What Causes a Divorce to Get Complicated?

causes of complicated divorce

Navigating divorce can be an overwhelming process, often fraught with unexpected challenges.

This blog post delves into some issues that can complicate divorce proceedings and offers insights into how one can better prepare for the potential hurdles ahead.

Asset Division and Property

In Singapore, dividing properties like the matrimonial home during a divorce can introduce complex issues, especially when one party wishes to retain the home, after the divorce.

This challenge is compounded by the need for parties to comply with Housing and Development Board (HDB) regulations and eligibility requirements. Negotiating a fair division of assets, including investments and valuables, requires careful consideration and, often, expert advice.

The court prioritizes the children’s welfare and living arrangements, which may influence their decisions about how the family home and other joint assets should be dealt with.

Read more: Factors Influencing Division of Matrimonial Assets

Children’s Issues

Child issues are among the most sensitive and emotionally charged aspects of divorce proceedings. Disputes over custody, visitation, and parenting arrangements can escalate tensions between divorcing spouses, prolong legal proceedings, and have lasting effects on the well-being of the children involved.

It will raise a lot of questions:

  • Who will get custody of the children?
  • What visitation rights will I have?
  • How will child support be calculated?
  • Can I relocate with the children?
  • How will major decisions about the children be made?
  • What happens during holidays and vacations?
  • What if my ex-spouse doesn’t follow the custody or visitation schedule?
  • How can we co-parent effectively?
  • What if my child wants to live with me full-time?

These are challenging and emotionally charged topics for both spouses and children. If complex issues arise, a legal team with the appropriate expertise can advocate for the best outcome for the well-being of your children.

Read more: Comprehensive Guide to Children’s Issues in Divorce Cases

Child Maintenance

These issues involve determining financial support for the child’s needs, including education, healthcare, and daily living expenses. Disagreements over the amount of maintenance, the duration for which it should be paid, and the parent responsible for payments can lead to protracted negotiations or court battles.

The court prioritizes the child’s welfare and makes decisions that best support the child’s interests, but reaching an agreement that satisfies all parties can be challenging.

Read more: Child Maintenance: Contribution and Application

Family Businesses

The division of a shared family business during a divorce can present several challenges, but working together to achieve a fair agreement that benefits both parties during a potentially messy divorce can significantly reduce the emotional and financial burden on either party.

As a married couple, the law dictates that upon divorce, all matrimonial assets, which can include a family business, should be divided in a just and equitable manner. In some cases, it may be appropriate to split the assets equally. All assets, including a stake in any businesses, will be considered when deciding on a settlement.

If you or your spouse owns a business, there are several issues that may need to be considered:

  • Legal implications surrounding the involvement of each spouse in the business.
  • Financial implications, including ownership rights and potential claims.
  • Recognition of contributions made by either spouse, particularly non-monetary contributions, towards the business.
  • Potential conflicts of interest and the need for clear boundaries between personal and professional relationships.

Read more: Understanding Property Settlements in Divorce

Spousal Maintenance

These disputes centre around financial provisions for the spouse upon the termination of the marriage, which should cover essentials like accommodation, food and other necessities.

Differences in views regarding the amount, duration, and how much the other spouse should pay towards the relevant spouse’s maintenance can complicate matters and create tension between parties. This issue might be further complicated when one spouse has given up their job during the marriage to be a homemaker and care for the children, which will affect their earning capacity and job prospects.

Finding a mutually agreeable solution that acknowledges both parties’ circumstances and aligns with legal standards can be particularly challenging, adding difficulty to the divorce.

Read more: Am I Entitled to Spousal Maintenance in Singapore?

Concealed Wealth

The presence of hidden or undervalued assets can significantly complicate divorce proceedings, injecting an element of distrust and complexity into an already emotionally charged situation.

These assets, which have been deliberately concealed by one spouse, can take various forms, from secret bank accounts and offshore investments to undervalued properties or businesses.

Such acts by one party aim to manipulate the financial landscape of the marriage and help that party gain an upper hand over the other, during asset division and spousal support negotiations.

Uncovering these hidden assets often requires meticulous financial investigation and forensic accounting, as well as legal strategies to compel transparency and accountability.

Beyond the financial implications, the discovery of hidden assets can erode trust and escalate conflict between spouses, prolonging the divorce process and exacerbating its emotional toll.

Uncovering hidden assets is crucial for achieving a fair and equitable resolution, ensuring that both parties have access to their rightful share of marital assets.

Read more: Full And Frank Disclosure In Divorce Proceedings

High-Net-Worth Divorces

A high-net-worth divorce presents unique challenges and complexities, that can significantly complicate the process. With substantial assets at stake, including real estate, investments, businesses, and valuable possessions, determining their value and dividing them fairly becomes an intricate exercise.

Businesses owned by one or both spouses add another layer of complexity, requiring thorough valuation and assessment. Considering what parties’ standard of living was during the marriage and how it may affect spousal support arrangements, may involve substantial time and money.

Reaching an agreement on these matters can be time-consuming and contentious, especially when one spouse attempts to conceal assets or income. Legal battles over prenuptial or postnuptial agreements may further complicate matters.

Read more: Understanding High-Net-Worth Divorce in Singapore

International Jurisdiction

International divorces involving multiple countries or jurisdictions introduce complex issues such as child custody, asset division, enforcement of court orders across borders, and potential child abduction concerns, which can be time-consuming and costly to resolve.

The presence of multiple homes and assets around the world might enable individuals to file for divorce in more than one country, requiring a strategic decision on where to proceed.

Our experienced family and divorce law team collaborates with an international network of lawyers to understand the legal stance in relevant countries, quickly determining the best course of action to protect our client’s interests.

Read more: International Divorce: Jurisdiction of the Singapore Family Court

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