Deciding to get a divorce is not an easy task per se, but, unfortunately, apart from emotional it has its financial cost as well. Although money is not the primary concert when one is divorcing, it is important to take this issue into consideration as well. The final cost depends on many factors, some of which include:
- Whether divorce is contested or uncontested
- Local fees (the location where the divorce is taking place)
- Child custody (if there are children)
- Possible mediation
Uncontested divorce is much cheaper than contested one because there are no mediators or lawyers whose job is to help parties find a common ground and agree to the terms.
Uncontested divorce fees in Singapore go from $1,500 to $3,500. Unfortunately, amicable divorces are rare and, not surprisingly, majority of divorces are contested.
Contested divorce means that spouses cannot come to an agreement on key issues even with the help from their legal representatives and that is why a case has to go to a court.
If there are many issues that have to be resolved (like child custody, alimony or possible mediation) parties usually decide to hire a lawyer. Lawyers, of course, increase the cost of divorces for both parties.
Generally, lawyers charge hourly rate fees that range between $100-$150, but in some more difficult cases the price can go to more than $400 per hour.
Some lawyers ask for a deposit (retainer fee) that cover many things like court fees, lawyer’s meetings with you, and time they spend of phone calls and e-mails exchanged with you.
When all is summed up contested divorce cost you from $10,000 to $35,000. Keep in mind that for the majority of lawyers some extra expenses that go on disbursement or GST are paid additionally.
When you are in a stage of considering a divorce, the first thing you need to do is arrange consultation with a lawyer. The fee for first consultation, that usually lasts half an hour, is about $500. An hourly rate fee vary depending on whether a lawyer is junior or senior associate. The usual fee for junior associate is $350, while senior associate can cost you $500 per hour.
Mandatory Parenting Program
If your spouse and you have children under the age of 21, you must attend Mandatory Parenting Programme (MPP) that last 2 hours. Your lawyer does not attend this meeting, you have to attend it on your own, so, there is no fees to pay them in this stage.
If after you have attended Mandatory Parenting Program you still want to end your marriage, the case is still going on. Your lawyers need to prepare pleadings that have to be filled from both you and your spouse and you.
Besides that, your lawyer may be obliged to prepare letters of correspondence between you and your spouse in which they negotiate an agreement. If both parties agree on terms the divorce can be uncontested one and it will cost you, as we already mentioned, from $1,500 to $3,000.
If, however, parties don’t reach and agreement the divorce is contested one and process is continuing till the trial. In the meantime, the court has a responsibility to try to mediate between parties and hold counselling sessions. Sessions are obligatory for parties who have children under the age of 21 and your lawyers attend the meeting with you.
Contested divorce is a long process that consist of many stages that we are not going to mention in this article. It is important to know that the price of divorces is up to 10 times more expensive, so parties should should try reaching an agreement as hard as they can.
Now you know the average price, next you need to know how to find a good divorce lawyer in Singapore?