Spousal Maintenance in Singapore FAQs
Who can claim for spousal maintenance?
The Women’s Charter provides that the wife or an incapacitated husband can claim for maintenance from the other spouse.
When can a claim for spousal maintenance be made?
An application could be made to the Family Justice Court (FJC) at any time during the marriage or during the divorce proceedings. Our divorce lawyers can assist you in making the formal application.
How much maintenance can one spouse claim from the other?
In determining the quantum of spousal maintenance, the FJC will take into account several factors such as: -
- Income and earning capacity of both parties;
- Financial needs of both parties;
- Standard of living enjoyed before the breakdown of marriage;
- Age of each party and the duration of the marriage;
- Whether any party is physically or mentally disabled;
- Any contributions made by each party to the family.
The FJC may order nominal spousal maintenance (ie $1) if the applicant can prove that his/her circumstances will change significantly in the future (eg. future loss of earnings due to relapse of critical illness).
However, the applicant must actively seek gainful employment to support him/herself. If the FJC is not persuaded that spousal maintenance is required to help the applicant “tide over”, no order as to maintenance may be made.
How will spousal maintenance be ordered?
The FJC may order for spousal maintenance to be made through a lump sum payment or a periodic payment. Lump sum payment is desirable to help parties achieve a “clean break” and will usually be ordered if the paying spouse is exceptionally uncooperative.
What if the paying spouse fails to pay despite an order that has already been made?
An application could be made to the FJC to enforce the maintenance order. Our divorce lawyers can assist you in making the formal application.
If an order has been granted, can I ask for more maintenance payment?
If a maintenance order has already been made, an application must be made to vary the maintenance order. You must show that there has been a material change in circumstances. Our divorce lawyers can assist you in making the application.