Divorce mediation helps you to end the marriage in a more amicable manner. In the divorce mediation process, the divorce mediator facilitates discussions and negotiations between parties to help parties reach agreements on the divorce, asset division, quantum of maintenance (if any) and custody of children.
There are a number of divorce mediation schemes in Singapore which you can consider.
Court-based Divorce Mediation
Family mediations in Singapore are conducted at the Child Focused Resolution Centre (CFRC). Family mediation in Singapore is mandatory for divorcing couples with at least 1 child under the age of 21 years and are on the contested divorce track. Family mediation in Singapore at the CFRC are free of charge.
If you have appointed a divorce lawyer to act for you, he/ she will attend the divorce mediation sessions at the CFRC with you. At the divorce mediation sessions, your divorce lawyer will advise you on matters such as whether your spouse’s proposals are fair and workable.
Family mediations in Singapore are usually conducted very early in the divorce proceedings. For instance, right after the divorce papers are filed in Court and served on your spouse, your divorce lawyer has the option to write to your spouse/ your spouse’s divorce lawyer to request that parties hold their hands on filing further documents and proceed to divorce mediation right away. This will help you expedite your divorce process. In general, most family mediations in Singapore are concluded within 2 to 3 sessions at the CFRC.
Participants at divorce mediations at the CFRC include:
1. Both parties’ divorce lawyers.
2. Both parties.
3. The Judge-mediator.
4. The Court counsellor.
The primary focus of these divorce mediation sessions is on the welfare of the children. It is hoped that through divorce mediation sessions, parties are able to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of their children. Parties are encouraged to work out an effective co-parenting arrangement suitable for the needs of their children to avoid leaving these issues to the hands of the Judges at the Family Justice Courts. In certain cases, sessions will also be arranged for the children to speak directly to the counsellors at the CFRC.
Other than the children’s issues, the Judge-mediator at the CFRC will also facilitate discussion on issues concerning the divorce, division of assets and maintenance.
If parties are able to reach an amicable settlement on all the issues, the Court will record the agreement (which will become a Court order). If parties are able to reach an agreement only on certain issues, the Court will still record a partial agreement (which will become a partial Court order) and the rest of the issues can be adjudicated by the Family Justice Courts.
Information and documents shared at the CFRC are confidential and cannot be used as evidence in Court hearings.
The CFRC is located at the Ministry of National Development.
For couples who do not have children, the Court is also empowered to direct suitable cases to divorce mediation under the Family Justice Act. Family Court Judges are experienced and in a good position to assess if a case can be resolved more amicably and quickly through divorce mediation. Similarly, if parties are able to reach an amicable settlement, a divorce Court order can be recorded.
Some couples may also opt for private family mediation in Singapore even before the filing of the divorce papers. In such cases, if parties reach an amicable settlement, they may be able to file for divorce on an uncontested basis. These couples will save time and money (in terms of legal costs). Uncontested divorces in Singapore take approximately 4 months to complete while contested divorces in Singapore (resolved through the process of divorce mediation) could take as long as 8 months or more to complete. However, private mediations come with a cost unlike Court-directed mediation.
While divorce mediation is not a must for couples in Singapore without children, it helps couples who are unable to reach an amicable settlement by themselves to avoid the lengthy and costly process of divorce Court proceedings.
At Populus Law Corporation, we are both lawyers and trained mediators. For more information on divorce mediations, contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp).
Our price list can be found here.
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