Family Court Singapore handles many domestic issues. Through this Subordinate Court one can seek to adopt, to divorce, handle issues with children or marriage assets, seek mediation and resolution to issues, get personal protection rulings, ask about financial maintenance, and gain enforcement of Syariah Court Orders. These matters are handled with an eye to preserve family connections and strengthen bonds where possible. The goals of protecting obligations incurred within the family structure, be it between spouses, parent to child, child to parent, or between other family members while preserving happiness and safety are paramount. Those obligations include, but are not limited to, financial and emotional support of dependents, financial care of elderly parents, a husband’s duty to care for his wife, and the overall responsibility of all family members to respect and care for one another.
Established in 1995, the Family Court Singapore opened doors on March first. This court provides specialized locations for families to address any type of legal matter that pertains to disputes within the family unit. Initially designed to deal with the Woman’s Charter and to address applications made for maintenance or protection orders, by 1996 all matrimonial suits and child care matters had been moved over to this Court from the High Court. Today not only are cases heard that relate to the original matters, but various dispute resolution services are offered to help people work out differences within their families.
Family Court Singapore now covers all cases related to all family proceedings. Various Acts that have been passed detail what this Court can or cannot address. Many laws are based on Commonwealth law, but there are many uniquely Asian provisions within the various charters making these laws tailored to the sensibilities of the Singapore culture. There is the Adoption of Children act which covers adoption proceedings. Guardianship of Infants Act in conjunction with Part X of the Woman’s Charter handles all guardianship issues in this Court. The Women’s Charter, Part X, also handles all divorce, annulment, separation proceedings, and division of marital assets. The latter is co-handled by section 59 also.
Personal protection orders are detailed by Part VII of the Women’s Charter and fall under the jurisdiction of the Family Court Singapore. In cases where personal safety is at risk from other family members, this court can instruct and enforce such orders as to keep one safe. The Woman’s Charter also covers spousal and child maintenance (Parts VIII and X) and enforcement of these maintenance orders (section 71 and part IX). Additionally any orders passed by foreign courts or tribunals that deal with family matters (as defined by Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Act and Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act are handled by this Court.
Divorce is a troubled time. Finding a good divorce lawyer in Singapore means sifting through thousands of listings to find a good one. The best place to start your search is the Law Society of Singapore’s website although there are a number of law first to chose from. There are foreign lawyers who can practice domestic law in Singapore, but you are far better to stick with a domestic lawyer. A domestic lawyer will know what to file and when to file it.
Because divorce lawyers in Singapore are trained in a fused profession model they can be both solicitor or advocate based on need. Many small firms will do both, while larger ones will have individuals that specialize in one form or another. You may want to seek out a litigation or conveyance specialist depending on your need. When shopping around for a good lawyer, meet them face to face to get an idea how they interact with you.
Over time, the number of lawyers practicing in Singapore fluctuates. Currently there are fewer then there were ten years ago. Because of the low rate of graduation for lawyers in 2009 the parliament moved the system to a more structured training program to make it easier for lawyers to remain in the field who might have otherwise left. Keeping this in mind, you don’t want to go for the cheapest service, but rather find a lawyer you can trust to work for you and to advocate your needs in court.
Of the bulk of lawyers, one will find most are educated within the Singapore system. This is because before 2009 most international law firms were limited to business or corporate law. Of nearly one hundred foreign firms only six had been licensed to practice local corporate law and none do domestic law. Always go with lawyers licensed in your particular form of law and who are familiar with the family courts. Getting up to speed with relevant laws will help you avoid costly mistakes with filing.
One needs to keep in mind how they personally interact with the candidate in question when seeking divorce lawyers in Singapore. Contact the Law Society of Singapore for an idea of the lawyers in the country. You may qualify for free legal services if you apply and are needy. Talk to this source so that you know if the person is abiding by advertising laws in the area.