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ASK THE EXPERT: What Are The Different Methods Of Divorcing My Partner?

When deciding how to obtain a divorce, consider carefully what will work best for you and your spouse.

Family Lawyer Rajan Chettiar of Rajan Chettiar LLC shares more about the 4 ways in which you can initiate the process.


1. Negotiation

If you and your spouse cannot negotiate calmly – with your lawyers in the background – on ancillary matters such as custody of your children or maintenance and division of matrimonial assets, you can have your solicitors do it for you.

They will negotiate on your behalves via correspondence or in meetings that you and your spouse will attend. These meetings are called “without prejudice negotiations,” which means that the contents of your negotiations cannot be used as evidence against either party in future court proceedings.

In my experience, unless the couple is willing to reach a settlement, solicitors’ negotiations do not often produce the desired results.


2. Mediation

Mediation sessions are also considered to be “without prejudice” sessions between the mediator, both parties and their lawyers.

A trained family mediator acts as a facilitator who will assist both parties in reaching the desired settlement amicably.

If and when such a settlement is reached, you can file for an uncontested divorce order in Singapore’s Family Justice Courts.


3. Collaborative Family Practice (CFP)

Both parties can appoint their respective Collaborative Family Lawyers. The lawyers and parties will hold a series of interest-based negotiation meetings to reach an amicable settlement.

In a CFP, there is no neutral third party such as a mediator, and you can expect full transparency in terms of the sharing of information and documents during the process.

In mediation, there is an additional layer of costs, which have to be paid to the mediator. This does not happen in the CFP process, as the solicitors and the parties jointly work together to reach a win-win situation for the parties and the children.


4. Litigation

Lastly, you can initiate the divorce proceedings by filing for a divorce in the Family Justice Courts.

This is a costly, adversarial and acrimonious process, which, in my experience, can take up a lot of your time.

When choosing a lawyer, check whether he or she is open to alternative dispute resolution methods, as the family judicial process encourages amicable settlements – especially if children are involved. This is because amicable settlements can help both parties start their new journey as co-parents on a positive note.


From The Finder, November 2016


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