Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer

Maintenance Enforcements Enhancement 2023

When aspouse painstakingly obtains a court order for the other spouse to pay wife’s maintenance or for child’s support, only to be met with the payor’s refusal to pay or unilateral deductions of the monthly payment, it seems like the current regime caused the victim more pain to seek repayment.

The payor’s are often not deterred by the current law.

The usual tactic these non-payors engages would be:

  • defend endlessly with their excuses not to pay;
  • intentionally reduce their work (some even quit their jobs on their own accord), to argue that they have lesser means to pay the ordered sums;
  • intentionally jack up their own monthly expenses or spending more for their new families and new children;
  • self-declaration bankruptcy;
  • file summons to vary the ordered sums downwards (payor could afford legal fees but could not pay the monthly maintenance to their own child(ren);
  • the list goes on.

Ironically, the victims see that these non-payors have the means to own a new car and enjoy holidays in exotic destinations- one would wonder how such non-payors would crying poor.

The new process in Maintenance Enforcements aims to simplify applications relating to the non-compliance with maintenance orders and to enhance deterrence against non-compliance for those who can pay maintenance but refuse to pay.

Key changes include:

  • NEW Maintenance Enforcement Process; and
  • Appointment of Maintenance Enforcement Officers.


  • Lesser court attendances;
  • Lesser waiting time;
  • Court can deal with non-payor more decisively- Maintenance Officers will be empowered to obtain non-payor’s assets and means directly from government agencies like IRAS, SLA, LTA or CPF Board etc and financial institutions like banks (currently a court order is required to obtain these information and it means more expenses for the victims) and submit the report to the Court;
  • Court will channel those who truly cannot pay maintenance to appropriate assistance like job referral programmes;
  • Conciliation process rather than mediating with non-payors;
  • Non-payors shall be sentenced to imprisonment if Show-Payment Order is breached;
  • Injunction order or clawback order when victims or the court officer suspect that the non-payor is intending to dissipate, or has dissipated, assets to frustrate the enforcement of a maintenance order.

    If you are the alleged non-payor of a maintenance order where you are GENUINELY having difficulties paying maintenance, or that your financial circumstances have GENUINELY changed subsequent to the divorce order, you may wish to speak to an experience family lawyer from Yeo & Associates LLC at 6220-3400 to work out a more sustainable maintenance order.
Call Back
6220 3400
Book Now
YEO & Associates LLC Pte Ltd.