Controlling the Divorce Narrative - Your Story
In Singapore, divorce cases involve children issues including custody, care and control and access, division of assets and maintenances for children and spouse. But did you know that there is something else that plays a crucial role in your case? It is your narrative. Your story can determine the outcome of your divorce case.
In this blog, we'll explore why the power of narrative matters in your divorce case and how you can use it to your advantage.
Understanding the Narrative
The narrative of your divorce case in Singapore tells the story of your marriage. It includes details about how you and your spouse met, what happened and parties’ contributions during the marriage and why it ended. It is essential to have a clear and compelling narrative in your case to persuade the judge of your position which can assist you in obtaining a favourable outcome.
The Importance of Your Narrative
In any legal case, including divorce, presenting a compelling narrative can significantly influence the outcome. For example, the judge in a contested divorce case will have to decide on children issues including custody, care and control and access, division of assets and maintenances for children and spouse by considering all the circumstances of your case.
It may include financial records (i.e bank statements, payslips) and medical records. Together with the written documents, the couple's narrative plays an important role in the judge's decision-making process.
The Role of Your Divorce Lawyer
Crafting a compelling narrative in your divorce case can be a complex process that requires careful consideration and planning. It is also important to work closely with a divorce lawyer who can help you to build a strong case and persuasively present your narrative.
An experienced divorce lawyer knows how to build a persuasive, focused, and aligned narrative to your case goals. They can collaborate with you to create a narrative that presents you in the best possible light and communicates your position effectively to the judge.
Factors that Influence the Narrative
Several factors can influence the narrative of your divorce case in Singapore. These include the reasons for the divorce, any fault or wrongdoing on the part of either spouse and any financial or other assets that need to be divided.
When filing for divorce, your narrative should start at the beginning of the marriage. The following facts should be included in your narrative:
- Marriage date;
- The ages of you and your spouse;
- Ages of any children of the marriage;
- The current address of you and your spouse;
- Each party's highest level of education;
- The residence(s) acquired during the marriage;
- The education and/or vocational training you or your spouse or children have obtained;
- The employment history of each spouse during the marriage, as well as the locations and salaries they earned.
During a divorce, a crucial aspect that cannot be overlooked is the narrative surrounding financial information. As a result, the financial landscape plays a significant role in determining the division of assets, spousal maintenance, child support, and overall financial stability post-divorce.
Crafting a compelling and accurate divorce narrative requires gathering and presenting thorough financial information to assist the Court in its determination.
This includes the following information:
- Arrangements and agreements regarding work between parties during the marriage, such as if one spouse is a stay-at-home parent or works part-time.
- Financial contributions made during the marriage
- Retirement plans and decisions made by both you and your spouse.
- Assistance provided by one spouse in developing the other spouse's career.
- Employment status of both you and your spouse.
- Income by both parties
- Property owned by both parties at the time of marriage.
- Major assets acquired during the marriage, including retirement benefits.
- History of incurred debts.
- Existence of pre or post-nuptial agreements
It is important to have proper documentation and present the financial information clearly so that individuals can effectively present their case to persuade the Court to decide on a just and equitable outcome during the divorce proceedings.
To ensure your lawyer understands your case, the primary caregiver’s history regarding your children is critical. This holds particular significance if issues relating to custody, care and control and access are at stake or potential disputes may arise regarding parenting time. It is vital to discuss the following details concerning your children:
- Ages of the child(ren)
- Their overall health
- Your role and involvement as a parent from birth to present
- Any instances of time off from work by either parent, whether paid or unpaid, or decisions for one parent to stay at home with the children
- Responsibilities and duties of the primary caretaker
- Any special needs of the children
- Instances of domestic violence involving children (Medical or Police reports).
Fault Based Divorce (Unreasonable Behaviour)
In the event you wish to rely on your spouse’s unreasonable behaviour to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, here are some key points to consider when incorporating marital fault into your divorce narrative:
- Infidelity: Present evidence of extramarital affairs or cheating during the marriage.
- Domestic violence: Provide details of any incidents of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse within the marriage.
- Financial misconduct: Highlight any instances of financial dishonesty, such as hidden assets, excessive spending, or financial irresponsibility.
- Abandonment: If one spouse deserted the family without cause, explain the circumstances and the impact on the relationship.
- Mental health issues: Show how untreated or severe mental health issues affected the marital relationship and family dynamics.
- Lack of support or neglect: Describe situations where one spouse failed to provide emotional or financial support or neglected their responsibilities as a partner or parent.
Presenting the divorce narrative is about shaping one's own story to assist the Court and working towards a constructive resolution. By considering professional guidance, individuals are not alone when navigating the divorce process and can create a narrative that assists the Court in its determination of the matter.