What is a divorce application on a normal track

Parties may proceed to file a divorce application on a normal track if they have not been able to agree on any of the following:

  • The marriage has irretrievably broken down.
  • All ancillary matters such as children's care arrangements (if applicable), maintenance and the division of matrimonial assets.

A divorce application on a normal track has 2 stages as follows:

  • The first stage deals with the divorce.
  • The second stage deals with the ancillary matters.

A divorce application on a normal track may take 12 to 18 months to conclude, is much more expensive compared to a divorce application on a simplified track and comes at great personal cost to everyone involved.

It is therefore best for parties (and their children) if they can agree on how to move forward with a divorce.

File a divorce application (normal track) step-by-step

This is the process of filing for a divorce application on a normal track.

If you are filing the divorce application, you are the plaintiff.

Your spouse is the defendant. Refer to Respond to a divorce application (normal track) instead if you have been served with a divorce application.

Before filing

Understand the requirements for divorce

Find out if you are eligible to file for divorce in the Family Courts, the facts you can rely on in support of your application and the ancillary matters relating to the divorce.

Start divorce proceedings

File and serve divorce papers

Divorce proceedings start when you file and serve the necessary divorce papers on the defendant. After the defendant has responded, you will have to set down the case for hearing.

Submit Joint Triage Checklist

You will be notified by the court to submit a Joint Triage Checklist. This is an online questionnaire which serves to help the court better understand your family’s current situation.

Set down the case

You must inform the court that your divorce case is ready to be heard by filing a request for a hearing. This is known as setting down.

After the case is set down

At a divorce hearing

Depending on how the defendant responds to the divorce application, the court will schedule a contested or uncontested divorce hearing. If the court grants the divorce at the hearing, you will then extract the Interim Judgment.

Attend mediation and counselling, if required

The court will direct you and the defendant to attend mediation and counselling at the Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Division if you have any child under the age of 21.

Going to court for ancillary matters proceedings

Attend an ancillary matters case conference

The second stage of your divorce case takes place when the court schedules a case conference for the ancillary matters that you and the defendant cannot agree upon.

At an ancillary matters hearing

Once all the necessary documents are filed, the case will proceed for an ancillary matters hearing.

After the court makes the orders for ancillary matters

File an appeal, if needed

If you are not satisfied with the orders made by the court during the ancillary matters hearing, you may file an appeal to the Family Division of the High Court within 14 days of the date of the order.


You do not need to have a lawyer in a divorce case. However, you may choose to engage one if you need independent legal advice on the merits of your case or the divorce process.

The courts are not able to provide legal advice or recommend lawyers. Find out where to get help.


Refer to:

Refer to Part VI of the Family Justice Courts Practice Directions 2015 for proceedings for the dissolution of marriage under Part 10 of Women’s Charter.

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