Receiving divorce papers
If you or your lawyer (if any) have received the following divorce papers, it means that your spouse has started divorce proceedings against you:
The Writ for Divorce
The Statement of Claim
A Statement of Claim states the relief for ancillary matters the plaintiff is seeking from you.
The Statement of Particulars
A Statement of Particulars explains the facts of how your marriage has irretrievably broken down (as stated in the Statement of Claim) and details of any pending bankruptcy proceedings (if applicable).
(If you have any children under 21 years of age) The Plaintiff's Proposed Parenting Plan Form
|Form 11, FJC Practice Directions.
(If you have any children under 21 years of age)
It is compulsory for parties with children under 21 years of age to attend the MPP conducted by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) before filing for a divorce.
(If you own a Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat with the plaintiff) The Plaintiff's Proposed Matrimonial Property Plan Form
You may wish to contact the HDB on your options regarding the flat.
The Memorandum of Appearance (Defendant) Form
|Form 18, FJC Practice Directions.
The Acknowledgment of Service (Defendant) Form
|Form 17, FJC Practice Directions.
What is a normal divorce
A divorce application will proceed on a normal track if both parties 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.
Watch the video to find out more about the process.
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 a 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.
Respond to a divorce application (normal track) step-by-step
This is the process of responding to divorce papers for a divorce application on a normal track.
If you are the party against whom the divorce application is filed, you are the defendant.
Your spouse is the plaintiff. Refer to File a divorce application (normal track) instead if you intend to file a divorce application.
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 divorce and the ancillary matters relating to the divorce you have to consider.
Respond to divorce papers
Understand what you should do after divorce papers have been served on you.
At a divorce hearing
Depending on how you respond to the divorce papers, the court will schedule a contested or uncontested divorce hearing. If the court grants the divorce at the hearing, the plaintiff will then extract the Interim Judgment.
Attend mediation and counselling, if required
The court will direct you and the plaintiff to attend mediation and counselling at the Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Division if you have any child under the age of 21.
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.
Attend an ancillary matters hearing
Once all the necessary docs are filed, the case will proceed for an ancillary matters hearing.
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 a lawyer to represent you in a divorce case. However, you may choose to engage one if you need independent legal advice on the merits of your case.
The courts are not able to provide legal advice or recommend lawyers. Find out where to get help.