Who Gets Child Custody After Divorce in Singapore?

HomeMedia ArticlesWho Gets Child Custody After Divorce in Singapore?

Divorce is rarely an easy call to make, especially when children are involved. This brings up the question: Who gets custody of the child in dissolution of marriage?

Child custody determines which parent will be granted full and long-term decision-making rights regarding a minor’s upbringing. In Singapore, the court usually issues joint custody to both parents with care and control given to the mother. In doing so, the court ensures that both parents play an essential role in the life and development of their child, including making decisions concerning education, religion and healthcare.

In determining the type of custody, judges in Singapore adhere to the welfare principle, in which the court will look to the child’s best interests to ensure an optimal living arrangement. This is the main consideration that influences the court’s decision, and it factors in how each parent can secure the child’s overall wellbeing up to adulthood:

  • Child’s present living arrangement – The child’s current living arrangement will be preserved as far as possible, especially if the child is satisfied with his present living condition, such that major changes may have negative impacts. For instance, having the child transfer schools when he or she is about to graduate, or relocate to a different environment, may be disconcerting.
  • Primary caregiver of the child – While both parents may equally love their child and desire to gain custody, the court considers which parent spends the most time and effort in caring for the child on a daily basis. Determining the primary caretaker also allows the court to decide on other matters such as care and control, access and parenting plans. In some cases, the judge may request for counselling sessions and social welfare reports to further evaluate the status of the parents and their relationship with the child through their interactions and interviews with relatives and other caregivers.
  • Parent’s financial ability – Though not an all-encompassing factor, a parent’s ability to financially secure the future of the child is taken into account. This covers the capacity to provide for the child’s essentials, including the home, education and daily needs.

Aside from these, the child’s age and wishes will also be taken into consideration. It is important to note, however, that no two custodial cases are the same. At the end of the day, it is at the discretion of the court which factors to examine in relation to the best interests of the child. The judge also has the authority to make changes to the proposed custodial arrangements, including visitation frequency and schedules and the amount of child support. The court’s decision is final and comes with consequences for a parent’s failure to comply.

Going through the process of divorce and settling child custody can be difficult, but having the right lawyer can make all the difference. Godwin Campos is a recognized and highly experienced divorce attorney in Singapore who can help you negotiate custody terms in line with your and your child’s best interests. Call 6535 1306 to schedule an appointment today.