Tuesday, 19 August 2014

"The breakdown of a marriage can be traumatic, especially for the child. Often times, he or she is unfortunately caught in between the divorcing couple, and many times, the child's interests and welfare are adversely affected. “Said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development, Low Yen Ling, during a committee’s debate.

Divorce is an especially heart wrenching process and many times, an emotionally pressing period of time when children are involved. During the separation procedure, the question of who will have care and control and how the child is raised. In Singapore, both parents are responsible for the upbringing and welfare of their children till they reach the age of 21.However, maintenance orders may be extended for children above this age under certain circumstances- such as if they are pursuing their tertiary education or undergoing national service. It is recommended that you engage the services of an experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore.

In Singapore, all divorce writs are first heard in the Family Court in the State Courts. After an interim judgment for divorce is granted, ancillary matters such as child custody and maintenance are looked into.

There are three aspects of child custody laws in Singapore.
  • Custody
  • Care and Control
  • Access


There are altogether four types of custodies that may be granted by the courts.

·      Sole Custody Order- The custodial parent is the sole decision maker of the welfare of the child. 

·      Joint custody order - Both parents are decision makers of the welfare of the child.

·   Hybrid order - Custodial parent must consult the non-custodial parents on matters pertaining to the welfare of the child. 

·      Split Custody order- custody of one or more siblings is granted to one parent and the custody of the other siblings is granted to the other parent.

How does the court decide which kind of custody is best suited for each case?

The court decides the best parent to have custody of the child, based on legal documents such as affidavits and sworn documents presented to the court. The judge may choose to interview the children directly. In some cases a welfare report will be obtained. The ruling will be based on what best serves the needs of especially the children and not the parents. Considerable effort will be made to ensure the children are not placed in the home of a drug user or where they will suffer any type of physical or verbal abuse that might prove to be detrimental to their welfare. Every decision of the courts are of course subjective to the various cases due to differing facts and circumstances and it will be best advices to consult and make an appointment with an experienced divorce lawyer for options and likely outcomes that can be expected. 

Care and control

Care and control is the right to have children lives with you and to make daily essential decisions about them. It normally lies with one parent, the custodial parent and for practical reasons; the non-custodial parent who does not have care and control of the child will have access to the child. 


There are two types of access orders in Singapore. Supervised and non-supervised access orders. Access orders are generally unsupervised. The non-custodial parent will be able to spend time on his own with the child without any third party supervising the access. If access is to be supervised, it is generally for the reasons that follow.
  1. protect the child from possible physical and emotional;
  2. assess the relationship of the non-custodial parent with the child especially if contact has been infrequent; or
  3. strengthen the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent

If you need legal representation, kindly contact Gloria James-Civetta & Co, to get the legal advice you need.