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My husband will be serving me a divorce paper sometime next week. He initiated this because he is having an affair with a Filipino girlfriend.
He is 50 and I am 48. I need your advice on some legal issues as I have asked a few lawyers and each one of them gave me a different view.
Moreover, the trouble is when I made enquiry with a lawyer, they immediately quote me $100 – $150 per hour of consultation and this is the lowest quote whereas a reputable law firm quoted me $350 – $450 per hour. Upon my confirmation to engage them I will need to pay a deposit of $2,500 minimum.
My husband has initiated the divorce suit and I also served him a divorce suit , so it is now 2 divorce suits. I understand that for contested divorce the legal fee can come up to at least S$10,000 and depending on how many trial hearings are involved – so the legal can reach up to S$20,000 as I understand as each trial session is going to cost S$5,000.
In his divorce suit, he asked for 60% of the profit after the sale of our matrimonial home and CPF refund.
Now my husband wants to go for an uncontested divorce and he also asked me to go for uncontested divorce. He will now go for the division of profit : 50% (for him) and I get 50%. If I agree to this we will proceed with our divorce based on this.
I understand that after both parties are legally divorced, then the lawyer will work on the alimony and ancillary and division of matrimonial assets (if any). Do I have to tell my lawyer now to put forward my alimony claim, wife maintenance and division of matrimonial assets?
On the alimony claim, wife maintenance and division of matrimonial assets will these be processed after both parties are legally divorced?
One lawyer said I should be the one to initiate the divorce then I can claim part of the legal fee on my husband. But I refused to initiate the divorce paper because it is my husband who is the one to dump me and I am still hoping that he would change his mind and return.
But my 2 children actually support me and encourage me to divorce him. I also feel that I should not initiate the divorce because other people will view it negatively on my part.
Next issue is, I am still working and I understand from one lawyer that I may not even get a single cent of alimony. Is this true?
Is division of matrimonial property (we have one landed property which is currently our home) done fairly under the law?
One lawyer told me since I have been working all these years I may not even get half of the matrimonial property as I am not a stay at home mum. But I strongly disagree on this because I have made financial contribution to the matrimonial property and at the same time I have brought up my 2 children.
Please advise how much legal fee (estimated) I am expected to pay for this divorce proceeding if its uncontested.
Looking forward to hear from you
It is good for parties to explore the possibility of an uncontested divorce as this will save a lot of costs for both parties. The fact that both parties have filed a divorce application against each other, clearly neither party wants to be in the marriage any longer. It is thus prudent to settle the divorce on an uncontested basis.
The ancillary issues, namely, division of the flat, division of other matrimonial property (including CPF etc), maintenance for the wife and children, custody, care and control and access of the children are important and if possible, should be resolved together before the divorce is granted. Once the divorce has been settled and parties have not settled the ancilalry issues, lawyers will charge a further sum to settle the ancillary issues.
If parties fight on the ancillary issues, that too can be costly. It all depends on the number of affidavits that each party files for the ancillary hearing.
Sometimes, lawyers may suggest to proceed to resolve the divorce first, especially, if parties are very contestious and difficult and after settling the divorce to proceed to resolve the ancillary issues at a later stage.
I believe, your lawyer will be able to advise you better as he/she is more aware of the full matrix of your case.
The only thing I would say is that if you could come to an agreement on all the ancillary issues before the divorce is granted, usually the costs is lower.
James (legal counsel)