DIVORCE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS

We set out below the different types of divorce financial orders the Family Justice Court can make and what a Judge must consider when making such orders.  You should always consult an experienced and skilled family divorce lawyer to assist you on financial matters.

 .PKWA DIVORCE LAWYERS

DIVORCE AND FINANCIAL MATTERS

 .

In deciding on how assets are to be divided, the Family Courts will try to reach a decision that is fair and equitable.

 .

When it comes to a divorce and financial matters, we try very hard to reach a settlement for our clients.  This is better than going to a contested Court hearing where a Judge must make a decision.  All the family lawyers at PKWA Law are trained divorce mediation lawyers and have specialist accreditations in family law.

 .

An agreed and amicable settlement is quicker and ends the divorce case more amicably. Divorce cases are difficult cases because they are draining on the clients emotionally and financially.  This is why you should get a divorce lawyer who tries hard to settle for you on fair and reasonable terms.

 .

We set out below the different types of divorce financial orders the Family Justice Court can make and what a Judge must consider when making such orders.  This is only a guide, and you should always consult an experienced and skilled family divorce lawyer to assist you on divorce financial matters.

 .

1. FINANCIAL ORDERS THE COURT CAN MAKE IN A DIVORCE

 .

In a divorce case, the Family Court can make the following financial orders:

 .

Interim Maintenance 

Maintenance for the wife until the case is concluded.  This is necessary if the husband has stopped  maintaining the wife and if she has no financial resources or capability.  The interim maintenance order stops once the divorce is concluded, and a final maintenance order is issued.

 .

Lump Sum Order

This is a payment of a lump sum of money from one spouse to the other.  This can be ordered if it can be shown that there should be a clean break or that one spouse has repeatedly failed to provide maintenance and that it is necessary to make a lump sum payment order.

 .

Property Orders to Sell or Transfer the House

In a divorce, properties (including the matrimonial home) must be dealt with.  The court can order a transfer of property from one spouse to the other or a sale of the property.  The court would also order how the proceeds from the transfer or sale are to be divided.

 .

CPF monies

The court can also order the charging and transfer of CPF monies from one spouse to to the other spouse.

 .

Division of Matrimonial Assets

The court will divide matrimonial assets in a manner that is just and equitable.   Matrimonial assets include:

  1. Assets acquired during the marriage.
  2. Assets used by one or both parties or their children.
  3. Assets acquired before the marriage will be included for divison if they are ordinarily used by the family or have been substantially improved during the marriage.

     .

 .

2. FACTORS THE COURT MUST CONSIDER UNDER THE WOMEN’S CHARTER

 .

PKWA Law has won a case on divsion of matrimonial assets at the Court of Appeal, and we will be able to assist you if you have any questions regarding asset division.

 .

Under section 112 of the Women’s Charter, the court will have to divide the matrimonial assets between the parties in just and equitable proportions by having regard to the following factors:

  1. the extent of the contributions made by each party in money, property or work towards acquiring, improving or maintaining the matrimonial assets;
  1. any debt owing or obligation incurred or undertaken by either party for their joint benefit or for the benefit of any child of the marriage;
  1. the needs of the children (if any) of the marriage;
  1. the extent of the contributions made by each party to the welfare of the family, including looking after the home or caring for the family or any aged or infirm relative or dependant of either party;
  1. any agreement between the parties with respect to the ownership and division of the matrimonial assets made in contemplation of divorce;
  1. any period of rent-free occupation or other benefit enjoyed by one party in the matrimonial home to the exclusion of the other party;
  1. the giving of assistance or support by one party to the other party (whether or not of a material kind), including the giving of assistance or support which helps the other party in the carrying on of his or her occupation or business.

     .

For a fuller discussion on this, please read here.

 .

3. DIVISION OF THE MATRIMONIAL PROPERTY

 .

The family house is often a couple’s most valuable asset.  It also provides a home for the family and therefore must be given special consideration.  If there are children involved, the Family Court would want to consider whether it is possible for the house not to be sold away so that one spouse can remain in the home witht the children.  If this is possible, then the matrimonial property can be transferred to that party, either with or without payment of a lump sum. If that is not possible, then the house may have to be sold off.

 .

If one party wishes to retain the house, that party must be able to pay the mortgage or get a new bank to refinance the mortgage.

 .

Special consideration must also be heeded if the property is a HDB property as you must satisfy the requirements set by HDB to sell or retain the HDB flat.

 .

4.  FACTORS FOR WIFE AND CHILD MAINTENANCE

 .

The court will consider all the circumstances of the case, including the following factors, when deciding whether the order should be made and the amount of maintenance that should be paid to the wife:

  1. wife’s financial needs;
  1. income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of parties;
  1. any physical or mental disability that wife might have;
  1. the age of the parties and the duration of the marriage;
  1. Your Approximate valuation of property;
  1. the contributions made by each spouse to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family;
  1. the standard of living enjoyed by the wife; and
  1. the conduct of you and your spouse, if the conduct is such that the court is of the opinion that it is inequitable to disregard it.

     .

    In addition, the court will consider:

  1. the value of any benefit to either spouse that will be lost as a result of the dissolution of the marriage; and
  1. the court will try to place the parties in the same financial position as they would have been if the marriage had not broken down and each party had discharged his financial obligations and responsibilities towards each other.

     .

5. THE DIVORCE PROCESS TO DECIDE ON FINANCIAL MATTERS

 .

If both parties manage to reach an agreement on the ancillary matters, the Court will give directions for a consent Ancillary Matters hearing to be fixed.

 .

Your lawyer must prepare a Draft Consent Order.  The lawyers for both parties must sign the Draft Consent Order.  If a party does not have a lawyer, he or she must sign the Draft Consent Order himself/herself before a Commissioner for Oaths or a lawyer.

 .

If there is no agreement, the Assistant Registrar will fix your case for a contested Ancillary Matters hearing.

 .

The Assistant Registrar will normally ask both parties to file the Ancillary Fact & Position Sheet(Form 242 of Family Justice Court’s Practice Directions) before the Ancillary Matters hearing.

 .

The second stage of your divorce case begins when the Family Court calls for a Ancillary Matters Case Conference.

 .

The Ancillary Matters Case Conference is usually called within a month of the Interim Judgment being granted.

 .

An Ancillary Matters Case Conference is closed to the public, and only the lawyers  involved in the matter can attend.

 .

The purpose of the Ancillary Matters Case Conference is to get both parties to be ready for the ancillary matters hearing, which will take place before a District Judge of the Family Justice Courts.

 .

If there is a possibility of settlement, the Assistant Registrar may refer the case for counselling with a Court Family Specialist or for a Family Dispute Resolution Conference. In a high conflict case where children are involved, the Assistant Registrar may consider referring the matter to a Court Family Specialist or Social Worker, so that a confidential report on custody or access may be prepared for the purpose of the ancillary matters hearing.

 .

If settlement is not possible, the Assistant Registrar will ask both parties to file Affidavits of Assets and Means.  Once this is done, parties are ready for a hearing before a District Judge at the Family Justice Courts.

 .

ABOUT PKWA FAMILY LAW

PKWA FAMILY LAWYERS

At PKWA Law, our team of Family Lawyers are consistently named as leading Singapore family lawyers by respected independent legal publications such as Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Singapore Family Lawyers. 

Contact us at tel 6854-5336 for a free first consultation if you need advice on how divorce will affect your financial situation.

For an uncontested divorce, our fees are fixed at just $1,500 or $2,500.

 .

Keen to discuss more? Contact PKWA Law today for your free consultation.
Call Us At +65 6854 5336
(Family Law)
Call Us At +65 6397 6100
(Conveyancing)
Email Us At mail@pkwalaw.com