Lawyer Fee/Divorce Cost In Singapore

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Divorce can be a costly and stressful process in Singapore. Some contentious and contested Divorce cases in Singapore can cost up to $30,000 or more. This can be an extremely significant and large amount of money, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best representation during your Divorce proceedings.

Don’t worry, at Tembusu Law, we always try to work within a budget that’s comfortable and fair for everyone.

Our lawyer fees for Divorce in Singapore depend on the scope and amount of work involved – this is something that we always discuss and agree on with you before we start work.

To ensure that you’re only paying for work that you actually need, we’ll make adjustments to our rates later depending on any increase or decrease in the actual scope and complexity of work. 

DIVORCE COSTS IN SINGAPORE CAN BE AFFORDABLE AND ARE NOT ALWAYS EXPENSIVE

The cost of a Divorce in Singapore greatly depends on whether it is contested or uncontested. In Singapore, lawyers’ fees for Divorce can be expensive because several factors influence their costs, including working as a solo practitioner, working for a large law firm, and how long they’ve been practising. Here’s what you should know:

Lawyer Fees For Divorce In Singapore Can Be Affordable

In some cases, the lawyer fees can range from as low as $1,500 to $3,500. Fees will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the Divorce. Higher fees may be required for contested Divorces, primarily if the parties disagree on many issues, including child custody. If so, the attorney would spend more time preparing the arguments and evidence for his client’s case.

A Contested Divorce can cost anywhere between S$13,000 and upwards, which is not a considerable amount for many. Lawyers who specialise in Family Law typically spend more time in court than lawyers who specialise in other types of law. Therefore, the cost is considerably higher than an uncontested Divorce lawsuit.

At Tembusu Law, the fees we charge are all-inclusive. There will be no hidden setup fees or other additional fees.

Breakdown On Lawyer Fees For Divorce In Singapore

Tembusu Law firm offers services to both contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce cases.

The typical lawyer fee structure for Divorce in Singapore varies depending on your circumstances. As a rough guideline, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to about $2,500 for Uncontested Divorce costs in Singapore, and when both parties agree on all terms such that there is no need for negotiations.

Sometimes, you may spend $2,500 to $4,500, including cases involving matrimonial property, children, and maintenance. In addition, this range of amounts also applies if there is still some negotiation needed in the case and if one party does not agree with all the Divorce terms.

For a more accurate quote on our lawyer fees for Divorce in Singapore, we highly recommend contacting us for a free consultation.

Example Of Divorce Costs In Singapore

If you’d like to have an idea of the estimated legal cost of your Divorce in Singapore and how we aim to make our legal services accessible and affordable, here’s an example of our suggested pricing and sample legal services package for a typical case:

Example: Simplified & Uncontested Divorce

– both spouses agree to a Divorce and all ancillary issues before the Divorce papers are submitted to the Court

Item & Scope of Work Fixed Fees

Stage 1: Terminating the Marriage

We prove to the Court that there’s enough reason to allow a Divorce by showing proof of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage:

  • Adultery: your spouse committed adultery and it’s now intolerable for you to live with him. You must have evidence to prove the adultery and people often engage a private investigator to obtain this evidence.
  • Unreasonable Behaviour: your spouse behaved in an unreasonable manner that you (the Plaintiff) feel it’s now impossible to continue living with your spouse (the Defendant) e.g. domestic violence and physical abuse, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, improper association with another person (i.e. having a girlfriend or boyfriend outside the marriage).
  • Desertion: your spouse abandoned you for at least 2 years and has no signs of returning.
  • Separation: you’ve lived apart and maintained separate households from your spouse. Separation with your spouse’s consent requires at least 3 years and Separation without your spouse’s consent requires at least 4 years.

From $1,500 to $2,500 for cases involving:

  • No Matrimonial Property
  • No Children
  • No Maintenance
  • All terms agreed
  • No negotiation required

From $2,500 to $4,000 for cases involving:

  • Matrimonial Property
  • Children
  • Maintenance
  • Some terms agreed
  • Some negotiation still required

Stage 2: Ancillary Matters

We deal with all other Ancillary Matters regarding Custody, Care & Control, Access & Visitation Rights of Children, Dividing Matrimonial Assets & Properties and Maintenance payments for the Wife and Children).

Item & Scope of Work

Stage 1: Terminating the Marriage

We prove to the Court that there’s enough reason to allow a Divorce by showing proof of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage:

  • Adultery: your spouse committed adultery and it’s now intolerable for you to live with him. You must have evidence to prove the adultery and people often engage a private investigator to obtain this evidence.
  • Unreasonable Behaviour: your spouse behaved in an unreasonable manner that you (the Plaintiff) feel it’s now impossible to continue living with your spouse (the Defendant) e.g. domestic violence and physical abuse, verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, improper association with another person (i.e. having a girlfriend or boyfriend outside the marriage).
  • Desertion: your spouse abandoned you for at least 2 years and has no signs of returning.
  • Separation: you’ve lived apart and maintained separate households from your spouse. Separation with your spouse’s consent requires at least 3 years and Separation without your spouse’s consent requires at least 4 years.

Stage 2: Ancillary Matters

We deal with all other Ancillary Matters regarding Custody, Care & Control, Access & Visitation Rights of Children, Dividing Matrimonial Assets & Properties and Maintenance payments for the Wife and Children).

Fixed Fees

From $1,500 to $2,500 for cases involving:

  • No Matrimonial Property
  • No Children
  • No Maintenance
  • All terms agreed
  • No negotiation required

From $2,500 to $4,000 for cases involving:

  • Matrimonial Property
  • Children
  • Maintenance
  • Some terms agreed
  • Some negotiation still required

*Note: actual costs of a Singapore Divorce will depend on the agreed scope and amount of work involved (e.g. how many terms are already agreed between the couple); further adjustments will be made to the rates depending on any increase or decrease in the actual scope and complexity of work.

In order to help you better manage your finances and keep track of your legal expenses, we can work out instalment payments of our transparent and fixed fees if you need extra help with your cashflow – this helps you afford the legal support that you need, and it also gives us the opportunity to be involved in your case and help you.

If you’re still unsure of what to expect regarding the process and timeline of a Divorce, here’s a quick summary of how a Divorce will typically proceed:

Divorce Process & Timeline

1. Start the Divorce process and apply for Divorce to dissolve the marriage

You file and serve the Writ of Summons & Statement of Claim on your spouse. Your spouse must respond within 8 days i.e. confirm whether your spouse will challenge or contest the Divorce.

A Contested Divorce and Trial is a long, painful and expensive process – you and your witnesses must give evidence during Court sessions and hearings after which the Court will make a decision and deliver its judgment. However, if you both agree and do not contest that the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage has occurred, then at least Stage 1 of the Divorce process won’t need a trial and you can continue directly to deal with the Ancillary Matters.

2. Memorandum of Appearance & Defence

If your spouse contests the Divorce, he must file these 2 documents in Court. The Memorandum of Appearance confirms that he’ll be participating in the Divorce and Court process. The Defence summarises your spouse’s main reply to your claims stated in your Statement of Claim.

3. Interim Judgment

If the Court agrees that there’s enough evidence to show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, an Interim Judgment will be granted that dissolves the marriage. The case then continues for the Court to decide on how to handle the Ancillary Matters.

4. Communication, Discussion, Negotiation & Mediation

You and your spouse discuss and negotiate to try to reach a compromise or settlement – this helps you both avoid going through a painful, messy and fiercely contested divorce and trial. These discussions can take place via Family Dispute Resolution Conferences (FDRCs) and Counselling Sessions organised by the Family Justice Court.

5. Pre-Trial & Ancillary Matters Hearing

If you and your spouse cannot reach a compromise or settlement regarding your respective demands, a Trial will take place for Judge to review the evidence in support of the respective claims.

If your spouse doesn’t contest your Divorce application and only challenges you on the Ancillary Matters, your spouse must file the Memorandum of Appearance to point out the Ancillary Matters he intends to challenge without filing a Defence.

6. Affidavits

You and your spouse each file an Affidavits of Assets & Means (also called an “AOM”) to give details of your assets and financial responsibilities such as your salary and sources of income and expenses. If you want to get more information from your spouse regarding their assets and finances, you can use the Discovery process to ask for the Court’s help to force your spouse to give you the requested information.

7. High Court

If your matrimonial assets and properties have a total net value of more than $5 million, then your Divorce will be handled in the High Court.

8. Ancillary Matters Hearing

After you and your spouse have submitted the Court papers and Affidavits, a separate Court hearing date will be scheduled for you and your spouse (or your Divorce Lawyers or Family Lawyers) to present the legal arguments and evidence in support of your claim for Ancillary Matters (i.e. Custody, Care & Control, Access & Visitation Rights of Children, Dividing Matrimonial Assets & Properties and Maintenance payments for the Wife and Children):

  • Children: which parents will get Custody of the Children, Care and Control of the Children, and Access to the Children?
  • Maintenance of the Wife and Children: how much maintenances should the husband pay for the Wife and Children?
  • Matrimonial Assets & Property: how should the matrimonial assets & property (e.g. matrimonial home, investment properties, cash in bank accounts) be distributed between you and your spouse?

9. Final Judgment

After the Court has reviewed the evidence and made a final decision regarding the Ancillary Matters, you must wait for at least 3 months (from the date of the Interim Judgment) before you can get the Final Judgment which finalises all the terms of the Divorce.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT
THE COST OF DIVORCE & LAWYER FEES FOR DIVORCE IN SINGAPORE

How Expensive Would It Be If Two Parties Agree To Have A Divorce?

In Singapore, the cost of a Divorce should not be too expensive if both parties consent to the terms of the Divorce. This is known as an uncontested Divorce where both spouses have consented to all the terms of a Divorce. It is easier and less expensive to get an uncontested Divorce than a contested Divorce.

Why Are Contested Divorce Fees More Expensive Than An Uncontested Divorce Cost In Singapore?

There can be many reasons why contested Divorce costs in Singapore are more expensive than an Uncontested Divorce. One key reason is that it takes longer to resolve the terms in a Contested Divorce. When two parties cannot agree on Divorce terms, they may be forced to go through lengthy court proceedings. It entails numerous steps aside from pre-trial legal motions and hearings, including discovery, depositions, expert reports, and trial preparation.

Who Is Responsible For Paying For The Divorce Lawyer Fees In Singapore?

In most cases, you are responsible for paying your own legal fees. The Court can also determine if a person should be responsible for paying the other person’s legal fees, such as in a situation where the losing party bears the legal costs of the winning party.

Do You Allow Instalment Payments For Lawyer Fees?

Yes. We accept instalments of lawyer fees for Divorce in Singapore. We know that many people have financial constraints, so we have made instalment payments available for our clients who need additional financial assistance.

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