Before you file, make sure you:
If you are filing the application, you are the applicant (also known as the complainant).
The party against whom the application is filed is the respondent.
This process only covers maintenance applications that are:
Refer to the following on how you can file a maintenance application.
Who can apply
Refer to this table on who can apply for a fresh maintenance order.
You can apply to enforce an existing maintenance order if the respondent does not comply with it.
You can also apply to vary an existing maintenance order.
When to apply
You can file a fresh maintenance application at any time.
$1 for the issuance of a summons.
Depends on the type of maintenance application. Refer to this list for the relevant documents.
How to apply
You can apply in person at the Family Justice Courts (FJC) or at an authorised agency.
Note: Before your visit, you are encouraged to submit your application and supporting documents online through the Integrated Family Management System (iFAMS). Please note that you will still be required to come to FJC personally to complete the application even if you have submitted an online application.
You can apply for maintenance in the Family Justice Courts for the following situations:
|You can apply for maintenance for...||From...||If the following applies...|
The other parent.
The other parent neglects or refuses to provide your child with reasonable maintenance.
You are a married woman whose husband neglects or refuses to provide you with reasonable maintenance.
You are an incapacitated husband whose wife has neglected or refused to provide you with reasonable maintenance.
If you are over 21 and at least one of the following applies to you:
What you need to prepare depends on the type of application you wish to file.
You will need the following documents for a fresh maintenance application:
You will need the following documents to apply to enforce an existing maintenance order:
You will need the following documents to apply to vary an existing maintenance order:
If you are applying for (1) fresh maintenance (pursuant to s69 of the Women’s Charter), or, (2) the variation, rescission or suspension of an existing maintenance order (pursuant to s72 of the Women’s Charter), you will be required to fill in a prescribed form known as an E-Template Statement (ETS). Find out how to prepare an ETS.
You may apply at any of the following locations.
You may visit the following authorised agencies to file specific types of maintenance applications:
|Type of application||Authorised agency|
Application for fresh maintenance order for wife and children
Application to enforce a maintenance order including an order made in divorce proceedings
You are strongly encouraged to submit your application and supporting documents online via iFAMS before going to the FJC or authorised agencies. Doing so means less time will be spent processing your application at the FJC or authorised agency.
Refer to the following steps:
Note: For step-by-step instructions on filing a fresh maintenance order, refer to the iFAMS user guide for a maintenance order application.
Bring all the required documents to one of the locations to file your application. Please do also upload a copy of your completed ETS into iFAMS before the start of your trial. However, if you have prepared the ETS before that, you may also upload it into iFAMS and/or bring along the hardcopies.
If your application is in order, the duty judge will approve it without having to see you.
Otherwise, you will need to:
If your application is in order, the judge will issue a summons to the respondent. You will need to pay a sum of $1 for the issuance of summons.
Within 3 weeks after the application is filed, the respondent will be notified of your application in one of the following ways:
The court may schedule a maintenance mediation session for both you and the respondent to attend. This is usually 3 weeks after the application is filed.
Note: Ordinarily, the court would direct parties to first attend a court mediation. However, in some exceptional cases, the court may instead direct you and the respondent to attend a court mention instead of mediation.
The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.Find out more
File and serve a maintenance application
Understand the outcomes and file an application, if needed
Refer to the:
Legislation associated with this topic includes:
If there is a basis for a maintenance order to be made against the respondent, a provisional maintenance order can be issued, even if the respondent resides outside Singapore.
However, the respondent must be residing in a country that is listed in the Subsidiary Legislation of Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act. You must also know the respondent's address in the foreign country.
If you meet these conditions, you can file a maintenance application by following the same steps described above.
Besides the documents listed for a maintenance application, you will need to submit both of these additional information:
If the court grants the provisional maintenance order, it will be sent to the country the respondent is residing in and must be confirmed by the courts there before it becomes effective. If the foreign courts do not confirm the provisional order, it will have no effect.
As the time taken to transmit the documents varies according to the location of the courts in the receiving country and as the confirmation hearing is dependent on the foreign court's schedule, the Family Justice Courts is not able to advise how long the process will take.