Comprehensive Guide to Divorce Fees in Singapore (Updated Sep 2018)

Last updated on September 4, 2018

Featured image for the "How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce? A Comprehensive Guide to Divorce Fees in Singapore" divorce fee guide. It features a couple sitting on a bench. A broken heart that is bleeding coins floats above their heads.

Divorce can be stressful and complicated. Despite this, many have reservations about hiring a lawyer to assist with their divorces, with legal fees and the issue of overcharging having come up as key concerns.

In response to these concerns, we interviewed divorce lawyers on their fees and compiled our insights into a massive 44-page guide. This article contains extracts from the guide on the breakdown for divorce fees in Singapore.

Type of divorce Estimated divorce cost
Simplified uncontested divorce $1,500 to $3,500
Contested divorce $10,000 to $35,000

In general, divorce fees in Singapore range from $1,500 to $3,500 for simplified uncontested divorces (i.e. where both spouses can agree on all terms of the divorce), and $10,000 to $35,000 for contested divorces (i.e. where both spouses are contesting at least one term of the divorce).

Depending on your lawyer, disbursements and/or GST (if the lawyer’s law firm is GST-registered) could be included in, or charged on top of, your lawyer’s initial fee quotation.

Please note that all fees stated should be considered estimates.

Infographic to summarise how much a divorce could cost in Singapore.

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Pre-Divorce Fees

Consultation

If you are thinking of filing for divorce, you can arrange for a first consultation with a lawyer to discuss your situation.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
First consultation
(generally 30 minutes to 1½ hours long)
Free to $500 Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

Subsequent consultations Chargeable

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

Mandatory Parenting Programme

Before you can file for divorce, you and your spouse must personally attend the 2-hour long Mandatory Parenting Programme (MPP) if you have children of the marriage under 21 years old. Your lawyer cannot attend on your behalf.

If you are thinking of filing for divorce, you can arrange for a first consultation with a lawyer to discuss your situation.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Mandatory Parenting Programme Not Applicable*
(the programme is free to attend and lawyers are not involved)

* Your lawyer may charge for providing other services related to your attendance of the MPP.

If you decide to continue filing for divorce after attending the MPP, the fees you can expect to pay for your divorce will depend on whether your divorce is a simplified uncontested divorce or a contested divorce.

Fees for a Simplified Uncontested Divorce

Flat fees may be charged for simplified uncontested divorces. This flat fee generally covers:

  • The drafting of the divorce documents
  • Filing fees
  • Extraction of the Interim Judgment and Final Judgment

Some parties in simplified uncontested divorces may later decide they want to dispute at least one matter of their divorce. If so, their divorce will become contested and their lawyers will have to charge according to their contested divorce fee structures.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Filing of simplified uncontested divorce $1,500 to $3,500** Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

* Disbursements, GST and/or first consultation charges may be included or excluded from this fee, depending on the lawyer engaged. This estimate also excludes any additional correspondences, meetings and negotiations that your lawyer has to attend with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.

Fees for a Contested Divorce

Stage 1: Dissolution of the Marriage

Filing of Pleadings

If you are the party filing for divorce, your lawyer will draft pleadings to start the case.

These pleadings will need to be personally served on your spouse or on your spouse’s lawyer (if your spouse has engaged a lawyer).

If your spouse cannot be personally served and has not appointed a lawyer, an interlocutory application for substituted service may be required (see pages 25 and 26 of our divorce fee guide for more information).

After being served with your pleadings, your spouse may file and serve his/her own pleadings on you in response.

You may also respond to your spouse’s pleadings if needed.

If either spouse finds that their spouse is being untruthful in their pleadings, or if they want evidence from their spouse to prove the truth of the content of their own pleadings, they may file an interlocutory application for discovery of documents or correspondence referred to in their spouse’s pleadings (see pages 25 and 26 of our divorce fee guide for more information).

Apart from preparing pleadings, your lawyer may also be required to prepare letters of correspondence to your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.

In these letters, the lawyers may negotiate a settlement or ask for certain documents, among other things.

If you and your spouse are able to settle on the reason for divorce at this stage, the case can be set down for an uncontested divorce hearing for the obtaining of the Interim Judgment.

Once the Interim Judgement is granted, you and your spouse can proceed to the ancillary matters stage of the divorce (see below).

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Drafting and filing of pleadings / responding to your spouse’s pleadings $1,500 $2,500 to $3,500** Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

Personal service of pleadings $500
Letters of correspondence
(as necessary)
$200 to $300 per letter

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

** This estimate assumes that parties are able to settle on the reason for divorce at this stage, without mediation or going to trial. This estimate also excludes any additional correspondences, meetings and negotiations that your lawyer has to attend with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.

If the case’s progress towards trial after the filing of pleadings is slow, the court may call for a Status Conference for both parties to update the court of the case’s status and whether the reason for divorce is still being contested.

Your lawyer will attend the Status Conference(s) on your behalf as it usually relates to court procedure.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Attending Status Conferences $350 per attendance The cost of attending Status Conferences will generally be included in the $2,500 to $3,500 lump sum mentioned above.** Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

** This estimate excludes any additional correspondences, meetings and negotiations that your lawyer has to attend with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.

Divorce Mediation and/or Counselling

During a Status Conference, the court may fix a date for mediation and/or counselling at the Family Justice Courts to assist you and your spouse in settling the reason for divorce (and as many ancillary matters as possible) without going to trial.

Mediation and counselling is compulsory for divorcing parties who have at least one child of the marriage below 21 years old. Lawyers are required to attend mediation with their clients, but cannot attend the counselling sessions.

While the mediation and/or counselling sessions are taking place, you and your spouse may choose to continue to negotiate a settlement out-of-court.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Attending mediation
(if necessary, and depending on the duration of session(s))
$500 to $2,000 per session Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

If after the mediation, counselling and/or out-of-court negotiations:

You and your spouse manage to agree on the reason for divorce You and your spouse cannot agree on what the reason for divorce should be
The case may be set down for an uncontested divorce hearing.

The Interim Judgment will be granted after the uncontested divorce hearing. You and your spouse can then proceed to the ancillary matters stage of the divorce (see below).

The case will be set down for trial for the court to decide this on your behalf.

Trial

Before the trial, the court will fix a Case Conference to prepare you and your spouse for trial and make further attempts at settling the case before trial.

If after the Case Conference:

You and your spouse manage to agree on the reason for divorce You and your spouse cannot agree on what the reason for divorce should be
The case may be set down for an uncontested divorce hearing.

The Interim Judgment will be granted after the uncontested divorce hearing. You and your spouse can then proceed to the ancillary matters stage of the divorce (see below).

The court will ask for the Affidavit(s) of Evidence-in-Chief (AEIC) of both spouses’ witnesses to be filed and exchanged with the other spouse.

The case will then proceed for trial.

At trial, the court will decide whether the marriage has irretrievably broken down and what the reason for this should be, based on the evidence before him/her.

Depending on the number of witnesses to be called and the case’s complexity, the trial may take several days.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Attendance at trial
(Including the cost of drafting Affidavit(s) of Evidence-in-Chief, preparing for trial, and drafting Written Submissions as necessary)
$5,000 to $10,000 for first 2 days of trial

$1,500 to $4,000 for each subsequent day

$5,000 to $15,000** Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

** This estimate excludes any additional correspondences, meetings and negotiations that your lawyer has to attend with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.

At the end of the trial, an Interim Judgment will be granted. You and your spouse can then proceed to the ancillary matters stage of the divorce.

Stage 2: Ancillary Matters

Mediation and/or Counselling on Contested Ancillary Matters

The court may direct you and your spouse to attend mediation and/or counselling at the Family Justice Courts to settle as many of the contested ancillary matters as possible before the contested ancillary matters hearing.

Mediation and/or counselling sessions are compulsory for divorcing parties who have at least one child of the marriage below 21 years old. Lawyers are required to attend mediation with their clients, but cannot attend the counselling sessions.

While the mediation and/or counselling sessions are taking place, you and your spouse may choose to continue to negotiate a settlement out-of-court.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Attending mediation
(if necessary, and depending on the duration of session(s))
$500 to $2,000 per session Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

If after the mediation, counselling and/or out-of-court negotiations:

You and your spouse manage to reach an agreement on all of the contested ancillary matters You and your spouse manage to reach an agreement on only one/some of the contested ancillary matters
Either of you can proceed to apply for the Final Judgment if 3 months have passed since the grant of the Interim Judgment.

Unless either party intends to take out additional applications (see pages 25 to 28 of our divorce fee guide for more information), this will mark the end of your divorce case.

Both of you will be called for an ancillary matters Case Conference.

Ancillary Matters Case Conference

The court will call you and your spouse for an ancillary matters Case Conference. During this Case Conference, the Assistant Registrar hearing the Case Conference will prepare you and your spouse for a contested ancillary matters hearing and attempt to settle all contested ancillary matters without a hearing.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Attending Status Conferences $350 per attendance $5,000 to $15,000 for the entire ancillary matters stage of the divorce** Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

** This estimate generally includes the fees for your lawyer’s attendance at the contested Affidavit(s) of Assets and Means hearing. However, this estimate excludes any additional correspondences, meetings and negotiations that your lawyer has to attend with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.

If after the ancillary matters Case Conference:

You and your spouse manage to reach an agreement on all of the contested ancillary matters You and your spouse manage to reach an agreement on only one/some of the contested ancillary matters
Either of you can proceed to apply for the Final Judgment if 3 months have passed since the grant of the Interim Judgment.

Unless either party intends to take out additional applications (see pages 25 to 28 of our divorce fee guide for more information), this will mark the end of your divorce case.

Both of you will be required to file and exchange your Affidavit(s) of Assets and Means.

Exchange of Affidavits of Assets and Means

You and your spouse will be required to disclose the assets that the both of you own in your respective Affidavit of Assets and Means (AOM).

Either spouse may also file a second AOM to reply to statements their spouse has made in their first AOM about their assets and means.

Upon reviewing their spouse’s AOM, either spouse may believe that their spouse has not sufficiently disclosed the existence and/or extent of certain assets in his/her possession. If so, they may wish to make an interlocutory application for discovery to compel their spouse to disclose such assets (see pages 25 to 26 of our divorce fee guide for more information). 

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Drafting and filing Affidavit(s) of Assets and Means $2,500 to $4,500 per affidavit $5,000 to $15,000 for the entire ancillary matters stage of the divorce** Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

** This estimate generally includes the fees for the exchanging of Affidavits of Assets and Means and your lawyer’s attendance at the ancillary matters Case Conference and contested Affidavit(s) of Assets and Means hearing. However, this estimate excludes any additional correspondences, meetings and negotiations that your lawyer has to attend with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.

Contested Ancillary Matters Hearing

The ancillary matters that are still being contested at this stage will be set down for a contested ancillary matters hearing.

At the hearing, the court will decide on the various contested ancillary matters based on the evidence before it. The duration of the hearing will depend on the number of remaining contested ancillary matters and their complexity.

Different ways a lawyer may charge*
Service provided On a per-service basis A lump sum for this stage An hourly rate
Drafting and filing Written Submissions $3,200 to $5,000 $5,000 to $15,000 for the entire ancillary matters stage of the divorce** Partner:
$800 per hour

Senior Associate:
$500 per hour

Junior Associate:
$350 per hour

Preparing for and attending the contested ancillary matters hearing
(depending on the remaining number of contested ancillary matters and their complexity)
$1,500 to $2,500 per half-day of hearing

* Figures may vary depending on the lawyer engaged.

** This estimate generally includes the fees for your lawyer’s attendance at the ancillary matters Case Conference and for the exchanging of Affidavits of Assets and Means. However, this estimate excludes any additional correspondences, meetings and negotiations that your lawyer has to attend with your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer.

After the hearing, you or your spouse can proceed to apply for the Final Judgment if 3 months have passed since the grant of the Interim Judgment. Unless either party intends to take out additional applications (see pages 25 to 28 of our divorce fee guide for more information), this will mark the end of your divorce case.

Download the Full Guide to Divorce Fees in Singapore

The cover of SingaporeLegalAdvice.com's divorce fee guide.

Apart from fee estimates for getting a divorce in Singapore, our 44-page guide to divorce fees in Singapore also covers the these common FAQs:

  • How do lawyers charge for divorce work?
  • How do divorce lawyers collect their fees?
  • Are lawyers necessary for divorce work?

Download the Divorce Fee Guide!

What’s in the Guide?

When you download our guide, you will get access to all these chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. How to Get a Divorce in Singapore: Requirements
  3. How to Get a Divorce in Singapore: Procedure
  4. Divorce Fees (In General)
  5. Divorce Fees (In Stages)
  6. Other Fees You May Incur in a Divorce Case
  7. Will Your Spouse Have to Pay You If He/She “Loses” the Case?
  8. Paying Your Divorce Lawyer: Payment Methods
  9. What If You’re Dissatisfied With the Bill?
  10. Legal Assistance
  11. Is It Advisable to Divorce Without a Lawyer?
  12. Next Steps: How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer
  13. Glossary

Through this guide, we hope you will gain a better understanding of the estimated fees you can expect to pay if you were to hire a divorce lawyer. Download your free copy today!

Download the Divorce Fee Guide!

After Downloading the Guide, What’s Next?

At SingaporeLegalAdvice.com, we are committed to helping you through this emotional and stressful period of time.

If you have decided to proceed with your divorce, you may use our Find a Lawyer service to get in touch with experienced divorce lawyers and ask about their fees. Use of this service is free.

Get in touch with experienced divorce lawyers here.

Before getting a divorce
  1. How to Get a Divorce in Singapore in 2019: Process and Requirements
  2. How Can I Divorce Overseas?
  3. Mandatory Parenting Programme Guide for Divorcing Parents
  4. Online Divorce in Singapore: How It Works and Should You Get One?
  5. How to Get a Divorce Within 3 Years of Marriage
  6. Personal Protection Orders (PPOs), Expedited Orders (EOs) and Domestic Exclusion Orders (DEOs) in Singapore
  7. Prenuptial Agreements in Singapore
  8. What are the Legal Grounds for Getting a Divorce?
  9. Separation in Singapore
  10. Annulment of Marriage in Singapore
  11. Practical Preparations for a Divorce
  12. 3 Finance Questions To Ask Before a Divorce
Divorce Fees
  1. Comprehensive Guide to Divorce Fees in Singapore (Updated Sep 2018)
Getting a Divorce Lawyer
  1. The Complete Guide to Choosing a Good Divorce Lawyer in Singapore
  2. First Meeting with Your Divorce Lawyer: What to Bring
  3. Don’t Just Go for the Cheapest Divorce Lawyer in Singapore
  4. Find Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Singapore
  5. Child Custody Lawyers in Singapore
Proving Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage
  1. How to Prove Adultery for Divorce Purposes in Singapore
  2. Getting a Divorce: How to Prove Desertion
  3. How to Prove Unreasonable Behaviour
  4. How to Prove Separation for a Singapore Divorce
Application for Divorce Part I: Dissolution of Marriage
  1. Procedure for Dissolution of Marriage
  2. Divorce Mediation in Singapore
  3. Divorce Application: What to Do If Your Spouse Cannot be Found
  4. Simplified Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce in Singapore
Application for Divorce Part 2: Ancillary Matters (Maintenance, Assets, Custody)
  1. Procedure for Ancillary Matters
  2. What Happens to Gifts Between Spouses During a Divorce?
  3. What Happens to Property and Assets Located Overseas Upon a Divorce in Singapore?
  4. Getting Divorced: Child Maintenance in Singapore
  5. Maintenance of Spouse in a Singapore Divorce
  6. The Guide to Child Custody, Care and Control, and Access in Singapore
  7. How Does the Court Divide Matrimonial Assets in a Singapore Divorce?
Post-divorce
  1. What Happens to Your HDB Flat after Divorce?
  2. Variation of Maintenance Orders in Singapore
  3. Division of CPF Assets (Monies, House, Investments) after a Divorce
  4. Divorce Certificates in Singapore: How to Get a Copy and Other FAQs
  5. Transfer of Matrimonial Home to Ex-Spouse After Divorce
  6. What to Do If Your Ex-Spouse Denies You Access to Your Child
  7. What Happens If Your Ex-Spouse Does Not Provide Maintenance?
Expatriate Divorce
  1. Can Foreigners Divorce in Singapore?
  2. Expat or Foreigner Divorce in Singapore: 10 Legal Issues to Consider
  3. Immigration Issues for Divorcing Expatriates
  4. Hague Convention in Singapore: Overseas Child Abduction in Divorce
  5. Case Study: Cross-Border Child Custody and the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction
Muslim or Syariah Divorce
  1. Muslim Divorce in Singapore
Other divorce matters
  1. What Happens to Your HDB Flat after an Annulment?
  2. Case Study - Love conquers All: The Divorce That Didn’t Happen