Divorce in Singapore is a 2-stage process.
First stage – Will I get a divorce?
In the first stage, the Court will decide if the marriage has irretrievably broken down. There will be a Plaintiff (the person filing for divorce) and a Defendant (the Plaintiff’s spouse). If the Court finds that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, an “Interim Judgment” will be granted.
The first stage of the divorce process can either be contested or uncontested.
If it is contested, there will be a trial where the Court will hear the evidence presented by both parties to decide if the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
Should both parties decide to part amicably and proceed with the divorce, a trial can be avoided. There is no need to produce supporting evidence in the absence of a trial. On the other hand, if you and your spouse are not able to agree on the divorce, you can resolve your differences via the mediation process.
Second stage – How will ancillary issues involving my children, assets and maintenance (alimony) be resolved?
In the second stage, the Court will decide on the ancillary issues- namely issues involving children, assets and maintenance (alimony).
1. Who will be the custodial parent– the mother or the father?
2. How are the matrimonial assets and matrimonial home going to be divided? Should one spouse transfer his/ her share of the matrimonial home (HDB or private property) to the other? Or should the matrimonial assets be sold after the divorce and proceeds divided thereafter?
3. How much (if any) maintenance (alimony) should the wife be receiving from the husband? How much maintenance is reasonable for the upkeep of the children?
All of these questions will be discussed and decided in the second stage of the divorce process.
Should both you and your spouse decide to resolve the ancillary issues amicably, you can do so via the mediation process (assuming you are not able to come to a resolution by yourselves).
Otherwise, the divorce will proceed to and be finalized via an ancillary matters hearing, during which the Court will make a decision on the above questions.
Your divorce lawyer can assist by:
1. Ensuring that your interests and concerns are addressed.
2. Advising you on your rights.
3. Drafting the documents required by the Court, mediator and your spouse (you will be required to exchange documents and proposals with your spouse).
4. Representing you in negotiations with the other party, mediation sessions and in Court.
You may also be interested to read more about:
2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage
5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)