Simplified Uncontested Divorce Vs Contested Divorce

by | Dec 1, 2023

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 you should know. Understanding the intricacies and implications of both can substantially impact the Divorce case’s progression and outcome.

To provide clarity, this article will guide you through the nuanced differences between contested and uncontested divorce proceedings in Singapore. Familiarising these terms and processes also means you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to navigate your journey or consult a Divorce lawyer.


All About Contested Divorce In Singapore

A contested divorce occurs when the other party disagrees 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, custody of children)

For example, the applicant may disagree on how much maintenance to pay, how to divide the matrimonial assets or how to resolve child visitation rights.

Consider The Following Factors Before Getting A Contested Divorce:

The points listed below shine a light on specific aspects you need to take into account if you’re thinking of pursuing a contested Divorce. Think of them as checkpoints or crucial questions to ask yourself before deciding.

  • The 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 a contested divorce requires higher fees than an 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 In Singapore?

An uncontested Divorce means the applicant’s spouse agrees with and does not oppose the application for Divorce. This means both parties have mutually agreed upon crucial matters such as the division of assets, child custody and support, and spousal maintenance, avoiding any need for protracted negotiations or Court trials.

Why Is An Uncontested Divorce Better Than A Contested Divorce?

When a marriage reaches a point where both parties decide to part ways, choosing between a contested and an uncontested Divorce becomes crucial. The points below highlight how choosing the more straightforward, less aggressive route can benefit all involved parties.

  • An uncontested Divorce is quicker and less stressful, as both parties agree on all terms, avoiding the lengthy legal battles associated with contested Divorces.
  • An uncontested Divorce is more cost-effective, saving individuals potentially high legal fees that usually accompany contested Divorces where disagreements on marital issues prevail.
  • The mutual agreement in an uncontested Divorce fosters a more amicable environment, especially beneficial when children are involved, minimising the emotional impact on the family.

With this in mind, parties (and their children) can benefit from saving the time, effort, resources and costs involved in contested proceedings if they can discuss and agree on how to resolve and deal with the breakdown of the marriage and Ancillary Matters (e.g. spousal or child maintenance, division of matrimonial assets, and child custody)

Requirements For Simplified Uncontested Divorce Proceedings

  • The marriage should be at least 3 years
  • At least one spouse must have resided in Singapore for a minimum of 3 years
  • Both spouses must have a mutual agreement on all matters related to the Divorce
  • Necessary legal documents, correctly filled and signed, must be prepared and submitted.

To learn more about the legal documents you will need to prepare, feel free to book your free consultation with us.

6 Things To Consider Before Filing For An Uncontested Divorce As Per The Family Justice Courts

The Family Justice Courts have highlighted several important considerations for couples before filing for an uncontested Divorce in Singapore. As you read through this list, you’ll get insights into the pivotal aspects that can ensure a smoother, more harmonious Divorce process.

  • 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 discuss asset distribution.
  • Cost of Proceedings
  • Discuss any other issues regarding your marriage filing Divorce papers for of uncontested divorce would be as smooth as possible.


What Is A Partially-Contested And Partially-Uncontested Divorce?

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, child custody)
  • Contested Divorce and Uncontested Ancillary Proceedings: the applicant’s spouse wishes to oppose/challenge the application for Divorce (i.e. not willing to end the 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, child custody)


Conclusion About Contested Vs Uncontested Divorce In Singapore

Understanding the intricate details between a simplified uncontested and contested Divorce is pivotal when considering marital dissolution in Singapore. It empowers individuals to make decisions that can ease the financial and emotional burdens of Divorce proceedings.

This article aimed to provide clear insights into both Divorce types’ fundamental differences, requirements, and considerations, offering a comprehensive guide for those navigating such life-altering decisions.

If you’re involved in Divorce or Family Court proceedings in Singapore and require reliable legal guidance, Singapore Family Lawyer is here for you. Our team of seasoned Divorce and family law practitioners is ready to assist and guide you through every step of the process.

Schedule your free 30-minute consultation with us today and get clarity on what to do next.


Frequently Asked Questions About Contested And Simplified Uncontested Divorce In Singapore

How long does an uncontested divorce take in Singapore?

An uncontested divorce is a more straightforward 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. Remember 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 Divorce process 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 compare it with a simplified uncontested divorce, a contested divorce is technically more expensive and time-consuming. Both parties must go through legal proceedings to decide on controlling 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 complete agreement on how child custody, maintenance, matrimonial home, and matrimonial assets should be divided. 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.

What is the cost of a contested Divorce in Singapore?

The cost of a contested divorce in Singapore can vary widely depending on the complexity of the case, the law firm’s fees, and other factors involved. Nonetheless, our family lawyers will consult with, and work with you towards achieving a fair and reasonable budget according to your situation.

About the author

About the author

Singapore Family Lawyer

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.