Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer
Divorce in Singapore
  • Financial Settlements Advice
  • Bankruptcy & Divorce
  • Clean Break Orders
  • Spousal Maintenance
  • Divorce & Finance FAQs

Financial Settlements Advice

If you are going through a divorce or separation you will need to come to an agreement about your finances. You can do this with, or without the help of a family law solicitor, although you may wish to take advice on your options and make sure any agreement you reach is confirmed in writing and, if advised, made into a court order.

How solicitors can help you achieve a divorce settlement

When a relationship breaks down it can be difficult for everyone involved. The legal focus is on protecting the rights of the child, which includes concerns for their safety and well-being and their right to have a relationship with both

Agreeing a divorce settlement without solicitors

You may be able to come to a mutually acceptable agreement about your family finances without the help of a solicitor. It is, however, very important to consider the following:

  • Is the proposed settlement fair?
  • Does it take into account the needs of any children and who will be looking after the children?
  • Does the settlement take into account all assets held by both parties, including property, pensions, shares, business interests, savings and investments?
  • Have you, or should you, obtain proper valuations for significant assets before agreeing the division between you?

If you have doubts on any of these points it is best to take specialist advice from a divorce and family lawyer.

Having come to a mutually agreed settlement it is important to have a formal agreement drawn up to reflect your decision. This is done in the form of a Consent Order which once approved and sealed by the Court is a legally binding document. If it is a clean break order, this means that no further financial claims can be made by either party.

Why you need a consent order

Without a consent order it would be possible for your spouse or ex-spouse to make a claim in the future. So, for example, if you won the lottery or received an inheritance your ex might be able to claim a share.

At Yeo & Associates LLC family lawyer can draw up a consent order, often for a fixed fee. Call 62203400 to discuss arrangements for your divorce settlement with one of our friendly, knowledgeable lawyers.

Bankruptcy & Divorce

Advice on how bankruptcy affects divorce settlements

When a marriage breaks down, the assets of each party form the pot of matrimonial assets that are divided between them, as part of the financial settlement. But what if one party is bankrupt? In bankruptcy, almost all of the assets of the bankrupt person are no longer theirs. They are owned instead by the Trustee in Bankruptcy. This is likely to have serious implications for the bankrupt’s spouse, as the pot of matrimonial assets is potentially left much smaller.

In a case where the matrimonial home is owned jointly by the bankrupt and his or her spouse, the house cannot be transferred into the spouse’s sole name without the consent of the Trustee in Bankruptcy. This is likely only to be given if the spouse can buy the bankrupt’s share at a reasonable market value.

As the income and any savings will be controlled by the Official Assignee in bankruptcy any lump sum or maintenance payments are unlikely to be forthcoming.

The effects of bankruptcy can be so serious that some people choose to make themselves bankrupt in order to frustrate or delay their spouse’s claims in relation to the financial settlement.

Ideally you need to try and agree financial matters before the bankruptcy starts i.e. when bankruptcy is first mentioned. Swift action and an application prepared by your solicitor may allow appropriate orders for financial settlement to be made before a bankruptcy takes effect.

Even if the bankruptcy is already in effect, the bankrupt’s spouse may be able to apply to the court to annul the bankruptcy if the bankrupt is not, in fact, insolvent.

In some cases, bankruptcy can work in the other spouse’s favour. Until recently, a person owed money as part of a divorce settlement could apply to make their former spouse bankrupt, but could not have that debt proved in that bankruptcy. The law allows such a debt, plus an award of costs in family proceedings, to be paid by the bankrupt as part of his bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy can still have serious implications for the financial settlement on divorce, and legal advice should always be sought in circumstances where the bankruptcy of one of the parties is a real or possible risk.

Contact Yeo & Associates LLC for specialist advice on bankruptcy and divorce.

Clean Break Orders

A binding agreement on your finances when you divorce with Consent Order

Consent order or “Clean break orders” sever the financial ties between a married couple. Getting a divorce means ending the marital relationship. The next thing to do is to sort out the financial aspects of your relationship so that either you or your ex-spouse will be barred from making a claim for a share of your assets, property, income or pensions in the future.

The parties will set out in the Consent Order any financial agreement that they have reached at that time. Such order formally dismisses the right for you and your ex-spouse to ask for more money from each other in the future or entangle in more financial disputes.

Once drafted, approved and signed by both parties the Consent Order is submitted to the Family Justice Courts for approval. The procedure is very straightforward and does not involve either party attending court in most circumstances.

When getting a divorce you should always take advice on the severing of any financial ties and reach an agreement on a financial settlement if appropriate.

For advice on getting a Clean Break Order contact Yeo & Associates LLC on 62203400.

CPF on Divorce

Securing a fair settlement on divorce

CPF funds and investment funds are often the largest or second largest capital asset in a marriage as all working Singaporean are required by law to contribute to their CPF accounts. As such, it is important that CPF funds are considered in the financial settlement if a couple decides to divorce. CPF funds are recognised as part of the matrimonial assets.

CPF funds and investment funds can be complex and confusing at the best of times, but the details need to be addressed carefully by a divorce lawyer aided by an experienced independent financial adviser if you and your lawyer think that is necessary. Yeo & Associates LLC works closely with some of the major players in the financial sector.

Frequently, one person has a substantial CPF funds and the other might have none or very little for instance, they have given up their job to look after the children. You and your lawyer need to consider if that CPF funds should be shared or if you should receive more of another asset, such as the home instead.

It is normally the house wife/house husband who has the lowest (if any) CPF provision, as the couple assume she/he will benefit from the husband’s CPF when he/she retires. There is no automatic entitlement to a spouse’s CPF but the court will pool all matrimonial assets together and look at all the facts and figures in each case.

Yeo & Associates LLC can help you find specialist advice when necessary.

Spousal Maintenance

Securing a fair settlement on divorce

Spousal maintenance, or in a lot of cases, wife maintenance, is an amount awarded by the Courts to be paid by the spouse with the higher income to the spouse with the lower income when a couple divorce. It is only awarded if one party cannot support themselves without payments from the other. It can be awarded for a specified term or for life in some cases.

The recipient will lose their right to receive the maintenance if they re-marry, however it does not end if they simply cohabit.

On occasions the amount that has been awarded can be varied some years later by way of Court Order, if the circumstances warrant it.

Spousal maintenance may be paid on a regular, normally monthly, basis or can be paid as a single lump sum. This lump sum approach leads to each spouse becoming financially independent of the other and unable to make future financial applications against each other. This is known as a ‘clean break’.

One advantage of a clean break is that it brings certainty to both parties knowing that no further applications can be made. One disadvantage is that the lump sum award cannot be increased at a later date, if for example the recipient fell ill and could no longer work. Therefore, it is essential that you seek specialist legal advice from a family lawyer whilst considering your options so that you secure what is best for you.

Maintenance for a spouse depends principally on the recipient’s needs, own income and ability to earn income. There are no set formulas and the amount payable depends on the payer’s net income amongst other factors.

In order to calculate the amount of spousal maintenance you may be entitled to claim one of our family lawyers would need to understand your full circumstances. For a free initial telephone consultation about spousal maintenance call 62203400 or request a call.

Divorce & Finance FAQs

Divorce & finance questions answered

Q. How much maintenance will I get from my ex-spouse?

A. Whether you get spousal maintenance and how much you get depends on various factors, including the length of your marriage, whether or not you are working at the moment, and your age. It is possible in some cases to capitalise a maintenance claim so that it is paid as a lump sum instead of in monthly instalments.

For more details of your likely entitlement to maintenance on divorce, please contact one of our lawyers to arrange a free initial 30 minute consultation on 62203400.

Q. Are money, CPF and the house split 50/50 on divorce?

A. Many factors will need to be considered before a division of assets can be agreed – for example the needs of any children, fairness to both parties, the age of the parties, length of marriage and the ability of the parties to earn in the future.

There is no formula for financial settlements on divorce. Couples may reach an agreement between themselves, they may ask solicitors to negotiate on their behalf or ultimately allow a judge to decide. This really is a specialist area of family law and talking to an experienced family solicitor can really help. Call 62203400 and explore your options.

Q. What if the marital home is not in my name?

A. It almost certainly makes no difference, provided you’ve been married for a period of time. All the assets of a marriage are considered no matter the name they are in. BUT it is very important that you take advice before you even think about leaving the house as that will affect some important rights. Your divorce solicitor can protect them easily and cheaply by registering a notice against the deeds called a Caveat. Call 62203400and speak to one of our divorce solicitors if you are worried about this.

Q. Can I change the locks?

A. To prevent unnecessary disputes with your divorcing spouse, the general rule is that you should not change the locks on a jointly owned property as you are both entitled to have access. However, in the cases of physical abuse or other threats of violence on you or your children, we agree that you need to do something to protect yourself, your children and your property. If there is a genuine reason for you to change your locks, then please go ahead and do it but talk to a specialist divorce lawyer first.

Q. My ex-spouse has a new partner, do I have to keep paying maintenance?

A. Yes you have to do so in accordance to the terms set out in the Court Order. However, you may consider applying for a variation to the Court Order if there is a material change of circumstances. It can often be a case of needing to prove to the Court how the changes in your own life and your ex-spouse’s life that rendered the ordered maintenance to stop. Take advantage of our free 30 minute telephone consultation to explore your options.


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