Divorce is emotional as it is seen as a taboo in Asian society. When a couple decided to divorce, they may forget that a contested divorce is undesirable even if they do not see eye-to-eye because it drains away time, money and a possibly cooperative bout of co-parenting further down the road. No matter how difficult it is to agree with each other, an uncontested divorce is always better for various reasons.
Let us look at seven reasons why a couple should avoid a contested divorce.
1. It saves time
The amount of time that a divorcing couple spent in and out of the court can be numerous in a contested divorce. Besides time in the court, both parties need to prepare an endless stream of documents detailing everything about their lives, such as their financial contributions and non-financial contributions to the marriage, for their divorce lawyers so that the necessary court documents can be filed.
An uncontested divorce does not involve all these. The couple can hire an experienced divorce lawyer to assist them in mediation so that parties can come to a consensus on how they wish to settle the matter. Once an agreement is reached, the order can be signed and filed. The divorce would be finalised without making a single trip to court.
2. It saves money
The general rule of thumb is that the longer the divorce is dragged out, the higher the legal fees will be. The divorcing parties need to pay their family lawyers for their time spent in court and their time spent in doing work relating to the matter. All these costs can add up to a significant amount that the couple may not be able to afford.
An uncontested divorce requires only a family lawyer, preferably trained in mediation, or an accredited mediator to conduct the sessions to help parties agree to a settlement. Once the agreement is obtained, the experienced Singapore divorce lawyer will help them draft the order and file it with the court. As lesser court documents are required to be filed, consequently, there is lesser preparation needed and the costs incurred will be significantly reduced.
3. It minimises conflict between the parties
A contested divorce usually worsens the relationship of the divorcing parties. As the divorce process drags on and the costs increase, both spouses are more likely to blame the other for the unnecessary ordeal of a divorce. Nasty spats and quarrels are bound to increase in frequency and make the already bad relationship worse.
An uncontested divorce skips all the haggling divorce process set by the court and instead, encourage the spouses to work together for an agreement to divorce. The amicable divorce process helps to prevent the relationship from worsening and in some cases, paves the way for a successful co-parenting scheme.
4. It is easier on the children
Children of the marriage are always the primary concern in any divorce. The court will order a parenting plan that includes who the child/children will stay with. In Singapore, the most common scenario is the co-parenting plan where both parents are expected to cooperate with each other in the best interest of the child/children.
This divorce process is hard for the child/children, so having a contentious divorce adds the stress for them. An uncontested divorce can resolve child custody and any other issues involving the child/children without a fight. It also keeps the child/children out of the court and any possible intimidation from the process.
5. It keeps private matters away from the public
In a contested divorce, spouses are expected to open up to their experienced divorce lawyers with regards to everything in their lives. While their conversations with their respective lawyers are privileged, if parties were to file court document stipulating their private lives, this information is deemed public. If a witness is required at trial, the family lawyers are permitted to request for witnesses to take the stand and be subjected to questioning.
In an uncontested divorce, nothing of this sort happens. The divorce is settled amicably in the private lawyer’s office, away from prying eyes.
6. It prevents unnecessary stress
In Singapore, the law demands a couple to go through mediation before a contested divorce trial commences. After the extended period of submitting documents, the divorcing couple will invariantly need to go to mediation. If the divorce mediator can help them to come to an agreement, the divorce will become an uncontested one. Couples who experience this process may feel bitter after that due to the unnecessary stress heaped on them due to the financial and emotional roller coaster.
On the other hand, if the couple chooses an uncontested divorce, the matters can be resolved without all the unnecessary stress and costs and the process can be quickened for both parties.
7. It avoids an emotional trial
Divorce is an emotional torture for at least one party, if not both. The best thing to do is to avoid an emotional trial where the spouses point their finger at each other for not maintaining their side of the marriage. A divorce trial is also tedious, expensive and time-consuming. Private matters will also become public as the trial proceeds.
All these frustrations can be avoided with an uncontested divorce. It also prevents emotions from running out of control and preserved some form of cordiality between the parties.
Uncontested Divorce is unsuitable for the following situations:
1. Domestic Violence or Intimidation
If there is a history of domestic violence or intimidation towards one spouse, an uncontested divorce is ill-advised as it is likely that the dominant spouse will intimidate the other to agree or accept all his terms and conditions without raising a protest.
2. Significant discrepancies in income or education level
For couples with substantial disparities in income or education level, an uncontested divorce can be unsuitable as the spouse with the better income or education level can demand better terms and conditions without the other raising his or her concerns.