Simplified Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce

by | Jan 30, 2016

If you’re planning to file for a divorce in Singapore, the differences between a simplified uncontested divorce and a contested divorce are among the things that you should know. 

Here are some of the things you should know about contested and uncontested divorce proceedings in Singapore:

All about contested divorce

A contested divorce occurs when the applicant’s spouse does not agree with and wishes to oppose or defend the application for divorce.

For example, the applicant’s spouse may wish to remain married to the spouse or the applicant’s spouse may disagree with the applicant’s grounds and reasons for the divorce (e.g. the spouse does not agree that there was adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion or separation)

Contested Ancillary Proceedings occur when the applicant’s spouse wishes to oppose / challenge the applicant’s requests or views on how to deal with the Ancillary Matters (e.g. maintenance, division of matrimonial assets, children)

  • For example, the applicant may disagree on how much maintenance to pay, how to divide the matrimonial assets or how to resolve the amount of access to the children)

Consider the following factors before getting a contested divorce:

  • Reason behind marital breakdown
  • The children’s welfare (if applicable)
  • Keep in mind that upon divorce, spousal maintenance needs to be addressed.
  • Assets attribution between the two parties
  • As contested divorce requires higher fees than uncontested divorce, you need to consider the cost of proceedings. You can consult us if you want to know more about this.
  • Make sure to address any other issues in the marriage

What is a simplified uncontested divorce?

Uncontested proceedings can occur in the following situations:

  • An uncontested divorce occurs when the applicant’s spouse agrees with and does not oppose the application for divorce

Why is an uncontested divorce better than a contested divorce? Here are some of the reasons:

  • Contested proceedings are more demanding to conduct compared to uncontested proceedings because they involve more time, effort, resources and costs (e.g. personal stress, legal fees)
  • With this in mind, parties (and their children) can benefit from saving the time, effort, resources and costs involved in contested proceedings if they are able to discuss and agree on how to resolve and deal with the breakdown of the marriage and to deal with the Ancillary Matters (e.g. maintenance, division of matrimonial assets, children)

These are some of the requirements you need to consider for simplified uncontested divorce

  • The marriage should be at least 3 years and one of the spouses should be residing in Singapore for at least 3 years
  • To get to know more about the legal documents that you will need to prepare, feel free to contact us or book your free consultation with us.

Before filing for an uncontested divorce, here are the things that you should consider according to Family Justice Courts

  • Make sure that you know the reason why your marriage has broken down.
  • Ensure the welfare of your children (if there are children involved). Keep in mind that you will need to go through processing the child’s custody and maintenance.
  • As for both parties, consider talking about spousal maintenance.
  • The two parties should have a discussion regarding assets distribution.
  • Cost of Proceedings
  • Discuss any other issues regarding your marriage so the filing process of uncontested divorce would be as smooth as possible

Occasionally, a divorce can be partially-contested and partially-uncontested, such as in the following situations:

  • Uncontested Divorce and Contested Ancillary Proceedings: the applicant’s spouse does not oppose the application for a divorce (i.e. willing to end the marriage) but wishes to oppose / challenge the applicant’s requests or views on how to deal with the Ancillary Matters (e.g. maintenance, division of matrimonial assets, children)
  • Contested Divorce and Uncontested Ancillary Proceedings: the applicant’s spouse wishes to oppose / challenge the application for a divorce (i.e. not willing to end marriage) but does not oppose / challenge the applicant’s requests or views on how to deal with the Ancillary Matters (e.g. maintenance, division of matrimonial assets, children)

Frequently Asked Questions About Contested And Simplified Uncontested Divorce In Singapore

How long does an uncontested divorce take in Singapore?

An uncontested divorce is an easier process than a contested divorce and when all terms have been addressed, it can proceed smoothly. It may take 5 to 6 months or even longer. Keep in mind that both parties will need to wait for 3 months starting from the date of the Interim Judgment grant. 

How can I get an immediate divorce in Singapore?

Here in Singapore, you need to go through the 2-stage process of divorce in general. It’s also a must to identify if your divorce qualifies as a simplified uncontested divorce or contested divorce. 

What can I expect from a contested divorce?

If you’re going to compare it with a simplified uncontested divorce, a contested divorce is technically more expensive and time-consuming. Both parties have to go through legal proceedings in order to decide on the control of the custody of children, maintenance, matrimonial home, and matrimonial assets. 

What is an uncontested divorce in Singapore?

It is when both parties agree to get a divorce with full agreement on how the custody of children, maintenance, matrimonial home, and matrimonial assets should be divided upon. If you and your spouse are ready to get a divorce, you can book your free consultation with us to help you start the process.

About the author

About the author

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan is the Founder and Managing Director of Tembusu Law. He is also the founder of LawGuide Singapore, a prominent legaltech startup which successfully created and launched Singapore’s first legal chatbot in 2017.