How to File for Divorce in Singapore?

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The only ground for divorce acceptable in Singapore is the irreparable breakdown of a marriage. Factors like adultery or desertion are only a means to show that the marriage has broken down beyond repair.

You can file for a divorce in Singapore provided you have been married for at least three years. Getting divorced before that requires you to prove that you have faced “exceptional hardship” in your marriage.

There are five divorce models in Singapore. Your divorce lawyer would be able to suggest the best one for you based on your circumstances.

Model 1: Uncontested Consent Divorce

It is the quickest and simplest way to terminate your marriage. The divorcing couple would need to first come to an agreement regarding their assets and outstanding liabilities. Your Singapore divorce lawyer can then go on to file for divorce in the family court.

The whole process may take as little as six months. The parties involved may also be exempted from attending court, saving them a lot of time, money, and safeguarding their privacy.

Model 2: Private mediation

The Private mediation model helps the divorcing couple agree on the terms of their divorce before they file for divorce in Singapore. A neutral third party (generally a lawyer) is appointed as the mediator to help the couple address issues like asset distribution, child maintenance, or property distribution.

When couples reach an agreement, the mediator drafts a divorce agreement that the court is most likely to approve. Your divorce lawyer can then step in prepare the divorce papers necessary for getting a divorce in Singapore.

Model 3: 4-way lawyer negotiations with the divorcing parties

In this model, both divorcing parties hire their own divorce lawyer in Singapore. The lawyers then conduct meetings to arrive at an agreement over the divorce terms. The divorcing couple may choose to attend these meetings or leave it upon their lawyers to negotiate the terms.

Your divorce lawyer aims to give you as much information and assistance to help you make an informed decision during these negotiations. Your lawyer will help you reach a final settlement that meets most of your needs.

Model 4: Court litigation process

If the relationship between the divorcing couple is acrimonious or if they are unable to come to an agreement, then the court litigation process comes into play.

There are two stages in this process:

  • Divorce
  • Ancillary matters

In the first stage, your divorce lawyer will file for divorce in the Family Court. The divorce papers would be served to your partner who could either counterclaim or file a defence. The court will hear both parties and decide if the marriage can be dissolved.

During the ancillary hearing, the court will decide upon child custody, asset distribution, and spouse maintenance. The court will make the final decision after listening to both parties.

Model 5: Collaborative Divorce

In this model, each party is represented by collaborative divorce lawyers.

The Collaborative Family Practice helps the couple settle the terms of their divorce without having to go to court. The lawyers of both parties come together to reach an agreement on asset division, spousal maintenance, and child custody. The collaborative divorce model is best suited for those who have large assets and complex issues.

If you decide to get a divorce in Singapore, engaging a good divorce lawyer is important. Your lawyer will not just suggest the best way to dissolve your marriage but also save you from unnecessary emotional turmoil.

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