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There comes a time in many marriages when you have to come to terms with the fact that it’s just not working out.
At this point, you will need to appoint a divorce lawyer. He or she will be crucial in helping you get through the next few months (or even years) of your life until and even after your marriage is legally dissolved.
The divorce rate in Singapore is relatively high, with 7,575 marriages ending in divorce or annulment in 2017, against 28,212 marriages registered in that same year. That translates to a lot of people in Singapore needing divorce lawyers.
Here’s what to know about hiring a divorce lawyer.
When do you need a divorce lawyer?
The easy answer is: once you, your current spouse or both of you no longer want to be in the marriage, thereby leading to a divorce in Singapore.
In reality, this broad scenario can be further broken down into the following situations:
- You and your spouse have agreed that the marriage isn’t working out and want to get a divorce. You will each need to appoint a divorce lawyer to act for you in the proceedings, whether or not your matter goes to court. While it is technically possible to file for divorce without a lawyer, it is a very complicated procedure even in an uncontested divorce.
- You want to get a divorce but have not informed your spouse yet, or you have raised the issue of divorce but your spouse does not want to go ahead with it. Your divorce lawyer can serve the divorce papers on your spouse. If you need to gather evidence of certain facts such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour, your lawyer can advise you as to how to go about doing so.
- Your partner has served divorce papers on you. You will now need to appoint a divorce lawyer to act for you.
What does a divorce lawyer do?
Whenever a couple gets a divorce, a detailed procedure is set in motion. Your lawyer will handle the matter and advise you about the information and documents that you must provide, as well as any appearances that you must make.
Here are some of the things your lawyer will do when handling your divorce procedure in Singapore.
- Advise you – Before you can get divorced, your lawyer will need to advise you as to whether this is possible, on what grounds you can get divorced and what evidence you will need to provide to back up your claims. Your lawyer can also talk you through the process.
- Handle the divorce for you – There are many stages to divorce proceedings, from making the application for divorce and preparing and filing the various documents to collecting data about all your assets and liabilities and attending hearings. All this will be handled and run by your lawyer.
- Attend mediation sessions with you – You’ll be required to attend mediation sessions if you have children under 21 years of age. While these sessions are free, you should turn up with your lawyer. He or she can advise you so you don’t get shortchanged.
- Matrimonial assets and spousal maintenance – In order for your matrimonial assets to be divided and any order for spousal maintenance made, your lawyer will have to prepare and file documents containing information about your assets, liabilities, income and expenditure, as well as attend hearings.
- Custody and/or care and control of your children – Documents filed by your lawyer as well as his or her attendance at hearings will play a part in any decision concerning custody and/or care and control of your children.
How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Singapore?
Lawyers’ fees can vary greatly depending on the complexity of your matter as well as the law firm’s own pricing.
At PKWA Law Practice, divorce fees are $1,500 all in if you have no children, no property and no maintenance.
Meanwhile, if you have children, HDB or private property and maintenance, they charge $2,500 all in.
These are considered very affordable divorce lawyers’ fees, and also very transparent, with no hidden fees.
This is very good value for money considering PKWA Law’s reputation as an established family law firm in Singapore, with its family law team being one of Singapore’s biggest.
Find out more about PKWA Law here.
Do you have any questions about getting a divorce in Singapore? Ask away in the comments.