What exactly is an “Uncontested Divorce” or “Simplified Divorce”?
Getting a Divorce doesn’t always have to be complicated. The process for applying for Divorce in the Family Justice Courts in Singapore can be straightforward if it is an Uncontested Divorce, and it only becomes complex if it is Contested Divorce.
An “Uncontested Divorce” or “Simplified Divorce refers to cases in which a Divorce and the terms for the Divorce phase or Ancillary Matters phase have been agreed and consented to by the couple, meaning that it is not contested, which therefore makes it the process “uncontested”.
An Uncontested Divorce can take place if you and your spouse both agree on all the key parts of the Divorce, meaning that:
- You agree that that the marriage should end
- You agree on what the basis for the Divorce should be e.g. Separation of 3 years
- You agree on the living and care arrangements for the children i.e. regarding Custody, Care and Control, Access
- You agree on how to your matrimonial assets and properties will be divided
- You agree on whether there will be maintenance for the wife and children and the amount of this maintenance
In many cases, a Divorce can take place on an uncontested basis if:
- You and your spouse agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and both of you are willing to dissolve the marriage
- You and your spouse agree on the reason for the irretrievable breakdown, such as Separation after 3 years, and therefore no one is challenging the basis for the Divorce
- You and your spouse understand that neither of you is “at fault” for the Divorce and neither of you will gain any advantage by showing that the other party is to “blame” for the Divorce
- You and your spouse want a quick, smooth and stress-free Divorce because you feel that this will help you avoid causing more unhappiness amongst the Children and it is better for their emotional wellbeing
- You and your spouse feel that it is financially unwise and imprudent to spend too much money, time, effort and resources fighting through a trial i.e. because a Contested Divorce and trial tends to be expensive for everyone
- Although you and your spouse may not be able to agree on all the terms of the Divorce at the start, mediation and negotiation with the assistance of the Court or a Court-appointed mediator can help to successfully resolve and reduce areas of dispute and disagreement and bring your respective positions closer towards a compromise and leading to a Divorce on an uncontested basis.
In contrast, a Contested Divorce is a Divorce case that becomes prolonged and complex when you and your spouse can’t agree on the key parts of the Divorce and therefore need to engage lawyers to represent you to negotiate or challenge each other’s requests in Court, meaning that:
- You can’t agree on what the basis for the Divorce should be, e.g. you may say that the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage was caused by your spouse’s adultery or unreasonable behaviour, but he may disagree
- You can’t agree on the living and care arrangements for the children, e.g. your spouse disagrees with your view that you should be given Sole Custody of the Children
- You can’t agree on how to your matrimonial assets and properties will be divided e.g. your spouse says that your matrimonial home should be sold and the proceeds distributed amongst you but you prefer that he transfers his share of the home to you instead
- You can’t agree on whether there will be maintenance for the wife and children and the amount of this maintenance e.g. you disagree with your spouse’s view that he should not pay so much maintenance for the children because he was recently retrenched from his high-paying job
So, there you have it, some basic information on: What exactly is an “Uncontested Divorce” or “Simplified Divorce”?