Generally, legal family matters (i.e., divorces, etc) are incredibly sensitive. Therefore, court orders and judgements are made more carefully.

In 2014, the Judge-Led approach to be applied within the family justice system was introduced. It was an attempt to strengthen family therapeutic justice.

Rule 22 of the Family Justice Rules 2014 states that the Court must deal with any cause or matter with a judge-led approach to properly identify the relevant issues within the cause or matter, and ensure that relevant evidence is adduced. A Judge-led approach empowers judges to take a more proactive role in court proceedings.

Adaptation of this Approach

When adopting this approach, the Court may, at any point within proceedings, direct any party or parties to those proceedings to appear before it, for the Court to make an order or give a direction as thought fit for the just, expeditious, and economic disposal of the cause or matter.

Some court directions include directing party or parties to attend mediation, counselling or participate in family support programmes. Other court directions also include adducing evidence relevant to the proceedings, giving evidence (either orally or by affidavit), and limiting the number of affidavits and calling of witnesses.

The FJC also has the discretion to dismiss or strike out any defence or counterclaim, as seen fit, when parties do not comply.

To surmise, judges have the power to then make substantive orders, properly consider the child’s wishes, and impose restrictions such as for cross-examination as when necessary.

Allocation (tracks assigned)

Different cases before the Family Justice Courts (“FJC”) may be placed in one or more different ‘tracks’. Possible tracks include:

(1) Child track: For main issues relating to custody, care, control, and access of the children;
(2) International track: For possible abduction of children or relocation issues, or issues of appropriate jurisdiction;
(3)High conflict track: For financial and ascertainment of value, as well as division of matrimonial assets issues; and
(4) Violence track: For physical or mental abuse issues.

Each case is then assigned to a different judge that becomes responsible for managing the case, and seeing it to the end. The assigned judge can then better regard and identify different issues in dispute and the differing levels of complexity, and better resolves them.

Where you might require more advice and consultancy about your case and the legal procedures, it is ideal to consult a lawyer for guidance and representation. Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Corporation has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years from traffic offences, family disputes to high-profile criminal cases. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and a wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to Contact us for a consultation.

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