Divorce is a rather gloomy topic to begin with. However, it can get worse when parties involved allow their emotions to take over and start to do whatever makes them feel better in the spur of the moment.
With regards to divorce in Singapore, i don’t think some of these are so much a problem as others. Nonetheless, i still think it’s a good idea to visit them, as some of these mistakes can affect the outcome of the divorce.
Below, we take a look at a few common mistakes made by men during divorce. While these can also be applied to women, females have their own set of common mistakes that we will be discussing in another article.
- Leaving family home
This point is mentioned first because it is regarded by some divorce experts to be the stupidest mistake a man can make. Sure, in a fit of anger or in the midst of all the emotions one is facing, it could seem like the best thing to do would be to leave the matrimonial home to clear your head.
However, the hidden danger is that this could be used against you in court.
Your wife could label you as abandoning the family, which is highly undesirable. Think about it from the court’s point of view. It shows that your family was not important enough for you to stay, on top of you not putting in effort to make the marriage work or dampening the effects of the divorce.
This could also result in you paying more alimony, or losing custody of the children.
In Singapore, there are a number of factors taken into account before a Judge determines the type of custody order. One of them being the parent’s wishes. If you abandon the family or leave the matrimonial home, but mention in court that you’d want custody of the kids, it could be seen as contradicting as your actions do not support your words.
On the other hand, if you stay on in the home, you could use it in your argument that you did your best to stay and be part of the family despite the undesirable circumstances.
- Threatening to limit or deny visitation
Using children as a weapon in the divorce is cruel, but I can see why some parents do it. It’s because it’s the easiest way to ‘control’ their partner and submit them into giving in to their demands.
As tempting and simple as this may seem, it’s better to avoid it. This is because in Singapore, we have what is called the Social Welfare Report.
Social Welfare Reports are usually ordered by the court for disputes over which parent should have custody of the child, and are prepared by officers from the Ministry of Community Development and Sports. These officers will speak the child and observe the child’s interactions with his/her parents.
With the officers looking at how your child interacts with you, you’d definitely want your child to feel at ease and comfortable with you. You want your best foot forward and put on the best display possible.
Constantly threatening to deny visits or using your children as pawn pieces could make you seem like the ‘bad’ parent, and put you at a greater risk of losing custody of your child.
- Another woman
Getting another woman involved when the divorce is not yet finalized is akin to adding wood to the already massive flame. Divorce is complicated and emotionally taxing as it is, so you don’t need another piece to add to the puzzle.
Having a 3rd party in the divorce can also give your partner’s family lawyers a chance to use it against you in the courtroom. You need every help you can get, while minimizing your risks. Men undergoing a divorce can do themselves a favor and keep things simple by keeping matters of the divorce within the bounds of the family.
Other commitments can be pursued once the divorce is finalized and parties are free to carry on with their lives, including remarrying.
- Not negotiating before litigating
Not negotiating or even attempting to negotiate the terms of the divorce will likely result in a contested divorce, which is lengthier (could take more than a year to finalise) and much more costly in terms of psychological emotions experienced by the parties involved and not mentioning lawyer’s fees.
It can be difficult to sit down and talk to your partner especially after all the arguments and quarrels, which could include threats and accusations.
However, discussing the terms of the divorce and working towards an amicable solution with your partner can save you a lot of money and time in the long run. Think of sitting down and discussing the terms as an investment.
When terms of the divorce have been agreed between the parties, they can then go into an uncontested divorce, should they still decide to separate. Uncontested divorces take a much shorter time to finalize and costs a lot less in legal fees, as opposed to contested divorces.
There really isn’t a concrete answer as to how long it takes and how much it costs (as each case is unique). But uncontested divorces can take about 3 – 6 months to finalize, and can cost as low as $1,400.
It could also be the wiser move since the divorce can be finalized quicker and the parties involved can move on with their lives faster.
It’s a matter of choosing a long drawn and costly legal battle, or choosing to work things out first and agreeing on the terms with your partner before filing for divorce.
Working things out with someone you are starting to dislike can be difficult, but it can pay off in terms of time and money saved in the long run.
- Wrong lawyer
You see that your wife has gotten a divorce attorney. You panic, because you have barely got in touch with any. You go about hurriedly searching for a divorce lawyer, and hire the first one you talk to – because it gives you a piece of mind.
Do not rush this process.
In a previous article, we talked about the importance of planning ahead. One of the steps we mentioned was to talk to a family lawyer early on if you sense that a divorce is impending.
Basically, you need to work with a lawyer you can :
- Who understands your needs
- Is reasonable in pricing
The first two factors are what you feel when you talk to the lawyer in the initial consultation. If you feel that they have your best interest in mind and can give constructive advice, then that’s a great sign and you should consider them.
Pricing wise, go for a lawyer you can afford. Some people might go overboard into hiring costly divorce lawyers, because they think that they have a good shot at getting a large share of the matrimonial assets. This leads them into hiring lawyers that are too expensive for them, i.e they have to win the case to be able to pay off the lawyers.
Always go in expecting the worst. If you can live with the worst, then the rest will take care of itself.
- Social media posts
We use social media so often, it can become a habit. To the point that we do not think much before posting a status update or a picture. During a divorce proceeding however, it would be best to stay off social media.
Once you post something online, it becomes public for the world to see. So it would be best to lay low during this period. When there is nothing publicly available about yourself that can be used against you, you have more control and are in a better negotiating position against your ex-partner’s divorce lawyers.