If you wish to apply for maintenance for your child, your lawyer will have to take out an application and file it personally with you at the Family Registry at Level 1 of the Family Justice Courts.
After completing and submitting your application for maintenance, which is in the form of a Magistrate’s Complaint, you must swear or affirm your complaint before a Magistrate or District Judge.
If your application is in order, a summons will be issued to your child’s father (i.e. the respondent). A letter will then be sent to the respondent to accept the summons at the Maintenance Registry of the Family Justice Courts on a stipulated date and time.
Mediation will then be arranged for parties so that parties can seek to reach an amicable settlement. If a settlement is reached, both parties shall be brought before a Magistrate or District Judge to have the settlement recorded as a Court order – this will then conclude your case.
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However, if no settlement is reached, both parties will be given a court date for the hearing. The case will be mentioned at Court 1 of the Family Justice Courts to be heard before a District Judge.
During this mention, the Judge will:
- Consider whether the case may be resolved by agreement
- Give orders on the production of evidence e.g. CPF statements, salary slips, IRAS Notices of Assessments and list of personal monthly expenses
- Give orders on the filing of affidavits
- Determine how many days are needed for the hearing and fix trial dates accordingly.
Maintenance order trials are be held in open court. Both parties will have to give evidence before the Judge to prove your respective cases. The Judge will make the necessary orders after the hearing is over.