One of the critical aspects of getting a divorce in Singapore is knowing what to expect in terms of lawyer’s fees and other associated costs. Getting a clear idea of the costs involved will help you plan your budget and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
The costs you will incur depends on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested and the other factors such as matrimonial assets, child custody, and spousal maintenance.
This article takes a deep dive into the estimated costs of contested and uncontested divorce.
Costs of uncontested divorce
An uncontested divorce is where both parties agree on all terms of the divorce, including child custody, maintenance, and matrimonial assets division. As no negotiation is required, the process is easier and quicker as compared to a contested divorce.
The costs charged by divorce lawyers in Singapore for uncontested divorce relate to drafting divorce documents, filing fees and interim judgement as well as final judgement extraction.
As per an estimate, the lawyer’s fees for an uncontested divorce can range from $1,200 to $2,200. While the low-end estimate for an uncontested divorce is $1,200, the average cost may hover around $2200.
The high-end estimate for a simplified divorce is around $3,500 allowing for some negotiations.
As the situation is relatively predictable, a fixed cost package is offered by most Singapore divorce law firms. The legal cost in this situation primarily depends on these factors:
- matrimonial assets that need to be divided
- children below the age of 21
- spousal maintenance
If all these three factors apply, Singapore divorce law firms can charge S$2,500 to $3500 for the service.
Costs of a contested divorce
When the parties are contesting one or more terms of their divorce, the lawyer’s fees can be anywhere from $5,000 to $45,000. Depending on the law firm and whether it is GST-registered, GST may be charged additionally or included in the initial fee.
Although this is an estimate, the costs for contested divorce can vary depending on how prolonged or complicated the process becomes. The low-end estimate is $5,000, while the average and high-end estimates range from $14,000 and $40,000, respectively.
Law firms may can also charge an hourly rate that can range from $350 per hour for junior associates to $650 per hour for a senior lawyer. Many reputed law firms offer a free 30-minute initial consultation where a divorce lawyer explains the process of divorce and assesses if the client meets the conditions for a divorce in Singapore. Subsequent consultations may be charged.
The breakup of legal costs involved in a contested divorce can give you a clear idea of the overall cost:
- Mediation– Mediation and pre-trial conferences are intended to help the couple come to an agreement on the reason for divorce and ancillary matters without the need for a trial. Each mediation session can cost S$500 to $2,500.
- Trial – Trial preparation and representing the client for the first two days can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. Each subsequent day can incur a cost of $2,500 to $4,000.
- Ancillary settlement – The overall cost of case Conference, Contested Ancillary Matters, exchange of affidavits and ancillary matters hearing can be between $8,000 and $15,000.
Consult an experienced divorce lawyer
If you are unsure of the divorce process or the costs, consulting an experienced divorce lawyer is the first step. At the initial free consultation, the matrimonial lawyer will help you understand the entire process and gives you an accurate cost estimate.