Divorce and annulment rates in Singapore have gone down over the last few years. 2016 tracked the most number of divorces at 7,614 marital dissolutions. It went down to 6,959, an 8.7% decrease, as of 2020. Still, separating couples commit blunders that can cost them a lot in their divorce settlements. Here are eight pieces of advice to avoid making mistakes in your contested or uncontested divorce settlement at the Singapore courts.
#1 Becoming a Victim to Finances
The most common error divorcing spouses make is being unaware of their financial situation. Gather as much information as you can in a short amount of time if you believe your spouse is preparing for a divorce. Keep an eye out for any funds in joint checking and brokerage accounts. You may need to retain legal and forensic accounting professionals to assist you in locating and valuing assets.
#2 Involving your Children
No matter the grounds for divorce you gave the Singapore courts, never involve your kids to win the case. There are several reasons why you should keep your children out of your divorce procedures. They should not be involved in your conflicts with your spouse. Sending the message to a youngster that one of their parents is an awful person can have long-term emotional consequences.
Trying to retaliate against your ex by using your children might cost you financially. A court or mediator may see through your activities and grant your ex full custody or order you to pay extra child support.
#3 Not Paying Your Children Attention
It is just as terrible to neglect your kids because of the divorce. Divorce affects both their financial security and mental wellness. You do not have to get into specifics with your children. However, it is a good idea to check in with them regularly. Inquire about their preferences for specific areas of the divorce.
Never attempt to coerce your children into doing what you believe is best for them. Not paying attention to your children while your divorce is still in the Singapore courts can cost you a gruesome custody or child support battle.
#4 Not Seeing the Taxes Coming
In many divorce cases, the sale of a private house is a component of the marital division. It is due to having a tax consequence. Filing for a contested or uncontested divorce at the Singapore courts may necessitate selling your private home. The owners might expect to avoid paying capital gains tax, provided the sale price does not reach a certain threshold for an individual or a combined return.
You can say the same for any retirement plan divided into a divorce procedure. As a result, if you live in a high-priced real estate section of the nation, you should be prepared to pay capital gains tax on the sale of your property during a divorce. When selling stocks in a divorce, the situation is similar. Capital gains taxes are also applicable in this case. Fidelity Investments explains the dangers of selling equities in a divorce settlement.
#5 Refusing to Consider Mediation
Most—if not all—lawyers will tell you to consider mediation, whether you are having a contested or uncontested divorce in Singapore. Mediation might save you and your spouse thousands of dollars in legal bills and mental anguish. A neutral third-party mediator (an experienced family law attorney) assists them in reaching an agreement on the issues in their divorce.
Mediation is entirely voluntary; the mediator will not serve as a judge or insist on a conclusion or agreement. In contrast to the usual adversarial legal procedure, which requires a judge, mediating spouses can make their judgments about what is best for their family.
#6 Refusing Any Compromise or Easily Giving In
Often one side would want to fast track or prolong the Singapore divorce process. However, compromise is essential throughout a divorce. If you refuse to give up on anything, you may find everything you desire taken away from you. You will also find yourself with more legal bills the longer your divorce processes last. Prolonging the divorce can permanently harm your connection with your ex much more than before.
Your best chance is to attempt to be flexible and work with your ex to reach an arrangement that benefits both parties. Some partners dig in their heels. They believe that moving an inch will compel their partners to cave and give them what they want. If you are dealing with a difficult spouse, it is a good idea to seek the assistance of a divorce mediator. A divorce mediator may assist you in reaching an agreement and developing a strategy that works for everyone.
#7 Disregarding the Change in Budget
Many divorcing spouses fail to realise that their divorce settlement must last. Financial planning can help people transition from a marriage to a single lifestyle. It is critical for separating spouses to construct a new home budget to follow after the Singapore courts rule out the divorce process.
An intelligent home budget for the single life can help you build a benchmark for your present and future living expenditures. Begin by developing a monthly spending plan that includes crucial personal financial needs such as housing, utilities, cable and phone, long-term savings, childcare, and alimony and child support. It will lessen your need to live hand to mouth, borrow money, or work a second job to make ends meet. Developing realistic expectations and producing sound plans for the assignment and division of financial resources are crucial steps.
#8 Holding Onto Expensive Assets
The marital home, the pension you earned, a picture acquired during your marriage—these assets frequently bring an emotionally heated dispute to divorce talks. It also impairs effective decision-making for both parties. Getting the house implies that you won the divorce and that nothing else can go wrong.
No matter the grounds for divorce you submit at the Singapore courts, holding onto your assets is not always the best solution. The home is not always worth the struggle, and winning is not always the best end. You and your ex would be better off selling the house and splitting the earnings. That way, you will both have a fresh start.
You do not have to scour Singapore for a divorce lawyer to handle the process of your separation. Some divorce processes do not necessitate the intervention of a divorce lawyer. However, knowing one for legal assistance is still a good idea.
Aspect Law Chambers LLC is a Family and Criminal Law practice that many people turn to when they need legal counsel. Come to their reputed firm for legal advice. They house some of the best criminal and family lawyers in the country. You can also consult with their probate lawyer if you have any Singapore estate concerns.