You’ve seen how dramatically a divorce can unfold on TV. While most times, TV is just an exaggeration of real life, there is some truth there. A divorce means your emotions are running amock, you’re probably also stressed like you’ve never been before. It doesn’t help that a divorce can also be an expensive process. There are a lot of financial issues that have to be handled carefully. These include settlements and legal costs among many others. Read The New Savvy guide on how to cope with a divorce.

  1. Talk to your attorney about legal costs, filing fees, court fees and other expenditures.

Depending on the complexity of the case, the legal costs of a divorce may vary. Plus, the experience and the reputation of the attorney may also affect the legal costs. Family law and divorce attorneys in Singapore can cost anywhere from SG$1500 and higher.

For an uncontested divorce case, the expenses can fall between SG$1500 and SG$3000. Usually, this will already include the attorney’s fees, filing fees, court fees, commissioning fees, administrative fees and other miscellaneous expenditures.

For a contested divorce case, the expenses will most probably fall on a higher range. The proceedings will take a substantial time of the attorney, and will result to substantial legal costs. The expenses can even exceed SG$10000. This still does not include monthly maintenance and childcare expenses.

It is best to discuss the exact legal costs with your preferred family law or divorce attorney. Most of the time, the first meeting with an attorney can be free. Before hiring an attorney, make sure to talk about your preferred method of payment.

One option is to pay flat fees. In such method, a fixed amount of money will be paid to your attorney for every contested issue in your divorce case. Another option is to pay hourly fees. This will be based on the amount of time that the attorney spends on your case. If you want to see how much work the attorney is doing on you case, then you may request for an invoice.

  1. Prepare important financial documents.

A divorce involves a lot of monetary details. This means that you also need to prepare a lot of information from financial documents, photographs and timelines. Some aspects of a divorce case may be time sensitive so it is important for such information to be handy.

Financial documents include banking information, employment records, business financial statements, brokerage statements, income tax returns, property tax returns, insurance documents, and lists of real properties, personal properties, vehicles, and contents of safe deposit boxes.

Do not hesitate to gather anything else that you think may qualify as an asset. For example, you may also prepare information regarding your travel awards, and membership cards to any establishment or organisation. For a comprehensive checklist of financial documents needed for divorce, you can check out here.

The information from all of these documents can be used by the judge in the court to arrive at figures for the settlements and the maintenance payments.

3.Try to work out the issues with your spouse.

Instead of taking your spouse to court just for the sake of getting revenge, try to work out your issues together. As mentioned previously, a contested divorce costs a lot more than an uncontested divorce.

If you can come up with an agreement for all of your issues without bringing it to a court proceeding, you can avoid spending a large sum of money on legal fees and court fees.

Find out the Difference Between Annulment And Divorce and more 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).