Divorce is a significant life event and can unfold in different ways – either as a contested or uncontested divorce. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for anyone going through this process.
This guide aims to help you understand the difference between the two and to help you make an informed decision as you journey through this challenging phase of your life.
Divorce can generally proceed in two ways:
: This occurs when the divorcing couple cannot agree on the Divorce or the ancillary matters. It includes who is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage, custody and care and control of children, access to children, child maintenance, spousal maintenance, and the division of matrimonial assets.
In such cases, usually, one party will file for Divorce on the Normal Track and serve the divorce papers to the other party. Contested divorces are usually more complex, require a longer time for the matter to be resolved, and are usually more costly.
Read more: Contested Divorce Process in Singapore
Uncontested Divorce (or Fast Track)
: This occurs when the divorcing couple have reached a mutual agreement on all issues for the Divorce and the ancillary matters.
In such cases, parties will both sign the divorce papers before it is filed in Court on the Simplified Fast Track. Uncontested divorces are usually simpler and less costly as the matter can be resolved in a shorter period without any prolonged legal proceedings.
Read more: Fast-Track Uncontested Divorce in Singapore
From contested to uncontested
Even if you start off with a normal track, don’t lose hope. There is still an opportunity for parties to resolve their issues amicably and come to a settlement through negotiation and mediation without resorting to litigation.
However, litigation would sometimes be unavoidable in situations, particularly where:
- Your spouse is being unreasonable about the Divorce and/or the ancillary matters proposals;
- Parties’ position is too far apart, leading to difficulty in reaching a compromise and settlement;
- The issues at hand are complex and
- Expert opinion is needed for a fair assessment of the matter, including child issues and the division of matrimonial assets.
In such cases, our matrimonial lawyers will tailor a litigation strategy to suit your unique circumstances and objectives. We aim to guide you through this challenging time with a strategy that addresses your concerns, and aligns with your needs.
Options to Consider Before Contested Divorce
There are several options couples can consider to simplify the process and to potentially avoid contested divorce proceedings, including:
: Mediation involves a neutral third party who helps couples reach an agreement on various aspects of their Divorce. Mediation is particularly beneficial as it encourages communication and negotiation, often leading to mutually satisfactory outcomes without needing a contested divorce.(Read more…)
Collaborative Family Practice
: Collaborative Family Practice (CFP) is another option for couples looking to avoid a contested divorce. In this process, both parties and their respective lawyers agree to work together to resolve their differences.
This approach is grounded in open communication and cooperation to reach an amicable settlement.(Read more…)
Counselling and Reconciliation
: In Singapore, parties must attend court-ordered mediation and counselling if they have minor children after they file for Divorce. However, parties can also consider counselling before the commencement of divorce proceedings.
These sessions can sometimes lead to reconciliation or, at the very least, help couples better understand each other’s perspectives, which can be beneficial in reaching an agreement.(Read more…)
Marital Agreement or Deed of Separation
: A marital agreement or Deed of Separation is a viable option for couples who are not yet ready to divorce but wish to live apart. This agreement outlines the terms of the separation, including financial arrangements and child-related issues.
While not a divorce, it sets out a clear framework to simplify the divorce process if the couple eventually decides to proceed with the Divorce.(Read more…)
Why choose GJC’s divorce lawyers?
With GJC law, you can rely on the guidance of an experienced family law team. We offer a FREE 30-minute consultation on the divorce process to discuss your options.
Our divorce lawyers have all the experience you need to support you throughout the process.
Understanding the nuances between contested and uncontested divorces is pivotal in navigating the divorce process efficiently. Whether your Divorce is amicable or requires more rigorous legal intervention, it’s essential to approach it with the right information and legal support.
Remember, while sometimes complex, the path to resolution is always navigable with the right guidance and a clear understanding of your rights and options.
We’re here for you
At Gloria James-Civetta & Co, we aim to find a solution that will work for you and your family.
Our matrimonial law team will provide a consultation tailored to your circumstances and needs.