Singapore Alliance

FAMILY LAW MATTERS of Sydney, Australia and A C SHONE & Co of Singapore, are both established specialist family law firms in each of their respective jurisdictions. we are pleased to announce that we have formed a strategic alliance and to bring to you a collaboration with more than 40 years combined experience, that will answer your myriad of cross-border family issues, under one umbrella.

For decades, the Australian Family Law System has been recognised across other common law and civil law jurisdictions around the world as a ‘gold standard’ for dealing with family disputes. many international jurisdictions have sent delegates to visit the Australian Family Law Courts to learn from the successes Australia has enjoyed. In fact, many international jurisdictions have modelled their Family Law System on the Australia experience.

Singapore is a case in point. Exploring many jurisdictions to find an appropriate model to minimise the adversarial experience and prioritise the safety of children, Singapore observed the Australian model as progressive. Singapore has continuously developed and improved its Family Law jurisdiction since 1995, taking the best of the Australian model and making it better.

The Singapore model deal with family disputes in a single division of the Family Justice Courts. The system has adopted court-based mediation, as well as private mediation, and, expanded its Family Dispute Resolution options, and taken a differential case management approach with a judge-led docket, much like the Australian model.

In the world that we live in currently, with increased globalisation, many families are often placed overseas for work purposes, or living abroad, and, trans-national marriages are common place. There are many Australians living in Singapore and similarly, many Singaporeans living in Australia. With this in ind, it is important for these trans-national families to consider what approach will protect their interests in the optimum way – each jurisdiction has its own strengths, and identifying the best jurisdiction for your situation is critical at the early stages. Some examples of issues requiring early consideration are:

  • (a) in parenting cases, there are considerations around protecting the best interests of your children, and ensuring they are not removed from their country of residence without your agreement (known as relocation);
  • (b) when dividing the family’s assets, it is important to reduce the risk of assets being wasted or going ‘missing’ abroad before negotiations even start;
  • (c) what type of financial support package will be required for the children and for the ‘stay-at-home’ parent.

As Family Law specialists, we believe that bringing together experts in our respective jurisdiction under a strategic alliance will bring benefit to you and in answering your cross-border jurisdictional family issues, with a local perspective.

In our alliance, we endeavour to provide you access to the best advice from both jurisdictions, and hone your focus into a system that will provide you a holistic approach to resolving your family disputes. Our collaboration is driven by these fundamental aims:

(a) to address your family problems at an early stage so that we may compare and secure your best options in each relevant jurisdiction; and

(b) to minimise the heartache at the time of separation by keeping you out of court where possible.

Particularly if you are in an acrimonious relationship, and more so if you are in a different country from your estranged spouse and children, the onset of COVID-19 and each country closing its borders and within the country, we understand that such closure or restrictions would have significant and inevitable impact on your family life, such as financial and child support issues and/or children access. In this unprecedented time, and when social distancing measures will continue to remain in place, even after restrictions are lifted. Together with you, Family Law Matters and A C Shone & Co will guide you through the complex legal minefield across multiple jurisdictions, and help you face the challenges you will face as well as the changing family dynamics you will experience.

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