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Before you file

Before you file, make sure you understand the ways a person can become a guardian of a child.

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

The other party is the defendant.

Watch the video to find out more about the guardianship of a child in Singapore.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to file and serve an application for guardianship.

When to file

Before the child reaches 21 years of age.

When to serve

As soon as possible after you are issued the accepted documents from the court.

How to file

Through eLitigation.

What you will need

You should prepare the following before you file:

  • The Originating Summons (OS) (Form 47, Family Justice Courts (FJC) Practice Directions).
  • The affidavit in support of the OS.
    • Your affidavit should contain the reasons and evidence explaining why you should be appointed as the legal guardian of the child.
  • (If you were married to the defendant) Your marriage certificate.
  • (If there are Syariah Court divorce proceedings between you and the defendant) Your Syariah Court commencement certificate.
    • Alternatively, you and the defendant may also choose to submit a written consent to the commencement of proceedings in the FJC together with a Syariah Court certificate of attendance.
Note

If you are not sure what to say, or need help preparing your OS or affidavit, you should seek independent legal advice.

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

Estimated fees

Refer to the following for the possible fees for filing your documents. You may also refer to Part 2 of the Fifth Schedule of the Family Justice Rules for the full list of court fees.

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet and CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

File an OS

$60

File a supporting affidavit

$1 per page. subject to a minimum of $10 per affidavit

Serving the documents on the defendant

(If service is done by a lawyer or a lawyer’s clerk) Contact a lawyer directly to find out their fees.

How to file and serve

Refer to the following steps to file and serve your application.

Step

Result

1. File your application

The court will accept or reject the filing of your application.

2. Collect the approved documents

You will receive a copy of the sealed documents via eLitigation.

3. Serve documents on the defendant

The defendant is notified of your application.

You may choose to file your application personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer. 

If you are representing yourself, you must file the documents through eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow Part 8 of the Family Justice Rules and the FJC Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

Your documents will then be submitted to the FJC for review. 

The LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau will notify you via email or SMS of the outcome of your submission. If the court accepts your documents, a copy of the approved documents containing the respective court's seal and registrar's signature will be issued via eLitigation.

You will have to collect the approved documents for service on the defendant from the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must serve the sealed documents on the defendant as soon as possible from the date of issue. This is to alert them that you have filed an application for guardianship of an infant.

You can serve the sealed copies on the defendant by:

Service method

What it is

Personal service

Hard copies of the documents will be handed directly to the defendant by someone authorised to do so such as:

  • A lawyer or a lawyer’s clerk whose name and particulars have been notified to the court to serve the documents.
  • (If you have special reasons) A court process server.

eLitigation

(If a lawyer represents the defendant) Submitting soft copies of the documents to the defendant's lawyer.

The court accepts this form of service only if the defendant's lawyer indicates on the documents that they accept service on behalf of the defendant.

After you file and serve

If the defendant wishes to contest your application, they will have to file and serve their reply affidavit on you within 21 days from the date you served the documents on them.

You and the defendant will also need to attend a court session known as a case conference. The date and time of the case conference will be mentioned in the sealed OS.

Note

You do not have to attend the case conference yourself if you have a lawyer. Similarly, if the defendant has a lawyer, their lawyer will attend the case conference.

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

Related questions

You must attend the court session known as a case conference as mentioned in the OS served on you.

If you consent to the application during the case conference, an order will be made and the case will conclude.

If you do not consent to the application, you will have to file and serve your reply affidavit on the plaintiff within 21 days from the date you are served the documents.


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