Foreign Divorce, Local Relief: Novel Questions of Matrimonial Law of Public Interest

UFN v UFM and another matter [2019] 2 SLR 650

In one of the first cases brought under Chapter 4A of the Women’s Charter in Singapore, we successfully persuaded the High Court and Court of Appeal to grant our client leave to apply for financial relief in Singapore consequent upon a foreign divorce. We acted for an Indonesian lady who had divorced her husband in Jakarta.

Owing to the unprecedented nature of this case, the Courts required assistance on a number of novel questions of public interest relating to the application of Chapter 4A of the Women’s Charter, e.g., (a) whether a foreign divorcee’s decision not to exhaust remedies in the foreign divorce courts precluded an application for financial relief in Singapore under Chapter 4A; and (b) whether and how the forum conveniens doctrine applied to the Singapore Courts’ exercise of its discretionary powers under Chapter 4A.

Suang Wijaya successfully advocated our client’s case before the High Court and the Court of Appeal, with the invaluable guidance of Nakoorsha A K of Nakoorsha Law Corporation. They were assisted by Johannes Hadi.