Everyone dreams of a happily married life even before we find someone we want to spend our whole lives with. We imagined ourselves raising children with our partner. Sending them to school the first time until watching them get married and start a family of their own. Perhaps, you also pictured growing old with someone you love, walking in the grass at dawn with a golden retriever in tow. But unfortunately, some of these dreams end up in divorce in Singapore.
Sometimes, no matter how much we aspire to have a happily married life, some relationships are better apart. And when couples realise it, they enter the divorce procedure in Singapore.
Things You Need To Know About Divorce In Singapore
When a marriage has come to an end, couples find a family lawyer in Singapore to file for divorce. But what exactly is divorce?
What is divorce?
Divorce is a legal process of terminating or dissolving a marriage. Although divorce is legal in many nations, cultural and religious aspects of some countries value the sanctity of marriage, therefore, making it indissoluble. Only two countries in the world have no divorce: The Philippines and The Vatican City.
Is divorce really necessary?
Perhaps, many people may ask why divorce is necessary when you can separate from your husband or wife informally?
Divorce settles marital issues legally, such as separation and distribution of assets and property, child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and even permission for the parties to get remarried.
There are two main situations in divorce: uncontested divorce and contested divorce. In the divorce procedure in Singapore, the couples deal with the ancillary matters with the Court’s help.
The ancillary matters discuss divorce-related issues, such as the care and custody of the children, separation and distribution of matrimonial assets, and maintenance of the spouse.
· Uncontested divorce
Uncontested divorce happens when the couple have reached an amicable agreement regarding the ancillary matters without further intervention of the Court.
Uncontested divorce in Singapore has several advantages, such as being less expensive, a much more peaceful process, and a less tedious process.
· Contested Divorce
What happens when couples fail to have an amicable agreement regarding the ancillary matters? For example, one party wants more spousal maintenance or demands sole custody of the child.
The party can contest the divorce. In a contested divorce, the Court intervenes to sort out divorce-related issues.
Contested divorce has a few advantages, like uncontested divorce in Singapore. The party can have a chance to uncover hidden assets of the other party, essential in child support, spousal maintenance, and distribution of matrimonial assets.
Why do people file for divorce in Singapore?
There are many personal reasons why couples file for divorce, but the Singapore court has only one legal ground for divorce: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Four situations prove the marriage is irretrievably broken down.
The plaintiff must provide sufficient evidence that proves Defendant has committed adultery.
· Unreasonable behaviour
It happens when the plaintiff finds it impossible and cannot reasonably live with Defendant.
It happens when Defendant has deserted or left the plaintiff for more than two years with no intention of returning or going back.
It happens when Plaintiff and Defendant have agreed to separate and live apart for at least three years.
The Ancillary Matters
The Court terminates the marriage once it has been proven and established that marriage has been irretrievably broken down.
The couples now enter the second stage of divorce: settling the ancillary matters.
The ancillary matters focus on four issues: child care and custody: child maintenance, spousal maintenance, and division of matrimonial assets.
· Child care and custody
Both parties would have to agree on custody and authority over the child. It also deals with the daily care and control of the child and the access of the non-custodial parent.
· Child Maintenance
Both parties would have to agree on the child maintenance, such as financial needs, health, education, shelter and lodging.
· Spousal Maintenance
In the divorce procedure in Singapore, spousal maintenance is a legal obligation to give monetary support to the former spouse during or after the divorce.
Generally, wives apply for spousal maintenance, but husbands can file too, depending on the situation. A husband is eligible for spousal maintenance if he is incapacitated by a physical and mental disability and unable to earn and support himself due to the disability.
· Division of Matrimonial Assets
Division of matrimonial assets refers to the distribution of properties and acquisitions such as houses, vehicles, businesses, shares, and investments acquired within the marriage. It may also include debts and credits.
Singapore Divorce Lawyer
Do you need a family lawyer in Singapore to file for divorce? The answer is no. It is possible to file a divorce without the help of a lawyer. It has some benefits, too, such as lower costs.
However, it will also mean that you represent yourself and attend court proceedings. You also have to submit and file essential documents, such as Writ of Summons, Statement of Claim, and Proposed Property Plan, among others.
It is highly advisable to get a Singapore divorce lawyer if you are unfamiliar with the proceedings, especially if you or the other party would want to contest the divorce.
Annulment and Divorce
Many people use these terms interchangeably, but these two are far different. Annulment and divorce are legal ways to end a marriage but have different processes. The divorce procedure in Singapore legally dissolves a valid marriage.
On the other hand, an annulment declares the marriage invalid; therefore, never existed. In an annulment, one party must prove that the marriage is invalid based on several grounds of annulment. These grounds may include fraud, underage marriage, forced consent, and mental illness, among others.
It is very unfortunate for marriage not to find its fairy tale endings. It may be a bittersweet experience for many, but sometimes divorce in Singapore is the silver lining in an unhappy and unhealthy married life.
It is better to prepare yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially when filing for divorce.
Are you looking for a Singapore divorce lawyer? Find them at Lie Chin Chin. Lie Chin Chin is committed to helping you get through the divorce process stress-free. Visit Lie Chin Chin today.