Lie Chin Chin

Quick and Simplified Divorce - Uncontested Divorce

 

We have witnessed situations where parties to a marriage are eager to get a divorceand move on with their lives. It is understandable to want to be freed from the constraints of an unhappy and unfulfilling marriage. You maybe interested to know what your options are when it comes to divorce, and in particular the most fuss-freeway to get a divorce. Often, an uncontested divorce is the quickest and most cost-efficient way to obtain a divorce. It is typically the less stressful and less emotionally draining route to getting a divorce. The reason why we do not see more uncontested divorces in Singapore is likely because divorcing parties are unable to come to an agreement on various matters.

 

Often, an uncontested divorce is the quickest and most cost-efficient way to obtain a divorce. It is typically the less stressful and less emotionally draining route to getting a divorce.The reason why we do not see more uncontested divorces in Singapore is likely because divorcing parties are unable to come to an agreement on various matters.

What is an uncontested divorce?

 

Simply put, an uncontested divorce occurs when you and your spouse agree on a divorce and on the ancillary matters such as custody, care and control of your children, division of matrimonial assets and spousal/children’s maintenance.

 

When you and your spouse are able to agree on the various issues that a divorce raises, the entire process of divorce becomes streamlined. While the plaintiff will still need to initiate the divorce by filing divorce papers, it is common in uncontested divorce cases that the parties would already have discussed and agreed to the contents of the divorce papers such that they are acceptable by both parties.

What does the Defendant (the person receiving the divorce papers) do?

 

Similar to what the Defendant would do in contested divorce cases, the Defendant can and should file the Memorandum of Appearance containing his/her statement that he/she consents to the divorce within 8 days of receiving the divorce papers, specifically, the Writ of Divorce. Even if the Defendant does not enter an appearance, the Plaintiff can still proceed with the uncontested divorce.

Agreement regarding ancillary matters

 

Two of the most hotly contested issues during divorce are the custody, care and control arrangements for the children of the marriage, and how the parties’ HDB flat (if there is one) is to be dealt with. If you and your spouse are able to come to a consensus on these issues without the Court’s intervention, you can file the Agreed Parenting Plan and the Agreed Matrimonial Property Plan. Your agreement and cooperation on these issues will expedite the process of divorce.

 

 

If you and your spouse can agree on all the ancillary matters regarding custody, care and control of your childrendivision of matrimonial assets and maintenance, you can file a Draft Consent Order for the Court’s approval.

A Short Case Study – Agreeing on the divorce but not on the ancillary matters


H and J agreed that going their separate ways would serve themselves and their children’s interests best. J had caught H committing adulterous acts when H thought she was out at work. While H was sorry for hurting J, he agreed with J that their relationship had deteriorated, and their marriage was irreparable. They thus agreed that J would file for divorce on the basis that their marriage had broken down irretrievably owing to H’s adultery. Since they had agreed on getting a divorce and the ground for divorce, the first stage of divorce proceedings was dealt with quickly and without trouble.


However, H and J could not agree on who would have care and control of their children. Additionally, neither party was willing to part with any portion of an antique porcelain collection that they had amassed together. They were directed by the Court to attend mediation sessions to try and reach a settlement on these issues. However, as they could not come to an agreement, they each had to file Affidavits of Assets and Means, and proceeded to the Ancillary Matters Hearing where the Court would decide on these issues after considering all the facts and circumstances of the case.


While the process of divorce is typically a lot faster and easier when parties agree to an uncontested divorce, it is advisable to engage an experienced and reliable lawyer to help you as there are still various documents to file and Court deadlines to meet. A good divorce lawyer will help you to comply with legal requirements and will be able to advise you while ensuring that your divorce goes as smoothly as possible.

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