FAQ on Maintenance Proceedings

A maintenance order is an order made by the family court in Singapore to provide for the payment of maintenance for a child or spouse under Sections 69 or 113 of the Women’s Charter.

For spousal maintenance, the former or current Wife or incapacitated husband may make such applications for themselves.

For children maintenance, any person who is a guardian or has the actual custody of the child, the child themselves if they are above the age of 21, the siblings of the child above the age of 21 if the child is below the age of 21, may apply.

Both parents have a joint duty to maintain their children up to the age of 21. In addition, children above the age of 21 may also be eligible to seek maintenance from their parents in some situations under Section 69 of the Women’s Charter:

  • The child has a physical or mental disability;
  • The child is serving full-time national service;
  • The child is or will be undergoing education or training for a trade, profession or vocation; or
  • There are other special circumstances which satisfies the court that ordering maintenance is necessary.
Sections 69 and 113 also allows the Court to order for the maintenance of a wife, former wife, incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband. The Court will consider various factors in deciding whether to make such an order and the quantum of such maintenance:
  • the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  • the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  • the standard of living enjoyed by the family/wife/incapacitated husband;
  • the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
  • any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
  • the contributions made by each of the parties to the marriage to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family; and
  • in the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to either of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage that party will lose the chance of acquiring
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