Under the Women’s Charter, article 122 of the law governs a child of the marriage who is under the age of 21.
During the process of a divorce, dealing with the problem child custody can be among the most emotionally difficult issues to deal with. Despite the marital woes you are suffering, you need to consider the well-being and best arrangement for your child/children after the divorce, regardless if it is a contested or uncontested one. You can rely on lawyer for child custody Singapore to advise you on all the considerations to fully prepare you for this custody battle.
Commonly used terms for child custody Singapore
- Custody: to the parent who has legal decision-making authority in the life of the child/children. This is usually in regard to major life issues such as education, religion, healthcare and choice of activities.
- Care and control: to which parent the child/children live with on a daily basis.
- Access: to the time period/s granted to the parent who does not have care and control of the child/children to spend with the child/children.
Who can request for custody of your child?
Either parent can up an application. Despite that there may be situations where the Court may deem it is more befitting to give the custody and/or the care and control/access of your child/children to a relative or a children’s welfare organisation. In granting custody of your child, the court will apply a standard known as the “welfare principle” in Singaporean law, where the court will look at the best interests of the child to determine what will be the best arrangement for their emotional, psychological and spiritual development as expressed by article 125 of the Women’s Charter. Hence, it is not uncommon for the Judge to award joint custody to both parents instead of a sole custody to one parent.
When to apply for custody of your child?
How to apply
This application must be put up to the Family or the High Court. We would advise you on the necessary procedures.
What are the considerations for custody of your child?
- The wishes of both parents
- In the event of a serious dispute, the court may seek the opinion of a qualified child welfare officer in the form of a social welfare report to guide its final decision making as authorized by article 130 of the Women’s Charter.
- The wishes of the child/children if old enough to express an independent opinion
- Financial ability to provide
- Family support
According to law, both parents have equal responsibility to maintain the child/children. Whoever has custody, care and control of the child can put up the application for the child maintenance. Ultimately, the Court can order either/ both parents to pay child maintenance.
The amount of maintenance to give to your child/children is dependent on the following factors. It entails basic expenses for education, lodging and food. If the child is suffering from physical or mental disability, the child maintenance amount will be adjusted accordingly.
If you and the other parent are able to come to an agreement over issues related to custody of child, a lawyer can help prepare a “consent order” where the Court will formalize the arrangement between you and the other parent without an adversarial process.
As there are too many factors to consider, let us help you help protect the emotional well-being of you and your child during a difficult legal process.
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