TOP 10 TIPS TO CHOOSE A GOOD DIVORCE LAWYER IN SINGAPORE
Here are top 10 steps to finding the best divorce lawyer in Singapore without busting your budget.
TOP 10 TIPS TO CHOOSE A GOOD DIVORCE LAWYER IN SINGAPORE – BY LIM CHONG BOON, HEAD OF FAMILY LAW, PKWA LAW
LIM CHONG BOON, Head of Family Law, PKWA LAW
Top 10 tips to choose a good divorce lawyer in Singapore – Are you thinking of divorce and looking for a good divorce lawyer in Singapore?
Everyone would like to have the best divorce lawyer without paying too much fees. But where do you find a good divorce lawyer in Singapore and whose fees are reasonable and affordable?
After all, getting a good divorce lawyer in Singapore – without busting your budget – is one of the most critical decisions you will make in your divorce. Being represented by a skilled divorce lawyer can mean the difference between a smooth divorce and one marked by frustration, bad decisions and a poor outcome.
And if your divorce lawyer’s fees are clear, transparent and affordable, you have the added comfort of knowing that you can budget and plan for your divorce fees without worrying that you might run out of money half-way.
A 2016 Prudential Relationship Index, based on an online survey of 500 Singaporeans, shows about a quarter of married people are thinking of divorce. Also sobering for couples are divorce statistics from 2015. In 2015, there were 7,522 divorces and annulments, the third highest annual figure on record, according to a report by the Department of Statistics.
So if you are the 1 in 4 who have decided that your marriage is no longer working, the first thing you might want to do is to find a good divorce lawyer in Singapore who is not too expensive.
Here are our top 10 tips to find a good divorce lawyer in Singapore and who is also affordable. Use these steps to find a divorce lawyer who is right for you if you have decided to go ahead with your divorce.
SELECTING A GOOD DIVORCE LAWYER IN SINGAPORE
1. Ask your friends
A good divorce lawyer will enjoy a good word of mouth reputation. Talk to friends and family members who have already been through a divorce about their experiences with their lawyers. You will probably know someone who has gone through a divorce and will recommend a good divorce lawyer in Singapore to you.
2. Search online and check Doyles Guide
Use a search engine like Google to find out about the divorce lawyers in Singapore. Read their websites and see if the lawyer is reputable and comes from a good reputable law firm.
It is also useful to check if the lawyer is named in Doyles Guide to Leading Singapore Family & Divorce Lawyers
. Doyles Guide is the definitive listing and commentary on Singapore’s leading family law firms and lawyers. To view the latest rankings, please click here
Doyle’s Guide releases results each year on the top family lawyers and firms in Singapore, as voted by peers across the profession. So, you are getting information on who are the top family lawyers as voted by fellow family lawyers in Singapore.
3. The first consultation
A good lawyer should be able to give you a good summary of your case at the first meeting, and the appropriate strategies for your case.
I usually have a sense of the general outcome of the client’s case during the first meeting. Hence, right from the first meeting, my clients know roughly their rights and entitlement.
You should also ask yourself the following questions at the first consultation:
- Is the office a professionally equipped outfit? Is it busy?
- Is the lawyer a specialist in divorce?
- Did the lawyer listen?
- What is the lawyer’s track record?
- Are the legal fees clear?
4. Compassionate, caring and listens to you
Your divorce lawyer should have a compassionate personality. Your lawyer should be caring, supportive and listens to you when you are talking.
More than any other legal field, a divorce lawyer must have the ability to sympathise and care for the client.
You deserve to have a divorce lawyer who will listen to you and feel your pain because you are going through one of the most painful experiences a person can have. If you don’t feel that your lawyer cares, then that lawyer is not right for you.
5. Do you like the lawyer?
Your lawyer is going to be the one whom you are going to share very intimate personal details of your private life with, so choose someone you are comfortable with.
Some clients prefer male divorce lawyers. Others prefer female divorce lawyers. While the gender of your divorce lawyer should not determine the outcome of your case, you should choose someone you are comfortable discussing your case with.
Choose someone likeable, who listens to you, who understands you. If your lawyer makes you feel uncomfortable , he/she is not right for you.
6. Your lawyer’s temperament
If your lawyer is spoiling for a fight against your spouse, or displays great animosity towards the opposing counsel, that lawyer may not be right for you. You want a divorce lawyer who has a calm temperament. Lawyers who are calm and reasonable are more likely to offer solutions instead of fighting out in court and draining your finances.
You want a lawyer who encourages settlements, not arguments. This is one of the hallmarks of a good divorce lawyer.
Having worked with and against some of the best lawyers in Singapore, I can safely say that all the best lawyers in Singapore are cordial, respectful and courteous towards their opponents and the judge. Being respectful and courteous are traits every lawyer should have.
There is this misconception that aggressive lawyers will win cases. I can tell you that lawyers win cases because they are hard working and well prepared. Your aggressive lawyer who wants to fight every battle will soon be out of your life when your divorce case is over – but his/her manner of unnecessary angry litigation would have cost you a lot of time and money, not to mention a really bad relationship with your ex-spouse and children.
Judges naturally also prefer lawyers who are respectful and respected over someone who is loud, petty and overly aggressive and who prolongs the litigation.
I like to say: Get a lawyer who is respected and respectful.
7. Hard Working
Right from the first meeting, a good divorce lawyer will demonstrate competence and knowledge. He/she will be straightforward with you and does not sell you false hope. You know that your case will be well handled.
The best divorce lawyers are also extremely hardworking. They often put in long hours of research, drafting, discussions and reading documents to help their clients’ case. There is no substitute for hard work!
You want a divorce lawyer who is honest about your chances and at the same time, is caring and compassionate.
You want your lawyer to be frank and direct with you, without appearing unkind or uncaring.
Good divorce lawyers tend to be more cautious and realistic in their assessments. Divorce cases are rarely about one party winning everything.
9. Divorce fees
Make sure that the lawyer tells you clearly how much and how he is going to charge you. There is no reason why the lawyer cannot give you an indication of how much your divorce will cost you. Do not hire your lawyer until you are clear about the fees.
If possible, look for a lawyer who offers you fixed fees or capped fees. Having fixed or capped fees means that you don’t have the nightmare scenario of spending a fortune on legal fees.
While you do not want to spend too much on fees, you should also not engage a divorce lawyer simply because he/she is the cheapest. What you want is a good competent lawyer with reasonable fees.
At PKWA Law, our fees for an uncontested divorce are clear, simple and transparent – you pay just $1,500 all in or $2,500 all in. Our fees are below:
10. Is the lawyer a divorce specialist?
There are many good lawyers in Singapore and it is probably a good idea to get a lawyer who specialises in divorce. A lawyer who specialises in divorce is likely to be more knowledgeable and skilled in family law than someone who is not a specialist. When you choose a family law specialist, he/she is likely to be a good divorce lawyer.
You should expect quality legal service, efficiency, best possible legal advice and the best chance of a positive outcome when you choose a good divorce lawyer.
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About PKWA LAW
Established since 1988, PKWA Law is one of Singapore’s largest family law firms, specialising in divorce law, family law, wills and probate. We are consistently named as a leading family law firm by respected legal publications such as Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, Global Law Experts and Doyle’s Guide to Singapore Family Lawyers.
Our team of family lawyers are accredited specialist Collaborative Family Lawyers with the Singapore Mediation Centre.
Conveniently located at HDB Hub, PKWA Family Law charges affordable fixed fees that are catered for the average Singaporean.
Please call us at tel 6854-5336 if you require a free first consultation. Or you may contact us using the form below.