You’ve managed to divorce your husband, and he’s refused to pay the maintenance for you and your kids. Despite of all the stress and tension you’ve gone through; paying divorce fees; attending Court hearings; negotiating with other party and waiting for the final verdict, you’re not entirely out of the hole, do you? These lines will show you a way to secure your future, as well as your kids’. Don’t hesitate to send us your queries to learn in detail.

  1. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR MAINTENANCE?

According section 69 of the Women’s Charter Singapore, you can apply for maintenance on following grounds:

  • If your spouse either refuses or show negligence in providing reasonable compensation to your child
  • As a female spouse, you’re entitled to file for maintenance, if your husband has refused, or is neglecting, to provide you with sufficient financial support. Remember: the maintenance is available for female spouse if she remains a spouse of defendant or is divorced. Once she remarries to another person, she cannot claim maintenance from ex-husband.
  • If you’re above 21 years old but still a student or a full-time NSman, you’re entitled for maintenance from your parents.
  1. WHAT ARE THE COURT’S ORDERS REGARDING MAINTENANCE?

According to Part X of the Women’s Charter, a Family Law Court Singapore may instruct a husband to provide maintenance to his wife and children on both occasions (depending upon their financial stability):

  • In pending divorce cases – for example, pregnant wife may request for maintenance if the birth of child is to take place before the final decision of court.
  • At the end of ancillary matters, as the part of final decision
  1. HOW TO APPLY FOR MAINTENANCE

To initiate the case, you need to visit the Family Registry at Family Justice Courts Building, in person. You can follow this Google map:

family-justice-courts-compressor

You need to bring the following things along with you:

  • If applicable, a marriage certificate and its photocopy
  • Birth certificate of child or children (if applicable) along with the photocopy
  • Your Singapore NIC
  • Original Order of the Court along with the photocopy

As a “Complainant”, you need to fill Magistrate’s Complaint form to apply for maintenance, followed by a formal affirmation or swear in front of District Judge or Magistrate. A summon will be issued to the “Respondent” and you are required to pay $1.00 for that.

  1. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE RESPONDENT LIVES OUTSIDE SINGAPORE?

To file for maintenance against a person living outside Singapore:

  • You must be aware of his/her address in the foreign country
  • The country should be enlisted in the list of Maintenance Orders Act as the one having arrangements on maintenance affairs with Singapore.

Refer to Maintenance Order (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act (chapter 169) or Maintenance Order (Facilities for Enforcement) Act (Chapter 168) to see if the country is listed in any of them.

In this situation, you need to provide respondent’s photo and latest address, along with the documents mentioned above. After affirmation and swear, the Magistrate may issue a provisional maintenance order to the respondent’s country for further confirmation.

  1. DO I NEED A DIVORCE LAWYER?

A divorce lawyer can offer you advice and guide you through the application process, but his services are not mandatory. For hearing, you may need a family lawyer to represent your case. For free legal aid, refer to the following resources:

Community Legal Clinics

Legal Aid Bureau

Community Justice Centre