It is the mission of the Family Justice Courts to make “justice accessible to families and youth through effective counselling, mediation and adjudication”.
Divorcing Parties are encouraged to resolve matters amicably and the Courts will assist parties in reaching an agreement or at least narrow down on issues that can be agreed upon. This is in line with the Court’s vision of “justice that protects, empowers, restores”.
Our team of Specialist Divorce Lawyers are well equipped in mediation and have always encouraged our clients to seek mediation as an alternative dispute resolution instead of proceeding to litigation. Not only does it save time and costs between parties, mediation can also help reduce acrimony between parties.
When proceedings have started, there are two (2) types of Court-mandated mediation: –
- Mediation conducted by the Court; and
- Court Ordered Private Mediation.
Of course, parties may choose to and are free to attend private mediation subject to mutual consent.
Mediation conducted by the Family Justice Courts
In the event one is not eligible for Court Ordered Private Mediation, he/she will be attending mediation conducted by the Family Justice Courts.
Where there is a child to the marriage, a Family Dispute Resolution Conference (“FDR Conference”) will be called to set out the issues that parties cannot agree on. Parties will then be asked to file and exchange the relevant documents and/or proposals.
Parties will also be required to attend mediation and/or counselling. Our Specialist Divorce Lawyers have vast experience with these proceedings and can ensure one’s rights and one’s child’s welfare are fully protected.
Where there is no child to the marriage, the Judge may still require parties to attend mediation and/or counselling.
To prepare for these mediation sessions, a Summary for Mediation in the appropriate format is required to present to the Judge. This is essential as the summary sets out very clearly the issues to be mediated that can save everyone’s time. Our trusted Singapore Divorce Lawyers can ensure one’s position is succinctly set out in the Summary for Mediation and uphold one’s rights and welfare of one’s child at the same time.
Court Ordered Private Mediation
This means that mediation will be conducted by the Singapore Mediation Centre (“SMC”) or by private mediators mutually agreed and appointed by Parties.
This is applicable in the following circumstances: –
- Parties’ are unable to agree on the division of matrimonial assets and the gross value of matrimonial assets is more than S$2 million; and
- Parties are able to agree on child-related issues.
Difference between Mediation and Counselling
As mentioned, parties may be required to attend mediation and/or counselling. Simply put, the difference between the two are as follows: –
- For mediation:
- Attendance is required for both parties and lawyers. Our Specialist Divorce Lawyers can share with you in greater detail on what will transpire during mediation.
- For counselling:
- Only parties’ attendance will be required.
- Any agreements made between parties during counselling will be recorded and given to parties. Parties’ can consult their lawyers about the agreement subsequently.
- You can speak to our Specialist Divorce Lawyers to find out more about these sessions and topics discussed.