Child Custody Lawyers in Singapore

Last updated on May 24, 2018

Featured image for the "Child Custody Lawyers In Singapore" article. It features 2 parents pulling a crying child in between them as they argue.

When do you Need a Child Custody Lawyer?

In Singapore, child custody can be applied during a marriage, during divorce proceedings, and post-divorce proceedings. Your child custody lawyer will be able to advise you on what custody conditions you can ask for and your chances of getting what you want.

Divorce lawyers will also handle child custody. You can get in touch with our list of divorce lawyers.

Who Gets Custody of the Child?

The paramount consideration of the court is the welfare of the child. Subject to the welfare of the child, the court will also take into account:

  1. The wishes of the parents of the child
  2. The wishes of the child, where he or she is of an age to express an independent opinion

What is Custody?

When a parent is given custody, it means that the parent can make decisions relating to the upbringing and education of the child. In divorce cases, the courts generally order joint custody, where both parents have a say in the child’s upbringing.

According to section 126 of the Women’s Charter, the court may make an order for custody that is subject to conditions. Examples of such conditions can include:

  1. The place where the child is to reside, the manner of the child’s education, and the religion that the child is to be brought up in.
  2. One parent to have care and control, another parent to have access to the child at fixed times and periods.
  3. Child visits to certain relatives.
  4. Prohibit the person given custody from taking the child out of Singapore.

Taking the Child out of the Country

Generally, where an order for custody is in force for the child, no person shall take the child out of Singapore unless with written consent of both parents or the leave of the court. However, there is more flexibility if the parent who has custody of the child is taking the child out of Singapore for less than a month.

Flouting this rule is a criminal offence.

Varying Custody Orders

Applications can be made to the court to vary custody orders and custody agreements that have been made previously

Child Maintenance

Child maintenance is frequently discussed with child custody. Like child custody, child maintenance can be applied for during marriage, or outside of marriage. That is because it is the duty of a parent to maintain his or her children, whether legitimate or illegitimate. The duty applies even if the child is in the custody of another person.

Where maintenance is to be awarded outside of marriage, the court shall take into account:

  1. The financial needs of the wife or child;
  2. The income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the wife or child;
  3. Any physical or mental disability of the wife or child;
  4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
  5. The contributions made by each of the parties to the marriage to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family;
  6. The standard of living enjoyed by the wife or child before the husband or parent, as the case may be, neglected or refused to provide reasonable maintenance for the wife or child;
  7. In the case of a child, the manner in which he was being, and in which the parties to the marriage expected him to be, educated or trained; and
  8. The conduct of each of the parties to the marriage, if the conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it.
  9. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

Where maintenance is to be awarded during divorce proceedings, the court shall take into account:

  1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
  3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
  4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
  5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
  6. The contributions made by each of the parties to the marriage to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family; and
  7. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to either of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

Generally, maintenance of the child stops when the child reaches 21 years of age. You can read more about child maintenance here.

A child custody or divorce lawyer will be best able to advise you based on your circumstances.

Should you require any guidance on the costs of engaging a divorce lawyer, please refer to our Divorce Fee Guide.

Before getting a divorce
  1. How to Get a Divorce in Singapore in 2019: Process and Requirements
  2. How Can I Divorce Overseas?
  3. Mandatory Parenting Programme Guide for Divorcing Parents
  4. Online Divorce in Singapore: How It Works and Should You Get One?
  5. How to Get a Divorce Within 3 Years of Marriage
  6. Personal Protection Orders (PPOs), Expedited Orders (EOs) and Domestic Exclusion Orders (DEOs) in Singapore
  7. Prenuptial Agreements in Singapore
  8. What are the Legal Grounds for Getting a Divorce?
  9. Separation in Singapore
  10. Annulment of Marriage in Singapore
  11. Practical Preparations for a Divorce
  12. 3 Finance Questions To Ask Before a Divorce
Divorce Fees
  1. Comprehensive Guide to Divorce Fees in Singapore (Updated Sep 2018)
Getting a Divorce Lawyer
  1. The Complete Guide to Choosing a Good Divorce Lawyer in Singapore
  2. First Meeting with Your Divorce Lawyer: What to Bring
  3. Don’t Just Go for the Cheapest Divorce Lawyer in Singapore
  4. Find Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Singapore
  5. Child Custody Lawyers in Singapore
Proving Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage
  1. How to Prove Adultery for Divorce Purposes in Singapore
  2. Getting a Divorce: How to Prove Desertion
  3. How to Prove Unreasonable Behaviour
  4. How to Prove Separation for a Singapore Divorce
Application for Divorce Part I: Dissolution of Marriage
  1. Procedure for Dissolution of Marriage
  2. Divorce Mediation in Singapore
  3. Divorce Application: What to Do If Your Spouse Cannot be Found
  4. Simplified Uncontested Divorce vs Contested Divorce in Singapore
Application for Divorce Part 2: Ancillary Matters (Maintenance, Assets, Custody)
  1. Procedure for Ancillary Matters
  2. What happens to gifts between spouses when a marriage breaks down?
  3. What Happens to Property and Assets Located Overseas Upon a Divorce in Singapore?
  4. Getting Divorced: Child Maintenance in Singapore
  5. Maintenance of Spouse in a Singapore Divorce
  6. The Guide to Child Custody, Care and Control, and Access in Singapore
  7. How Does the Court Divide Matrimonial Assets in a Divorce?
Post-divorce
  1. What Happens to Your HDB Flat after Divorce?
  2. Variation of Maintenance Orders in Singapore
  3. Divorce Certificates in Singapore: How to Get a Copy and Other FAQs
  4. Transfer of Matrimonial Home to Ex-Spouse After Divorce
  5. What to Do If Your Ex-Spouse Denies You Access to Your Child
  6. What Happens If Your Ex-Spouse Does Not Provide Maintenance?
Expatriate Divorce
  1. Can Foreigners Divorce in Singapore?
  2. Expat or Foreigner Divorce in Singapore: 10 Legal Issues to Consider
  3. Immigration Issues for Divorcing Expatriates
  4. Hague Convention in Singapore: Overseas Child Abduction in Divorce
  5. Case Study: Cross-Border Child Custody and the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction
Muslim or Syariah Divorce
  1. Muslim Divorce in Singapore
Other divorce matters
  1. What Happens to Your HDB Flat after an Annulment?
  2. Case Study - Love conquers All: The Divorce That Didn’t Happen