SEVEN COMMON DIVORCE MISTAKES YOU MUST AVOID
Here are some of the 6 most common mistakes divorcing couples make during divorce.
1. Not getting a lawyer
We have clients who have come to see us change the divorce order because they realised that it was unworkable or simply not in their favour at all. Usually, this happened because they did not engage a lawyer or engage one who offered very low fees for just doing the paperwork with little or no legal advice.
Hiring a specialist divorce lawyer and getting proper legal advice is critical. It is essential to know your rights and obligations, even if you are planning to have an Uncontested Divorce. If you don’t know your rights and obligations, you will not be able to know whether you have got a fair deal or whether the settlement has been drafted in accordance with your wishes.
2. Moving out
Unless there is physical violence, it is never a good idea to move out of the matrimonial property, especially if you have children.
The court may view this as you not caring enough for the children. The Family Court judges try to ensure that the children have a stable environment, and thus, your spouse will have an advantage in custody if he/she has been looking after them in your absence.
3. Not knowing the financial information
Once you have hired a divorce lawyer, you still need to give them information to build up your case. If you have no clue about your spouse’s financial assets, then your lawyer is working in the dark. Of course, your spouse has to declare truthfully what he owns in the course of the divorce proceedings, and your divorce lawyer can discover documents during the discovery process. But if your spouse fails to account for all his assets, it will still be challenging for your lawyer to know where to look if you cannot help. You cannot divide your property fairly if you don’t know what exists. You can’t get a fair amount of spouse and child maintenance unless you truly know what your spouse has.
4. Failing to disclose information or hiding assets
In Singapore, it is a legal requirement that divorcing couples make full and frank disclosures of their assets and liabilities. Do not hide or undervalue your assets. It is never advisable to overstate debts or report lower than actual income. Be truthful about your assets and means during the divorce process. Lying about your finances can have grave consequences for you.
5. Not updating your will
If you have named your spouse as the executor and/or beneficiary of your will, it’s important to update your will during your divorce. A divorce does not cancel your previous will. If you forgot to update your will, your spouse would still benefit from your will.
6. Seeking revenge
Every one of us has flaws. Once you have decided that divorce is the answer, don’t start flinging accusations and bad-mouthing your spouse.
It is best to compromise and negotiate in a calm and adult manner – even if your spouse had cheated on you. The Family Court in Singapore will not give you a better judgement even if you can prove that your spouse had cheated. You do not get more money or better custody rights.
7. Involving the children
Do not involve your children in your divorce. It is terrible to speak negatively about the other parent in the children’s presence or to use the children as a tool in the divorce. There is ample research to show that children can be damaged psychologically when they are caught in between.
ABOUT PKWA FAMILY LAW
PKWA Law has been recognised as one of “Singapore’s Best Law Firms” in 2021 by the Straits Times. Our lawyers are also consistently ranked as leading family lawyers by respected publications such as the Asian Legal Business, Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific and Doyles‘ Guide.
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