What to Do to Prepare for Separation or Divorce
Ending a marriage entails not only the emotional turbulence but a sea of paperwork, settling of debts, division of matrimonial assets, and rethinking the future, all of which can be overwhelming. If you are considering filing for divorce in Singapore, preparing for what lies ahead with the guidance of your divorce lawyer is the best way to minimize divorce's emotional and financial impact.
Why do you need to prepare for divorce?
Divorce and separation can lead to depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness, and substance abuse. Apart from anger, resentment, shame, loss of self-esteem, and other emotions, a divorce has a significant impact on your financial status and lifestyle. Children of divorced parents face many challenges as they try to come to terms with the fact that their parents are no longer with each other.
While the process of divorce itself can be elaborate and confusing, failing to prepare for divorce and separation can result in
- Higher levels of anxiety, stress, and worry
- Difficulty with time management
- Conflict and confusion
- Higher cost
- Problems with getting the documents and details ready
Particularly in long-term relationships, both parties find it very difficult to cope with the enormous changes that often accompany a divorce or separation. The complexities increase when children and valuable assets are involved. Not knowing what to expect from your spouse during the divorce can lead to more conflict that can add to your stress, anxiety, and depression.
Staying prepared for divorce will help avoid unnecessary conflict, sets expectations for both parties, and makes the process as hassle-free as possible.
How to prepare for divorce?
Here are some of the steps you can take to prepare for divorce or separation:
Determine if you want to divorce or separate
If you are the one initiating the divorce or separation, being sure that this is the best course of action is the first step. If you are unsure about ending your marriage or believe that you can still save your marriage, consult a family therapist, marriage counselor, or clergy member. You can also talk to your trusted friend or family member to get a fresh perspective. Before you go ahead with the following steps, be 100 percent sure you have made the right decision.
Consult an experienced divorce lawyer
Once you are sure that you want to go ahead with divorce or separation, you may have many questions and concerns on how to divorce. Filing for divorce in Singapore will require you to prepare and file many documents, including a writ for divorce, details of why you want a divorce, financial disclosure, and a parenting plan. If you are not the one initiating the divorce, you will still need to know how to safeguard your interests. The divorce lawyer is the best person to advice you on the timeframe, the steps involved, the mediation process, and other crucial matters.
Collect financial information
An essential aspect of filing for divorce in Singapore is having all the facts and figures on the matrimonial assets you and your spouse own. While some assets are apparent – such as your house or car – others such as income tax returns, keepsakes, or intellectual property are not. Make a list of the matrimonial assets you own. Your divorce lawyer will explain what documents you need to gather in preparation for divorce that can include:
- Tax statements
- Bank statements
- CPF documents
- Insurance documents
- Debts and liabilities
- Documents that show the financial contributions you have made during your marriage, such as loan/mortgage statements.
Ensure you are financially independent
It is essential to take the time required to understand the expenses you will incur during and after divorce. While preparing a budget, ensure your income level is aligned with your and your children's needs.