Divorce Stigma – Is there Social Stigma attached to a Divorce?


How acceptable is divorce in Singapore really? According to statistics, 20% of marriages lasting more than 15 years ended in divorce. As Singapore becomes increasingly cosmopolitan, the social stigma of divorce decreases.


In Singapore, the typical family is comprised of a mother, father, their children and their extended family. Divorced or single mothers therefore stand out in this society. Divorced mothers, in particular, don’t get the same legal rights as married mothers. Children of divorced parents are also perceived differently by society.


A conservative approach towards marriage is endorsed by the vague idea of “Asian values” and various religions. Couples are supposed to persist in their deteriorating relationships. Those who choose divorce may therefore be labeled as failures or weaklings.


Yet, as Singaporeans become more open-minded, busier and more preoccupied with their careers, divorce is increasingly recognised as a part and parcel of modern lifestyles. We are now more willing to choose divorce as an alternative to unsatisfying marriages. Inevitably, marriages change over time. The breakdown of a marriage can stem from so many factors, ranging from domestic violence to infidelity or disagreements over money. Led by the glorification of sex in media (highlighted in the widespread coverage on extramarital affairs), divorce is no longer as taboo.


Ultimately, a divorce will lead to some social stigma, even if that tendency has decreased with the modernisation of Singapore. There is no simple solution, but if you are considering or in the midst of a divorce, you should soldier through the gossip and speculation. Certainly, you should not be obliged to explain your situation to busybodies. However, do leave yourself time and space to prepare for your divorce mentally, emotionally and financially.


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Founder and Principal Lawyer
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Beatrice Yeo Poh Tiang

Having handled over 10,000 divorces since 2006, Ms. Beatrice Yeo, the Founder and Principal Lawyer of the firm, is widely acknowledged as one of the best divorce lawyers in Singapore.

She has extensive experience in all aspects of Matrimonial Law, including Nullity Proceedings, Contested & Uncontested Divorce and Mediation.

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