Divorce Cost and Fees in Singapore

Divorce Cost and Fees in Singapore

Approximately 25% of marriages end up in divorce. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS), there were 7,107 divorces and annulments and 28,389 marriages in 2022. Divorce can be emotionally draining and financially burdensome due to its costs that include legal fees, division of assets, and ongoing spousal or child support payments (maintenance).

To help you better understand the expenses involved in divorce proceedings, this comprehensive guide will provide an overview of the costs associated with divorce.

Understanding Divorce Fees in Singapore

These can range from court costs, legal services charges, and miscellaneous expenses. These combined components can often create a hefty sum, depending on your situation. You can cap your costs by reaching an agreement with your spouse on the divorce and the terms. The fees in such a case would usually be around $2,000 - $5,000. However, if this cannot be achieved, you would then have to incur further costs to litigate the issues. In most cases, the cost of a contested divorce would amount to at least $12,000 - $15,000.

Court/Filing Fees

Divorce proceedings in Singapore involve various filing fees. These are not usually significant, ranging from a about $500 for an uncontested divorce to around $3,000 - $5,000 for a contested divorce. In short, the more documents filed in Court, the higher the filing fees.

Mediation Fees

Mediation within the Family Justice Courts is a free service. However, parties with no children or assets worth more than $2m would be required to attend private mediation. In such a case, the applicable fee of private mediators would apply. This is usually around $3,000 - $6,000 for a full-day session which may or may not include the cost of the venue. The cost is usually shared by parties, though one party may also agree to bear the full costs of the mediation.

Legal Fees

Legal fees in Singapore for a divorce can vary depending on the type of case and the divorce lawyer's experience. These include hourly rates and fixed fees.

Hourly rates are typically charged by lawyers based on their experience and expertise and can range from $300/hour to $1,000/hour.

Fixed fees can be agreed with your lawyer based on a fixed amount of work to be done. It is common for fixed fees to be offered for agreed divorces filed on the simplified track. For contested divorces, due to several uncertainties, it can be more difficult to come to a fixed fee agreement. However, this is something for you to discuss with your legal representative.

Lawyers cannot chage fees for divorce work on a contingency fee basis.

Private Investigator (PI) Fees

The services of a PI is often required if you wish to prove that your spouse has committed adultery. This can cost from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on how many hours of suerveillance required to gather the necessary evidence. If the PI successfully obtains evidence of adultery, the PI’s fees can be claimed back from the cheating spouse.

Asset Valuations

When it comes to the division of assets, asset valuation is often necessary to determine the value of marital properties. This information is crucial for the equitable distribution of assets between the divorcing parties. Property appraisers can conduct property valuations whilst forensic accountants may be called in to determine the value of a business. The fees for their services vary depending on the complexity and the professional's expertise.

The valuation of a standard HDB flat costs between $500 - $1,000 whereas the cost of a engaging a forensic account very much depends on the scope of the work to be done. As an estimate, we would be looking at around $10,000 - $30,000. Forensic accountants are usually called in when the asset pool is substantial.

Counselling Fees

Divorce can be a highly emotional and stressful experience for both parties and their children. As a result, many individuals opt for counselling or therapy during and after the divorce process to cope with the emotional turmoil. Counselling fees in Singapore can range from $200 - $300 per session, depending on the therapist's qualifications and experience. Children often suffer as a result of the breakdown of the marriage and it is no uncommon for children to also attend therapy/counselling. Sometimes, parties will seek to produce the child’s psychological reports to support their case for custody of the child.

Ways to Reduce Divorce Costs

When it comes to getting a divorce in Singapore, there are some things you can do to minimise the costs associated with the process. Here are some tips on how to reduce the cost of your divorce:

  1. Utilise alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or engage the services of a collaborative family practice lawyer instead of going to court right away. This is usually much cheaper than taking a case through litigation.
  2. Minimise unnecessary correspondence between yourself and your spouse/lawyer, which can quickly add up to your total sum. Many parties find themselves caught in a cycle of writing nasty letters to each other which usually does not solve the problem but does increse the acriminoy, and legal bills.
  3. Adopt a reasonable and strategic approach to negotiations. This may help you efficiently settle your differences expeditiously.
  4. Be organised when dealing with legal paperwork. Having all the necessary documents in order can save time and money.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the biggest costs involved in getting a divorce in Singapore?


What types of divorces are the most expensive or the cheapest?


Can I get divorced if I don’t know where my spouse is?


How much do lawyers typically charge for a divorce in Singapore?


What happens if I cannot afford the cost of a divorce in Singapore?


How long does it take to finalise a divorce in Singapore?


Divorce can be expensive, but you can minimise costs with careful planning and preparation. If you are considering getting divorced in Singapore, Amy Lim Law Practice can provide you with experienced legal advice and representation throughout the entire process. They will ensure that you obtain a fair outcome in your divorce proceedings and provide support and guidance every step of the way. Schedule an initial consultation today by calling 9338 5040.

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