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Not everyone thinks highly of divorce lawyers in Singapore. Recently, Ms Jocelyn Wong Jia Min wrote to the Straits Times forum page. She called family lawyers “driven by commercial interests” and alleged that “overcharging is common in the industry”. Wong went so far as to say that it is “not uncommon to hear of lawyers fomenting conflict between parties in divorce and other family-related proceedings- by encouraging their clients to distort and exaggerate events- preventing early settlements”. She said that there should be a cap on fees and suggested that lawyers should be incentivised towards encouraging their clients to attend counselling before filing for divorce.
See: Jocelyn Wong Jia Min, “Establish robust, constructive framework to engage family lawyers”, The Straits Times, 17 December 2017
Ms Wong’s letter led to strong rebut from several members of the family bar. For instance, the co-chairman of the Family Law Practice Committee of the Law Society said “it is unfair to tarnish the standing of family lawyers who provide valuable services that include advice on mediation, collaborative family practice and other tools to resolve familial issues”.
See: Michelle Woodworth, “Lawyers play significant role in family justice system”, The Straits Times, 24 December 2017
At Family Law Advocates, we charge a flat sum of $1,200 nett for uncontested, amicable divorces. The procedure is relatively straight forward and an experienced lawyer will probably take no more than 2 hours to complete the case.
In comparison, I recently handled a contested case involving custody issues. I had to read up more than 200 pages of text messages sent between parties, countless emails and go through evidence such as receipts and photographs. Preparing my client’s affidavit itself took more than 20 hours. My client was billed $4,500 nett. The sum includes disbursements, GST, filing fees and other miscellaneous expenses. My hourly rate was about the same as that of an undergraduate student tutor.
Financially, it makes a lot more sense for me to take on 4 uncontested cases, rather than 1 contested case. Why did I still take on the case then? Quite simply, the answer is to help. I seek to help my clients achieve a fair outcome, regardless of his/ her financial means.
It is unfair for Ms Wong to suggest that family lawyers are only driven by commercial interests, and nothing else.
A top divorce lawyer Singapore will help you achieve the best possible outcome in the most affordable and efficient manner.
If you need the assistance of a top divorce lawyer Singapore, contact us today!
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