The divorce process involves a 2-step process:
- The termination of the marriage. Parties will receive an Interim Judgment once the divorce is granted.
- The issue of ancillary matters. This comprises of the following issues:
a. Custody, care and control of children (if any);
b. Maintenance for children (if any);
c. Maintenance for spouse;
d. Division of matrimonial assets.
After the issue of ancillary matters are resolved, parties will receive a Final Judgment. This means that the divorce is final and official.
In this article, we will discuss matters pertaining to the 2nd step of the process: The issue of ancillary matters.
Once the 1st step is resolved (i.e. once parties receive the Interim Judgment), the Court will proceed to fix a date for a case conference in chambers, for the purposes of preparing parties for the ancillary matters hearing.
Given that the Court focuses on mediation and counselling, the Court may refer the matter for further mediation. This is to reduce conflict and acrimony between parties, which may have a negative impact on the children (if any).
In the event the mediation is a success and parties are able to settle the ancillary matters, a Draft Consent Order will be prepared for parties to execute. Thereafter, parties will be able to extract the Final Judgment within 3 months of the Interim Judgment.
In the event parties are unable to agree on the ancillary matters, the Court will fix a date for the ancillary matters hearing, and will give directions for parties to file their Affidavit of Assets and Means.
This Affidavit of Assets and Means basically sets out all the particulars of your assets and liabilities. It will also include information such as your work particulars, your income, your monthly expenses and all your direct and indirect contributions to the marriage. Do note that full and frank disclosure is required in affidavits, failing which the Court may draw an adverse inference against you.
Ancillary matters hearing
Once parties have filed their Affidavits of Assets and Means, the Court will direct parties to file a few more forms and written submissions having regard to the law. This is where we will advise you accordingly on how to put your best case forward.
Depending on the complexity of the matter, the ancillary matters hearing may take half a day or may take several days. The Court will then consider the facts and circumstances and will make a decision accordingly.
The Final Judgment will be extracted upon the conclusion of all ancillary matters. The Final Judgment signifies the end of the divorce process.
You may file for a divorce without engaging a lawyer. However, you will be responsible for all legal requirements and the Court cannot advice you.
It would therefore be wise to engage a lawyer to guide you through this emotional process.
Our team will be able to assist and advice you in all aspects of divorce law. We are efficient and are known for our ability to get the best results for our clients. We aim to save you time and ensure your divorce is fuss free.