A simple guide on Child Custody Lawyers in Singapore

Singapore Legal Advice

When do you Need a Child Custody Lawyer?

Child Custody Lawyers in Singapore

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In Singapore, child custody can be applied during a marriage, during divorce proceedings, and post-divorce proceedings. Your child custody lawyer will be able to advise you on what custody conditions you can ask for and your chances of getting what you want.

Divorce lawyers will also handle child custody. You can get in touch with our list of divorce lawyers.

Who Gets Custody of the Child?

The paramount consideration of the court is the welfare of the child. Subject to the welfare of the child, the court will also take into account:

  1. The wishes of the parents of the child
  2. The wishes of the child, where he or she is of an age to express an independent opinion

What is Custody?

Child Custody Lawyers in Singapore

Image source: Shutterstock

When a parent is given custody, it means that the parent can make decisions relating to the upbringing and education of the child. In divorce cases, the courts generally order joint custody, where both parents have a say in the child’s upbringing.

According to section 126 of the Women’s Charter, the court may make an order for custody that is subject to conditions. Examples of such conditions can include:

  1. The place where the child is to reside, the manner of the child’s education, and the religion that the child is to be brought up in.
  2. One parent to have care and control, another parent to have access to the child at fixed times and periods.
  3. Child visits to certain relatives.
  4. Prohibit the person given custody from taking the child out of Singapore.

Taking the Child out of the Country

Generally, where an order for custody is in force for the child, no person shall take the child out of Singapore unless with written consent of both parents or the leave of the court. However, there is more flexibility if the parent who has custody of the child is taking the child out of Singapore for less than a month.

Flouting this rule is a criminal offence.

Varying Custody Orders

Applications can be made to the court to vary custody orders and custody agreements that have been made previously

Child Maintenance

Child maintenance is frequently discussed with child custody. Like child custody, child maintenance can be applied for during marriage, or outside of marriage. That is because it is the duty of a parent to maintain his or her children, whether legitimate or illegitimate. The duty applies even if the child is in the custody of another person.

Where maintenance is to be awarded outside of marriage, the court shall take into account:

  1. The financial needs of the wife or child;
  2. The income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the wife or child;
  3. Any physical or mental disability of the wife or child;
  4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
  5. The contributions made by each of the parties to the marriage to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family;
  6. The standard of living enjoyed by the wife or child before the husband or parent, as the case may be, neglected or refused to provide reasonable maintenance for the wife or child;
  7. In the case of a child, the manner in which he was being, and in which the parties to the marriage expected him to be, educated or trained; and
  8. The conduct of each of the parties to the marriage, if the conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it.
  9. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

Where maintenance is to be awarded during divorce proceedings, the court shall take into account:

  1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
  4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
  5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
  6. The contributions made by each of the parties to the marriage to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family; and
  7. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to either of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

Generally, maintenance of the child stops when the child reaches 21 years of age. You can read more about child maintenance here.

A child custody or divorce lawyer will be best able to advise you based on your circumstances.

This article was re-published with permission from SingaporeLegalAdvice. The information provided above does not constitute legal advice. You should obtain specific legal advice from a lawyer before taking any legal action. Although we try our best to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, you rely on it at your own risk.

ALSO READ: Division of CPF Assets (Monies, House, Investments) after a Divorce

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