What does it take to be a good practitioner of family law Singapore?
Family law Singapore is not a typical practice area, where the focus is about maximizing profits. In some other areas of law, litigation (going to Court) may be necessary and helpful in getting to the issues and resolving them. This may not apply for the practice of family law Singapore.
In the recently concluded Family Justice Practice Forum, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon called family lawyers the “first port of call” with “tremendous opportunity” to influence how a client approaches his/ her case.
In divorce cases where children are involved, the welfare of children is of paramount importance. Hence, it is important to reduce conflicts in the practice of family law Singapore.
The Chief Justice suggested that practitioners of family law Singapore can:
- Advise clients to cooperate with the other party, unless safety is an issue;
- Practise preventing lawyering- for eg, file the writ at the appropriate time to avoid surprises which may lead to spousal conflict; and
- Assist clients in getting the help they need- for eg, therapists, mental health professionals, family service centres and government agencies.
The Chief Justice also said that there is now an increasing cross-border element in the practice of family law, as approximately 40% of divorces involved a foreigner. As a result, new issues are raised in enforcement, relocation and custody.
See: Koh Xing Hui, “Reducing conflict key in family law cases: CJ”, The Straits Times, 15 July 2017
As a practitioner of family law Singapore, I always try to make the divorce less acrimonious and resolve matters out of the Courtroom whenever possible.
Most of my cases are resolved by way of mediation and I am happy for my clients that they do not need to spend excessive time and financial resources on the case.
However, it may not always be possible to “cooperate with the other party”, particularly if the other party is overly demanding and intimidating. I have seen how some of my clients are pushed to the corner by their spouse.
In cases like these, it may be best for the dispute to be resolved, as expeditiously as possible, by the Courts.
Ultimately, the practice of family law Singapore is a calling, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help people in resolving their marital issues.
Contact us today for more information on family law Singapore.
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