What is the difference between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
By Jessica Chow
In Singapore, the courts encourage parties to go for an uncontested divorce. The reasons are obvious - an uncontested divorce is less stressful and less costly than a contested divorce. The differences between contested and uncontested divorces are as follows:
Control over the final outcome
In an uncontested divorce, the parties are able to agree on all issues. Consequently, they retain full control over the outcome.
On the other hand, in a contested divorce where parties are unable to reach an agreement, the judge makes the final decision.
Privacy of proceedings
Uncontested divorces are typically held in the private chambers of judges, where members of the public are not permitted to attend.
Contrastingly, contested divorces are usually held in open court, where members of the public are permitted to attend.
The cost of an uncontested divorce is far lower than the cost of a contested divorce.
Duration of the entire process
An uncontested divorce takes approximately 4 months to be finalised, while a contested divorce may span a year or more. If parties are able to settle at mediation, a contested divorce can be concluded in 6 to 8 months.
Length of hearings
Hearings for uncontested divorces may be concluded in as quickly as 10 minutes, in contrast to contested divorces, with hearings that may span a few days.
Preservation of the relationship between parties
An uncontested divorce is resolved amicably by agreement between parties.
On the other hand, a contested divorce is typically highly adversarial, which may further damage the relationship between parties.
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