have when he was young.

The Legal Analysis

I asked him, “Do you want a divorce?” He shot back, “No, I need another chance.”

I reviewed the situation and informed him about my opinion.

In the case of divorce, he might lose care and control of the children because W was the primary care giver. In other words, the children may end up living with W, and H may only get to see the children for a few hours a week – also known as “access”.

With regards to property, the family had been living in a HDB flat bought by H before his marriage. He was the sole lessee. W was merely a permitted occupier.

However, H might end up having to sell the HDB flat in the open market because it was likely to be considered matrimonial property. I informed H that the Court can divide the property and give a share of the property to W even though she did not contribute to the purchase price and he had bought it before the marriage.

W and the children had ordinarily stayed in the flat, and H admitted that W had substantially maintained and improved the flat during the last 5 years.

That day, H left my office as an angry man. He felt that the provisions of the Women’s Charter were unfair to him.  He also appointed me to act for him to protect his rights.

Before he left my office, I asked him what he wanted. He choked with emotion when he said for the second time that he wanted to save the marriage. I felt that H really needed a second chance.


Over the next three months, I worked hard with him on communicating with the court and the other side.

Finally, the Family Court scheduled us to attend and participate in counselling/mediation sessions at the Child Focus Resolution Centre (CFRC). The learned Judge and a counsellor who participated in the CFRC sessions helped in healing the wounds of the couple.

H, W and the lawyers discussed maintenance, custody, care and control of the children as well as the division of the HDB flat.

I did not forget the instruction of my client, H. I reiterated at the start and end of each session that my client sought another chance. My correspondences to W’s lawyers ended with a proposal to drop all the proceedings and to give love another chance. I knew that H was holding onto hope.

One day, in the midst of proceedings, I received a letter from W’s lawyers – “We are instructed that W is withdrawing all proceedings. She wants to give this marriage another chance”. H had another chance.

I still keep in touch with H. Recently, he sent me an email to inform me that he and W were going to be the parents of a baby girl. I was glad that it had a happy outcome.

Mohamed Baiross is a family and civil lawyer, and the managing partner of IRB Law LLP.

Before getting a divorce
  1. Drafting a Deed of Separation in Singapore (Instead of Divorcing)
  2. Alternatives to Divorce in Singapore: A Practical Guide
  3. Process for Getting Divorced in Singapore (With Diagram)
  4. What are the Legal Grounds for Getting a Divorce?
  5. 3 Finance Questions To Ask Before a Divorce
  6. Practical Preparations for a Divorce
  7. How to Divorce Within 3 Years of Marriage in Singapore
  8. Getting Divorced: Documents and Evidence to Prepare
  9. Getting a Divorce Due to “Irreconcilable Differences” in Singapore
  10. Online Divorce in Singapore: How It Works and Should You Get One?
  11. How Can I Divorce Overseas After Marrying in Singapore?
Divorce Fees
  1. Comprehensive Guide to Divorce Fees in Singapore
Getting a Divorce Lawyer
  1. 7 Experienced Female Divorce Lawyers in Singapore (2024)
  2. Can a Divorcing Couple Use the Same Lawyer? Pros and Cons
  3. 7 Best Divorce and Family Lawyers in Singapore (2024)
  4. The Complete Guide to Choosing a Good Divorce Lawyer in Singapore
  5. Don’t Just Go for the Cheapest Divorce Lawyer in Singapore
  6. Find Highly Rated Divorce Lawyers in Singapore
  7. Child Custody Lawyers in Singapore: Do I Need One?
Proving Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage
  1. How to Prove Adultery for Divorce Purposes in Singapore
  2. Getting a Divorce: How to Prove Desertion
  3. Getting a Divorce by Mutual Agreement in Singapore
  4. How to Prove Unreasonable Behaviour in a Singapore Divorce
  5. How to Prove Separation for a Singapore Divorce
Application for Divorce Part I: Dissolution of Marriage
  1. Your Spouse Doesn't Want to Divorce: What to Do
  2. Procedure for Dissolution of Marriage
  3. Simplified Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce in Singapore
  4. Mandatory Parenting Programme Guide for Divorcing Parents
  5. Divorce Mediation in Singapore
  6. Divorce Application: What to Do If Your Spouse Cannot be Found
Application for Divorce Part 2: Ancillary Matters (Maintenance, Assets, Custody)
  1. Contempt of Court in Divorce: When You Can be Punished
  2. Guide to Co-Parenting for Divorcing Parents in Singapore
  3. Procedure for Ancillary Matters
  4. Maintenance of Spouse in a Singapore Divorce
  5. Filling in a Matrimonial Property Plan for a Singapore Divorce
  6. Dividing Matrimonial Assets in a Singapore Divorce
  7. What Happens to Your HDB Flat after Divorce?
  8. What Happens to Gifts Between Spouses During a Divorce?
  9. What Happens to Property and Assets Located Overseas Upon a Divorce in Singapore?
  10. Child Custody, Care and Control & Access: Singapore Guide
  11. Getting Divorced: Child Maintenance in Singapore
  12. Singapore Divorcee's Guide to Relocating Your Child Overseas
  1. How to Vary a Child Custody Order in Singapore
  2. How to Appeal Your Divorce Case in Singapore
  3. Divorce Certs in Singapore: How to Get a Copy and Other FAQs
  4. Transfer of Matrimonial Home to Ex-Spouse After Divorce
  5. Can Divorcees Buy or Rent HDB Flats, and How?
  6. What to Do If Your Ex-Spouse Does Not Provide Maintenance
  7. How to Vary a Maintenance Order After a Singapore Divorce
  8. What to Do If Your Ex-Spouse Denies You Access to Your Child
  9. Division of CPF Assets (Monies, House, Investments) After a Divorce
Expatriate Divorce
  1. Divorce for British Expats: Spousal Maintenance Under the Law of England and Wales
  2. Settling Ancillary Matters in Singapore After Foreign Divorce
  3. Typical issues in Singapore/England Divorces
  4. Immigration Issues for Divorcing Expatriates
  5. Can Foreigners Divorce in Singapore?
  6. Expat or Foreigner Divorce in Singapore: 10 Legal Issues to Consider
  7. Hague Convention: Overseas Child Abduction in Singapore Divorce
  8. Case Study: Cross-Border Child Custody and the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction
  9. Can British Expats in Singapore Choose to Divorce in England?
  10. Divorce for British Expats: Approach to Matrimonial and Non-Matrimonial Assets in England vs Singapore
  11. Divorce for British Expats: How the English Courts Deal with Financial Matters
Muslim or Syariah Divorce
  1. Fasakh in a Muslim Divorce in Singapore: Grounds & Process
  2. Divorce by Cerai Taklik: Guide for Muslim Wives in Singapore
  3. Muslim Divorce in Singapore
  4. Talak in a Muslim Divorce in Singapore (and Its Effects)
  5. Guide to Divorcing by Khuluk for Muslim Wives in Singapore
  6. Applying for Nafkah Idaah and Mutaah in a Muslim Divorce in Singapore
Other divorce matters
  1. Guide to Personal Protection Orders in Singapore
  2. Case Study - Love conquers All: The Divorce That Didn’t Happen
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  2. What Happens to Your HDB Flat After an Annulment?
  1. Separation in Singapore Via Deed of Separation and More
  2. Judicial or Legal Separation in Singapore: When and How to File
Prenuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
  1. Prenuptial Agreements in Singapore
  2. Should You Make a Post-Nuptial Agreement in Singapore?