Filing for divorce is never easy. To think of, besides the fact that love is lost, there are many things to consider – maintenance, child custody, distribution of assets, and there’s also considerable emotional and mental trauma for both parties. If you live in Singapore and want to get your divorce finalized, you should know that the process is a fairly simple one, especially because it doesn’t take as much time as in many countries. In this post, we are discussing all that you need to know about filing for divorce in Singapore.
Decoding the process
There are two ways a couple can get the divorce – contested and uncontested. The party that files the case is called a plaintiff, while the other party is called the defendant. If both sides agree to the terms and conditions, they can file for an uncontested divorce citing the grounds.
Grounds for divorce in Singapore include –
- Separation for more than 3 years
- Irrational behavior
If parties do not agree on the terms of consent, it’s called an uncontested divorce, and that can take a fairly long time, often over 1 year. In case of uncontested divorce, both parties can engage different lawyers to sort out the issues.
Two-step divorce simplified
In case of an uncontested divorce, the court will decide if the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and if the grounds seem valid, the court will pass what’s called the Interim Judgment. Following a gap of three months, the court will pass the final judgment. Note that the court in between will take all aspects into consideration. For example – does the couple have matrimonial assets? Is the custody of children involved? Is there any dispute or point of contention with regards to child maintenance and alimony for the spouse? The Final Judgment will be passed after all the matters are sorted.
Seeking legal help
If you check online for Singapore divorce lawyer free consultation, you will find plenty of names, and the first meeting with your lawyer is rather important. While divorce is not that complicated in Singapore, contested divorces can be hard to deal with, and as the plaintiff or the defendant, you have every right to know how things are eventually going to pan out. Your lawyer will give an unbiased view of the situation, with inputs on how you can focus on the right things to get the divorce done as soon as possible. It is also the role of the lawyer to ensure that all the paperwork is done as per the required laws, and the things are clear with the court. As required, your lawyer may attend mediation sessions with the lawyer of the other party and the defendant, to come to an agreement.
Other things to know
If you have a child under the age of 21 years, your lawyer will also have to file what’s called the “Proposed Parenting Plan”. It could be an agreed Proposed Parenting Plan, where both sides have agreed on the arrangements related to parenting for the kid(s). In case there are concerns or the couple doesn’t agree to the arrangement, the court may ask to go for mediation sessions. Uncontested divorces are simpler in this regard, and the court will give a hearing date, which may not or may require the attendance of both sides. Such cases don’t last beyond 10 minutes, and the court will pass the Interim Judgment, which will be finalized in three months.
To know more on divorces in Singapore and aspects that may impact your case, contact an experienced lawyer today for a free consultation session.