Child custody is one of the most disputing issues in a divorce. A 'kid' is defined in the Women's Charter as a ward of a marriage under 21 years of age. The main statute governing child custody in Singapore is the Guardianship of Infants Act, supplemented by the Women's Charter and Administration of Muslim Law Act. The law of custody applies to every person in Singapore, regardless of the religious community one belongs to. Taking help from a child custody lawyer for the purpose is advisable. An experienced child custody lawyer should be hired as the custody of kid may affect the child's future.
Custody of child should be distinguished from child care and control. Custody of child grants the custodial parent(s) authority in making major decisions regarding their kid. These decisions include matters concerning education, religion and health conditions of the kid and many more. On the other hand, child care and control is only given to one parent, who will be involved in the kid's day-to-day matters. The other parent, who has not been given the opportunity, will be granted access to the kid for certain periods.
A number of factors determine which parent the kid should live with. The parent given the control of the kids should be able to handle the kid's daily necessities, such as the kid's meals, bedtimes, medical care, transport arrangements etc. The other parent will be granted an order to have reasonable access to the kid. Convincing evidence is required for a court to deny a parent of reasonable access to the kid.
A “penal notice” may be attached to an order of care and control. The penal notice attached can list out specific terms and responsibilities which the parent living with the Kids has to abide by.
The care and control is awarded to mothers in most of the cases. It is often a difficult task for fathers to deal with the full care and control of the child. Only if the mother agrees to the father's request, or the child is at an age where he/she is able to express clearly to the Court he/she desires to stay with the father, Court will award care and control to the father. In exceptional cases, a child custody lawyer can help a father to get the custody of the kids where the mother is found to be abusive, or neglectful of her children, the Court may order an evaluation report by the Family Court counsellor before passing the verdict.
Jamson Lim works for a top Expat Divorce firm in Singapore and has effectively handled foreigners divorce cases in Singapore. He mostly writes on topics likes expat divorce ebligibility, Family Law Mediation, expat assets division and others.