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ASK THE EXPERT: I Want A Divorce, But I'm Financially Insecure!

Every marriage has its ups and downs, but what if yours has much more of the latter?

Professional family lawyer, Rajan Chettiar, offers some advice.


I have been suffering emotional and verbal abuse from my spouse for a year, and I am considering a divorce. However, I am unemployed and financially insecure. What should I do?

You need time to consider your feelings and needs. Ask yourself why your spouse is behaving like this, and try to speak to your spouse to find out what’s going on.

If he or she will not open up, you may want to consider marriage counselling as the first step. Both solo and couples counselling can help you and your spouse work out your feelings under the guidance of an experienced counsellor.

Divorce can get messy and should only be your last option.


My friends have all kinds of horror stories from their own marriages and think I should call it quits now. Should I listen to them?

Take what your friends tell you with a pinch of salt. Comparing marital problems might feel like you’re receiving emotional support, but the breakdown of each marriage is unique and should be dealt with differently.

Only you can decide whether or not to proceed with divorce after considering the relevant facts.

Try speaking to your spouse one last time to share your feelings about the marriage before filing for a divorce.


How do I pick a suitable family lawyer if I want to proceed with a divorce?

When you choose a family law specialist, consider whether or not the lawyer has a purely litigious style or if he or she is open to alternative dispute solutions. He or she should have “soft” skills like empathy, care, the ability to listen actively and to put yours and your children’s welfare at heart. You should have a telephone conversation with the lawyer and assess how he or she intends to help you before making a decision to meet.

You can also visit the Family Justice Courts website to get a basic understanding of family law procedures in Singapore, if you’re unfamiliar.


What will I need to prepare before meeting the family lawyer?

Make a list of all your questions, even the trivial ones.

You should have all the basic information at hand such as the date of the marriage, the time you’ve spent living in Singapore, details about the children, your spouse’s employment details and income. You should also prepare an estimation of living expenses for you and your children, which should include things like rent, household expenditures, details of the tenancy agreement and expiration date of the tenancy.


From The Finder, June 2016


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ASK THE EXPERT: How to Tackle Post-divorce Challenges in Singapore

ASK THE EXPERT: Dividing Matrimonial Assets in Singapore


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