Divorces are stressful and complicated events to go through. It is also financially and mentally draining for everyone involved. Many have reservations about hiring a lawyer to assist with their divorces. They worry about the legal fees and the issue of them getting overcharged being a key concern.
How Much Are Divorce Fees in Singapore
The divorce fees in Singapore can range from $1150 to $3500 if couples get simplified uncontested divorces. It’s a different story when it comes to contested divorces. Fees can blow up to $10000 to $35000, depending on how long the couples are willing to drag the proceedings out. Of course, each lawyer charges different fees and at different rates for divorce proceedings.
What Fees Would I Have to Pay for Getting a Divorce
A simplified uncontested divorce allows you to skid away from being buried under legal fees. That’s why getting a simplified uncontested divorce is recommended by the Singapore Judicial system.
Uncontested divorces mean that the work of your divorce lawyer is predictable and defined. It let many divorce lawyers firms offer fixed fees. As stated above, lawyer fees range can start from $1150 for divorce. Some firms in Singapore offer fixed divorce fees that include disbursements and GSTs.
These are the services included in the fees charged by Singapore law firms:
- Drafting of all aspects of the divorce papers.
- Fees for filing the divorce to the Singapore courts.
- Commissioning fees to be paid to the Commissioner of Oaths for witnessing the signing of divorce papers.
- Acquiring the Interim and Final judgements of the divorce.
This divorce process is more complicated and requires more time and effort. The divorcing parties are required to attend a Mandatory Parenting Programme. It is conducted by the Divorce Specialist Support Agencies for couples with at least one child under 21 years of age.
You can only file for a contested divorce after completing it and receiving your Certificate of Completion. The following are what is included in the work your divorce lawyer will do for you:
- Preparing the divorce documents to commence the case.
- Serving your spouse the divorce documents.
- Filing of your reply or counterclaim to the defence if your spouse were to also engage a lawyer.
- Attendance at status conferences for Court updates and to receive directions.
- Preparing and sending proposals and documents to your spouse and their lawyer.
- Attendance on mediations with you which is compulsory for spouses that have underage children.
- Advice on your rights and protect your interest throughout the divorce process.
Some firms provide lump-sum figures for the entire divorce process. Most lawyers charge fees based on their hourly rates for divorce. It will provide you with certainty and allow you to plan for all your legal costs. On the other hand, it is more advisable to ask your lawyer to charge based on their hourly rate if you anticipate reaching an amicable agreement at the early stages of the divorce process.
Pre-Divorce Consultation Fees
You can go to a Singapore law firm and seek advice from a divorce lawyer. Many arrange for a consultation with a trusted lawyer first before proceeding with a decision. Many Singapore divorce lawyers offer free consultations either on the phone or face-to-face. However, you likely get charged a small consultation fee for a more detailed consultation. It is because the divorce lawyer has to offer case-specific advice. Fees can range from $150 to $500, depending on your lawyer and the extent of your consultation.
Calculated Fees Based on the 2 Stages of Divorce
There are two stages to the divorce process no matter which kind you are getting. The length of each stage depends on how cooperative two divorcing couples are willing to be. Of course, the amount you could be charged also depends on how long each stage is dragged. Here is a rough estimate as to how your divorce lawyer may charge based on:
Lawyer fees charged for both stages of divorce may be based on:
- Hourly rate. A Singapore divorce lawyer typically charges hourly rates that range from $150 to $800.
- Pre-agreed Lump Sum. The range for the agreed sum starts at $10000 to $25000.
- Service Completion. It will only cost you for each day that the trial was to happen.
Stage 1: Dissolution of Marriage
If you are the one filing for the divorce, your lawyer will have to draft pleadings to start the divorce process. Apart from the preparation of pleadings, your lawyer is also required to prepare letters of correspondence to your spouse and their lawyer.
- Preparing the Affidavit-of-Evidence-of-Chief. The document contains a detailed statement that informs the Court of the facts of the case.
- Attending all pre-trial conferences.
- Corresponding with your spouse and their lawyer.
- Attending hearings and your lawyer examining witnesses.
- Preparing written submissions and application of legal arguments to the facts.
Stage 2: Ancillary Matters Hearing
The Court will be deciding on the ancillary issues at Stage 2. It includes children’s custody, division of your assets and quantum maintenance. The scope of work that your divorce lawyer will carry out includes:
- Preparing the Affidavits of Assets and Means.
- Attending pre-trial conferences
- Corresponding with your spouse and their lawyer
- Assisting you through the discovery and interrogatory processes.
- Preparation of all your written submissions.
- Attendance on all your ancillary matter hearings.
Getting Trusted Help
Many law firms offer packages that outline and includes all the fees for every service your divorce lawyer performs. Lie Chin Chin is a family law practice that offers legal service packages. It lets you anticipate the totals costs you are to pay at the end of the divorce process. Of course, you have to pay higher if you insist on hiring the best divorce lawyer that Singapore has to offer.