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Conciliation at the Commissioner's Office is the
first step to resolving maintenance issues between parents and children.
A Conciliation Officer will go through the maintenance issues with the parent or representative of the parent. He will contact the children for conciliation when the parent wishes to do so. If the parent does not know where the children are, the Conciliation Officer will attempt to trace them. The parent may be referred to other agencies for assistance if the children cannot be traced for conciliation.
More than one session of conciliation may take place and separate sessions may be helpful if both parties do not wish to attend together.A joint session is meant to help both parties understand each other and work through their issues.
This may be the first time that the parent and children are hearing each others side of the story. Hopefully, the children will realise that their parents need their help while the parents may understand that children have their own needs to meet too.
How long each case takes depends on how many children are involved and how complex the maintenance issues are. A simple case can be settled within a month, while a complex one may take up to 3 months. More time will be needed to locate long-lost children and get them to attend conciliation sessions.
If the parent and children manage to agree on an arrangement, they will sign a memorandum with the agreed terms, including the amount, date and mode of contribution. This can be made into an order endorsed by the Tribunal, if both parent and children decide to do so.
With an endorsed order, the parent can go to the Family Court if the child fails to keep to the agreement.
With an unendorsed agreement, the parent can file a formal claim at the Tribunal if the child fails to keep to the agreement.
To set an appointment for conciliation, you can contact the Office of the Commissioner for the Maintenance of Parents. Call
6471 6313 or email to
For more information, please read
FAQs on Conciliation Process.