Simplified Divorce Process – Checklist (for uncontested matters)
Things to Note when instructing a divorce lawyer:
A. What you need to inform the lawyer
1. Both parties (Party 1 and Party 2) to have a discussion on the ground for divorce on whether it is proceeding as :
- Fault basis – Adultery OR Unreasonable Behaviour
- No Fault basis – 3 years separation with consent OR 4 years separation
2. Which party will be the Plaintiff or the Defendant.
3. Do the parties have a settlement? have they reached an agreement on the ancillary issues pertaining to the following:
- 1. Custody (joint or sole)
- 2. Care and Control (sole / shared / split)
- 3. Access (liberal / reasonable / supervised) & (to be specifically detailed or mutually agreed)
- 4. Maintenance
- Wife Maintenance:
- 1. $1
- 2. $ Specific sum per month / for any period of time?
- 3. or no maintenance
- 4. or Lump sum maintenance
- Division of Assets:
- 1. What is the pool?
- 2. How will it be divided?
- 3. Any other ancillary issues?
4.Costs – who will bear? One party or shared?
B. The Process
- 1. One party (Party1) to engage a lawyer(Lawyer1) to provide the instructions.
- 2. Lawyer 1 draws up the draft divorce papers. This includes the statement of claim, statement of particulars, terms of settlement and sends to Party 1.
- 3. Party 1 discusses the 1st draft with Party 2.
- 4. Party 1 in forms Lawyer 1 of the amendments to be made on the 1st draft (if any), pursuant to discussion with Party 2.
- 5. Lawyer 1 makes the amendments and sends 2nd draft to Party 1.
- 6. Party 1 and Party 2 discuss again.
- 7. Party 2 has the option to seek independent legal advice on the draft divorce papers.
- 8. In the event Party 2 opts not to, and is in full agreement with the draft divorce papers, Party 1 will then convey to Lawyer 1 to draw up the final paper for the parties’ execution before a Commissioner for Oaths.
- 9. Party 1 and Party 2, meet with Lawyer 1 and Commissioner for Oaths to sign the papers.
- 10. Papers are filed in court and set down as an uncontested divorce hearing date is fixed. [Usually 3-4 weeks’ time]
- 11. Parties’ attendance is dispensed with.
- 12. Interim Judgment is granted.
- 13. Final Judgment is extracted in 3 months’ time.
[NB: Mandatory 2-hr counseling session for parents to attend if they have children below the age of 21 yrs. This is conducted before the extraction of the Final Judgment certificate.]