Pre-Action Mediation (PAM)
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on the terms of divorce, you may wish to consider Pre-Action Mediation.
Pre-Action Mediation (PAM)
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on the reason for divorce or the ancillary matters, you may wish to consider Pre-Action Mediation (PAM). PAM is conducted before couples file for divorce and is therefore not part of the Court process. During PAM, a professional mediator will facilitate discussion between you and your spouse to reach a consensus.
Though PAM is not mandatory, it can help you come to an amicable settlement with your spouse. This will allow both of you to file for a divorce on the simplified track, instead of a divorce on the normal track.
If you and your spouse are stuck in disagreement, a neutral third party may be able to offer fresh and valuable perspectives.
Pause and Reflect
Am I open to having a third-party to mediate issues between me and my spouse?
How far apart are my spouse and I on the issues that we disagree on?
If you are able to reach a mutual agreement with your spouse, you may file for divorce on the simplified track. Generally, the simplified track divorce process:
- is less costly and quicker as compared to the normal track divorce process;
- reduces acrimony and hence allows you to maintain a cooperative relationship with your spouse for co-parenting after the divorce; and
- protects your children from the damaging effects of a contentious divorce.
If you are not able to reach a full agreement with your spouse, you will have to file for divorce on the normal track. However, should you be able to reach a partial agreement on any issue during pre-action mediation, that issue would be regarded as uncontested. The normal track divorce process could then be shortened.
The cost of PAM per party would comprise a non-refundable administrative fee of $150 + GST and a mediation fee of $600 + GST for a 4-hour mediation session. You may discuss with your spouse on how to split the cost between the both of you.
You may be eligible for PAM if both you and your spouse:
- Are unable to reach an agreement on the reason for divorce and/or the ancillary matters;
- Are residents of Singapore;
- Have minor child(ren) under the age of 21;
- Have no known factors that may interfere with mediation;
- Reside in Housing Development Board flat(s);
- Are considering filing for divorce in the Family Justice Courts; and
- Have a mutual agreement to mediate.
To sign-up for PAM, please approach the Strengthening Families Programme@FSC (FAM@FSC) nearest to you.
If you are not eligible for PAM, but are still interested in mediation at the pre-filing stage, you may consider participating in the Law Society Mediation Scheme or SMC’s Family Mediation Scheme instead.
FAQ on Pre-Action Mediation (PAM)
PAM is an optional process that is conducted at the pre-filing stage when the divorce process has not legally started. In contrast, mediation at the FJC is a mandatory process for parties who have at least one child below 21 years old, and only begins after the Writ of Divorce has been filed and there are matters which are contested.
Before filing for divorce, parties are more open to negotiations, and settlement can be reached more quickly. Once the divorce process has started and there are matters being contested, parties often take opposing sides, and it is more difficult to reach a settlement. This can lead to extensive litigation (i.e. “fighting out” the matters in Court), which costs extra. Hence, you may wish to consider PAM before filing for divorce to avoid extensive litigation.
During the mediation session, you and your spouse will be given time to discuss how you wish the matter to be resolved, and to voice any concerns you may have. A mediator will guide your negotiations with the goal of reaching a mutual agreement. If needed, the mediator may speak to you and your spouse in private sessions.
You may opt to attend PAM either in-person at a FAM@FSC or online via Zoom videoconferencing. You and your spouse should jointly decide on your preferred mode of PAM and inform the FAM@FSC when registering for PAM. Should you wish to attend PAM via Zoom videoconferencing, you will need your own personal device (preferably tablet device or larger).
You may attend PAM without a lawyer. However, if you have engaged a lawyer, he or she may sit in to facilitate the process.
As PAM requires the active participation of both parties to reach an agreement, it would only be possible if both you and your spouse have voluntarily agreed to participate in the process.
Should the PAM mediator assess that there is a reasonable chance of reaching a settlement through a further PAM session, the PAM mediator may suggest having one. If no settlement is reached, then you and your spouse may proceed to file for divorce in Court on the normal track. Do note that mediation is without prejudice. This means that in the event of subsequent Court hearings, whatever you share during mediation cannot be used against you.
Generally, you would need to prepare the following documents:
- Payslips for the past 3 months
- IRAS Notice of Assessment (NOA) for the past 3 years
- CPF transaction history for the past 1 year
- HDB or bank outstanding mortgage loan
- Desktop valuation of flat or property
- CPF public or private housing withdrawal statements
- Bank statements for the past 3 months
- List of investments
- Insurance policies for yourself, your spouse, and/or your child(ren)
- Other asset valuations (e.g. cars, club memberships etc.)
- List of personal expenses
- List of expenses for the children
If you and/or your spouse do not prepare the required documents, the mediator may not be able to conduct the mediation as effectively.
 PAM is a collaboration between the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Strengthening Families Programme@FSC (FAM@FSC), the Family Justice Courts (FJC) and the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC).
 Pre-Action Mediation is currently offered at 5 FAM@FSCs:
- FAM@FSC (Care Corner – Eunos)
- FAM@FSC (Thye Hua Kwan – Commonwealth)
- FAM@FSC (AMKFSC – Ang Mo Kio)
- FAM@FSC (Fei Yue – Choa Chu Kang)
- FAM@FSC (Montfort Care – Kreta Ayer)