Final Judgment - School of Law (SMU)

Report
Divorce
Proceedings
Chiang Joon Heng, Steven
Help Centre
Family & Juvenile Court
31 May 2010
A 2-stage process
Stage 1 : Divorce Case
Process (leading to
Interim Judgment)
Stage 2 : Ancillary Matters
(leading to Final Judgment)
Stage 1 : Divorce Case
Process
Writ, Statement of Claim, Statement of
Particulars, Parenting Plan, Property Plan
Appearance
Non-appearance
}
Defence /
Counterclaim /
Reply
Status
Conferences
Set Down
Affidavits of Evidence in Chief
(AEICs)
}
Pre-trial
Conferences
Hearing
(Contested or Uncontested)
INTERIM JUDGMENT
End of Stage 1, on to
Stage 2
Interim Judgment
Interim Judgment
With
All Ancillary Matters
concluded/recorded
Filing of Affidavits
}
Ancillary Matters Hearing
(and Order of Court)
Certificate of Making Interim
Judgment Final
(Final Judgment)
Ancillary
Pre-trial
Conferences
Hearing of Writ for
Divorce
• For Uncontested divorce hearings
– Summary hearing provided for in PD;
– PD requirement for the filing of an Affidavit
of Evidence in Chief (AEIC) for the
purpose of the open court hearing;
• For Contested divorce hearings
– Same procedure as for writs
– Rule 42 MPR: O38 ROC to apply (open
court, AEICs instead of oral EIC)
Hearing of Ancillary
Matters
• Uncontested ancillary matters
– Draft consent orders;
– Consent order hearings on
Wednesday mornings
Hearing of Ancillary
Matters
• Contested ancillary matters
– Evidence – O38 ROC to apply
– Standard form Affidavit of Means (in
PD);
– Discovery, interrogatories, inspection—
standard forms for request and
response; standard form applications
(all in PD);
– CPF order for disclosure of other
party’s CPF information if that party is
in-person and absent from proceedings
Hearing of Ancillary
Matters
– Safeguards for the examination of
children —leave required for interview by
mental health professional (r 41 MPR)
– Declaration of Value of Matrimonial
Assets arising from Transfer Order (in PD)
Interim Judgment,
Final Judgment
• Standard forms
(Forms 23, 24 and 26)
• Final Judgment
– Only issued if all children’s issues have been
dealt with, unless court otherwise orders
– Application for Final Judgment may be filed
within 3 months after the last hearing of
ancillary matters, or 1 year from the Interim
Judgment, whichever is later (Rule 59 MPR)
Originating
Summonses (OS) and
Summonses (SUMs)
• OS vs SUMs – What’s the difference ?
• Procedure :
Step 1: Plaintiff files and serves SUMs / OS
supported by affidavit;
Step 2: Reply affidavits;
PTC > ADR
Step 3: Hearing.
Mediation
Most ideal process for resolution of family
disputes
• Prevent futile litigation (eg contested divorces
with cross claims)
• Minimise costs & inconvenience
• Minimise escalation of acrimony in adversarial
proceedings
• Maximise adherence to orders (for example
maintenance, access)
Mediation Process :
Salient Points
• Opening remarks (mediation is a
voluntary process);
• Sorting out issues (defining the problem)
• Sorting out the ‘facts’ (information
gathering);
• Exploring and developing options
(expanding the pie)
Mediation Process (cont’d)
• Reaching consensus:
– Summarising and re-defining the issue
– Focusing on children’s and parties’ best
interests and future
– Looking for win-win outcomes
– Reality checks (especially regarding costs)
– Managing emotions
• Sealing the agreement: drafting the court order
• Recording the court order

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