Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer

Defendant Divorce


 Uncontested Divorce?

You have received (or told to expect) the Writ for Divorce (Divorce Papers) from your spouse sent (to be sent) to you by either one of these ways:

  1. By email;
  2. By post;
  3. By personally handing over the whole set of Divorce Papers to you by hand sent to your home or your office;
  4. You attend at your spouse’s lawyer’s office to receive it.

An uncontested Defendant divorce is one where you agree that (a) you are the only person who caused the breakdown of the marriage due to you being faulted on the following:

  1. That you behaved in an unreasonable behaviour against your spouse
  2. That you committed adultery against your spouse
  3. That you have separated from your spouse for more than three (3) years
  4. That you have separated from your spouse for more than four (4) years
  5. That you have deserted (abandoned) your spouse for more than two (2) years.

and the reasons stated in the divorce papers are true and accurate.

Further, (b) you fully agree to all the terms relating to ancillary matters terms including to the division of assets, home, child(ren)’s custody care and control and access, child and spousal maintenance and other issues, and you have nothing to add further.

You will file your Memorandum of Appearance indicating that you agree to all terms and your spouse’s lawyer, who is the Plaintiff’s lawyer will extract the Interim Judgment and Certificate for Divorce. Easy.

Contesting to the Divorce and Ancillary

You read through the Divorce Papers and you do not agree that the marriage break down solely due to your fault; or that you feel that the story in the Statement of Particulars are inaccurate and untrue. AND You may not agree with your spouse on his/her demands for the amount of maintenance for the Child(ren) or the way the HDB flat is divided.

You thus wish to make a formal legal objection to (a) the reasons for divorce stated in the Statement of Particulars as well as (b) all of the ancillary matters terms relating to the division of assets, home, child(ren)’s custody care and control and access, child and spousal maintenance and other issues.

The reality is that the Family Justice Courts will consider whether the marriage has irretrievably broken down and the divorce will be granted eventually, in most cases. The reality is that the reasons behind the breakdown of the marriage or who is to blame, apart from extremely serious cases, have no impact on agreed ancillary matters. However, if the ancillary matters are not agreed between the Parties, the reasons stated in the Statement of Particulars may affect the Defendant’s rights at the Ancillary Matters Hearing. For instance, a Defendant agreed to being a violent parent to the child, such statement will be taken as an admission under Section 60 of the Evidence Act, Defendant may not get the care and control of the child.

On the other hand, the Statement of Particulars cannot be so bare that it is lack of sufficient particulars. The judge may throw the whole divorce out due to ‘no case to answer’.

If you are a Defendant, you are advised to discuss your circumstances with an experienced Divorce Lawyer, rather than to simply agree to anything that is written in the Statement of Particulars against you. 

Defence Lawyer

At Yeolaw, we will do the following for the Defendant: –

  1. Explain the procedure to you and help you understand the process
  2. E-file all relevant documents like Memorandum of Appearance and
  3. Acknowledgement of Service or Notice of Appointment within the tight legal timeline
  4. Ensuring that you receive proper legal advice on your legal rights and entitlement
  5. Discuss with you whether the ancillary terms suggested by your spouse are fair, and whether you can make it fairer for BOTH parties
  6. Whether the divorce can be written in a more truthful manner to reflect the real reasons for the breakdown of the marriage
  7. Whether there is a need for you to put up a defence and/or counterclaim against your spouse to neutralize the reasons for divorce i.e. both parties contributed to the breakdown of the marriage.

At Yeo & Associates LLC, when we receive a Defendant’s engagement, we will assess the case honestly to protect the Defendant’s rights. If possible, we do not encourage the Defendant to fight the case as a matter of right or to incur more costs than necessary to handle the case. More often than not, we handle the matter in a more friendly and effective manner. Our expert divorce lawyers may suggest cost saving measures like: –

  1. Exchanging proposals to negotiate a quick settlement to the reasons for divorce and ancillary matters
  2. Contact your spouse (or his/her lawyers) to discuss how to work out a best solution for your matter
  3. Arrange for” without prejudice” meeting for both parties and lawyers to sit in round table discussion for settlement
  4. Arrange for private mediator’s involvement to aid parties in the settlement process (additional expenses to be paid to the private mediator)
  5. Attend Court Settlement in the presence of a judge mediator and court counsellors to aid parties in settlement process

Additional fees

Proceeding to fight in the Divorce Trial and Fees Involved

When the Defendant receives the divorce papers with all types of allegations from the spouse, he/she might have the impulse to fight the spouse “all the way”. Unless parties can resolve their differences by way of court mediation or private negotiation between the parties with their respective lawyers, the contested divorce process has to be adhered to: –

  1. Defendant will have to file his Defence and Counterclaim within 22 days from the date of service of the Writ for Divorce. Only in this document would the Defendant be accorded his legal rights to answer to allegations and counter sue the spouse as the person who breaks the marriage down [for Defendant- from S$2,500 to capped S$3,500 depending on complexity and length]
  2. Plaintiff to file Reply to Defence and Counterclaim within 14 day from the date of receiving the Defence and Counterclaim [for Plaintiff- from S$2,500 to capped S$3,500 depending on complexity and length]
  3. Defendant to file Final Reply within 14 day from the date of receiving the Reply to Defence and Counterclaim [for Defendant- from S$2,500 to capped S$3,500 depending on complexity and length]
  4. Pre-Trial Conferences will be convened for Parties and/or respective lawyers to prepare getting up documents like Affidavit-of-Evidence-in-Chief and other trial papers. Until all relevant trial papers are filed, the judge will direct for a Divorce Trial date [S$450 per session; S$4,500 to capped S$6,500 to prepare all trial papers]
  5. Parties (with their witnesses, if any) will attend Contested Divorce Trial in the Family Justice Courts to be cross-examined by each other’s lawyers. The trial may last from one (1) to many days. The Judge shall determine whether to grant the Interim Judgment after the trial and who to grant the divorce to as the ‘winner’. [S$4,000 per day and subsequent days at S$2,000 per day or part thereof]

The above contested trial hearing is hostile and unpleasant, especially where there are children in the marriage. The costs of proceedings are time-consuming and costly as it involves many documents and days in court; and ‘loser’ pays costs to the ‘winner’.

In most cases the process follows through without difficulty. In some cases there can be additional issues to be resolved. Any extra costs will be discussed and agreed with you before any work is undertaken.

If you need advice on reaching a financial settlement with the other party or agreeing arrangements for your children we will provide you with a separate note of these costs.

Why pay a fixed price?

By paying a fixed price at the start of your case you have certainty about the costs involved. The alternative is to pay an hourly rate for the time your lawyer spends on your case.

Need advice before booking a fixed price divorce?

At Yeolaw, we provide common-sensical guidance to our clients to assess whether a full-blown contested divorce trial is beneficial or whether practicality of costs saving shall prevail. Call us at 62203400 for a fixed fee quotation.


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