You may have care and control of your children. Under the divorce order, your ex-spouse has been ordered by the Court to pay you S$x for the maintenance of your children and/ or you. It has been some time since the conclusion of the divorce proceedings. Now, the expenses have increased. Or your income may have been reduced. You may wish to seek a variation of Court order in Singapore for maintenance.
Alternatively, you may have been ordered by the Court to make maintenance payments to your ex-spouse/ children. Now, your expenses have increased. Or your income may have been reduced. You may also wish to seek a variation of Court order in Singapore for maintenance.
Under Section 118 of the Women’s Charter, both parties (whether receiving or payment maintenance) are able to make an application to vary the maintenance Court order in Singapore. To do so, there must be an existing maintenance order. If there is at least S$1 of maintenance ordered, the Court is able to vary the quantum of maintenance upwards or downwards.
Process to Vary Court Order in Singapore for Maintenance
You will have to make an application by way of a summons with a supporting affidavit (i.e. a sworn statement containing facts and supporting documents which you are relying on for your case). You should indicate in the supporting affidavit the reasons you are relying on to seek a variation of Court order in Singapore for maintenance. Documentary evidence such as termination letter for your employment, payslips and list (and receipts) of expenses will be very helpful.
When Will the Court Allow a Variation of Court Order in Singapore for Maintenance?
The application for variation of Court order in Singapore for maintenance will be allowed if:
1. The maintenance order was made based on a misrepresentation or mistake of fact.
2. There has been a material change in circumstances since the making of the maintenance order.
The Court’s paramount consideration is on the welfare and best interests of the child. The Court will vary the maintenance order if there is a good cause and it is reasonable and for the benefit of the children to do so.
The Court has the discretion to look at all factors of the case and your new circumstances, relative to your circumstances at the time the original maintenance order was made.
Material Change in Circumstances
Most applications for variation of Court orders in Singapore for maintenance is on the basis of a material change in circumstances. Usually, this is in relation to a material change in the parties’ financial ability or a material change in the parties’/ children’s financial needs.
For instance, the original maintenance order could be made at a time when the husband was unemployed and unable to make a sum of maintenance payment sufficient for the needs of the child. Now the husband is gainfully employed and there is a material change in the financial means of the husband, allowing him to make appropriate maintenance towards the child.
Another example could be that the wife lost her job and her ability to maintain herself and the children.
The above are instances which may warrant an increase in maintenance.
A decrease in maintenance may also be allowed if:
1. The paying party lost his job or suffered a failure in his/ her business.
2. The paying party became bankrupt.
3. The paying party has remarried and has new expenses to cover.
4. The receiving party has remarried and has a new partner to take care of his/ her financial needs.
5. The receiving party relocated to a country where the costs of living is lower.
It should be noted that the material change in circumstances cannot be self-inflicted. For instance, if you are the CEO of your own company, you cannot fire yourself to cause a loss of employment. This will not result in a variation of Court order in Singapore for maintenance.
If you are seeking a variation of Court order, you may wish to contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp).
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