You will need to attend in person, at level 1 of the Family justice Courts, to apply for the following:

    • Maintenance for yourself and/or child/children;
    • To vary an existing Maintenance Order;
    • To rescind an existing Order;
    • To enforce an existing Order [a situation where the spouse ordered to provide maintenance has neglected or failed to do so

First Step: Apply for maintenance, rescission, suspension or enforcement of an existing maintenance order

You will need the following documents:

    • Your identity card;
    • Photocopy of your marriage certificate;
    • Photocopy of the birth certificate(s) of your child/children (if applicable); and
    • Photocopy of the Order of Court that you wish to enforce

Who is the Complainant and the Respondent?

The “Complainant” is the person applying for maintenance. The “Respondent” is the person against whom you are filing the application for maintenance.

After submitting your application for maintenance (in the form of a Magistrate’s Complaint), you must swear or affirm your complaint before a Magistrate or District Judge – confirming the information you have provided is true and correct.

If your application is in order, a summons will be issued to the respondent. You pay a nominal sum of S$1.00 for the issuance of the summons.

 A letter will be sent to the Respondent for him or her to accept the summons at the Maintenance Registry of the Family Justice Courts on a stipulated date (also known as service date) and time.

Court Mention and Mediation

During your next Court appearance, parties may be sent to Mediation to try and reach a settlement. If there is no settlement, parties will be referred to Court 1 for the Judge to give directions to file their respective affidavits / statements or proof that they wish to rely upon at the trial.

The documents you will need to present will be as follows:

    • Parties’ bank and CPF statements, salary slips, IRAS Notices of Assessments and lists of personal monthly expenses;
    • Determine if Parties are calling any witnesses.
    • If it is an Enforcement application, the Judge may ask the Respondent to show cause [explain to Court why he /she has neglected/failed to pay maintenance].

If you fail to turn up on any of your Court dates, including the date for service of the summons on the Respondent, your application may be struck out. This means that you will have to file another Magistrate’s Complaint, and the same fees will apply.

If you are the Respondent, your failure to turn up in court on the Mention date will result in the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest against you.

Trial Proceedings

At the trial, parties would generally go through the following:

  • The Complainant takes the stand; is affirmed and she is cross examined by the Respondent or the Lawyer;
  • The Respondent then takes the stand, is affirmed and is cross examined by the Complainant or the lawyer.

After the Trial the Magistrate or District Judge will make the necessary orders.

Our Criminal Lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, has defended numerous clients over the years over a wide variety of offences. With vast experience in Singapore’s laws, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, or if you have been caught in a similar situation, feel free to contact us for a consultation.


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