The team from Consilium Law Corporation can help you with queries on divorce and maintenance issues if you’re living in Singapore. Here they answer two possible variations to an existing maintenance agreement.
Changes in maintenance terms
When we got divorced, my ex-husband was not ordered to pay me any maintenance. Can I apply to vary this order so that he is required to pay me something?
The Court is only able to vary an order if your husband was ordered to pay you at least a nominal $1 in monthly maintenance at the time of the final divorce hearing. If no order for maintenance was made in the divorce proceedings, you’re not entitled to subsequently seek maintenance after the divorce by way of a variation.
I was recently retrenched and can’t pay the maintenance to my wife that the court ordered. Can I apply to have the order on maintenance varied?
An application for a variation can be requested at any point. In order for it to be successful, you must be able to demonstrate that there has been a material change in the circumstances (loss of job, for instance), or that the original order was based on a misrepresentation or mistake of fact.
An application for a variation is made by summons together with a supporting affidavit stating the reasons you are seeking to vary the order and including documents in support of these reasons. Your wife will also be given the opportunity to respond by way of affidavit.
Should the matter proceed to trial, the court will take into account all the circumstances of the case and consider the reasonableness of the claim in order to decide if the circumstances have significantly changed such as to warrant variation of the original order.
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