Contested Or Uncontested Divorce
Can Uncontested Divorce Be Quick In Singapore?
Civil and Muslim divorces in Singapore are different procedurally. This article will focus on Civil (non-Muslim) divorces.
Under Sec 95(3) of the Women’s Charter there are 5 grounds of divorce.
The court hearing any proceedings for divorce shall not hold the marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless the plaintiff satisfies the court of one or more of the following facts:
- a) that the defendant has committed adultery and the plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the defendant;
- b) that the defendant has behaved in such a way that the plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with the defendant;
- c) that the defendant has deserted the plaintiff for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ;
- d) that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 3 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ and the defendant consents to a judgment being granted;
- e) that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 4 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ.
In a divorce there are normally 2 stages;
- a) division of matrimonial assets
- b) maintenance of wife
- c) maintenance of children
- d) custody
- e) care & control
- f) access
The easiest part is to actually divorce. This is done by going for an uncontested divorce. This means to agree to the other party’s grounds and terms which have been filed.
Once this is done, then we can proceed with that in the ancillary stage.
In some instances, parties are able to resolve all issues and are able to proceed on a simplified divorce instead. This is the fastest and cheapest route. This means that both divorce and ancillary issues are settled at one go and you may obtain your final judgement in about 4 months from filing.
If the divorce is settled and both parties have to contest ancillary issues (meaning they do not agree), this may take a few months (around 6 months) before the whole case is finished.
In cases where parties are very acrimonious (bitter or resentful) and litigious (too ready to take legal action), they may also contest on the grounds of divorce with each party having their own grounds and going to trial to prove it. This is the most expensive and longest in terms of time.
There are also occasions where parties take out Personal Protection Order (PPO) or interim applications ( such as interim maintenance, interim custody or interim access) as they wish for the Court to make a temporary order due to certain urgency and circumstances.
The Final order may be different from the Interim order. PM us to discuss your case before deciding which route is best.
The first step that we take in a divorce case is to write letters proposing favourable terms (for both sides) to the opposing party. Our style is always to save costs for our client and attempt to try and settle in an amicable way.
If that fails, we will then proceed to a contested divorce route for our Client.
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