Need some legal help? The team from Consilium Law Corporation answers common questions about separation and divorce in Singapore. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs).
I want out of my marriage but I’ve heard horror stories about the divorce process, especially as an expat living overseas. What should be my first step?
You should become informed as to your rights and the various mechanisms for attaining a divorce. In addition to obtaining advice from a lawyer, information is available for free on various government websites and through certain organisations. The Singapore Family Justice Courts (FJC) are increasingly advocating the use of mediation as a powerful tool in family proceedings. The hope is that parties will manage to set aside personal differences and come to a compromise agreement, especially regarding the issues, interests and welfare of children, which are of paramount importance in line with the FJC’s emphasis on a “child-centric” approach.
We have two children; is there anything I can do to make sure they’re protected as far as possible from our issues?
Both court ordered and private mediations are currently promoted over litigation and trials. Where a divorce involves at least one child below 21, the FJC mandates a compulsory parenting programme that parents must complete before commencing divorce proceedings, as well as mandatory Court counselling and mediation sessions after filing the divorce. Couples are also turning towards private mediation before filing, to obtain a comprehensive amicable settlement agreement, especially regarding issues concerning children.
What are the advantages of mediation?
- Saving time and money compared to litigation;
- A more informal process, resulting in decreased stress for parties;
- Parties resolve their issues themselves, with the aid of a mediator, rather than adjudicating these issues;
- It can improve communication between parties; All matters which are discussed during mediation are kept confidential.
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