Looking for a divorce lawyer in Singapore? Our article gives you a general guide to divorce lawyer fees, the divorce process in Singapore, answer some frequently asked questions, and guidance on how to choose your divorce lawyer.
Finding the right divorce lawyer in Singapore can be a daunting process, especially when you’re already grappling with the emotional challenges of a separation. As one of Asia’s major cities with a rich legal tradition, Singapore offers a plethora of options, but you need the best to guide you through this difficult phase.
Navigating Divorce in Singapore: Common Questions Addressed
Can You Divorce?
To initiate a divorce process in Singapore, there are specific criteria you need to meet:
Residency and Citizenship Criteria
: For the courts in Singapore to consider your divorce application, at least one of the spouses should:
- Hold Singaporean citizenship,
- Have made Singapore their permanent residence (domicile), or
- Have continuously lived in Singapore for a minimum of 3 years right before filing the divorce.
Duration of Marriage
: It’s necessary for the couple to be in a marital union for a minimum of three years. However, there are certain situations where this condition might be bypassed. For instance, if the person seeking the divorce has undergone extreme hardship or if the spouse has exhibited intolerably unreasonable conduct.
Requirements to File for Divorce in Singapore
The sole ground for divorce in Singapore is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This can be established through any of the following:
- Adultery: One party has committed adultery, and the other finds it intolerable to live with the adulterous party.
- Unreasonable Behavior: One party has behaved in such a way that the other cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
- Desertion: One party has deserted the other for a continuous period of at least two years.
- Separation: Both parties have lived apart for at least three years and both agree to the divorce, or both parties have lived apart for at least four years (regardless of whether both parties agree to the divorce).
Why Do You Need a Specialist Divorce Lawyer?
Understanding Singapore’s legal landscape is crucial, especially in matters as sensitive as divorce. A specialised Singapore divorce lawyer not only possesses in-depth knowledge of local regulations but also empathises with the complexities of personal dynamics during the proceedings.
Kickstarting Your Search:
- Online Directories and Legal Platforms: Use platforms like the Law Society of Singapore’s directory.
- Referrals and Recommendations: Personal recommendations can be invaluable.
- Reviews and Testimonials: Websites like Google My Business offer insights from previous clients.
Online Directories and Legal Platforms
Singapore has several online legal directories, such as the Law Society of Singapore’s directory and the Singapore Divorce Lawyer blog, which provide comprehensive lists of practicing lawyers and useful divorce information. Utilize these platforms to find a divorce lawyer in Singapore tailored to your needs.
Reviews and Testimonials – Should You be Cautious?
When searching for a divorce lawyer in Singapore, online reviews and testimonials serve as pivotal indicators of a professional’s reputation.
Platforms like Google My Business, legal forums, and even social media pages shed light on previous clients’ experiences. However, as much as these reviews can be helpful, they can also be misleading.
: Beware of unethical tactics, such as buying fake reviews or incentivising individuals to leave positive feedback. These manufactured reviews paint an unrealistically favourable picture of legal services.
: Some websites only display handpicked reviews. While these may be genuine, they don’t provide a comprehensive overview of client experiences.
: This involves asking clients first about their experience in private and then only directing the satisfied ones to leave a public review.
Essential Questions for Your Prospective Divorce Lawyer
Before committing to a divorce lawyer in Singapore, equip yourself with these pivotal questions to ensure you make an informed choice:
: “How many years have you dedicated to practicing divorce law in Singapore?“
: “What is your initial approach when you take on a new divorce case?“
: “In situations involving child custody disputes or asset division, what strategies or methods do you employ?“
Communication and Updates
: “How often can I expect updates about my case, and what’s your preferred method of communication?“
: “Can you provide a clear breakdown of your fees and any additional costs I might incur throughout the process?” Understanding the fee structure is pivotal. Always inquire about their charges, be it hourly rates, retainer fees, or fixed fees for the entire process.
Initiating the Divorce Process in Singapore
To start the process, you’ll require:
- A copy of your marriage certificate
- Birth certificates of your children (if any)
- Details of your matrimonial assets
- Any existing agreements or prior court orders
Submit these documents to a divorce lawyer in Singapore to draft the Writ for Divorce.
Is an Annulment the Same as a Divorce?
No, they’re different. While both end a marriage, an annulment declares the marriage null and void, as if it never existed. Divorce, on the other hand, acknowledges the existence of the marriage but ends it legally.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce – What’s the Cost?
: This is when both parties agree on the divorce and its ancillary matters. It is quicker and can cost between SGD $1,500 to $3,500.
: If there are disagreements, the divorce becomes contested, and the cost can range from SGD $10,000 to $35,000 or more, depending on the complexity and experience of your chosen divorce lawyer.