Mandatory Parenting Programme Guide for Divorcing Parents

Last updated on July 17, 2020

divorcing parent at counselling.

What is the Mandatory Parenting Programme (MPP) and Who is it For?

The Mandatory Parenting Programme (MPP) is a consultation session that is designed to help divorcing parents in Singapore, with children under 21 years of age, understand the impact of a divorce on their children.

Through the MPP, it is hoped that divorcing parents will be better able to make informed decisions on the divorce that prioritise their children’s needs and well-being.

Who Conducts the Mandatory Parenting Programme?

The MPP is a one-time, 2-hour consultation session conducted by counsellors from Divorce Support Specialist Agencies (DSSAs) that have been approved by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

The DSSAs were established to provide non-legal support to divorcing and divorced parents and their children. The staff at the DSSAs possess the knowledge and expertise to provide a range of services including counselling and family dispute management.

What Will the Mandatory Parenting Programme Cover?

The session aims to help you understand:

From December 2016 when the MPP was first implemented to December 2017, about 2,500 applicants have attended the sessions, and more than 95% of the participants have reported that they were better informed on the impact of a divorce on their children.

The MPP is not meant to dissuade you from commencing a divorce because the MSF recognises that your decision to divorce is a personal one.

However, if you are unsure whether getting a divorce is the best decision for yourself and your child, you may seek marriage counselling from the DSSA staff, who will make a professional assessment and offer you support accordingly.

Do I Need to Attend the Mandatory Parenting Programme?

You are required to attend the MPP if you and your spouse:

Otherwise, you will not be able to file for divorce (if you intend to commence one) or file a counterclaim (if your spouse is the one filing for divorce).

(If your spouse is the one filing for divorce but you do not intend to file a counterclaim, you do not need to attend the MPP.)

You may also need to attend the MPP after divorce proceedings have been initiated if the court orders you to do so.

The court has the power at any stage in the divorce proceedings to order either or both you and your spouse to complete the MPP if it is in the interests of you and your child.

Can I be excused from attending the MPP?

Only a parent who lacks mental capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act can be excused from the MPP.

If you want to be excused from the MPP, please opt for an exclusion when applying for the MPP and refer to the instructions on the MPP portal for more details.

Must I attend the Mandatory Parenting Programme personally?

You must personally attend the MPP.

Your friend(s) or lawyer (if you have engaged one) are not allowed to attend the MPP on your behalf. If you are currently stationed overseas, the DSSAs will make special arrangements for you to attend the MPP.

Do I have to attend the session with my spouse?

The MPP is a confidential one-on-one consultation with the counsellor. This means that you do not have to inform your spouse that you are attending the session, or attend the session with your spouse.

Nonetheless, if you believe that attending the MPP with your spouse will be beneficial for the divorce and your children, you may email dssaprogrammes@msf.gov.sg with your request.

Can I attend the Mandatory Parenting Programme even if I am not required to do so?

If you are not required to attend the MPP but you are interested in doing so, please email dssaprogrammes@msf.gov.sg to arrange for a session at one of the DSSAs.

Does the Mandatory Parenting Programme Apply to a Muslim divorce?

The MPP does not apply to a Muslim divorce. However, if you intend to commence a Muslim divorce, you will need to attend counselling sessions under the Syariah Court’s Marriage Counselling Programme (MCP).

Refer to this brochure for more information on the MCP.

Do I Need to Engage a Lawyer for the Mandatory Parenting Programme?

You do not need to engage a lawyer for the MPP. Even if you have engaged one, you need to personally attend the MPP (as mentioned above).

How Do I Apply to Attend the Mandatory Parenting Programme?

Please visit the MSF website to check your eligibility and apply for the MPP. No documents are required, and you only need to provide your name and contact details when applying for the MPP.

There are also no payments involved as the MPP is provided free of charge.

After you apply, the MSF will process your application.

A DSSA counsellor will then contact you to schedule an appointment at one of the following DSSAs in Singapore:

DSSA ADDRESS TEL
Care Corner Centre for Co-Parenting Blk 21 Eunos Crescent

#01-2983

Singapore 400021

Website: https://www.carecorner.org.sg/centre-for-coparenting

Email: ccp@carecorner.org.sg

6258 0020
Healing Hearts @ Fei Yue Community Services Blk 281 Choa Chu Kang Ave 3

#01-348

Singapore 680281

Website: https://www.fycs.org/seek-professional-services/

Email: enq_healinghearts@fycs.org

6235 5229
HELP Family Service Centre Blk 570 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3

#01-3317

Singapore 560570

Website: www.helpfsc.org.sg

Email: e-counsel@helpfsc.org.sg

6457 5188
Thrive Parenting! AMKFSC Community Service Divorce Support Specialist Agency Blk 230 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3

#01-1264

Singapore 560230

Website: https://www.amkfsc.org.sg/

Email: thrivedssa@amkfsc.org.sg

6453 5349
Thye Hua Kwan Centre for Family Harmony @ Commonwealth Blk 54 Commonwealth Drive

#01-566

Singapore 142054

Website: www.thkmc.org.sg/services_detail/thk-centre-for-family-harmony-commonwealth/

Email: cfh_dssa@thkmc.org.sg

6357 9188

If you were married under Syariah law, you can approach the PPIS As-Salaam Family Support Centre:

DSSA ADDRESS TEL
PPIS As-Salaam Family Support Centre Blk 41 Chai Chee Street

#01-16

Singapore 461041

Website: https://ppis.sg/family-services/assalaam/

Email: as-salaam@ppis.sg

6745 5862

Also mentioned earlier, if you are not eligible for the MPP but you are interested in attending it, you may email dssaprogrammes@msf.gov.sg to arrange for a session at one of the DSSAs.

What if I changed my mind about attending the MPP?

If you change your mind after applying for the MPP, you may withdraw your application if it has not been processed yet.

Does My Child Need to Attend the Mandatory Parenting Programme with Me?

The MPP is targeted at divorcing parents. Thus, your child does not need to attend the MPP with you.

However, as children are often the most affected by their parents’ divorce, children who may require more support will be directed by the courts to attend the Children-in-Between programme developed by child experts for children and their parents.

You may refer to this brochure for more information on the Children-in-Between programme.

If you feel that your child needs more support, you may approach one of the DSSAs mentioned above.

What Happens After I Complete the Mandatory Parenting Programme?

After you complete the MPP, the counsellor who conducted the session will issue a “Certificate of Completion” to you.

With the certificate, you may proceed to file for divorce, or file a counterclaim if your spouse is the one who initiated divorce proceedings, or continue with your divorce proceedings if they have already been initiated.

Should you require legal advice on the MPP, the divorce process, or other divorce issues, please contact a divorce lawyer for advice.

Before getting a divorce
  1. Process for Getting Divorced in Singapore (With Diagram)
  2. What are the Legal Grounds for Getting a Divorce?
  3. 3 Finance Questions To Ask Before a Divorce
  4. Practical Preparations for a Divorce
  5. How to Divorce Within 3 Years of Marriage in Singapore
  6. Getting a Divorce Due to “Irreconcilable Differences” in Singapore
  7. Online Divorce in Singapore: How It Works and Should You Get One?
  8. How Can I Divorce Overseas?
Divorce Fees
  1. Comprehensive Guide to Divorce Fees in Singapore
Getting a Divorce Lawyer
  1. The Complete Guide to Choosing a Good Divorce Lawyer in Singapore
  2. Don’t Just Go for the Cheapest Divorce Lawyer in Singapore
  3. Find Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Singapore
  4. Child Custody Lawyers in Singapore
  5. First Meeting with Your Divorce Lawyer: What to Bring
Proving Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage
  1. How to Prove Adultery for Divorce Purposes in Singapore
  2. Getting a Divorce: How to Prove Desertion
  3. How to Prove Unreasonable Behaviour
  4. How to Prove Separation for a Singapore Divorce
Application for Divorce Part I: Dissolution of Marriage
  1. Procedure for Dissolution of Marriage
  2. Simplified Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce in Singapore
  3. Mandatory Parenting Programme Guide for Divorcing Parents
  4. Divorce Mediation in Singapore
  5. Divorce Application: What to Do If Your Spouse Cannot be Found
Application for Divorce Part 2: Ancillary Matters (Maintenance, Assets, Custody)
  1. Procedure for Ancillary Matters
  2. Maintenance of Spouse in a Singapore Divorce
  3. Filling in a Matrimonial Property Plan for a Singapore Divorce
  4. Dividing Matrimonial Assets in a Singapore Divorce
  5. What Happens to Your HDB Flat after Divorce?
  6. What Happens to Gifts Between Spouses During a Divorce?
  7. What Happens to Property and Assets Located Overseas Upon a Divorce in Singapore?
  8. Child Custody, Care and Control & Access: Singapore Guide
  9. Getting Divorced: Child Maintenance in Singapore
  10. Singapore Divorcee's Guide to Relocating Your Child Overseas
Post-Divorce
  1. How to Appeal Your Divorce Case in Singapore
  2. Divorce Certs in Singapore: How to Get a Copy and Other FAQs
  3. Transfer of Matrimonial Home to Ex-Spouse After Divorce
  4. Can Divorcees Buy or Rent HDB Flats, and How?
  5. What to Do If Your Ex-Spouse Does Not Provide Maintenance
  6. Variation of Maintenance Orders in Singapore
  7. What to Do If Your Ex-Spouse Denies You Access to Your Child
  8. Division of CPF Assets (Monies, House, Investments) After a Divorce
Expatriate Divorce
  1. Immigration Issues for Divorcing Expatriates
  2. Can Foreigners Divorce in Singapore?
  3. Expat or Foreigner Divorce in Singapore: 10 Legal Issues to Consider
  4. Hague Convention: Overseas Child Abduction in Singapore Divorce
  5. Case Study: Cross-Border Child Custody and the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction
  6. Should British Expats Divorce in Singapore or England?
  7. Divorce for British Expats: How the English Courts Deal with Financial Matters
Muslim or Syariah Divorce
  1. Muslim Divorce in Singapore
  2. Talak in a Muslim Divorce in Singapore (and Its Effects)
  3. Guide to Divorcing by Khuluk for Muslim Wives in Singapore
  4. Applying for Nafkah Idaah and Mutaah in a Muslim Divorce in Singapore
Other divorce matters
  1. Guide to Personal Protection Orders in Singapore
  2. Case Study - Love conquers All: The Divorce That Didn’t Happen
Annulment
  1. Annulling a Singapore Marriage: Requirements and Process
  2. What Happens to Your HDB Flat After an Annulment?
Separation
  1. Separation in Singapore
  2. Judicial or Legal Separation in Singapore: When and How to File
Prenuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
  1. Prenuptial Agreements in Singapore
  2. Should You Make a Post-Nuptial Agreement in Singapore?