Divorce & Family Law

WU LLC provides following family law practice & divorce services:

  • Filing a Divorce.
  • Division of matrimonial house and matrimonial assets upon divorce.
  • Custody, care and control of children in disputes.
  • Maintenance claims for wife and children.
  • Variation of maintenance in existing orders of court.
  • Filing an annulment or nullity of marriage.
  • Drafting a Separation Agreement.
  • Adoption applications of local or foreign children.
  • Guardianship of children applications.
  • Conducting private family mediation for divorce settlements

WE ARE YOUR TRUSTED SINGAPORE DIVORCE LAWYER

Experienced and Accredited Family Lawyer

Our lawyer, Ms Ng Pui Khim is a senior lawyer with over 20 years of experience in handling divorces, division of matrimonial home and matrimonial assets, child custody disputes, maintenance for spouse and children.  At many big law firms, the divorce file gets passed around trainee lawyers and newly-called lawyers.  This often results in incompetent handling of the divorce case.  Over at WU LLC, the divorce cases are personally handled by the senior lawyer, Ms Ng Pui Khim.  

Proven Track Record

Many clients come to us after hearing positive feedback and glowing testimonials from our former clients. Let’s be honest, no one really wants to spend their time going through a painful and costly divorce suit.  At WU LLC, our client’s interests always come first.  Our mission is to help our clients get their desired outcome promptly at minimum cost.

Affordable Legal Fees

We offer divorce packages at low fixed rates for agreed divorces. For contested divorces that require negotiation work and litigation processes, we give regular estimates of legal fees at each stage of the contested divorce proceedings. You can be sure that you will never be caught by surprise when you pay our bills.

Confidentiality Assured

Divorce is a private and personal matter.  No one outside your family needs to know you are going through a divorce.  We make sure that each case file is kept strictly private and confidential.  We have many clients who came to know us from the internet because they do not wish to ask their friends or relatives for a divorce lawyer referral.

Emphasis on Client’s Welfare

We truly understand and are familiar with the specific needs and concerns of divorce clients.  We have extensive experience in dealing with clients from all walks of life.  You can be assured that every client is important to us.  

Accessible Location

Our office is accessible by car as well as public transportation.  We have hourly indoor parking at our office building.  Our office is within 2 minute walking distance of MRT station, taxi-stand and bus-stops.

Divorce Process – Simplified divorce in 3 simple steps

First Meeting

Arrange for an appointment at our office and let us listen to your story. We will assess your situation and render you legal advice on how best to proceed.  We will give you an estimate on legal fees and await your instructions before we proceed to prepare the divorce papers.  If you are not certain about the divorce and wish to think it over again, we respect your decision and only charge you a one-time consultation fee.

Second Meeting

After reading through the divorce papers personally drafted by our lawyer, you sign the divorce papers first, followed by your spouse signing the consent.  Both the divorce papers and the consent are signed in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths.

Third Meeting

You collect the divorce certificate at our office.  We will render you advice on compliance of the divorce order of court.

ANCILLARY MATTERS TO DIVORCE

During divorce proceedings and before finalization of the judgment of divorce, the Court shall make such orders of court to be made in respect of the following ancillary matters:

  • custody, care and control of the children and access.
  • division of matrimonial home and matrimonial assets.
  • maintenance.

FAQS ABOUT DIVORCE

Can I file a divorce on my own?

Technically, yes.  

But the question really is:  Do you want to let yourself be further stressed with the procedural rules and paperwork of a divorce suit?  

If you file a divorce on your own, you will need to learn about the legal jargon, fill in various forms and take leave from work on many occasions to e-file the papers at a service bureau.

At WU LLC, we can afford to charge a low fixed fee for agreed divorce cases simply because we are experienced and focused in divorce cases. By engaging us to represent you in divorce, you free up your valuable time to focus on your career and taking care of your loved ones.

When is the earliest date that I can file a divorce?

There is a 3 year restriction period. Either the husband or the wife may file for divorce only after 3 years from the date of the registration of the marriage.

In the event the party still wishes to file for divorce within the first 3 years of the marriage, the party must apply for Court’s permission to file a divorce, and satisfy the Court that the party has suffered exceptional hardship or there was exceptional depravity on the part of the spouse.

Does the Singapore Court have jurisdiction to hear your case?

  1. Either the husband or the wife is domiciled in Singapore at the start of the divorce proceedings.
  2. Either the husband or the wife is a habitual resident in Singapore for at least 3 years just before the start of the divorce proceedings.

What is domicile?

Your domicile is the country that you live in and you treat as your permanent home. One is presumed to be domiciled in Singapore if he/she is a Singapore Citizen.

What can be the ground for divorce?

There is only one ground for divorce in Singapore, and it is “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”. Either the husband or the wife may file for divorce on the ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Any one of the following 5 facts proves an irretrievable breakdown of marriage:

  1. The Defendant has committed adultery and the Plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the Defendant.
  2. The Defendant has behaved in such a way that the Plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Defendant.
  3. The Defendant has deserted the Plaintiff for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ for divorce.
  4. The parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 3 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ for divorce and the Defendant consents to a judgment being granted.
  5. The parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 4 years immediately preceding the filing of the writ for divorce.

FAQS REGARDING CUSTODY, CARE AND CONTROL OF CHILDREN

If there is no agreed arrangement between the parents for the child or children, the Court has the power to place a child in the custody of either parent pursuant to grant of divorce.

What is Custody?

Generally, “Custody” means the right to make major decisions for the child in the following three(3) areas:

  1. Medical issues.
  2. Educational issues.
  3. Religious issues.

The Court may make an order for one parent to be granted sole custody or for both parents to be granted joint custody.

Save for exceptional circumstances, it is noted that the general trend is for the Court grant joint custody of the child to both parents.

What is Care and Control?

A parent that has been granted with care and control of the child has the right to make daily decisions about a child’s upbringing and welfare. This right naturally belongs to the parent with whom the child lives.

In certain situations, the Court may find it suitable to grant shared care and control to both parents.  In such a case, both parents have been granted with right of care and control over the child and no one parent has a superior right over the other parent.

In event of the Court granting a parent with sole care and control, the other parent that has no care and control of the child is usually granted access to the child. Access gives the parent a right to have regular contact with the child and allows the parent-child bonding
to continue notwithstanding the divorce of the parents.

It is noted that the Court generally grants the right of care and control of all the children to the same parent, without splitting up the siblings.

In deciding in whose custody, or in whose care and control a child should be placed, the Court’s paramount consideration shall always be the welfare of the child and subject to his paramount consideration, the court shall have regard to:

  1. the wishes of the parents of the child and.
  2. the wishes of the child, where he or she is of an age to express an independent opinion

It is noted that the Court’s approach is that of a child-centred approach. That is, to treat the interest of the child as paramount in dealing with divorced parties’ disputes involving children. It is believed that focusing on the needs of the children in acrimonious divorce proceedings can reduce the intensity and duration of the conflict between the parents. This may foster better relationships between the parents and their children, post-divorce.

These are relevant questions that you will need to think about when considering the care arrangements of the child upon divorce:-

  1. Who has been the primary or main caregiver for most of the child’s life?
  2. Who is the child close to?
  3. Which parent should the child live with?  This parent would be the one with care and control of the child
  4. If you are the parent tasked with the care and control of the child,
    will you need to change your current work schedule, daily routines or
    living arrangements to accommodate the child?
  5. If you are not the parent with the care and control of the child,
    what type of access arrangements is suitable based on your daily
    routines or work schedule?
  6. If you have the right of access, what is the frequency and duration of each access you hope to have?
  7. If you have care and control, what type of access do you think is suitable?

Variation of court order for care arrangements
Any interested person may from time to time, apply to the Court for variation of any earlier court order for the custody or the care and control of a child. If the Court is convinced that the terms of the earlier court order is not or no longer in the children’s best interests of the children, the Court may vary the court order. This is irrespective of the fact that the earlier court order may have been entered by consent of both parties.

FAQS REGARDING DIVISION OF MATRIMONIAL HOME AND ASSETS

If the parties have do not have an agreed settlement for the matrimonial assets to be divided after the divorce, the Court has the power to divide the matrimonial assets subsequent to the grant of divorce, but prior to the finalisation of the divorce judgment.

How are matrimonial assets divided by the Court?

The Court has the power when granting a judgment of divorce, to order the division or sale of matrimonial assets to the parties in such proportions as the Court thinks just and equitable.  In this respect the term “equitable” means fair or reasonable, it does not necessarily mean equal.

The Court will take into account the direct financial contributions by both parties to the matrimonial assets as well as the indirect contributions (e.g. looking after the children, working for the family business, doing the housework, paying for the household expenses).

What are matrimonial assets?

Matrimonial assets means:

  1. any asset acquired during marriage by one or both parties. Examples of such matrimonial assets include property, bank account savings, shares, CPF monies, family car etc.
  2. any asset acquired before the marriage by one party or both parties which are ordinarily used or enjoyed by both parties or child while the parties are residing together for shelter or transportation or for household, education, recreational, social or aesthetic purposes, or which are substantially improved during the marriage by the other party or both parties to the marriage.

It is interesting to note that any asset acquired at any time by gift or inheritance is not matrimonial asset, unless it was substantially improved during the marriage by the other party or both parties to the marriage.

The Court is also empowered upon divorce, to order the transfer of a fixed sum of CPF monies from one party’s CPF account to the other party’s CPF account.

What is relevant for the Court to consider prior to division of matrimonial assets?

  1. In order to get an idea of what the matrimonial assets are and the extent of each party’s direct and indirect contributions to the assets, parties may be asked the following questions:

    • What are your assets in sole names and joint names?
    • What is the value of each of your assets?
    • What are your direct financial contributions to each asset?
    • What are your indirect contributions to each asset?
    • If your matrimonial assets include a HDB flat, have you checked with HDB on whether there are any restrictions as to how and when the flat can be disposed of (by way of sale or whether it may be transferred to the other party etc.)
    • How much is the refund to your CPF account and to other party’s CPF account that must be made if the asset is sold?
    • How much is the outstanding mortgage?

CPF Rules concerning division of matrimonial assets

Due to recent changes in CPF Rules, the Court is empowered upon divorce to order the transfer of the property from both parties to the sole name of the remaining party, with no CPF refunds or with just partial CPF refunds to the outgoing party.

Terms of Acceptance

All rights reserved.  Any information of a legal nature in this website is given in good faith and has been derived from resources believed to be reliable and accurate.  Neither WU LLC nor the author of the information contained herein this website give any warranty or accept any responsibility arising in any way, including by reason of negligence for any errors or omissions herein.  Readers should seek independent legal advice