With this in mind, from December 2016 changes have made in accordance the Women’s Charter; anyone with intends to divorce while having a child/children less than 21 years of age (increased from 14 to 21 years of age on January 2018) and who wishes to commence divorce proceedings here in Singapore or file a counterclaim in divorce proceedings will have to undergo a Mandatory Parenting Programme (MPP) which will be conducted by counsellors with one of the Divorce Support Specialist Agencies (DSSA) in Singapore.
The programme is for divorcing parties who wishes to divorce but cannot agree on matters about their children. On completion of the counselling session, the counsellor who conducted the session will issue a certificate of completion. Only with the certificate can you proceed to make an application to commence divorce proceedings or file a counterclaim with the Court.
Only if the divorcing couple agreed upon a parenting plan for their child/children, they might be exempted from attending the programme.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. DO I HAVE TO ATTEND WITH MY SPOUSE? No
2. DO I HAVE TO INFORM MY SPOUSE? No
3. HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAMME COST? It is currently free (as of December 2016).
4. IS IT CONDUCTED IN A GROUP SETTING? No. It will be a one-on-one consultation with a counsellor for about 2 hours.
5. HOW DO I REGISTER? You will need your personal details – NRIC / Passport number and a valid contact address.
6. WHEN DOES A PARTY NEED TO ATTEND THE MANDATORY PARENTING PROGRAMME (MPP) It is mandatory for divorcing party to attend the programme before commencing divorce proceedings if you have not come to an agreed parenting plan for the child/children of the marriage.
7. WHAT DOES THE PROGRAMME ENTAIL? The programme comprises of a one-on-one two-hour session with a counsellor is focused on the child/children and aims to provide you with information on matters relating to marriage, divorce and how a divorce may affect a child of the marriage. The focus of the programme is achieved by taking into consideration the living arrangements, finances and housing after the divorce in addition to increasing parents’ awareness on the impact of the divorce on their children.
8. WHAT IF I’M BASED OUTSIDE OF SINGAPORE? Arrangements may be made by the respective DSSA to facilitate the programme if any party is overseas.
9. WHERE WILL THE PROGRAMME BE HELD? The programme will be held at one of the DSSAs in Singapore. You will be allocated to a DSSA located nearest to his/her registered address.
10. DOES THE PROGRAMME DELAY MY DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS? As long as the party complete the programme there may not be any delay in in commencing the divorce proceedings.