Marriage is one of the most important chapters in a person’s life. Ideally, it is a lifetime commitment that people search for their entire lives. Some people find their special person to commit to, while others never met theirs.
Fairy tale aside, not all marriages are rainbows and unicorns. In reality, differences in several matters, including behaviour, lifestyle, and attitude cripple the foundations of marriage. Infidelity and forms of abuse are pivotal factors why couples decide to untie the knot and enter a divorce procedure in Singapore.
The Singapore divorce process can be tedious and physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially draining for both parties involved. Much worse, the children are caught in between these procedures. Estranged couples may enter a divorce trial and divorce settlement agreement to sort things out as conscionable and quiet as possible.
An Introduction To The Divorce Process In Singapore
What is divorce?
Divorce is a process that terminates marital union legally. The divorce procedure in Singapore also divides or cancels out parental responsibilities and sorts financial matters involved besides dissolving the marriage.
Why do people file for divorce?
There are many reasons why couples choose to file a divorce in Singapore despite its relatively high cost.
Perhaps the chief reason for divorce is adultery. Others want to get out of marriage due to domestic abuse. The lack of intimacy and poor communication between the couples are taken into account when filing for divorce.
What are the grounds for divorce in Singapore?
According to the Women’s Charter, the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
To prove this ground, the party must establish and validate at least one of the following:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Separation (living apart)
The Singapore Divorce Process
Singapore divorce process consists of two stages; termination of the marriage and ancillary matters.
Termination of the Marriage
In termination or dissolution of marriage, the plaintiff files all the needed documents to the Family Court and pays all the filing fees to begin the divorce procedure in Singapore.
The plaintiff must provide all information needed, including the length of the marriage, details of their children, and reason for divorce, among others. The plaintiff must also provide a statement of facts that will support the said reason for divorce.
The plaintiff then has to propose parenting and matrimonial property plans the defendant has an option to agree on.
This divorce process may end up contested or uncontested.
The court then decides whether or not to terminate the marriage and wait for the Interim Judgement to be granted.
In ancillary matters, child custody and division of marital assets are dealt with. The plaintiff and the defendant must disclose all the details of their assets, income, liabilities, and expenditures.
The plaintiff and the defendant must wait for the Final Judgement and Interim Judgement if they finally settled the ancillary matters.
Now that you know the basics of the divorce procedure in Singapore, it is time to discuss the factors to consider whether to enter a contested and uncontested divorce.
Factors To Consider Before Entering A Contested Or An Uncontested Divorce
By definition, a contested divorce means both parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, failed to come to terms with the proposed agreements involving child custody, child support, and division of marital assets. Therefore, challenging the proposed arrangement and letting the court make the decision.
On the other hand, an uncontested divorce means both parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, have found common ground and agree with the proposed arrangement involving child custody, child support, and division of marital assets.
In the Singapore divorce process, either of the spouses can contest the divorce. Both parties may consider crucial factors when entering a contested divorce or settling for the agreement.
Filing a divorce in Singapore may cost estranged couples tremendously. Commonly, lawyers fees for divorce, court fees, and other professional fees make up the bill for the divorce case.
Uncontested divorce tends to be cheaper than contested. Firstly, lawyers fees for an uncontested divorce is much lower. Lawyers charge their service hourly.
The case may not require going into court multiple times for trials and hearings, unlike in a contested divorce.
On the other hand, a contested divorce can also be too expensive. Generally, lawyers spend more of their time preparing and managing for a contested divorce and ancillary hearings.
Also included in the cost is the use for the courtroom, court reporter’s fees, and the presiding judge’s fee.
Undergoing tedious ancillary hearings may require the estranged couples to hire professional financial analysts when dealing with joint marital assets. They may also need the service of professional psychiatrists when dealing with child custody.
The longer the trial, the bigger your divorce in Singapore may cost.
Depending on the complexity of the Singapore divorce process, a single case may last from months up to a year. The most time-consuming part of this procedure is finding common ground and coming to terms with the proposed settlement.
Fruitless negotiations between the two parties usually end up in a contested divorce. It means that multiple hearings are needed before settling on the awaited final judgement.
The entire divorce procedure in Singapore can be shortened if both parties agree with the proposed settlement.
Divorce is a tiresome and draining process not only for the estranged couple but also for children.
Divorce, from preparation for the hearing to the awaiting of the decision, requires more of your time and energy. Disputes with the agreements and settlements also put a toll on the emotional health of the people involved.
In a divorce procedure in Singapore, if both parties come up with a fair agreement, the result is usually a win-win situation.
Those who may find the settlement unfair have the option to contest. The favour of the outcome depends on how strong your case is. Some cases are strong enough to gain a high chance of winning the petition; however, some lose more money and time after pursuing a weak one to the court.
Like marriage, divorce is a major step to take as it impacts the lives of many. One must be physically, emotionally, mentally and financially prepared to file one.
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