Why You Should Go For An Uncontested Divorce In Singapore

Why You Should Go For An Uncontested Divorce In Singapore

What's The Difference Between Contested And Uncontested Divorces In Singapore?

A divorce in Singapore is often an unhappy situation, regardless of how amicable the parting is. In most cases, both parties just want to move on with their lives as quickly as possible. The fastest and most efficient way to go through a divorce is for both parties to agree on all the relevant terms and conditions relating to the dissolution of the marriage (i.e. a Simplified Uncontested Divorce).

Unfortunately, while this is often the ideal scenario, divorcing spouses in Singapore often find it difficult to see eye to eye on many of these issues. Oftentimes, the residual emotional hurt and pain makes it even harder to discuss the necessary issues rationally and sensibly. One or both parties may feel like they have to ‘win’ the divorce even though the harsh truth is that there are no winners when a marriage ends.

This can sometimes devolve into arguments of increasingly petty proportions, such as disputing ownership of a pet. There have been unpleasant claims (fortunately not in Singapore) where one party has demanded for a pet to be put to sleep and having the ashes of the pet divided equally.

When a divorce becomes contested, both parties will bring their respective arguments in court to settle the outstanding issues.

Why Choose An Uncontested Divorce In Singapore? (If Possible)

1) It's A Quicker Process

Contested divorces can end up being unpleasant and protracted. You may end up finding yourself defending multiple applications related to the contested divorce, which can extend the time the divorce takes to finalize.

Prolonging a divorce can be hard on you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. It's also very hard on your children and extended family. With a simplified, uncontested divorce, everyone involved saves a great deal of time.

2) It Minimizes Family Conflict

Divorce is difficult, no matter how you proceed. However, it is ideal to minimize conflict as much as possible, particularly if you have children.

Going through a divorce will be an emotional time for you, your spouse and your family. When you choose an uncontested divorce, you acknowledge that while the marriage didn’t work out, that won’t stop you and your spouse from trying to handle the separation amicably.

Discussing and coming to your own agreements on ancillary matters such as the division of your matrimonial possessions, maintenance of the wife and children, and custody, care and control will promote a healthier post-divorce relationship down the road. Even though the marriage may be ending, you’ll still have to deal with each other to some extent for a long time afterwards.

Leave the acrimony at the door and try your best to come to a consensus with your spouse.

3) It Helps Maintain Privacy

When you and your significant other agree on an uncontested divorce, you avoid going through the painful process of discovery and interrogatories. When matters become adversarial, the person who once protected your deepest and darkest secrets will usually exploit any matter to gain an advantage against you. Everyone has skeletons in their closet and some of these skeletons can be dragged out and harshly questioned in a trial setting should the divorce become contested.

Uncontested divorces are settled quickly and quietly within the confines of a law firm, with only you, your spouse and one or two lawyers present. You’ll probably never have to see the inside of a courtroom and anything remotely unsavory remains between you and your spouse.

4) It Helps To Avoid A Trial

A lengthy divorce trial is not only hard on everyone because of the amount of time it takes, but it's also usually more expensive. A divorce is difficult enough without adding the expense and anguish of a trial on top of it.

In addition to being expensive, divorce trials also tend to be tedious and drawn out. You’ll spend a lot of time in a courtroom listening to hours of your dirty laundry being aired. Sometimes, a lot of these details ends up being excessive and not strictly necessary. It’s not unusual for a party in a divorce trial to leave the court even unhappier despite getting what he or she wants.

5) It Is Better For The Children

Naturally, this only applies if there are children to the marriage. Under Singapore law, the paramount consideration is the welfare of the child. As a mother or father, you would also want to ensure that your children are shielded as much as possible from the pain of having to see their parents separate.

Making them go through contested court proceedings will only exacerbate the hurt they’re already going through.

When Would You Choose A Contested Divorce?

Despite the many advantages of choosing uncontested divorce in Singapore, there are instances when an uncontested divorce might not be appropriate.

In particular, it may be better to bring divorce proceedings to court when:

1) There has been domestic violence in the marriage (e.g. when Personal Protection Orders or Domestic Exclusion Orders have previously been taken out).

2) Both parties refuse to speak to each other and negotiations have come to a standstill.

3) One party is susceptible to being intimidated and coerced by the other party.

4) The matrimonial asset base has many valuable and complex assets.

In other cases, you may simply feel that your interests would be better upheld in court proceedings. There are no right or wrong answers here. As any decent divorce lawyer will tell you, it really depends on your fact situation and what you’re most comfortable with.

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Filed under: Divorce
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