The court will schedule the date for the first court session known as a case conference immediately after it accepts an application under the International Child Abduction Act (ICAA).
A case conference is conducted by a Family Courts judge and is closed to the public. Only those directly involved in the matter can attend.
You do not have to attend the case conference yourself if you have a lawyer. Similarly, if the other party has a lawyer, their lawyer will attend the case conference.
If you are representing yourself, on the day of your case conference, you should:
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.
At the case conference, the court will give directions for the conduct of the proceedings. Depending on the nature of the case, parties may have to attend 2 or more case conferences.
If parties are able to resolve their dispute during the case conference, the court will record a consent order. The recording of the consent order will formally end the court proceedings.
If there is no agreement, the court may proceed to give directions to schedule a hearing date once it is satisfied that the case is ready for a hearing.
If there is a possibility for resolution, the court may direct parties to attend private mediation.
For these cases, the court may give directions on:
If parties are not able to resolve the matter at the mediation sessions, the court may schedule a date for a hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court may proceed to make an order based on the affidavits that have been filed in court, and after hearing submissions from the parties or their lawyers (if applicable).
If you are the party who is granted the order, you must forward a copy of the order to the Central Authority of Singapore within 7 days from the date the order was made.
If you are the party against whom the order is made and you are not satisfied with the court's decision, you may appeal to the Family Division of the High Court by filing a Notice of Appeal.
You need to file and serve the notice within 14 days after the date the order was made. Find out about the appeal process.