Ivan Cheong

Partner, Withers KhattarWong* | Singapore

Withers KhattarWong LLP is a Singapore law practice, affiliated with Withers LLP.

Ivan is a partner in the divorce and family team in Singapore.

He is a Family Law specialist with extensive experience in all areas of family law including contentious divorces, disputes over child custody, relocation of children, maintenance, division of matrimonial assets and family violence in the Family Justice Court (FJC) and Court of Appeal.

Ivan has been listed in the Doyle’s Guide for Leading Family & Divorce lawyers in Singapore since 2017 and is identified as a Leading lawyer in the same guide for four consecutive years from 2019 to 2022. He has been named by the Singapore Business Review as one of Singapore’s Top 20 ‘Most Influential Lawyers aged 40 and under in 2018’ and is also identified as a Future Star in Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific from 2020 to 2022.

Ivan is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, membership of which is exclusive to family lawyers with extensive experience in international disputes relating to maintenance, division of assets and children’s issues. He has represented clients in reported landmark judgments and has advised and acted for clients as lead counsel in matters involving division of matrimonial assets for high-net-worth individuals, international relocation and abduction of children as well as Mareva Injunctions to prevent dissipation of matrimonial assets.

Ivan also frequently advises and represents clients in the drafting of relevant Prenuptial and Postnuptial Deeds, recognising all too well that in cases where parties have significant pre-marital assets, an agreement as to how such assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce sets the framework for trust and understanding for a successful marriage.

A firm believer in the benefits of alternative dispute resolution as a means of resolving clients’ concerns and matters, Ivan is an accredited Family Mediator on the Singapore Mediation Center’s (SMC) Family Panel, a panel of family mediators accredited by the Family Justice Courts and SMC. He frequently represents his clients as a mediation advocate in both the FJC and SMC. Additionally, Ivan has also been appointed as a mediator to mediate family and matrimonial disputes at the SMC. Ivan is also on the Law Society’s Panel of Mediators and Neutral Evaluators for the Law Society Mediation and Neutral Evaluation Schemes.

Ivan is a member of the Law Society of Singapore’s Family Law Practice Committee, and is also an Organizing Committee member for the Family Conference for three years since 2018 which is organised by the Law Society and supported by the Ministry of Law and FJC where he also spoke. He has been invited by various organisations both local and international to give talks on family matters.

Ivan has also been interviewed on radio and the national newspapers on matrimonial practice and the law as well as international media in relation to a contested adoption application by single homosexual father involving surrogacy that eventually succeeded on appeal in a landmark decision.

Secretary Aisyah Mdnoh


Ivan comes across as a no-nonsense lawyer whom I can count on to give me sound advice & guide me in the right direction. Thanks so much for a well fought & superb job done for me. Your hard work & efforts are much appreciated.

Private Banker

Ivan has been a great Partner and advisor. He is practical, strategic, executes well and empathetic. He embodies the values and professionalism as to what I would expect a matrimonial lawyer would be.

COO of Global Private Bank in Asia

I would like to thank you and your team for the professionalism, advice, support and patience during the divorce process. Your support was invaluable and I am extremely happy with the service level provided.

Managing Director of Funds company

Track record





Acting as co-lead counsel in landmark High Court appeal (as well as at first instance) which is the first reported contested adoption case where I co-led the team in which we successfully represented a gay man seeking to adopt his own biological child in Singapore who was conceived through surrogacy. The man who is in a long term same sex relationship with his partner of over 10 years and desired to have a child to care for and call his own. The child was conceived via commercial surrogacy procedures in the USA and after birth, returned to Singapore. The reported 105 page judgment is UKM (applicant) v Attorney-General [2018] SGHCF 18.

Successfully representing client as lead counsel in landmark High Court case where client’s appeal against an interim maintenance order was allowed. The case is seminal as it set out guiding principles for what the Court must consider before awarding maintenance. In this case, the Court held that neglect by a party to pay reasonable maintenance must be established before the said party may be ordered to pay interim maintenance and that applications should not be unnecessarily taken out. Reported Judgment in TCT v TCU [2015] SGHCF 3

Acting as lead instructed counsel in the High Court appeal case of UYK v UYJ [2020] SGHCF 9 which was the first reported judgment that the Court had to consider the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the welfare of the child and the implications this would have on the left behind parent’s access to the child as well as the approach taken by the Court for the COVID situation for relocation cases. The case has become a leading precedent for how the Court balances children’s issues with other considerations in the midst of the COVID pandemic and also sets out key principles that a Court must consider in any application for leave to relocate the child to a foreign jurisdiction.

Singapore 2008

"When A Home Is Not A Home" – April 2022, Asia Law Network

Member, Singapore Academy of Law

Member, Law Society of Singapore

Fellow, International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Accredited Family Mediator (Family Panel) and Associate Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre

Associate Mediator, Law Society Mediation Scheme

Guest on CNA938 where Ivan shared his thoughts on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families and how families can keep together while being apart, 2021

Speaker and Panellist, ‘Court Annexed Mediation’, Family Mediation Symposium 2019 jointly organised by the Family Justice Court and Hague Convention on Private International Law

Panellist, ‘Surrogacy & Family formation’, 4th LGBT Family Law Institute meeting 2019, Melbourne

Me in a minute

I am forthcoming, sociable and put in my utmost for everything I do, be it at work or play.

I am a seasoned litigator who recognises the intrinsic emotional issues existing in all matrimonial matters as well as the impact that such proceedings may have on clients and the family. Working alongside trusted professionals, I offer tailored incisive legal solutions designed to address each of my client’s concerns on the facts of each case. Each client’s case is special and has lasting consequences on the lives of individuals which require individual attention. It is never just a job.

Clients in family and divorce matters not only rely on their family lawyer for legal advice and guidance but often also for counselling and simple empathy during trying personal times. It is my ethos to provide my clients with the legal advice and representation they deserve with compassion and understanding. As a family lawyer, understanding my clients’ concerns at the outset is key. This understanding enables me to come up with a strategy and roadmap at the outset which presents clients with a clear solution while assuring them I will be with them on their journey every step of the way.

While I do not shy away from litigation where necessary as a means of achieving clients’ objectives and resolving their concerns, I am also an advocate of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation as an alternative mechanism of empowering clients to resolve outstanding issues in a manner that is satisfactory to them. I am often sought out by clients to advise and represent them in mediation, many of these cases involve matrimonial assets of significant value and are amicably resolved.

My career as a family and divorce lawyer started out almost by accident. My pupil master who trained me only did commercial and civil litigation and this was what I thought I’d cut my teeth on. The opportunity to practice family law arose when the family law partner left and I was roped in to run the files for the family law portfolio. I found great joy and satisfaction in assisting clients through challenges and changes during immensely trying periods of their lives which are often emotionally charged. Knowing that my assistance in helping my clients resolve their concerns leaves a lasting impact on their lives and their families is meaningful and is still the driving motivator for my practice. The rest as they say is history and I have never looked back.

I am forthcoming, sociable and put in my utmost for everything I do, be it at work or play. I believe in living life like you love it. On the personal front, my dog, friends and family keep me busy. I enjoy playing golf and travelling as a means of relaxation even if I am not very good at the former. I am perfectly at home nursing drinks with friends or attempting to scale some off beaten trek with company in the name of exercise or having that instagrammable moment.



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