The decision to call it quits in your marriage may be hard, but despite that, there are many things you need to discuss with your soon-to-be former husband. In a divorce case, there are several contentious issues that must be discussed by both parties. These include the division of the properties and the financial worth of the family.

Division of Assets in a Divorce – What You Need to Know

  1. Save some money with an out-of-court settlement.

According to the resource for Singapore Legal Advice, after the first stage of the divorce proceeding, the court will give you a date for the APTC or the Ancillary Matters Pre-Trial Conference. This is held in the chambers, which means that it is not open to the public. In the conference, the deputy registrar will go over how to divide you assets.

If possible, try to come up with an out-of-court settlement regarding the division of your assets. Instead of conducting a hearing, you and your spouse can attend a counselling or mediation instead. This can reduce the costs of your divorce. Plus, an out-of-court settlement also requires less effort.

If you have a hard time reaching an agreement with your spouse, you and your spouse will need to attend a contested ancillary matters hearings. Both parties will be required to file an Affidavit of Assets and Means, which will be used by the court to make a decision. This affidavit is also referred to as Form 35. If your net matrimonial assets are below SGD 1,500,000, then your hearing will be held at the Family Court. If the assets are above SGD 1,500,000, then you will be attending the hearing at the High Court.

  1. Matrimonial assets include all of the properties that you and your spouse have acquired during your marriage.

Some examples of properties that may be considered as matrimonial assets include savings, vehicles, businesses, shares, insurance, antiques and jewellery. Such assets may be subjected to division during the divorce.

Properties that are usually used by the family may also be considered as matrimonial assets. Other properties that have been significantly improved by the parties during the marriage may be considered as matrimonial.

On the other hand, properties that were acquired as gifts or inheritances are generally not considered as matrimonial assets. Such properties are considered as separate assets unless the family refers to it as the matrimonial home.

  1. Prepare tangible evidences.

Gather tangible evidence that back up your Affidavit of Assets and Means. These may include employment records, business documents, brokerage statements, banking records, income tax returns, property tax returns, and insurance documents. Keep these documents handy as some aspects of the divorce may be time sensitive.

  1. Various factors are taken into consideration in order to fairly divide your assets.

Under Singapore law, the court has the authority to decide on how matrimonial assets can be divided in a “just and equitable manner”. Using the Affidavits of Assets and Means as well as the financial documents, property ownership documents, and other evidences that you and your spouse have gathered, the court will try to divide your contested assets fairly.

The factors that will be considered include the extent of financial contributions by both parties, the extent of non-financial contributions for the welfare of the family, the debts owed by both parties, any pre-nuptial agreements with regards to the division of the matrimonial assets, the needs of the children, the needs of both parties, and the financial independence of both parties.

  1. Be aware of important details regarding your finances.

Financial information can be very sensitive. Make sure to be familiar with your financial accounts. Armed with the correct information, you will be able to help speed up the process of your divorce. Remember that even a little bit of lie may be able to nullify the case.

More information: Marriage Matters and Divorce Issues.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).