All matters of child custody and access rights

During a divorce, the issue of child custody, care and control is often one of the most important aspects that parents will have to deal with. At Legal Advice, it is our desire to help reduce conflict and financial difficulties for you and your children. Our lawyers are committed to resolving matters surrounding children in the most constructive and amicable way possible.

JCP Law offers advice and services around all aspects of child custody, care and control, and general access rights. We believe in helping ensure that a situation is fairly resolved for the benefit of all involved. Please get in touch for a no-obligation discussion so we can better understand your unique situation and see how we can support you and your family through this difficult period.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between custody and care & control?

Child custody gives the parent(s) authority to make important decisions for their child. The important decisions include aspects such as education, religion, and health conditions. It can be granted to one or both parents.

Care and control is granted to only one parent, and this parent will take control of all the daily matters of the child, but may still need to agree with their ex on other important matters such as education, religion etc.

What are the different types of child custody?

There are 4 types of child custody:

  1. Sole custody order – one parent is granted custody and able to make all important decisions for the child alone.
  2. Joint custody order – both parents are granted the authority to make important decisions for the child.
  3. Hybrid order – One parent is granted with custody, but they shall discuss with the non-custodial parent any matters regarding the child’s welfare.
  4. Split custody order – this is rare, but the courts grant the custody of one or more siblings to one parent, whereas custody of the other sibling(s) is granted to another parent.

In general, the Singapore courts tend to grant more ‘joint custody orders’ than any other type.

Can a father get custody of his child?

The care and control order is normally given to the mothers in Singapore. The courts rarely grant a full care and control order to the fathers unless:

  • the consent is obtained from the mother; or
  • the child is at an age where they are capable of expressing clearly to the court regarding their wishes; or
  • the mother is deemed abusive and/or neglectful of their child.

How do courts usually determine custody?

The Singapore courts apply a standard called the “welfare principle”. It depends on the best interests of the child. This standard is not only about financial or physical comfort, but the courts will also look into the child’s moral, religious and physical welfare as well as the child’s affection to the parent.

The courts may ask the social services or counselor to assess the child and parent and suggest a type of custody order which is suitable to them. The courts usually ask for a Social Welfare Report prepared by officers from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. The officers, in preparing the report, would observe the parents’ interaction with the child. This report is confidential, it is for the judges perusal only and it shall not be revealed to the parents and/or child.

The list below shows the non-exhaustive factors that the courts may consider in deciding the type of custody order:

  • The main caregiver of the child during his/her formative years
  • The present living arrangements
  • The child’s wishes
  • The parent’s wishes
  • The child’s age
  • The parents’ financial capability
  • Presence of family support

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