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How Much Circumstantial Evidence Is Needed To Prove Adultery?

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In Singapore, if a married individual wants to divorce a spouse, they must prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. According to Women’s Charter Sec 95, one of the five facts a plaintiff can use is adultery. 

The burden of proof is on the one who filed the divorce. But how much circumstantial evidence is needed to prove adultery in the eyes of the legal system? 

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of adultery as a ground for divorce, the burden of proof, types of circumstantial evidence, and the complexities of such cases.

1. Understanding Adultery As A Ground For Divorce In Singapore

Adultery is one of the most commonly alleged reasons for divorce in Singapore. It refers to the act of one spouse engaging in sexual relations with someone other than their partner while the marriage is still subsisting. 

The Singaporean legal system does not take allegations of adultery lightly, given the profound implications it has on the dissolution of a marriage and potential financial settlements.

To obtain a divorce on the grounds of adultery, the plaintiff must present compelling evidence to convince the court that their partner has indeed committed adultery. 

2. Types Of Circumstantial Evidence

Proving adultery can be a daunting task, especially when direct evidence is unavailable. In such cases, circumstantial evidence becomes crucial. Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence that, when considered together, leads to an inference or conclusion about the alleged adultery. 

Here are the three main types of circumstantial evidence often used in adultery cases:

Opportunity For Adultery

This type of evidence focuses on demonstrating that the spouse had the opportunity to engage in an extramarital affair. For instance, proof may involve showing that the accused spouse was frequently alone with a person of the opposite sex in a private setting, creating circumstances conducive to adultery.

Inclination And Willingness To Commit Adultery

Proving inclination and willingness is trickier and typically relies on circumstantial evidence such as text messages, emails, or witness testimonies that suggest the accused spouse’s desire and intention to engage in an extramarital affair.

Evidence Of Sexual Intercourse Or Inappropriate Conduct

While direct evidence of sexual intercourse is the most straightforward way to prove adultery, circumstantial evidence can also be used. This may include photographs, videos, or witness statements that strongly suggest the occurrence of an extramarital sexual relationship.

Each of these types of circumstantial evidence plays a role in building an adultery case. However, the court’s decision ultimately hinges on whether the evidence presented is convincing enough to establish that adultery is more likely than not to have occurred.

3. The Role Of Direct Evidence

While circumstantial evidence can be compelling, direct evidence remains the most straightforward way to prove adultery. This may include photographs or videos that directly show the spouse engaging in sexual relations with someone other than their partner. 

However, obtaining such direct evidence can be challenging, and it’s not always available in adultery cases. Ensure you engage with a licenced private investigator who understands the potential legal implications and limitations of the evidence that may be obtained.

In situations where there is no direct evidence, the court may consider circumstantial evidence as long as it is strong and persuasive enough to establish the likelihood of adultery. 

However, it’s important to note that the court has discretion in evaluating the evidence presented, and not all circumstantial evidence will carry the same weight.

4. Establishing The Standard Of Proof

In adultery cases, the standard of proof required is that the adultery is “more likely than not” to have occurred. This means that the evidence presented must be convincing enough to establish that it is more probable than not that the accused spouse committed adultery. 

It is unnecessary to prove adultery beyond a shadow of a doubt, but the evidence must be sufficiently persuasive to sway the court’s judgment in favour of the plaintiff.

If you cannot substantiate your claim of adultery with sufficient evidence, you may need to explore alternative legal avenues to dissolve your marriage. 

5. Admission Of The Affair

If one spouse admits to infidelity, it essentially provides the evidence needed to establish adultery as a ground for divorce under the Women’s Charter in Singapore. Admitting to the act of adultery can make it easier for the other spouse to proceed with the divorce on these grounds.

6. Admissibility Of Evidence

The court follows certain rules and standards for the admissibility of evidence in cases involving adultery as grounds for divorce. 

While the admissibility of evidence can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case and the court’s discretion, there are some general guidelines regarding evidence that may not be admissible in court:


Hearsay evidence is generally not admissible in court. Hearsay refers to statements made by a third party not present in court to testify. For example, if someone claims that they heard from a friend that the spouse was involved in an extramarital affair, this hearsay statement may not be admissible unless there is an exception.

Illegally Obtained

Evidence obtained through illegal means, such as wiretapping, hacking, or other invasion of privacy, is typically not admissible in court. The court generally does not condone or admit evidence that was acquired unlawfully.


Evidence that cannot be properly authenticated or verified may not be admissible. For example, photographs, videos, or documents must be properly identified and proven genuine to be admissible.

Ultimately, admissible evidence should be relevant, reliable, and obtained legally, while inadmissible evidence is typically excluded from court proceedings.

To ensure evidence is authenticated and ​​admissible in court, enlist private investigators. Their knowledge of the law and experience can help establish a clear chain of custody for any evidence collected.

7. Hiring A Private Investigator

When gathering evidence of adultery, some individuals in Singapore turn to the services of private investigators to assist in uncovering the truth. 

Hiring a professional investigator can be an effective strategy to strengthen your case and obtain the necessary evidence to prove adultery in court.

Private investigators have the skills and training to conduct surveillance effectively. They can discreetly monitor the suspected adulterous activities of your spouse, which may include tracking their movements, documenting interactions with the alleged lover, and capturing photographic or video evidence.

They are also adept at collecting direct evidence of adultery, such as photographs or videos that clearly depict unfaithful behaviour. This direct evidence can significantly bolster your case and increase the likelihood of convincing the court.

Conclusion About How Much Circumstantial Evidence Is Needed To Prove Adultery

Establishing adultery as a ground for divorce in Singapore requires presenting a compelling case that convinces the court that adultery is more likely than not to have occurred. 

While direct evidence is the most straightforward form of proof, circumstantial evidence can also be used when direct evidence is unavailable or insufficient. 

However, the strength and persuasiveness of the circumstantial evidence are crucial factors that the court will consider.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to prove adultery as a ground for divorce, reach out to Catch Cheating. Our private investigators in Singapore are skilled in surveillance and evidence collection. 

They conduct thorough and legally compliant investigations to uncover valuable information. They can help you in obtaining direct evidence of adultery and strengthen your case with concrete proof. 

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Circumstantial Evidence Is Needed To Prove Adultery

What Is Circumstantial Evidence In The Context Of Proving Adultery In A Divorce Case?

Circumstantial evidence refers to indirect evidence that, when considered together, leads to an inference or conclusion about the alleged adultery. 

In divorce cases involving adultery, circumstantial evidence may include proof of opportunity, inclination, or inappropriate conduct that suggests the likelihood of an extramarital affair.

Is Circumstantial Evidence Alone Enough To Secure A Divorce Based On Adultery In Singapore?

Yes. Circumstantial evidence can be sufficient to secure a divorce based on adultery in Singapore if it is convincing and meets the legal standard of proving adultery as “more likely than not.” However, the strength and persuasiveness of circumstantial evidence may vary from case to case. 

In some instances, direct evidence, such as photographs or videos, may strengthen the case, but circumstantial evidence alone can be enough if it is compelling.

Can I Use Evidence Obtained From Social Media Or Digital Communication As Circumstantial Evidence Of Adultery?

Yes, evidence obtained from social media or digital communication can be used as circumstantial evidence of adultery if it suggests inappropriate conduct or romantic involvement with someone other than the spouse. 

However, it’s important to ensure the evidence is legally obtained and properly authenticated to be admissible in court.

How To Choose Private Investigators In Singapore?

When choosing private investigation services, research and select professionals with a solid reputation and a history of successful outcomes in similar cases. Their experience can be a valuable asset in achieving a favourable resolution for divorce or child custody cases.

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