An informative article written by Beatrice Yeo Poh Tiang, Founder and Managing Director of Yeo & Associates LLC, Yeo Law
Beatrice Yeo Poh Tiang, Founder and Managing Director, Yeo & Associates LLC, Yeo Law
Specialist Divorce Family Lawyer
6 Must-Know Tips in Finding a Good Divorce Lawyer Within Your Budget/fee in Singapore — Are you exhausted of having to deal with marital issues and want a divorce or separation?
Once you’ve decided to finally get a divorce, the next step is finding the best divorce lawyer to handle it in the smoothest, most affordable and practical way possible – and this is the next most crucial part of your journey to end the marriage chapter.
Choosing a highly skilled divorce lawyer to represent you can be extremely beneficial in the long-run and even post-divorce life, whether that be emotionally, mentally, and financially; it can be a roller-coaster ride and your judgment may be clouded. It’s best that you pick a good divorce lawyer that will not only be rational, but is also honest about the potential outcome and is transparent and truthful on how affordable the legal fees are so you can plan and budget accordingly.
According to the Department of Statistics Singapore, more than 21,000 couples got married in 2018 and in that same year, more than 5,000 marriages ended up in a divorce. If divorce has ever crossed your mind or have finally come up with a decision to file for one, here are some question to ask yourself when it comes to finding a good divorce lawyer for you:
1. “Is the divorce lawyer a good listener?”
Communication is a two-way street, and to be understood, one should be willing to listen as well. After listening to your issues, you have to consider whether the potential divorce lawyer has sufficient experience to deal with your unique family situation and present to you expert views concisely and in terms that are easy to understand.
And this isn’t just when it comes to ‘client-and-lawyer’ relationship, it also applies between lawyers. If your lawyer is experienced and good natured, she may be friends with other lawyers in the court; this may increase your chance of a quicker and better settlement. If you are reasonable in your terms, or better yet, when both lawyers have been friends for many years, it’s more likely for them to just talk it out!
If you are looking into a mediation instead of a litigation, it is essential that your divorce lawyer articulates your case to the judge mediator well – and negotiate effectively with your spouse and his/her divorce lawyer during the mediation.
Having a good divorce lawyer who ‘listens’ increases your chances of a better case compared to someone who just ‘hears’.
2. “Is the divorce lawyer confident and assertive?”
Lawyers are typically assertive, but of course, you would want someone who is bold but isn’t pushy beyond reason. Assertive divorce lawyers are seen as confident and believes on the grounds of what they are fighting for. These kinds of lawyers aren’t afraid to assert their client’s claims with well researched legal principles and tons of real court experience when attacked by the opposing party, which is typical during litigation and trial.
Being assertive is one, but being able to handle a case with grace and WIN it for you may be the ultimate outcome you are looking for.
3. “Is the divorce lawyer professional in all his/her actions?”
Cliché as it seems, first impressions lasts. The little details such as being on time, the way they talk, and how they present themselves say a lot about how they are – not only as a potential legal representative, but also as a person who is going to share intimate details of your private life. You may choose a female divorce lawyer, or a male divorce lawyer, as long as you go with someone you are most comfortable with.
Being polite and respectful is a good sign of professionalism. If your divorce lawyer displays emotions of personal anger in the court, or displays animosity and a “ready-to-fight” characteristic (which inevitably jacks up the legal fees with multiple court applications), then that may not be good for you. You would want a divorce lawyer who doesn’t let his/her emotions get in the way for a quicker and amicable uncontested divorce for the couple, and is always calm under pressure. A good family lawyer should have a mindset that encourages discussions, negotiations for settlement and have a sense of justice, rather than getting into arguments after arguments with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and opposing lawyers.
“In my almost two-decade court experience and dealing with opposing lawyers, I see that respectfulness, being well-mannered, and civility towards the judge and their opponents works better than aggressive litigation who spoils the relationship for everyone right from the start. It’s important to find a good divorce lawyer who possesses these characteristic traits as most judges prefer lawyers who are professional and pleasant compared to those who push their boundaries too much which results to them coming off as annoyingly loud and aggressive – and may even lengthen the litigation period and drain your finances.”
4. “Is the divorce lawyer proactive in their cases?”
In all cases, preparation is key. Whether you are on the plaintiff’s side or the defendant’s, every good divorce lawyer should have a powerful and workable strategy both for the offensive and defensive part – this is where skill and experience come in. They listen, evaluate, and discuss what’s needed to be done.
Most importantly, a good divorce lawyer should hold your hand on each stage of the proceedings and tell you what you need to know and expect – even the small details matter. For instance, you need to know what to wear, how to behave in court and what to say during mediation/trial. How would you know if it’s your first time?
You pay for guidance and service and you should get them from your lawyer. The confidence a good divorce lawyer exudes can only come from her years of experience in the Family Justice Court
5. “Is the divorce lawyer highly-skilled and experienced in and out of court?”
This goes without saying, having real court experience and having won cases must be the only credential a lawyer could possess.
It’s just like a surgeon having his hands on the operation table, you’ll need to trust them that they’re the best and they know what they are doing.
Many young lawyers or young firms call themselves “experienced” despite having just won one case. Falling for this kind of marketing ploy can be easy especially because of the trend of fake news on the internet nowadays.
Talk to the lawyer of your choice and throw them with your queries and difficult questions. The solutions from a real experienced lawyer may amaze you.
The best way to go about this is to look for a lawyer who offers fixed fees so that you wouldn’t be left shocked when you see the bill. Also, be wary of advertisements that are ‘too good to be true’. Don’t fall for low priced “no actual professional legal advice”, “hands-off” packages that does not suit you at all. A law firm has to pay rent, offer high salaries for lawyers, legal executives etc. When a law firm charges too low, most likely you have to do the work or even negotiate the terms on your own with your unwilling and sometimes ignorant spouse.
Yeo & Associates LLC therefore saw the gap in the market for “uncontested divorce” and revolutionized the legal industry with its online DIY portal for uncontested divorce filing www.divorcebureau.com.sg for S$599. But make sure you really are qualified for a fully uncontested and cooperative divorce with 100% agreed terms before using the DIY portal. If you have any doubts with regard to the law, your entitlement, what is fair and what to propose, then you are not qualified for an UNCONTESTED DIVORCE just yet. You should seek for professional legal advice asap for the best positive outcome, without causing unnecessary headache for yourself to navigate the complex legal system and law for the first time.
Again, be careful of ‘too good to be true’ ads and marketing stunts that are designed and worded to lure you in. It still pays to engage a fully qualified and skilled family divorce lawyer to handle the matter from the start to the end with all your queries fully answered and to save your own time!
If you are looking for experienced family and divorce lawyers who will listen, sympathize, and offer affordable legal assistance, Yeo & Associates LLC is the Family Law firm for you. Our managing director, Beatrice Yeo has over 15 years of actual court experience and have handled over 3500 mediation cases. You may contact us at 6220 3400 for a free, non-obligatory legal consultation to understand your options better.
GRAND TOTAL : S$1,500 – S$2200 (ALL IN) (NO HIDDEN COSTS)
Call us now at 6220 3400