If your spouse does not agree to a divorce or does not agree to a settlement with you, our family lawyers can assist you in a Contested Divorce.
Our divorce lawyers have consistently achieved positive outcomes in contested divorce cases. Our family lawyers recently helped our client win a Court of Appeal case on a complex case of division of matrimonial assets. The Court of Appeal granted the husband 75% of S$13.6 million in matrimonial assets, up from 25%.
In another Court of Appeal decision, our team led by Deputy Head Ms Dorothy Tan won a landmark case at the Court of Appeal for the husband (Twiss, Christopher James Hans v Twiss, Yvonne Prendergast  SGCA 52). This is a landmark case that has been cited and followed in subsequent family law cases involving the division of assets. To read the case, please click here.
Our clients consistently compliment us that we practise family law with “a human touch and heart.”
6. DIVORCE LAWYER SPECIALISTS
At PKWA Law, our family lawyers are specialists in family law:
Accredited Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre.
Singapore Mediation Centre Accredited Collaborative Family Practitioner (CFP).
Appointed to Singapore Mediation Centre’s Panel of Collaborative Family Practitioners (CFP).
7. WE ENCOURAGE SETTLEMENTS
Our approach to family law is to encourage settlements, not arguments. We use litigation as a last resort when the matter cannot be amicably resolved.
8. CLEAR & TRANSPARENT FEES
Our fees are fixed, clear and transparent. We are one of the first law firms to publish our fees publicly. Our fees are thus transparent and fair to everyone.
9. STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
Our divorce lawyers are in court daily, working with the family court judges, their staff and family counsellors, and other family lawyers.
We pride ourselves on fighting hard for our clients while working well with everyone. We believe the most effective and best divorce lawyer is respectful of others and respected by others.
10. ONE OF SINGAPORE’S TOP SME COMPANIES
PKWA Law is an established full-service Singaporean law firm with 30 years of solid reputation and more than 100 employees. We are conveniently located at HDB Hub.
PKWA Law is ranked as one of Singapore’s top SME companies in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in the “Singapore 1000 / SME 1000 Awards”. This is an annual award organised by DP Information Group and Ernst & Young and supported by IE Singapore, SPRING Singapore, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA), Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) and the Singapore Business Federation.
PKWA Law’s clients include DBS, UOB, OCBC, Maybank, StanChart, HSBC, Citibank and CPF Board.
PKWA Law was also named as one of Singapore’s fastest-growing companies 2020 in a study published by Straits Times and global research firm Statista.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CONTESTED & UNCONTESTED DIVORCE?
An uncontested divorce occurs when there are no disagreements between you and your spouse over the divorce, children custody and financial issues. An uncontested divorce is recommended over a contested divorce as it is quicker, stress-free and legal fees are cheaper.
In an uncontested divorce, the whole divorce process is compressed in that both the divorce and the ancillaries will be dealt with at the same time.
If your divorce is uncontested, we will draft the court order that sets out the agreement between you and your spouse. This consent court order is binding once the Family Court approves it, a process that usually takes about 4 weeks.
There is a 2-step process in a contested divorce – the court will first deal with the divorce first and then deal with the ancillary issues later.
How long does a Contested Divorce take compared to an Uncontested Divorce?
How long your divorce case takes depends on whether it is contested or uncontested. If your divorce is uncontested, you can expect to obtain your Interim Judgment within 4 weeks of your filing the divorce papers. If your case is contested, your case may take between 6 to 12 months to complete.
In Singapore, about 80 to 90 per cent of divorce cases are settled without a full hearing. The high rate of successful resolutions is commendable and is due to the active and effective role of the Singapore Family Courts in helping parties settle.
CAN YOU DIVORCE IN SINGAPORE?
When you file for a divorce, whether it is contested or uncontested, you must show you qualify for a divorce in Singapore and that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
First, you must have been married for at least 3 years before you can file a Writ for divorce on the ground that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. If you are married for less than 3 years, you can only file for divorce if you have obtained permission from the court. This is not easy to obtain as you must show that you have suffered exceptional hardship or if your spouse has been exceptionally cruel.
Second, you or your spouse must be domiciled (treated Singapore as your permanent abode) at the divorce proceedings’ commencement. Alternatively, either of you must have resided in Singapore for 3 years immediately before the commencement of divorce proceedings. Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents are presumed to be domiciled in Singapore, so only non-Singaporeans and non-PRs need to prove domicile.
Third, you must show that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown in the marriage.
What is an ‘Irretrievable Breakdown’?
The Court will only grant a divorce if you can prove that the marriage has “broken down irretrievably.” To prove this, you must show one or more of the following facts:
Defendant (the person being sued) has committed adultery with another person (the Co-Defendant), and Plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with Defendant.
Defendant has behaved in such a way that Plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with him/her.
Defendant has deserted or left Plaintiff for a continuous period of 2 years without any intention of returning.
Separation for 3 years
Plaintiff and Defendant have lived apart for at least 3 years, and the Defendant agrees to a divorce.
Separation for 4 years
Plaintiff and Defendant have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 4 years. No consent is required from Defendant.
Ancillary issues that frequently crop up in Contested Divorce
Once you have obtained your divorce in a contested divorce, the court process moves to the second stage. This is where the court decides on ancillary issues such as children custody, property division and money issues.
In a divorce proceeding, the parties may apply for:
custody, care and control of children and access.
Division of the matrimonial home.
Division of other matrimonial assets.
Maintenance for spouse and children.
In deciding on the division of matrimonial assets, the Court will take into consideration various factors including:-
the extent of contributions made by each party in money, property or work towards the acquiring of the assets and non-financial contributions made by parties;
any debts owing by either party which were contracted for this joint benefit; and
the needs of the minor children (if any) of the marriage.
You should organise all the documents you have in support of your claim as these will have to be shown to the Court. Documents include evidence of mortgage payments, payslips, CPF statements, Income Tax assessments and documents relating to the matrimonial home, amongst others.