Expertise

T L Yap & Associates offers legal expertise across the full range of family law issues; in particular divorce (contested and uncontested), financial settlements and division of assets, support, domestice violence, separation and pre-nuptial agreements, wills and probate.

To find out more, click on the relevant area of practice on the left.

divorce

T L Yap & Associates has helped people get through the challenges of marital breakup since 1985. We draw on more than 25 years of experience in family law to offer sound practice advice on your legal rights while guiding you through the formalities of the divorce process. Whether negotiation, mediation or a hearing in court will give you the best chance of success, we can help.

Even if both parties agree to dissolve the marriage amicably, it is a good idea to discuss your situation with a lawyer as we can make sure that your divorce documents accurately reflect your agreement on issues that have grave impact on you and your children's economic future. Our lawyers have the expertise and experience to help relieve the pressures and complexities of the divorce procedure; leaving you with much needed peace of mind to start to reconstruct your new life without your partner.

access to children

Difficult legal and practical issues can come up whenever children are caught in a divorce. Our experience in the resolution of parental disputes covers the whole spectrum from parental access to child support to the modification of child custody and care arrangements years after a divorce.

In a typical divorce, parents generally share joint legal custody, which means that both parents will have a voice in such basic decisions as a child's education, religion and recreation. Physical custody is often assigned primarily to one parent, with the other one given "access" rights.

In terms of access rights, the possible combinations for a parenting plan are limited only by your willingness to reach an agreement with the other parent. We offer highly personalised counsel focused on the facts of your situation and your goals for yourself and your children.

custody of children

If you are getting divorced, the impact on your children will weigh heavily on you. You will need to know your legal position in relation to questions such as - Who gets custody? With whom should my children live with? What will the access arrangements be? How can I reduce the negative impact of the divorce on my children?

In Singapore Family Law, your children's interest comes first and your wishes as a parent is secondary to those of the child, so that any dispute that winds up in court will be resolved according to this principle. One of our most important roles as family lawyers is to help parents align and reconcile their own goals with the best interest of their children.

Custody Disputes and Parenting Plans - The best scenario is a parenting plan negotiated without court intervention. A mutual agreement that looks toward the future is less expensive, less stressful for you and your children and less likely to cause friction or litigation later. However where a custody battle is unavoidable, we are prepared to fight for you and for the best interest of your child.

Care & Custody Modifications - The court will alter existing care and custody orders if there is a substantial change in the child's or parent's circumstances abuse, problems at school, behavioral problems or a detrimental home environment are some factors that the court will consider.

In all of these cases, you will want a sound and experienced family lawyer on your side.

division of assets

In terms of securing your future, we will help you to agree a financial settlement which is realistic. Our advice and negotiating skills will ensure you retain a fair share of those assets jointly acquired during your marriage.

Typically, the one overriding issue in every asset distribution dispute during a divorce is whether the property is considered a "matrimonial asset" as only "matrimonial assets" are subject to division during a divorce. Valuation issues can also present potential sources of conflict. For example, how do you value your input as a home-maker? How do you value contribution to a family business or to your spouse's professional practice that you helped to build up? What about shares in a family-run business? Insurance policies? Annuity Plans? Stock options?

As the line between the matrimonial and non-matrimonial property becomes unclear, you will need the help of a skilled divorce lawyer with experience in property division disputes.

T L Yap & Associates are experienced with the distribution of marital debts and assets under Singapore laws. Whether or not you expect your spouse to cooperate with you on asset division issues, it is better to be prepared!

maintenance & support

In terms of securing your future, we will help you to agree a financial settlement which is realistic. Our advice and negotiating skills will ensure you retain a fair share of those assets jointly acquired during your relationship including property to protect your future financial well-being.

domestic violence

Everyone has the right to live without fear for their safety. No one has the right to cause you harm or threaten you.

If violence or threat of violence has been committed against you from your spouse, you can file an application at the Family Court for an Order of Court restraining your spouse from committing violence against you. You may also apply for a personal protection order on behalf of your children. In some instance, you may ask for a domestic exclusion order to exclude a violent spouse from entering into the home.

Call us and we will assist you in seeking protection from the law courts against an abusive spouse or family member.

agreements

Cohabitation agreements, Pre nuptial agreements (prenup), post nuptial agreements (postnup), or separation and divorce agreements are financial agreements where you and your partner decide in advance what would be an equitable distribution of your assets and financial resources in the event of a breakdown in your relationship.

The benefits of such agreements are invaluable as they can help you avoid potentially divisive issues that could escalate into hostility and animosity during a breakup; specify ground rules for buying property or acquiring assets jointly; coordinate and support your estate plans such that inherited property or your own assets passes as you wish. Best of all, you get to make your own choices and sign reduce the financial and emotional costs of taking the matter to court.

wills

We understands the importance of providing for your family or business, both during lifetime and at death, as well as the importance of deciding who will control your assets in these situations. Our experience in estate & succession planning will help you navigate legal issues of asset ownership, protection, and distribution, both during life and upon death. An effective estate plan is a legal strategy that ensures your personal objectives concerning the succession to your wealth is implemented according to the law.

Our services include: * Advise on and Preparation of wills * Creation of Trusts * Guardianship and Childrens' Welfare * Powers of Attorney * Committee of Persons * Property Transfers upon Death and related matters