How Much Does It Cost To Get A Divorce In Singapore?
AspectLaw | January 21, 2022
The divorce rate in Singapore fell by 8.7% from 7,623 cases in 2019 to 6,959 cases in 2020. While the number of divorces has decreased, divorce remains a common problem for some couples today.
Divorce is an emotionally draining process that many couples do not want to go through but are forced to do so due to certain differences. However, divorce does not have to be a financially draining process that eats away the bulk of your savings. If you engage the right family lawyer in Singapore, they can help you to manage the legal proceedings to reduce costs and time.
Singapore’s divorce process has two main stages, and the divorce can take one of two paths: contested divorce or uncontested divorce, also known as simplified divorce.
Divorce costs in Singapore can range from $1,600 for a simplified divorce to more than $10,000 for a contested divorce, depending on the circumstances of each couple. Divorce costs can include matrimonial assets and maintenance fees in addition to legal fees.
Uncontested Divorce Cost
A simplified divorce is one in which both parties in a marriage are able to reach an agreement on all divorce-related issues. These issues include the grounds for divorce as well as any ancillary matters.
In such cases, divorce proceedings can be concluded in as quickly as a month or two (3 months thereafter for the Final Judgment to be granted). This means you won’t have to pay any extra legal fees to fight your case. However, even in a simplified divorce, some couples may have difficulty agreeing on certain ancillary matters. When this happens, the cost of your divorce may increase as a result of additional procedures and mediation sessions.
A simplified divorce procedure may cost as little as $1,600, whereas more complex cases may cost between $2,500 and $3,500.
Contested Divorce Cost
In cases where at least one issue cannot be resolved privately between divorcing parties, the divorce will be considered contested. These issues are often related to ancillary matters, such as child custody, division of property and assets, as well as any allocation of debt. Divorcing parties will then be required to appear in court (or via their lawyers) to present their case.
A divorce may also be contested because the Defendant wishes to remain married and/or insists that the divorce be granted on different grounds.
Because of the complex procedures, multiple mediation sessions, and trials, the costs of a contested divorce can vary greatly. Some of the procedures that will affect divorce costs are as follows:
1. Dissolution of marriage
This is where your family lawyer comes in to assist you in filing and serving documents on the Defendant. The Defendant must file a Defence if he or she wishes to contest the divorce. Your lawyer will then have to assist you in filing a Reply to Defence and counterclaim.
This may cost from $2,500.
Following the filing of the Defendant’s Defence and your Reply to Defence, both parties will be required to attend either a case conference or a mediation. Depending on the gravity of the situation, you may be required to attend multiple mediation sessions. If mediation is not successful, a trial date will be set.
Mediation may cost $2,500 to $3,000 per session.
After considering all of the evidence presented, the Court will decide whether the marriage has irretrievably broken down during the trial.
Trials may cost $5,000 to $10,000 for the first two days and $1,500 to $4,000 for each subsequent day.
4. Ancillary Settlement
Both parties will be required to file a number of documents for ancillary matters, which will incur additional legal fees. Parties may also be asked to attend mediation. Again, if mediation is unsuccessful, the Court will set a trial date to decide on ancillary matters. This process may last between 6 months to 2 years.
Mediation, case conference, exchange of Affidavits of Assets and Means and hearings may cost $5,000 to $15,000.
Divorce costs in Singapore are not cheap, but if couples can reach an amicable agreement, the legal fees may be significantly reduced. Do note that in addition to legal fees, spouses may be asked to pay maintenance fees, which will add to your financial burden.
While no one marries with the intention of getting divorced, circumstances and relationship dynamics can change over time. For more information on Singapore’s divorce process or for legal assistance, you can reach out to speak to our team of specialised lawyers who are regarded as experienced and respected family lawyers in Singapore.
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