International Issues in Family Law In Singapore


The “globalisation” of families has raised complex legal issues affecting family life, marriage and divorce. Yet there are relatively few local decisions in Singapore on the private international law aspects of family law. This book discusses conflict of laws rules applicable in family cases in Singapore and relevant local cases that offer guidance on the issues addressed. It also examines substantive law on family issues that have international features. Not quite a book on the conflict of laws nor the traditional topics in family law, its chapters uniquely select family law issues that have international dimensions. It includes discourse on substantive law and the conflicts rules in the formation of marriages, regulation of the marital relationship, matrimonial proceedings terminating marriages in globalised families, the ensuing financial consequences, and the laws on parental abduction and relocation of children across jurisdictions.

Highlights :-

  • Brings together in one book all the complex issues involving international marriage and divorce with the ensuing financial and custody issues
  • Unique subject area of family law not covered by current legal literature
  • Covers conflict of laws decisions in family law, including the most recent Singapore cases
  • Deftly navigates cross-border issues affecting families and sets out legal regimes and approaches to the resolution of these challenging problems


Chapter 1 The Globalisation of Family Law

Chapter 2 Connecting Factors: Domicile and Residence
Chapter 3 Formation of Marriage
Chapter 4 Regulation of Marital Relationship
Chapter 5 Matrimonial Jurisdiction, Proceedings and Recognition of Foreign Divorces
Chapter 6 Financial Relief after Termination of Marriage
Chapter 7 Guardianship, Custody, Legitimacy and Adoption of Children
Chapter 8 Parental Abduction of Children across Borders
Chapter 9 Parental Relocation of Children across Borders



Debbie Ong is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore and Professorial Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Education. She is currently Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore, assigned to the High Court (Family Division) of the Family Justice Courts.

A leading family law scholar for many years, Debbie has published widely on the subject. Her works are regularly cited by the Court of Appeal and she has been appointed amicus curiae to the Supreme Court of Singapore in family matters. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the UK Child and Family Law Quarterly journal. In her years as an academic, she has taught, amongst other subjects, family law, conflict of laws in family issues and law and sociology of the family.

Debbie was formerly a volunteer Family Court Mediator in the Family Court for a decade and has served the legal and general community in various capacities. She was, amongst other roles, formerly Chairperson of the Centre Governance Committee of the Tampines Family Service Centre, member of the Review Board constituted under the Children and Young Persons Act and member of the Advisory Board of “Marriage Central” constituted under the National Family Council.

She was also a member of the Committee of Family Justice which had made the recommendations that led to the latest changes in Singapore’s family justice system.


Debbie is married with three children.



Publication Type:


CS Redeemable:


Date of Publication:

Dec 2014

ISBN Code:








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