Understanding Uncontested Divorce
One of the most important decisions you will need to make in your divorce is choosing the right family lawyer, even if your divorce is uncontested.
You may be easily tempted by law firms who offer and advertise cheap uncontested divorce services online. These are means to entice clients to use their services. Beware; choose with caution, as these services seldom come with advice.
You only receive what you pay for. What are you paying for?
“The divorce process will ultimately end your marriage. You’ll still need sound advice to work out what to do with your finances, property and children separately”
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is where both parties agree on all matters pertaining to the dissolution of their marriage, such as, the reason for the breakdown, the division of matrimonial assets, maintenance, and custody of children. This is the quickest way to attain a divorce in Singapore.
You do not necessarily require your spouse’s agreement to all issues before approaching a lawyer to assist in the uncontested divorce.
Very often, parties approach the lawyer to act as a Divorce Mediator to assist in negotiations so that an agreement can be reached and the divorce can proceed on an uncontested route.
Mediating an Uncontested Divorce
Divorce lawyers who are trained as Family Law Mediators, can act as neutral mediators to facilitate discussions between parties in the hope of helping them reach an amicable settlement. Divorcing couples are in charge of how long the mediation sessions take and the number of sessions that will be required to resolve the issues at hand.
“Mediation is quicker, cheaper and provides better outcomes than opting to go to court.”
Avoiding the Pitfalls of a Cheap No-Advice Divorce
Not as easy as it looks – Negotiating issues such as where parties will live after the divorce, how the matrimonial property is divided, which party gets to keep what item, the children’s care and living arrangements and any arrangements, etc are generally very complex. Before you agree on the terms with your spouse, it is in your own best interest to consult a family law specialist who will advise you about your rights and obligations as well as the options available to you.
Calculating matrimonial divisions – You will need sound advice from a divorce lawyer as to how an asset should be divided, especially is there are assets held in parties’ joint names. Even for presumably more straightforward cases where it involves a short, childless marriage, there are issues to consider which are crucial when deciding how the matrimonial assets are to be divided. For instance, if there is a HDB flat involved, parties will need to take note of the relevant HDB rules and regulations that apply.
Understanding child arrangements & maintenance – You must have a clear understanding of child custody orders and your duties and obligations towards the child. This includes matters pertaining to the child’s living arrangements and the child’s financial needs. The issue of child maintenance must also be considered as both parents have the responsibility to contribute to the child’s expenses.
Spousal maintenance – Depending on the facts of your case, the husband may be required to maintain the wife. Parties must consider whether there will be spousal maintenance, and if so, the quantum and the frequency of such payment. Would it be a lump sum payment, periodic payment, or nominal payment?
It is always recommend that parties seek advice from experienced divorce lawyers.
Once both parties have come to a decision on how to deal with their finances, the children and other issues, they can go ahead and proceed to file for an uncontested divorce.