Child Custody in Singapore
If you are getting a divorce, you may be wondering about how to fight for sole custody in Singapore. If you are already divorced and you have joint custody of the child, you may wonder about how to change joint custody to sole custody in Singapore? The question is, is there really an essential need to fight for sole custody in Singapore?
If you have child custody in Singapore, you will have the authority to make major decisions on behalf of your child. These decisions include matters concerning the child’s education, religion and healthcare. On the other hand, if you have care and control in Singapore, you will live with your child on a day to day basis. The other parent will be granted access to the child.
In general, there are 4 types of custody orders in Singapore.
Joint Custody Order
The most common custody order in Singapore is a joint custody order. Under a joint custody order, both parents will jointly make major decisions on behalf of their child. Is child custody for fathers in Singapore impossible? No. The Court encourages active co-parenting and a joint custody order is the preferred option in most cases.
Sole Custody Order
A sole custody order is appropriate where the parents’ relationship has broken down to such a point that they are largely acrimonious and all avenues for reconciliation (such as counselling and mediation) have been unsuccessful. The lack of communication between the parents could be detrimental to the child. In other cases, one parent may allow the other parent to have sole custody as a way to prevent further arguments.
Hybrid Custody Order
In a hybrid custody order, one parent will be granted sole custody. However, he/ she needs to consult the other parent when it comes to certain matters, such as the child’s education.
Split Custody Order
Split custody orders will grant the custody of 1 child to parent A and 1 child to parent B. This is highly unusual as it is not the Court’s preference to split up the children.
The Court, in making a decision on child custody in Singapore, will apply the welfare principle. This means that the Court will make a decision based on the best interests of the child. Factors that the Court will consider include:
1. The child’s physical comfort.
2. The child’s moral, religious and physical well-being.
3. The child’s relationship with the parents.
4. The child’s primary care-giver.
5. The child’s current living arrangements.
6. The child’s wishes if the child is able to provide an opinion.
7. The parents’ wishes.
The Court may also call for a custody evaluation report in Singapore to help it make a decision.
The parents’ citizenships will not prove conclusive. For instance, even if one parent has Singapore citizenship and the other does not, it does not automatically mean that the Singapore citizen parent will have sole custody of the child.
Care and Control in Singapore
If you have care and control of your child, you will be in charge of your child’s daily essentials such as meals, transport and schooling arrangements.
While many divorce cases end with a sole care and control order to one parent, there are now more cases wherein parents are granted shared care and control in Singapore. This means that parents are having almost equal time with the children. However, for a shared care and control arrangement to succeed, the children should be adaptable to be able to split their time in 2 households. The parents should be able to communicate and work with each other for the benefit of the children. Ideally, the children should not be too young as it is not ideal for young children to split their time in 2 households given that this would lead to confusion and logistics issues.
Access in Singapore
If you do not have care and control of your child, you will have access. There are different types of access orders. In general, access can be unsupervised where parents are left alone with their children. It may also be supervised if there is a possibility of abuse.
Parents can either leave access terms as “reasonable”, “liberal” or specified.
Parents may categorize access terms specifically into:
1. School holiday access.
2. Public holiday access.
3. Chinese New Year access.
4. Christmas access.
5. Birthday access.
6. Overseas access.
The Court may call for an access evaluation report to determine access in Singapore. The Court will also consider the child’s needs and wishes, as well as the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent before making an order on access in Singapore.
If you have further questions on care and control in Singapore and access in Singapore, you should consult an experienced divorce lawyer in Singapore for a detailed evaluation of your case. You may wish to contact us at +6598330314 (whatsapp).
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