Singaporean parents are often well-informed with advice from magazines, online sources regarding their children’s education, health, and well-being to make the best decisions for their little ones. However, when it comes to couples splitting up, parents are often too caught up emotional to think for their children’s welfare rationally for the long term. A large percentage of children have been victims of the harsh impact of their parent’s divorce, many of whom have turned into depression from the emotional hurt they faced. Many Singaporean married couples especially younger ones tend to find themselves clueless when they find themselves suddenly being involved in the legalities of things in their marriage, they often are unable to protect their children adequately from their disagreements that come with the separation.
This beginner’s guide will help you cope with the uncertainness and anxiety of dealing with a divorce by engaging a good divorce lawyer in Singapore. A specialist and well-experienced family lawyer will be able to help you make sense of the divorce procedures in Singapore effectively and assist you in providing sound legal advice for your divorce case especially regarding the child custody and other arrangements. Through the check list questions below, you will more likely be successful in evaluating whether a divorce lawyer in Singapore is qualified and suitable for your circumstances.
The very first thing you should be doing is to seek lawyer recommendations from friends and family you can trust, otherwise you could also look up for reputable and credible family attorneys in Singapore who have past divorce cases dealing with the custody of children and other arrangements. After shortlisting a few matrimonial lawyers who fits your needs or criteria, you should set up a free initial consultation with those candidates by phone and thereafter meet up with your attorney for a subsequent face-to-face consultation.
The key to engaging a good divorce lawyer is to be prepared, both emotionally and knowledge wise.
1. Prior Consultation: Be Prepared with Necessary Documents
Before stepping into the lawyer’s office, you should ask the firm on the specific documents they would like you to bring along. These includes legal and financial documents which may require extra time for you to get your hands on. You may also have to fill out a basic form asking you specific questions regarding your assets, housing, loans, spousal support obligations, and the current marriage situation with your spouse. etc. You should have these materials and papers well organized and clearly labelled, it will save you the distress of flipping through the stack of papers at the law firm itself.
2. During Consultation: Ask a Set of Comprehensive Questions
Keep in mind that the initial consultation is for you to decide whether to hire the family lawyer from a specific attorney firm. Be sharp and stay alert to signal any red flags in your mind during your initial consultation. Prepare a short list of key questions to ask and clarify your understanding on all related divorce matters. A good family lawyer will appreciate your thoroughness and be glad to answer these questions for your understanding. Take notes and write down answers to your questions while the lawyer explains certain key divorce procedures or clauses you need to satisfy before you can divorce your spouse satisfactory.
Here is a list of questions you can use to guide the interaction with the divorce lawyer:
A. Evaluating Expertise and Experience
• How long have you practiced family law in Singapore?
• What is your preferred approach to settling a divorce case?
• What is your experience with divorce cases similar to mine?
• Will you be handling my case directly?
• Is there anyone else in your firm who handle divorce cases and will they be involved?
B. Understanding the Divorce Procedures and the Case
• Should I even be filing for a divorce?
• What are my alternatives to filing for a divorce?
• Are there any red flags in my case?
• How long will the legal process take?
• What is your overall divorce strategy for my case?
C. Understanding the Cost Structure of Your Case
• How do you calculate your fees and what do they include?
• Is there a retainer I need to pay upfront and is it refundable?
• Are your fees negotiable?
• Do you provide payment plans?
D. Keeping in Touch with Your Lawyer
• What is the best way to reach you?
• How will you keep me updated on the progress?
3. Post-Consultation: Collect Your Thoughts and Make an Informed Decision
After meeting your matrimonial attorney, you should look through your notes again and evaluate your interaction with your attorney. Ask yourself the following questions:
• Did you feel comfortable opening up to this family attorney?
• Did you feel intimidated by the lawyer?
• Were they attentive listeners, or did they spend the session singing their own praises?
• Did you feel that this attorney would take a practical approach to your case?
After making a decision to appoint your family lawyer, keep in mind that you will be working closely with your new attorney as a team in preparation of your divorce. Trusting and confiding in your family attorney and keeping them up-to-date with your scenario will increase your chances of a favourable outcome and save precious time and money.
Do understand that by hiring a good divorce lawyer, you will spare yourself with one less major concern in your divorce. Instead, you will gain a trustable ally and confidant whom you can discuss your divorce concerns and thoughts and make informed and wise decisions when it comes to settling your divorce quickly and limiting the hurt to your children.
For more guidance on matters relating to divorce in Singapore, visit https://www.huffe.com/