Divorce by Mutual Agreement

Divorce by mutual agreement means that neither party blames the other for the divorce, as they are choosing not to contest matters. There are many advantages to such uncontested divorces. For example, it means spouses don’t have to have been separated for 3 years before divorcing.

A new law, making changes to the Women’s Charter is to be introduced, allowing couples to divorce without needing to prove fault, or separation. According to the Divorce by Mutual Agreement law, divorcees need to show that they have been married for at least 3 years, and that they have tried to reconcile.

Only one of the spouses is required to file for divorce in Singapore. The other spouse cannot prevent this filing for divorce, however they can object to it. It can be quicker, cheaper and less stressful to work towards a friendly, uncontested divorce, with no need to argue things out in court.

How can a specialist divorce lawyer help your uncontested divorce?

Even if a divorce will be simplified and uncontested, with decisions made on the main issues before filing for divorce, it is still a good idea to consult a specialist lawyer, particularly if children and/or properties are involved. This is because:

  • A lawyer will be able to advise you on child issues, and questions regarding your matrimonial home, which after all is likely to be your most valuable asset. They can also help you navigate questions around HDB rules on sale or retention of HDB flats, and how much maintenance you need to pay to the other spouse and children.
  • The lawyer can help you understand what you are entitled to, as well as any obligations you will have. They’ll help you to reach a fair agreement with the other party. The lawyer will also fill out the necessary paperwork which will state the terms of the settlement.
  • Getting legal advice reduces the likelihood of having to vary the divorce order, because engaging a lawyer makes it more likely that you will get it right first time, based on the correct legal advice.
  • Hiring a specialist lawyer means you understand from the outset what you can and cannot get in the settlement, so you will not waste time arguing over something you are not able to get. Time and money will therefore be saved.

You can see that, even in amicable divorces, with no courtroom contest, a good divorce lawyer can make things much easier, especially if your circumstances involve property and/or children.

What needs to be agreed on?

Agreement will need to be reached on the following matters, which your lawyer will help you to do:

  • The amount of maintenance to be paid to a wife and any children involved.
  • How property is to be divided.
  • Who will have care and control of the children, and what the access and visitation rights should be given to the other parent.
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