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Your rights in a family case

You have the right to obtain legal advice, seek legal assistance or engage a lawyer to represent you in court at your court proceedings for a family case.

You may wish to find out:

The courts are not able to provide legal advice. Legal advice is when you are provided with specific information about your legal matter and guidance on the legal options available to you.

Refer to the following to find out about the legal resources, legal assistance schemes and programmes you can apply for.

Engage a lawyer

The Legal Service Regulatory Authority (LSRA) offers an online directory of the names, addresses and other useful information of all practising lawyers in Singapore. You can also Find a Lawyer based on the area of law provided by the Law Society.

The courts are not in a position to recommend lawyers for your case. Contact a law firm or organisation of your choice directly to understand their fees and services.

Apply for legal assistance schemes

If you are in need of a lawyer but unable to afford one, you may apply for the following legal assistance schemes relevant to your case.

The Legal Aid Bureau offers help to those who have difficulty affording the fees involved in court proceedings.

The Bureau offers legal advice, representation in court and drafting of legal fees.

Contact the Ministry of Law Services Centre to find out more about the services offered by the Legal Aid Bureau and how to qualify.

The Community Legal Clinic offers free, basic legal guidance for personal matters during one-to-one sessions lasting about 20 minutes.

Contact the Pro Bono SG to find out more information.

The on-site legal clinic (OSLAS) offers 20 minutes of basic legal advice from a volunteer lawyer for free. However, this lawyer will not be able to represent you in court.

The OSLAS only applies to those who are seeking legal advice for the first time on a specific legal issue not relating to commercial, corporate or business matters.

Contact the CJC to find out more about OSLAS.

The Primary Justice Project (PJP) aims to provide parties with basic legal advice and facilitate the settlement of disputes at a fixed fee.

The PJP may be suitable for divorce cases in which most ancillary matters are close to settlement.

Contact the CJC to find out the following:

  • Who can apply for the PJP.
  • How to apply for the PJP.

Get support and information

The CJC provides self-represented parties with the following information and practical support services.

If you are representing yourself in a family case, the court may refer you to the CJC or other pro-bono agencies for the Friends of Litigants-in-Person (FLiP) programme. It is up to you to decide whether to accept or decline the referral.

Under the programme, a volunteer (also known as a court friend) will be assigned to you to:

  • Provide practical guidance on basic court processes and procedural matters.
  • Take notes in court proceedings and organise documents for use in court.
  • Accompany and attend your court hearings.
  • Explain key information and instructions given by the judge.

The volunteer is not allowed to provide legal advice and represent you in court.

Contact the CJC to find out how to apply for the FLiP programme.

The CJC's Helping to Empower Litigants-in-Person (HELP) Centre provides directions for court procedures and processes for civil matters, evening legal clinics and referrals to appropriate partners for legal and social issues faced by self-represented parties.

Contact the CJC to find out more information.

You may also contact the following organisations if you need support:

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