The Simple Answer is of course a “YES” ! But, WHY?
Divorce Procedures in Singapore are extremely complex and having an experienced family lawyer on your side to guide you step-by-step through the entire divorce process (be it a Civil Divorce, Muslim Divorce or an Expat Divorce) can help you reach the most favourable divorce settlement in the smoothest manner possible.
A Good Divorce Lawyer can help reduce anxiety and frustration greatly by dealing with the divorce paperwork as well as providing with strategic legal advice, allowing you to quickly move on from your divorce.
If budget permits, you can even engage the Best Divorce Lawyer in Singapore, who as a seasoned veteran in matrimonial proceedings, can leverage on his/her vast experiences and come out with the best advice and strategy for your case to help you get the most favourable possible result.
If you attempt to file for a divorce without a lawyer, chances are that you may make very costly mistakes, with lasting and painful consequences to the division of your matrimonial assets, assets and custody of your children, the duration and quantum of the divorce maintenance for your spouse and children.
Unlike civil lawsuits, a divorce has no winner and loser. hiring the wrong divorce attorney for your case can lead to unnecessary pain and amplify your suffering.
Our aim is to provide you with a brief guideline so that you can find a competent lawyer who can handle your problems with ease.
In summary, your divorce lawyer can help you with:
(i) Sorting out paperwork and administration for the divorce
(ii) Provide you with sound legal advice, a strategy for your divorce and determine the best course of action.
(iii) Be aware of your condition and recommend counselling sessions for you (if needed)
(iv) Act as your pillar of emotional support on his capacity
When you engage a lawyer to deal with your divorce, it is important that you know briefly what you are paying for. You definitely do not want to part of something you do not need or worse, being prodded in a direction that makes you feel uncomfortable when you are the paying customer.
The job scope of a divorce lawyer would include:
“So… Who should I hire?”
After highlighting the importance of hiring a family lawyer for your case, the above question will naturally pop up in your head. You don not have to worry though; we aim to provide you with a guide for search by placing divorce lawyers into broad categories so that it may smoothen the divorce process for you.
(A) The TOP Lawyer
The “TOP” lawyer would usually refer to a person who i widely recognised within the family law industry. He should be experienced within the field of family law and should be able to provide you with a clear understanding of the consequences at each stage of the divorce. Such a lawyer should usually be a specialist in the field of family law, though it may not the case as he might also be sufficiently skilled in other areas. Lastly, an important trait is also for the lawyer to have good reviews – usually, lawyers who have such reviews often provide quality services.
We would recommend that you hire the “top” lawyer wen you divorce involves multiple ancillary matters, which makes it an extremely complex case, or when there are high stakes involved (i.e. high value matrimonial assets.) Top-notch services usually command premium fees and it would only be worth your pennies if your divorce is extremely complicated. Otherwise, we think it is wiser and more economical to choose another option when your divorce is more straightforward.
(B) The BEST Lawyer
The “BEST” divorce lawyer, frankly is not very different from the “top” lawyers described in the above, yet there are indeed some subtle difference. Apart from the experience and specialist knowledge that you would expect, the “best” lawyer should be engaging as well. What we mean by the “best” lawyer does not refer to the lawyer being ranked first in the field, rather it refers to a lawyer who is best suited for your situation and someone you are comfortable with.
We understand that divorce is a personal matter; every divorce carries a different story. Hence it is important that you choose a lawyer whom you feel at ease with sharing your pains, especially if you are in a sensitive situation, so that he or she can understand and provide with the best legal advice.
(C) The GOOD Lawyer
The “GOOD” lawyer is, needless to say sufficiently skilled and experienced to deal with your case. He might not necessarily be a family law specialist but he will be definitely be able to deal with complex procedures and paperwork of divorce cases. Similarly, he would also be engaging, proactively acquiring your views and participating genuinely in your case; guiding you through the case with your best interests at heart.
A “good” lawyer would not cost you as much as the above types of lawyers. You are trading service for a lower cost and thus you should be expecting less direction interaction with the lawyer and may receive a more standard treatment rather than a custom one. However, having said that, a “good” lawyer will be more than equipped to provide you with advice and deal with you case satisfactory.
First and foremost, we would like to advise you against hiring a Cheap Divorce Lawyer simply because of the price; we are not saying that you should never hire a more Affordable Divorce Lawyer but you should always consider the quality of the services of the lawyer before you choose to engage a family court attorney.
Typically speaking, the price of a competent and Good Divorce Lawyer will usually range from S$2,500 to S$6,000 for Uncontested Divorces – the divorce fees will vary according to 4 factors:
(i) The amount of documents involved
(ii) The level and experience of your lawyer
(iv) There may be other miscellaneous charges that are usually included int he rice quoted to you but you should always check with your lawyer before making a decision.
Note: Never be “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish”! Be extremely careful when you come across lawyer advertisements offering divorce legal services for S$1,500 or less. Some online ads for the services of family lawyers even claim to go even as low as S$999 for the complete divorce procedure! Most probably, you will find out to your utter dismay that your final bill inflated by a lot more “additional items” (which were not included in the “fixed price”)! We thus strongly recommend that you engage a divorce lawyer who is sincere and upfront about their professional fees, and provide you a detailed breakdown of the cost components.
For the amount you are paying, you should expect the bare minimum service from your divorce lawyer, which should include:
(a) An introductory discussion over the phone or a first consultation in person at the divorce lawyer’s office. Some matrimonial law firms offer an initial 20 minutes free consultation, which may be useful to gauge your comfort level with the family lawyer. Yet do not immediately write-off divorce lawyers who charge even for the first meeting, simply because they will dive deep into your case during the discussion and offer you great value, strategies and insights (which is well worth any money you pay them)!
(b) Acquisition of all necessary information from you and to provide you with a detailed explanation for divorce procedures
(c) Drafting of all divorce paperwork and submit them to the Singapore Family Courts via e-file.
(d) Regular updates on the progress of your case
If you are really strapped tightly in terms of finance, there are other solutions (legal aid bureau, legal clinics, pro bono services, etc) you may consider. Our recommendation is that you should only hire a Cheap Divorce Lawyer if both spouses are fully agreeable on the divorce and other related issues, such as the Division of Matrimonial Assets and the Custody of Children.
Lastly, we would like reiterate our message: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do call and find out more before you decide to commit.
Many often make the mistake of believing that they will only be billed by their divorce lawyers towards the end or when their flat is sold – that is NOT true!
A divorce lawyer has the right to withhold the final divorce documents until their clients have paid up. Divorce lawyers should provide an upfront estimation of costs; even if they do not, we advise you to approach your lawyer regarding the costs in order to avoid getting a shock later.
Understanding the differences between the two types of divorce can better prepare you for the difference divorce lawyer costs when you first meet your divorce lawyer.
It is usually easier for you to negotiate for a fixed fee with your divorce lawyer if you are going through an “Uncontested Divorce” – these divorces are easier to handle because the results and the work involved are more foreseeable, allowing lawyers to have a better idea and prepare easily.
In contrast, “Contested Divorces” are usually open-ended and it is hard for divorce lawyers to prescribe a fixed fee structure as they are unable to predict the amount of work involved; they might even go beyond the estimated sum promised at the initial stages of the divorce, should they provide you with one.
Any suggestions to reduce costs?
Yes, we do – here are some methods you could try:
(i) Provide Your Divorce Lawyer with ALL Relevant Documents and Information
– Your lawyer can charge you for requesting for documents (from you or the relevant authorities) or time spent searching for information so giving them all the relevant documents can save you some time and money.
(ii) Be Alert and Aware of Your Divorce Lawyer’s Request
– As said in the above, your divorce lawyer can charge you for time spent on searching for information. Thus, you save yourself some money if you can respond to your lawyer quickly instead of letting him perform his own search or send you multiple requests to obtain information, both of which will be paid by you.
(iii) Befriending The Team
– The team helping your lawyer with your case is just as informed as the lawyer himself – seeking them for some friendly opinion may help you cut costs on direct consultations with your lawyer. However, practise caution when speaking to them as they are not qualified practitioners and may offer wrong information.
For those involved in an Uncontested Divorce, you will usually get your Interim Judgement of Divorce within two or three months from the date your family court lawyer filed your divorce. The Interim Judgement of Divorce will be made Absolute after another 3 months.
As for Contested Divorces, the Interim Judgement will be made Final after 3 months, provided that all ancillary matters are heard in Court and settled.
Lastly, we want to highlight again that “cheap” or “the cheapest” divorce legal services does not equate to “good” divorce legal services; we do not want you to fall into that trap, especially during such an important event of your life as a divorce.
Founder and Principal Lawyer
of Yeo and Associates LLC
Beatrice Yeo Poh Tiang
Having handled over 10,000 divorces since 2006, Ms. Beatrice Yeo, the Founder and Principal Lawyer of the firm, is widely acknowledged as one of the best divorce lawyers in Singapore.
She has extensive experience in all aspects of Matrimonial Law, including Nullity Proceedings, Contested & Uncontested Divorce and Mediation.
It is Beatrice’s personal endeavour to make sure that her clients get her personal and specialised attention.
Contact Ms. Beatrice Yeo right away for a FREE phone consultation on legal costs and divorce procedure. You may also fill up the enquiry form above to be contacted by Yeo & Associates LLC.
Call +65 85888824
Disclaimer: The information provided on the Huffe portal does not constitute legal advice. Articles are not written by lawyers. You should obtain specific legal advice from a lawyer before taking any legal action. Although we try our best to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, you rely on it at your own risk.