3 reasons why you should not contest your divorce and try your best to convince your spouse to go through the divorce on an uncontested basis in Singapore
Contested or Uncontested?
That the first question your lawyers would ask you if you call their office to seek some legal advice. Statistics are clear that marriages are breaking down faster than ever and hence divorces are on the rise.
Personally, I feel that there is a tremendous cost to society from the rise in divorce rates. Families are broken, children are displaced from comfort and security, spouses undergo tremendous emotional trauma and at times physical abuse as well. Productivity at work may suffer.
Furthermore, the Courts are saddled with family cases where by Husband and Wife are locking their horns for fierce battles over their children (custody, care & control and access), division of matrimonial property and matrimonial assets etc. As the number of cases increase, more court rooms, more professionals and more judicial officers and support staff have to be devoted to resolving these issues of families.
A point to take note in all of this is that a divorce is essentially a very private affair between the members of a family, in particular, the spouses themselves. Why should the State be involved in this process and devote so much resources which may be better allocated to other pressing causes?
The burden of resolving contested divorce cases between litigating spouses has been mitigated to a certain extent by the bolds initiative of the family courts which have spearheaded compulsory mediation and counselling programmes such as the “Child Focused Resolution Conference” (CFRC).
Nevertheless, I am of the view that it is best for parties to sit down, thrash out all their terms and conditions of a divorce even before they step into a lawyer’s office so that their divorce can be uncontested. Consider this – yes, you may not know of your strict legal rights without going to a lawyer or making a court application; However, in my humble opinion, the question of strict legal rights should not matter to a couple who are divorcing. Instead, there has to be plenty of give and take, a common-sensical approach to resolving the disputes on issues such as maintenance, custody, care & control, access, division of matrimonial property and assets. To further convince my existing and potential clients, I thought it would be useful to set out 3 reasons why going through a divorce on an uncontested basis rocks!
REASON 1: DO NOT THROW GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD!
A divorce is not an investment. It is a procedure that you do to clean up the mess in your life. Why do you want to blow money off on that? You are better off spending monies on yourself and/or your child/children (if any) than expending it on legal fees. Divorce fees are not cheap! A contested divorce could cost you thousands of dollars. In my experience, in our firm, a divorce in which all issues are contested i.e. Husband and Wife cannot agree on the maintenance to be given to the Wife/Children, the spouses cannot agree on the division of matrimonial property/assets etc can cost up to S$25,000 over a period of 1 year or more.
REASON 2: YOUR LIFE IS NOT A SITCOM EPISODE TO BE AIRED IN PUBLIC
You do not want to wash dirty laundry on what happened in your marriage in public. Please note that documents such as Writs of divorce, Statement of Claim, Statement of Particulars, Parenting Plans, Matrimonial Plans are public records which members of public may access provided they have approval from the Courts. You do not want the intimate details of your life being published by an angry or disgruntled spouse.
REASON 3: DO NOT LOSE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE TO LAWYERS, COURTS & OTHER STRANGERS
Your divorce lawyer and the divorce Courts are complete strangers who should not decide the issue of custody, care, control, maintenance, division of matrimonial assets etc. You and your spouse should decide. Why you abdicate control of your life to third party arbitrators? Agree with your spouse! Sit with him or her. Tell her what you want. Resolve it. Why do you need a lawyer to tell you to ask for this and ask for that? Ask yourself what you need in this divorce. Not what you want! What do you need to move on? What do you need to stand on your own two feet? If you are woman, do you not want your dignity and pride back? Why do you need to be tied to him in the form of a maintenance order? If you are guy, isn’t it shameful to be brought to Court for paying for your own children, your own flesh and blood? Why do you need to be judged by a third party, advised by a third party for what is essentially a very private dispute between two persons who used to love each other?
I believe in a fresh and new approach to divorce and divorce issues. It makes little sense fighting over everything or even sticking to your strict legal rights all the time. Please call any of our lawyers to handle your divorce matter in a sensible manner.