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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.

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.

You may apply to change the court date through the Integrated Family Management System (iFAMS). You must request at least 5 working days in advance and include supporting documents.

For urgent cases, contact the Family Registry at fjcourts_maintpos@fjcourts.gov.sg or 6435 5471.

If the court grants your request, a new date will be arranged. Otherwise, you are required to attend the court session as scheduled.

Note

Some court sessions may be conducted virtually. The court will inform you if you do not need to attend court in person. Find out more about virtual court sessions.

What happens during the mentions

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.

Possible outcomes

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:

Documents

During the mention, the court will give you further instructions on how to submit and exchange documents with the other party to prepare for trial.

You may need to file the documents through the Integrated Family Management System (iFAMS) before the hearing. Refer to the iFAMS user guide to file documents for hearings for the detailed instructions.

The documents you need to prepare depends on what you are applying for:

Both the applicant and respondent must provide:

  • A list of monthly expenses (including expenses for children, if applicable), together with:
    • Documents and receipts to prove the monthly expenses.
  • (If applicable) Documents and receipts to prove their debts.
  • Payslips for the last 6 months.
  • Central Provident Fund (CPF) statements for the last 6 months.
  • Evidence of employment.
  • Notice of Assessment from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for the last 3 years.
  • Updated bank passbook or bank statements for the last 6 months (including sole and joint accounts).
  • Evidence of payment of maintenance (such as bank deposit slips or transfer receipts).
  • Affidavit or Statement of Evidence (according to Paragraph 25(2) of the Family Justice Courts Practice Directions).
    • If you are the applicant, this should explain why your application should be granted.
    • If you are the respondent, this should explain why the application should be dismissed and your alternative proposals on maintenance (if any).
  • (If any) Bankruptcy order or any court order relating to bankruptcy.

Both the applicant and respondent must provide:

  • Affidavit or Statement of Evidence (according to Paragraph 25(2) of the Family Justice Courts Practice Directions).
    • If you are the applicant, this should explain why your application should be granted.
    • If you are the respondent, this should explain whether you agree or dispute the unpaid maintenance (arrears) and your position on how the arrears (if any) is to be repaid.
  • (If any) Bankruptcy order or any court order relating to bankruptcy.

The applicant must also provide:

  • Computation of the unpaid maintenance (also known as arrears).
  • The specific maintenance orders that the applicant wishes to enforce.
  • (If applicable) Previous maintenance or variation orders.
  • (If applicable) Previous enforcement of maintenance orders.

The respondent must also provide:

  • A list of monthly expenses (including expenses for children, if applicable), together with:
    • Documents and receipts to prove the monthly expenses.
  • (If applicable) Documents and receipts to prove their debts.
  • Payslips for the last 6 months.
  • Central Provident Fund (CPF) statements for the last 6 months.
  • Evidence of employment.
  • Notice of Assessment from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for the last 3 years.
  • Updated bank passbook or bank statements for the last 6 months (especially for the period when the maintenance was not paid).
  • Evidence of payment of maintenance (such as bank deposit slips or transfer receipts).
  • (Only if the respondent disputes the computation by the applicant) Computation of the unpaid maintenance (also known as arrears).

Both the applicant and respondent must provide:

  • A list of monthly expenses (including expenses for children, if applicable), together with:
    • Documents and receipts to prove the monthly expenses.
  • (If applicable) Documents and receipts to prove their debts.
  • Payslips for the last 6 months.
  • Central Provident Fund (CPF) statements for the last 6 months.
  • Evidence of employment.
  • Notice of Assessment from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for the last 3 years.
  • Updated bank passbook or bank statements for the last 6 months (including sole and joint accounts).
  • Evidence of payment of maintenance (such as bank deposit slips or transfer receipts).
  • Affidavit or Statement of Evidence (according to Paragraph 25(2) of the Family Justice Courts Practice Directions).
    • If you are the applicant, this should explain why your application should be granted.
    • If you are the respondent, this should explain why the application should be dismissed or your alternative proposals on maintenance (if any).
  • (If any) Bankruptcy order or any court order relating to bankruptcy.

If applicable, the applicant must also provide the:

  • The specific maintenance orders that the applicant wishes to vary.
  • (If applicable) Previous variation orders.
  • (If applicable) Previous enforcement of maintenance orders.
Note

It is your responsibility to obtain and submit the necessary documents for trial. The court cannot apply for documents on your behalf. You may contact the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board for CPF statements, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) for Notices of Assessment, or other relevant organisations.

(If necessary) Witnesses

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.

Note

If you or your witnesses are not comfortable communicating in English, please inform the court that you require an interpreter.

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

Resources

Refer to the:

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

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