Typically, we will conduct an initial interview to understand your situation better.
If you have any children with your spouse who are below 21 years of age, you will be registered for a parenting program.
This program consists of a one-time, 2 to 3-hour session.It will usually not be about how to reconcile with your spouse.Instead, it will normally focus on how the divorce may impact on your child(ren) and how the parties should not use the child(ren) as a pawn(s), etc.
It is for you to attend on your own.In other words, there is no need for your spouse to attend with you.You should also not bring your child(ren).
After you complete the program, you will normally be given a certificate of completion.
This certificate will be filed into court together with the divorce papers.
In the meantime, the divorce papers will be prepared.
After the papers are filed into court, the court will affix its seal to them.
The divorce papers (including Writ for Divorce) will then be served on your spouse.
Counting from the date that he or she received the papers, your spouse is required to:
-file his or her memorandum of appearance within 8 days; and
-file his or her defence (and counterclaim, where applicable) within 22 days.
If he or she does not file the documents, you can proceed with the case without his or her input.
If your spouse files the documents in time, the court will call the parties' lawyers for a case conference.
Often, the parties would go for mediation after that.
Mediation is essentially negotiations with the assistance of a judge.
If mediation is successful, the rest of the case will be "just paper work" and no further "fighting" is required.
If the mediation is not successful and the parties are not able to agree on anything, the court will fix the case for trial.
At the trial, both sides will get the chance to call their witnesses (including themselves) to prove the facts on which the divorce is based.
If there is insufficient evidence, the divorce application will be dismissed and the parties will remain married.
If there is sufficient evidence of the facts for divorce, the divorce will be granted.
Affidavit of assets and means
After that, the parties will be required to file their affidavits of assets and means.
These are sworn statements listing out:
-the parties' assets and liabilities
-the parties' income and expenses
-the child(ren)'s expenses
-the parties' direct and indirect contributions towards the assets and the household, etc.
Ancillary matters hearing
Once all appropriate evidence has been filed, the court will fix the case for an ancillary matters ("AM") hearing.
At this hearing, the court will hear the parties' lawyers and in the end, decide on issues such as the child(ren)'s custody, care and control and maintenance, spousal maintenance, division of matrimonial assets, etc.
After the usual 3-month waiting period and the outcome of the AM hearing, the final judgment will be granted and the divorce completed.
The above is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.
Call 6535 1800 now for a No Obligation discussion.
Lam & Co. (Advocates & Solicitors): An International and Singapore divorce law firm.
We can help by addressing your questions and speaking about how to move forward.