4 Types of Child Custody Orders Issued in Singapore

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Child custody is one of the biggest concerns in a Singapore divorce, as this determines which parent will be given the authority to care for the child and make major decisions regarding the child. It also gives the custodial parent the right to make decisions and judgements regarding the matters of the child, such as the child’s education, health conditions, daily affairs, and so on.

In Singapore, the law of custody applies to every person, regardless of whether one is a Muslim or non-Muslim. The main statute governing child custody is further complemented by the Women’s Charter. The Judge normally looks at the best interests of the child and may take several factors into consideration when determining which type of custody order to grant.

The Singapore Family Justice Courts typically release 4 common types of child custody order:

  1. Sole custody order

    Under sole custody order, the chosen parent will have exclusive rights to the child. The parent who has been granted custody will be responsible for making major decisions about the child’s life, such as his or her education, religion, medical-related matters, etc.

    This type of custody order is rarely given. However, the court issues this type of order if they deem that:

    • Both parents are acrimonious toward each other, cooperation will be difficult, and communication has broken down irretrievably
    • One parent will “give up” custody to the other parent with the intention of attaining a better agreement on other ancillary matters
  2. Joint custody order

    Under the joint custody order, both parents are given equal responsibility and right over the matters of the child. They must also communicate and consult with each other, and must reach an agreement when making vital decisions concerning the welfare of the child. When agreement is not possible, each parent may apply to the Court for a determination of the disputed matters.

    When this type of child custody order is given, there will be individual orders on “care and control” for the parent who lives with the child and “access” for the parent who is not living with the child. The issuance of joint custody orders is gradually becoming more common because the court acknowledges the significance of having the presence of both parents during the developmental years of the child.

  3. Hybrid order

    The hybrid order is similar to the sole custody order, since only one parent will be given custody over the child. However, the parent granted custody must consult or obtain the consent of the non-custodial parent when deciding on matters related to the upbringing and welfare of the child.

  4. Split custody order

    The split custody order divides the custody of children to both parents. This means that the custody of one or more siblings will be granted to one parent, while the custody of the other siblings will be granted to the other parent. This is also a rare type of order granted by the Court, as they would normally permit siblings to stay together in order to support each other.

    This part of divorce or separation is crucial for both children and parents. Hence, seeking professional legal advice during the process of obtaining child custody is recommended as it requires a deliberate approach and compelling advocacy expertise in order to create a substantial impact on the final outcome.

    Godwin Campos is a highly experienced and recognised divorce lawyer in Singapore who not only has an intricate understanding of local divorce and custody law – his dedication to his clients also goes a long way in him fighting for their cases. Godwin Campos will guide you in making well-informed decisions that are in line with your interests and the well-being of your child, every step of the way. Contact us at 65351306 to schedule a consultation today.