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Valid Marriages

remarry, valid marriagesMarriages in Singapore can be categorised as valid, void or voidable. According to Singapore’s law, a marriage is deemed valid if it fulfils the following:

  • Solemnised on the authority of a valid marriage licence or special marriage licence
  • Solemnised by a person licensed to solemnize marriages
  • Solemnised in the presence of two credible witnesses who are above 21 years of age
  • Licensed Solemniser is convinced and satisfied that both parties freely consent to the marriage

A valid marriage can be terminated in various ways, like a divorce or an annulment.

Other than a marriage valid in the eye of the law, marriages can also be deemed void or voidable.

The Women’s Charter defines the following marriages as void:

  • Polygamous marriage
  • Where one or both parties to the marriage are below the ages of 18
  • Marriage between close relatives
  • Homosexual marriage

Void marriages are considered unlawful and invalid and the law does not recognise that the parties in such situations as having entered into a valid marriage. As they are not recognised as valid marriages, the law thus does not require any legal form to terminate these non-marriages.

Voidable marriages, on the other hand, are legal unions which can be made void should one or both parties desire to terminate the union. Marriages can be voided in a variety of situations:

  • Marriage was not consummated, either due to physical or mental incapacity of either party to consummate it
  • Marriage was not consummated due to the wilful refusal of one of the parties
  • There was no valid consent to the marriage, that is one of the parties was coerced under duress into the marriage
  • One of the parties was not of sound mental health when he or she entered into the union
  • One of the spouses was infected with a communicable venereal disease and was carrying said disease when he or she entered into the marriage
  • The wife was pregnant when the marriage took place but the child was not fathered by her husband

Should a party want to nullify the marriage, they have to obtain a writ to legally void the marriage and have to prove that they were unaware of the situation above when they entered into the union.



Click here to read the differences between an annulment and a divorce.