Divorce disputes are expensive and stressful if they cannot be resolved amicably between husband and wife. One way to avoid this is to take a calm, civilised approach to agree on terms with your spouse. One popular way to do this is to file for a Uncontested Divorce (also known as a Simplified Divorce or an Agreed Divorce). If you are not able to file for an Uncontested Divorce, and you have to file for a Contested Divorce, most contested divorce cases are settled half way in the court.
A. Settling Your Divorce by Filing for an Uncontested Divorce
In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must reach an agreement on the following:
- the party who is filing for divorce.
- The ground for the divorce .
- who is to have custody, care and control of the children.
- who is paying for child maintenance, and how much.
- whether there is any spousal maintenance.
- the division of matrimonial property and assets.
The agreement must be reached before the divorce papers are filed. If you and your spouse cannot agree, your divorce is called a “Contested Divorce” even if you managed to settle the case amicably half way. Once you and your spouse have reached the above agreement, you can instruct your divorce lawyer to file the papers based on those terms. If you are filing, you sign the divorce papers as the plaintiff and your spouse has to sign to acknowledge that the terms are all agreed. The Uncontested divorce papers will comprise usually of the following:
- Writ for Divorce.
- Statement of Claim.
- Statement of Particulars.
- Draft Consent Order.
Your uncontested divorce and settlement settlement will have to be approved by a judge, which shouldn’t be a problem. You do not have to step into the courtroom for an uncontested divorce. In a Uncontested Divorce, your Interim Judgment should be granted within 4 weeks of filing, and your divorce finalised 3 months after that.
B. Settling Your Divorce Even When it is Contested
Even if your divorce is contested, you will be relieved to know that the vast majority of contested divorce cases are settled half way. Cases that are settled amicably have a far higher rate of success and is much more attractive than a judge imposing a decision which usually satisfies no one. You will be pleased to know the the percentage of contested divorces that are resolved are very high in Singapore – almost 90%. This means that the couple who goes through a contested divorce are very likely to settle all aspects of their case within 6 months. This is because the Singapore Family Courts are extremely proactive in getting parties to resolve their differences. Our Family lawyer Mr Low Jin Liang puts it best when he told The Straits Times that “in the judge-led approach, judges can decide issues on the spot, precluding the need for parties to file additional court applications. Such divorce cases can conclude six to 12 months faster, with clients saving about $10,000.” Thus, with the help of the courts here, a contested divorce in Singapore can be settled in just 6 months. This is a remarkable statistic. Many couples who want to divorce can thus be confident and comforted in knowing that whether their divorce is uncontested from the start or contested from the beginning, it is very likely that the case will be resolved within 3 to 6 months.
ABOUT PKWA FAMILY LAW
PKWA Law is one of Singapore’s largest family & divorce law firms, specialising in divorce law, family law, wills and probate. PKWA Law’s team of family and divorce lawyers are consistently named as leading family lawyers by respected legal publications such as Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific, Asian Legal Business, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Leading Singapore Family Lawyers. Conveniently located at HDB Hub, PKWA Law offers affordable fees for the average Singaporean. Contact us at tel 6854-5336 for a free first consultation.