If the parent and children are unable to achieve a settlement after mediation, an application will be made for a Tribunal hearing. Both parent and children must be present at the hearing.
The Tribunal may do any of the following:
You should inform the Secretariat Office of the Tribunal as soon as you can, in writing, providing reasons for your absence. The Tribunal may adjourn, dismiss or make an order, despite your absence.
If you are the Applicant, your application may be dismissed unless you have valid reasons in advance for your absence. The Tribunal may adjourn for a further hearing.
If you are the Respondent, an order of maintenance can still be made in your absence if you present no valid reasons in advance for not turning up. You may however file an application (using Form 13) in person to set aside the Order with reasons for your absence within 14 days of the Tribunal Order.
It will be conducted in English, and an interpreter will be present to translate where necessary.
Switch off your mobile phone or set it to silent mode before entering the courtroom. Recording is not permitted in the courtroom. Be polite and calm at all times and address Tribunal members as 'Sir', 'Madam' or 'Your Honour.' Never shout, use vulgar expressions, or interrupt someone who is speaking. You will have your turn to speak.
Ask for permission if you wish to submit documents to the Tribunal. You may hand your documents to the Tribunal Officer, not directly to the presiding Tribunal members. Also ask to provide copies if you need to keep the originals.
You should bring all relevant documents that support your position and Answer, such as information on living expenses, assets and savings, if you have not submitted these earlier. Make three copies of documents you wish the Tribunal to see. You may also bring witnesses, if any.
The Tribunal decides on a maintenance order based on two main factors:
All circumstances of the case are taken into consideration, including:
If the Applicant was found to have abandoned, abused or neglected the Respondent, the Tribunal may dismiss the application or reduce the amount of the ordered maintenance sum. It is up to the Respondent to prove he was abandoned, abused or neglected.
Where there is more than one Respondent, the Tribunal may split up the maintenance sum among various Respondents in a just manner.
The proceedings are conducted in private. The Tribunal may open proceedings to the public if the Applicant or Respondent applies to do so.
The President or the Deputy President presides the hearing, together with at least two other members.
Yes, the Applicant (Form 7) or Respondent (Form 8) may apply to change the maintenance order in person at the Secretariat Office of the Tribunal, provided there is one or more of the following reasons:
For more information, please read: How to respond to a Notice of Variation.
For information on appeals, please refer to the Maintenance of Parents Act (https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/MPA1995). If you require more information on how to file an appeal, you may enquire with the Family Justice Courts Family Registry (FJCOURTS_Family_Registry@FJCourts.gov.sg). You may wish to note that there are timelines involved in the filing of such applications. Parties may wish to seek legal advice for these matters.
The Tribunal’s maintenance orders may be enforced in the same manner as maintenance orders for wives and children are enforced under the Women’s Charter.
Contact the Secretariat Office for information on enforcement procedures.