Divorce is anything but a positive word. When a couple, that was once in love choose to separate, the process is never an easy one. Thankfully, divorce laws in Singapore are not that complicated, and it doesn’t take as much time as in many other countries. If you are filing for divorce in Singapore, you can either have a contested case or an uncontested one. Uncontested divorces can be finalized within a period of three months from the date of Interim Judgment (more on that later), while contested divorces can take considerably longer, often more than a year. In this post, we are discussing what couples looking for a divorce should know about the process in Singapore.
The grounds at a glance
There are varied grounds on which one or both parties can seek divorce in Singapore. The partner who files the case is called the plaintiff, while other party is called the defendant. The various grounds for divorce in the country can be summed up into four segments – adultery, irrational behavior, separation and desertion. If one or both parties have committed adultery, the other person can choose to ask for a divorce, while if behavior of one party is bad enough that the other party cannot reside with them or continue the marriage, the ground will be considered. If one party has deserted the other for more than two years with no intent of continuing the marriage, the other party can file for divorce. In case of separation, if the couple has stayed away for more than three years, divorce can be sought, and if the gap is more than four years, the party seeking divorce doesn’t need to ask for consent.
Process of getting the divorce
If the court finds the grounds of divorce valid enough and both parties agree for an uncontested divorce, the Interim Judgement will be passed, which will be made final after a gap of three months. During this period, there will be a hearing for the ancillary matters, such as custody, division of assets and properties, and child maintenance. The Registrar will fix the date for the same, and a mediation session will be requested for, which must be attended by both parties to settle the issues as amicably as possible. Parties also need to file “Affidavit of Assets and Means”, which is like a declaration of everything that a party owns – assets and liabilities, with income and expenses. Finally, an Ancillary Hearing date will be filed, and the court will pass the final Judgement after three months.
Finding a lawyer
You need to find a lawyer who can help with the court proceedings. You can check online to find more on Singapore divorce lawyer free consultation, because many law firms do enable that. The meeting with your lawyer is expected to be an important one, where the lawyer will suggest the best possible way of completing the divorce in a short time. Besides the fact that they will talk to the other party and keep a check on the paperwork and related aspects, they are also responsible for keeping up the interests of the clients. There are various divorce lawyers in Singapore, but find one who is experienced, well-versed with the facts of your case and has handled similar ones in the past. You can ask for references, and we do recommend that you check more details about their reputation in the industry. Do discuss the costs in detail and don’t shy away from asking the tough questions.
Your divorce doesn’t have to take a lot of time, money or effort, as long as you have a reliable and experienced lawyer.