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Before you apply

Before you file, make sure you:

Key facts

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.

Note

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.

Estimated fees

$1 for the issuance of a summons.

Documents required

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).

Who can apply for maintenance in the Family Courts

You can apply for maintenance in the Family Courts for the following situations:

You can apply for maintenance for... From... If the following applies...

Your child

The other parent.

The other parent neglects or refuses to provide your child with reasonable maintenance.

Yourself

Your husband.

You are a married woman whose husband neglects or refuses to provide you with reasonable maintenance.

Yourself

Your wife.

You are an incapacitated husband whose wife has neglected or refused to provide you with reasonable maintenance.

Yourself

Your parent.

If you are over 21 and at least one of the following applies to you:

  • You have a mental or physical disability.
  • You are a full-time NSman or student.
  • Special circumstances exist such that maintenance is necessary.

What you will need

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:

  • Your identity card or passport.
  • A photocopy of your marriage certificate.
  • (If applicable) A photocopy of the birth certificate of each of your children whom you are applying for maintenance for.
  • (If you are an incapacitated husband seeking maintenance) A medical report containing the matters prescribed in Rule 114A of the Family Justice Rules.

You will need the following documents to apply to enforce an existing maintenance order:

  • Your identity card or passport.
  • A photocopy of your marriage certificate.
  • (If applicable) A photocopy of the birth certificate of each of your children.
  • A photocopy of each of the court orders for maintenance that you wish to enforce.
  • A calculation of the unpaid maintenance (also known as arrears). This includes:
    • A table showing the months where maintenance payments have been breached and the outstanding expenses that need to be paid.
    • Bank statements of the account designated for payment of maintenance to show the amount that has not been paid.
    • (If the maintenance order involves reimbursement) Proof of expenses that have been ordered to be paid under the maintenance order.

You will need the following documents to apply to vary an existing maintenance order:

  • Your identity card or passport.
  • A photocopy of each of the court orders for maintenance that you wish to vary.
  • Specific details on how you wish for the maintenance order to be varied.

Where to apply

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 applicationAuthorised agency

For a fresh maintenance order or to enforce an existing order

Singapore Council for Women Organisations

To enforce an existing maintenance order that is related to divorce proceedings

How to apply

Before you visit: submit documents online

You are 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:

  1. Log in to iFAMS. Under the Maintenance section, select the appropriate maintenance order application (depending on what you are applying for).
  2. Fill in the online form.
  3. Save your work and choose whether you wish to verify your application at the FJC or an authorised agency. You will receive a reference number.
    • You will have to bring all the supporting documents to the FJC or the authorised agency, so that they can be checked or filed together with your application, if required.

Note: For step-by-step instructions on filing a fresh maintenance order, refer to the iFAMS user guide for a maintenance order application.

Visit the FJC or an authorised agency

Bring all the required documents to one of the locations to file your application.

After you apply

If your application is in order, the duty judge will approve it without having to see you.

Otherwise, you will need to:

  • Appear before a judge either in person or through video conference. This is usually done on the same day you visit the FJC or authorised agency.
  • Answer questions the judge has for you.
  • Swear or affirm that the contents of your application and answers are true and correct.
Note
It is a serious offence to include statements that you know to be untrue or incorrect in a sworn or affirmed application.

If your application is approved

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:

  • For fresh maintenance applications: The court will serve the summons on the respondent at the address you provided in your application.
  • For all other applications: The court will send the summons to the respondent via registered mail.

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: In some exceptional cases, the court may direct you and the respondent to attend a court mention instead of mediation.

Need help?

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
Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

Resources

Refer to the:

Related questions

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:

  • The respondent's residential address in the foreign country.
  • A photograph of the respondent.

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.


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