An order for spousal maintenance is normally made as part of the final orders in ancillary matters in divorce proceedings. If parties are able to reach an agreement, the maintenance order can be made as part of the consent order. Otherwise, the Court will make a decision.
Can I (the wife) apply for a maintenance order at the Family Justice Courts?
If your husband refuses to or does not provide you with reasonable maintenance, you may wish to apply for a maintenance order at the Family Justice Courts.
This application is suitable in cases where:
1. You require a maintenance order prior to the conclusion of your divorce proceedings.
2. You have not commenced divorce proceedings.
3. You do not intend to file for a divorce.
Amount of maintenance
In determining the amount of maintenance to be paid, the Court shall consider all the circumstances of the case, including the following factors:
1. Financial needs of the wife.
2. Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which the parties have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future.
3. Any disability of the parties.
4. Age of the parties and the duration of the marriage.
5. Standard of living enjoyed by the wife before the husband refused to or stopped providing maintenance for her.
6. Contributions made by each party to the marriage and to the family.
7. Conduct of each party, if the Court feels that it would be inequitable to disregard such conduct.
See: Section 69 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)
Variation or rescission of maintenance order
Should there be a material change in circumstances, of if other good cause can be shown, either the husband (the paying party) or the wife (the receiving party) may apply for the maintenance order to be rescind or varied.
The Court may also consider any change in the general cost of living.
If the husband refuses to pay the ordered maintenance, an application for enforcement can be filed in the Family Justice Courts. However, arrears of maintenance can only be recovered up to a period of 3 years prior to date when the enforcement action is filed.
See: Sections 71 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)
Your family lawyer can assist by:
1. Advising you on all issues involving maintenance of wife.
2. Representing you in all proceedings relating to maintenance of wife, including enforcement and variation proceedings.
3. Drafting and filing the documents required by the Court in your application for a maintenance order.
4. Representing you in negotiations with the other party, mediation sessions and in Court.
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