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At your court mention for maintenance
What you need to know and prepare before attending a court mention for a maintenance application in the Family Courts.
What is a court mention
A mention is a court session where the judge gives the parties in a maintenance application directions on the next steps to be taken for the application. For fresh, variation/suspension/rescission maintenance applications only, you may be required to fill up a prescribed form known as a E-Template Statement (ETS) before the trial.
Attendance is compulsory
Both the applicant and the respondent must attend the court mention.
Note: For a party who is represented by a lawyer, the lawyer may request to the court for the party to be exempted from attending the mention.
The Family Courts will inform you of the date, time and venue of your mentions.
If you are the applicant, you will be informed through an appointment slip that you will receive after you file the application.
If you are the respondent, you will receive a summons or notice from the court with the relevant details.
If you are the applicant, your application may be struck out.
If you are the respondent, the judge may issue a warrant of arrest against you.
If there is a valid reason for your absence, the court may choose to adjourn the matter.
The duration of your court mention may vary depending on the nature and complexity of your case, and the issues raised at the mention.
This table summarises what may happen at a first mention:
As the applicant
The judge may ask you to confirm:
(For fresh maintenance applications) How much maintenance you are claiming and for whom the maintenance is needed.
(For enforcement) The amount and nature of the outstanding maintenance.
(For variation) The type of changes you seek.
As the respondent
The judge may ask you:
Whether you agree to the application made against you.
(If you disagree) The extent to which you disagree to the application.
If a resolution is reached
If the parties come to an agreement, the court will record a consent order and the matter is concluded.
The applicant may also choose to withdraw the application.
If a resolution is not reached
If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the court may direct both parties to attend further mention sessions to prepare the case for a hearing. The court will schedule a hearing date after the judge is satisfied that parties are ready for the hearing.
Preparing for a hearing
You will need to prepare the following before a hearing:
If you wish to call witnesses for the hearing, ensure they are available for the hearing and inform the court at the mention.
If necessary, you may apply for a Summons to a Witness online through iFAMS, with a fee of $1.
If your witnesses are allowed, you will need to submit the statements from your witnesses (also known as Affidavits of Evidence-in-Chief) through iFAMS. During the mentions, the court will give you further instructions on the deadline to file the statements.
If you or your witnesses are not comfortable communicating in English, please inform the court that you require an interpreter.
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.