updated 24 Dec 2010, 18:01
user id password
Tue, Dec 21, 2010
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
What are some of the options for dad?
by Chai Hung Yin

AN EX-HUSBAND who cannot afford to pay up his maintenance order can apply to the Family Court to vary the order, provided there are changes to his circumstances, said a spokesman for Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS).

How much an ex-husband has to pay in maintenance is dependent on things such as his ability to pay.

Imprisonment is usually reserved for defaulters who are recalcitrant, he added. Should a defaulter be unemployed for valid reasons, for example, suffering from illness or disability and unable to work, the court would take this into account when evaluating the case.

The MCYS spokesman said: “Complainants who are affected by a defaulter’s inability to pay maintenance can, like others who are in need of financial assistance, seek help from various assistance schemes available to needy families.

“They can approach the Community Development Councils (CDCs) for assistance.”

Based on figures provided to The New Paper on Sunday by the Subordinate Courts, the number of applications for enforcement of maintenance has dropped slightly.

From January this year to last month, there were 2,976 cases.

For all of last year, there were 3,585 cases. In 2008, the number was 3,266 and in 2007, 3,450. The numbers include enforcement of maintenance ordered for wife and dependent children during and after marriage.

In September, the Government sought public feedback for proposals to the Women’s Charter.

Power to the order
The proposals aim to give more bite to the court in enforcing maintenance orders.

Some of them include reporting dads who default on their debts to the credit bureau. Those who remarry would have to declare their maintenance debt to their new spouses.

In cases where the ex-husband can afford to pay the maintenance but refuses to, the court may impose an appropriate sanction on him based on the individual

The new measures proposed also aim to provide the court with “more options in sanctioning the defaulter, such as imposing community service orders, which would not affect his employment”.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

More stories:

He's not giving me what I need
I can't always afford to give her the $500
What are some of the options for dad?
Kids' interests take priority in post-divorce cases
Why some divorced women suffer
How the proposed changes to Women's Charter may affect you
Women's Charter: Proposed changes to tackle divorces
More marriages and divorces last year
Divorced but he goes to ex's flat for shower & laundry


readers' comments

Copyright © 2010 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.