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Receiving an international child abduction application

If you receive the following documents, it means that someone (the plaintiff orapplicant) has filed an application under the International Child Abduction Act (ICAA) against you (the defendant):

  • A sealed copy of the Originating Summons (OS) prepared according to Form 213 or Form 214 of the Family Justice Courts (FJC) Practice Directions.
  • A copy of the affidavit supporting the OS prepared according to Form 215 or Form 216 of the FJC Practice Directions.

You should read the documents to find out:

  • The details of the plaintiff.
  • The lawyers representing the plaintiff (if any).
  • The details about the application.
  • The orders that the plaintiff is seeking.

How to respond

Refer to the following to find out the different ways of responding to the international child abduction application.

If you do not wish to contest the application

If you do not wish to contest the application, you should still attend the scheduled court session (the case conference) mentioned in the sealed OS and inform the judge. The judge can then make orders including ordering the return of the child.

If you wish to contest the application

If you intend to contest the application, you will have to file and serve an affidavit on the plaintiff or their lawyers (if any) within 14 days from the date on which the plaintiff served their documents on you or your lawyers (if any).

You will also have to attend the case conference on the time and date stated in the sealed OS.

What you will need

If you intend to contest the application, you will need to include the following information in your affidavit if the applicant did not disclose such information in their documents:

  • Details about any court proceedings relating to the child.
    • This may include proceedings outside Singapore and concluded proceedings, whether in or outside Singapore, relating to the relevant child.
    • You will also have to provide the particulars of any such proceedings and any orders made in any such proceedings (including interim orders).
Note

If you are not sure what to say, or need help preparing your 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

You will need to pay $1 per page, subject to a minimum of $10 to file your affidavit.

In addition to these fees, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to file and serve

You may choose to file your affidavit personally or through a lawyer. If you are representing yourself, you must file the documents through eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow Part 10 of the Family Justice Rules and the FJC Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down in-personally to do the filing.

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

Step

Result

1. File your affidavit

Your affidavit is filed in the FJC.

2. Serve the affidavit on the applicant

The applicant is notified of your intention to contest the application.

You will have to file your affidavit via eLitigationat the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. Your documents will then be submitted to the FJC for review.

You must serve a copy of your affidavit on the plaintiff after it is filed.

If your affidavit contains details of any court proceedings relating to the child, you must also forward a copy of your affidavit to the following authorities within 7 days from the date your affidavit is filed:

  • The Central Authority of Singapore.
  • (If you have pending proceedings relating to the custody, care and control or access to the relevant child) The court in Singapore where the case is heard.

After you have filed and served your affidavit on the plaintiff or their lawyers, the plaintiff or their lawyers will file and serve their reply affidavit on you within 7 days from the date you serve the affidavit on them.

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 Paragraph 44 of the FJC Practice Directions for proceedings under the International Child Abduction Act.

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