Enforcement of Existing Order
If your husband/ former husband refuses to pay the ordered maintenance, you can file an application for enforcement in the Family Justice Courts. You can recover arrears of maintenance up to a period of 3 years prior to the filing of the enforcement application.
If you wish to file an enforcement application, you would need to bring identity card, a copy your marriage certificate and a copy of the Court order which you wish to enforce to the Family Justice Courts.
After an application is made, the Court may direct your husband/ former husband to “show cause” as to why:
1. He has breached the child maintenance order; and
2. Enforcement action should not be taken against him.
The Court has the power to impose a fine or jail term on the defaulting party.
Attachment to earnings order
The Court also has the power to make an “attachment to earnings order” which requires the employer of your husband/ former husband to deduct the order maintenance sum from his salary and to pay this sum directly to you or to Court and for you to receive the amount from the Court.
See: Section 121 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)
Variation of Existing Order
Either the paying party or the receiving party may apply to vary the existing maintenance order.
For maintenance of wife: Either party can apply to the Court for the maintenance order to be rescinded or varied if there is a material change in circumstances or if other good cause can be shown. The Court may also consider any change in the general cost of living.
For maintenance of former wife: Either party may apply to the Court to vary or rescind the maintenance order if there is a material change in circumstances or if the order was based on any misrepresentation or mistake of fact.
See: Sections 118 to 119 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)
Your divorce/ family lawyer can assist by:
1. Advising you on the strength of your case (if you wish to make an application for enforcement or variation of an existing order).
2. Representing you in all proceedings relating to enforcement and variation.
3. Drafting and filing the documents required by the Court, including your affidavits.
4. Representing you in negotiations with the other party, mediation sessions and in Court for mentions, pre-trial conferences and hearings.
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