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Note

This page describes the process for filing a divorce application on a normal track.

Refer to File a divorce application (simplified track) if you and your spouse can reach an agreement on the divorce and all ancillary matters before filing the divorce papers.

Setting down the divorce case

If you are the party who filed the divorce application (the plaintiff), you must set down the case by one of the following time periods:

  • Within 14 days after the filing of the last pleading.
  • Within any time period the court may direct.

This is to inform the court that your divorce case is ready to be heard.

Depending on how the defendant responds to the divorce papers, you will have to set down your case on an uncontested or contested basis.

Refer to the following to find out what you should do.

If the defendant does not agree to the divorce and all ancillary matters, you will have to set down the case on a contested basis.

What you will need

If you are setting down on a contested basis, you will need to prepare the Request for Setting Down Action for Trial (Form 28, Family Justice Courts (FJC) Practice Directions).

Estimated fees

You will need to pay $63 to file the Request for Setting Down Action for Trial.

You may also refer to Part 6 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 & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to file

You may choose to file the documents 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 document through eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow Part 5 of Division 2 of the Family Justice Rules and the FJC Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

After you file

After you set down the case, the court will send a Registrar's Notice to notify the defendant and you (or your lawyers, if any) of the date to attend a court session known as a case conference.

The purpose of the case conference is to prepare both parties for the contested divorce hearing.

You will have to set down the case on an uncontested basis if one of the following applies:

  • The defendant agrees to the divorce but not on the ancillary matters.
  • The defendant does not file their Memorandum of Appearance (MOA) within 8 days (if the defendant is located in Singapore) or within 21 days (if the defendant is located outside of Singapore) after being served the divorce papers.
  • The defendant does not file their defence (or a defence and counterclaim) within 14 days of filing the MOA indicating their intention to contest the divorce action.

What you will need

If you are setting down on an uncontested basis, you will need to prepare the following:

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees to file the documents. You may also refer to Part 6 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 & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

File the Request for Setting Down Action for Trial$63
File the Request for Dispensation of Parties’ Attendance at the Uncontested Divorce Hearing$7
File an AEIC$0.70 per page, subject to a minimum of $7

How to file

You may choose to file the documents 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 document through eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow Part 5 of Division 2 of the Family Justice Rules and the FJC Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

After you file

After you set down the case, the court may then schedule a date for an uncontested divorce hearing.

It is only after the Interim Judgment is granted at the uncontested divorce hearing will the court schedule a date for an ancillary matters case conference.

If the case is not set down

If you have not set down the case within 6 weeks of filing your divorce papers, the court will send a Registrar's Notice to notify the defendant and you to attend a court session known as a status conference.

Only those directly involved in the matter can attend the status conference. Members of the public are not allowed to attend.

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

Note

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 status conference, the court may:

Tip

You can make a request for mediation and counselling to the court during the status conference.

Alternatively, you can make your request through your lawyer if you have one.

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:

Refer to Paragraph 17 of the FJC Practice Directions for status conferences.
Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

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