The divorce rate in Singapore is relatively low because the only grounds for divorce in this country has, up until recently, been the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Even so, spouses can agree to marriage dissolution.
Things are rarely pleasant in this case, either. That is why you have to understand and prepare for your divorce expenses.
How much does divorce cost in Singapore? The guide below takes you through all the fees you can expect, from start to finish, with plenty of examples to help you understand.
Read more below.
You cannot divorce immediately in Singapore. If your marriage lasted for less than three years, you can:
If you have been married for over three years, you must meet certain conditions to obtain a divorce, proving:
Note: The Singapore Parliament passed a bill for amicable divorce in January 2022. This bill allows couples to separate legally without providing exceptional circumstances.
Warning: The conditions above do not apply to Muslim people. In this case, you will have to follow the legal steps according to Sharia to obtain a divorce.
Divorce proceedings are lengthy in Singapore. Your divorce will usually be finalised within six months to a year if both parties agree to the divorce.
This is called an uncontested divorce.
Contested divorces will take over a year, though, because the spouses do not agree to the divorce conditions. And obviously, the divorce fee in Singapore for such cases is much higher.
Here is why:
Your divorce will go through two stages:
That brings us to the following point:
How much does divorce cost in Singapore?
The cost of divorce in Singapore depends on three factors:
We will break these down below:
An uncontested divorce fee in Singapore is much lower than that for a contested divorce:
As you can see, the average cost for an uncontested divorce is $2,500, whereas the average cost for a contested divorce in Singapore is $24,000.
This difference stems from the complications that arise. Each new variable in a contested divorce requires additional fees.
We will explain these below.
Uncontested divorce variables include:
As such, a couple agreeing to the divorce will apply for an uncontested divorce. The simple uncontested divorce procedures entail:
In this case, the divorce lawyer fees in Singapore round up to $1,500.
A complicated uncontested divorce entails the existence of one or more variables from the list above:
If both parties agree, the divorce fees in Singapore for a complicated uncontested divorce reach $2,500-$3,500.
You will apply for a contested divorce if you and your spouse do not agree on certain terms. One common variable leading to a contested divorce is usually the custody agreement.
In this case, the divorce fee in Singapore is much higher because you will need more mediation sessions.
The more sessions you need, the more your lawyer will charge you. That is why it is in your interest to settle matters privately to decrease your divorce lawyer fee.
Contested divorce variables entail:
Note: In uncomplicated, uncontested divorce matters, you will only have to pay the flat fee package, typically between $1,200 and $3,500.
To understand how the division of your marital assets affects your divorce costs, it is essential to understand how these assets are divided.
But first, what assets does the Court consider?
These assets include things that one or both spouses acquired:
Remember: Gifts or inheritance are excluded from this list unless they have been improved considerably during the marriage.
The Court categorises this assets’ provenance as:
For example, one husband’s income is considered a direct contribution to the family’s well-being. But if the wife stayed home with the children and cared for the husband’s meals or clothes, her contribution to this obtained income is considered indirect.
Remember: As a rule of thumb, the proportion of direct vs indirect contributions is 60-40.
As such, a sole working husband can have 60% of the value of shared marital assets, while the stay-at-home spouse is entitled to 40%.
This is just a general rule. Your specific case may be different:
Maintenance fees are established for:
The longer the marriage has lasted, the higher the spouse’s alimony. By comparison, short marriages below six years might not entail spouse maintenance fees.
These maintenance fees can be repaid in a lump sum or monthly installments.
In Singapore, the divorce cost is paid by both spouses. Typically, the person who petitioned the divorce (aka petitioner) pays for filling out the documents. After that:
If you have trouble paying for your divorce, you should not make unwanted compromises. You also shouldn’t extend the divorce proceedings too much because your children may suffer more in this case.
Instead, you can always consider a loan from a licensed money lender in Singapore.
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