History of Family Justice Courts


Establishment of the Family Court (a District Court) within the Subordinate Courts — Located physically at 25-H Paterson Road Singapore 238516, to provide a convenient one-stop service with the setting up of a separate and dedicate registry to deal with all matters relating to proceedings in the Family Court.


1 April 1996: Proceedings under Section 59 and Part X of the Women’s Charter, and the Guardianship of Infants’ Act were transferred to the District Court.


Substantial amendments to the Women’s Charter, Cap. 353 were introduced and the concept of family violence was redefined.

The Women’s Charter (Parenting Plan) Rules were introduced, and was to be filed together with the Divorce Petition.


Video link for family violence cases was introduced to reduce the trauma of family violence victims by allowing them to give evidence from remote sites away from the family member who inflicted violence.

The Women’s Charter (Matrimonial Property Plan) Rules were introduced, and was to be filed together with the Divorce Petition.


Works began on the retrofitting and conversion of the former Ministry of Labour building at Havelock Square to house the new Family Court.

The new Family Court building have purpose-built courtrooms and hearing chambers fitted with the latest technology, including electronic retrieval and filing, digital video connecting multiple sites, and integrated security systems. Counselling and mediation rooms, with segregated and protected waiting areas for victims and witnesses, are available. There was a centre for childcare and facilities for teenagers.


Relocation of Juvenile Court
Previously housed at Court No. 53 in the Paterson Complex, the Juvenile Court moved to its new premises at the Havelock Complex (Court No. 25) on 1 April 1999. The new premises comprised a bigger courtroom, bigger holding area for remand and a family conferencing room.


Family Court at Paterson Road closed on 28 Sep 2001 and officially moved to the new premise at 3 Havelock Square on 1 Oct 2001.


The Family Court and the Juvenile Court were brought together under the same roof at 3 Havelock Square in September 2001. The Opening Ceremony for the new building, housing the two courts, was held on 11 January 2002.

Having the two courts under one roof facilitated the execution of the Subordinate Courts’ plan to have a unified Family and Juvenile court system. A family may be involved in multiple proceedings in both the Family Court and the Juvenile Court simultaneously.


Establishment of Family Justice Courts to create a specialist family court structure which would allow the Judiciary to address, in a more comprehensive way, the unique needs of family justice. The Juvenile Court was renamed as the Youth Court at the same time.


Some services and registries of the Family Justice Courts were relocated to MND Complex to serve the community better and to consolidate mediation and counselling services for divorce related matters.