It is inevitable for couples to have rough patches in their married life. Some pairs have overcome these challenges, while others, hundred attempts of reconciliations and years of consideration, still end up with the Singapore divorce process as the best option.
Divorce in Singapore can cost couples relatively high. There are a lot of things that make up the divorce cost. It includes the lawyer fees for divorce, court fees, and other professional service charges.
The amount can also exponentially grow if the divorce is contested. Continue reading this article to learn more about contested divorce.
A Brief Introduction On Contested Divorce
There are two types of Singapore divorce process: contested and uncontested.
Couples have contested divorce when they have disagreements on the proposed settlement post-divorce. This type of divorce is the most complicated. The feuds over child custody, care and support, alimony, and division of marital assets, results in the case being taken to court.
Because of the longer proceedings, the legal fees also increase due to lawyer fees for divorce.
On the other hand, pairs have uncontested divorce when both parties agree on the proposed post-divorce settlement. It means fewer negotiations and court hearings; and legal fees.
Generally, uncontested divorce is more convenient, inexpensive, and less stressful, yet some people choose to hire the best divorce lawyer in Singapore to contest the divorce.
Reasons Why Spouses File Contested Divorce
In Singapore, a contested divorce process is more complicated, expensive, and requires more court proceedings than an uncontested divorce. Still, spouses choose to contest divorce for valid reasons that will serve the best interests.
Here are the reasons why people contest divorce in Singapore:
There are hidden or concealed assets.
Spouses file contested divorce if they think or know that their spouses are concealing assets. Assets are a significant issue in divorce. The judge bases the amount for spousal support and child support on the declared assets in the court. It means that the smaller declared assets they are, the smaller the alimony and child support will be.
Why do spouses conceal their assets? It is to avoid sharing them with their estranged partners. The presiding judge doesn’t take into account these concealed assets during the child support, alimony, and division of marital assets.
If the spouse believes or knows their ex-partner has concealed assets, they are likely to contest the divorce. In the Singapore divorce process, the court may require both parties to disclose their financial records, including marital, separate, and commingled assets. The court may also require you to submit tax returns, loan applications, and other financial account records.
In some circumstances, divorce lawyers can submit a written request to banks where the other party is allegedly hiding their other assets. Most of the time, searching for hidden assets are done by the best divorce lawyer in Singapore with the help of a few leads from the spouse.
Child custody and visitation agreement
Another divorce-related issue estranged couples always disagree with is the child custody and visitation agreement. The best interest of the children must be the priority when it comes to child custody.
Several factors need to be considered when deciding on child custody. It includes the capability of the parent to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and financial needs and the parent’s relationship and affection history with the child.
There are four types of custody orders in the Singapore divorce process. These are sole custody, joint custody, and hybrid order, and split custody.
In sole custody, the parent granted custody is the sole decision-maker for the child.
In joint custody, both parents are the decision-makers.
Moreover, in hybrid order, the parent granted custody is the decision-maker for the child, yet still required to consult the former partner for the decision.
In split custody, the court grants parents the custody of one or more children, while the other parent gets custody of other children or siblings.
Alimony and spousal maintenance
Alimony or spousal maintenance or support is the money that must be paid to their ex-partners. It happens when the spouse has to compromise to attend to the child; for example, the parent has to leave their job to take care of the baby and support the household.
In the Singapore divorce process, the husband must pay spousal maintenance to his ex-wife. The court will decide the amount of the alimony after considering significant factors, such as the income of each party, the number of children, and the length of the marriage.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a contested divorce is it settles these three primary disputes in the divorce agreement. However, it also has a fair share of benefits and drawbacks.
Just like uncontested divorce, contested divorce has pros and cons in the Singapore divorce process.
Pro: Discovery of hidden assets
For parties who conceal their assets, this pro could also be their disadvantage. Depending on the Final Judgement, the spouse requesting alimony has a high chance of winning a larger spousal maintenance amount and getting a fair share of the divided marital assets after revealing these concealed assets.
Lawyer fees for divorce are constantly increasing if the divorce case becomes more complicated and the length of the Singapore divorce process becomes longer. Filing a contested divorce in Singapore cost higher than uncontested.
Pros: Fair agreement
Basically, for the spouse who thinks that the proposed divorce agreement is unfair for his side, the best step is to let the court decide. Spouses with strong cases are likely to gain favourable agreement and final judgement than the previously prepared settlement. It is essential to hire the best divorce lawyer in Singapore to increase the chance of a favourable outcome.
Generally, preparation of all documents needed in the proceedings is already stressful. It is also time-consuming and energy-consuming. A contested divorce also impacts children emotionally and mentally.
Divorce is a crucial process not only for the estranged couple but also for their children. There are valid reasons why people contest the divorce, and it is always for their and their children’s best interests. There are also valid reasons why uncontested divorce should be in consideration. The key is weighing its advantages and disadvantages.
Lie Chin Chin
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