Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer

Child’s Issues During Divorce?

Custody and care and control of child(ren) play a large part in divorces – What parties have agreed to, or what the Court may have ruled affects not only the parties involved in the divorce, but also their child(ren), as everybody adjusts their respective lifestyles and living arrangements to comply with the Court Order. What happens if your ex-spouse was awarded care and control of the child(ren), but you encounter situation(s) where you notice that your child(ren)’s day-to-day care is neglected, or if your child(ren) share(s) with you that she/he prefers to live with you?

There are three (3) issues which will be determined in Custody Order: –

  1. Custody – This refers to the right to make major decisions for the Child such as religion, education and healthcare. The Courts generally award joint custody to both parents unless there are exceptional circumstances such as when one parent is missing/non cooperative or uncontactable.
  2. Care and control – This determine which parent the Child will live with and who is responsible for the day-to-day care and daily decision-making of the Child. The Courts may award care and control to one parent or may make an order for shared care and control where both parents will take turns to be responsible in being the Child’s daily care giver during his/her care and control period.
  3. Access – Access will usually be granted to the parent who does not have care and control of the Child unless there are exceptional circumstances to deny the access. Access may be fixed or flexible, depending on the factual matrix for each case. Where there are legitimate concerns about one parent’s treatment of the Child, the Court may also order supervised or assisted access.

How the Judge Determines who gets the Child?

Each case turns on its own facts. The Court will consider:

  1. Conduct of both parents and which parent has shown greater concern;
  2. The wishes of both parents and the child(ren) if she/he is of an age where she/he is able to express an independent opinion;
  3. Maternal bond (usually for infants);
  4. Which parent is able to provide better security and stability; and
  5. The desirability of having both parents involved in the child(ren)’s life.

Child’s wishes?

The Court will hear both parties’ position and sometimes even from the child if that child is of certain degree of maturity and intelligence before making an order based on the welfare and best interests of the child.

Care and Control can be Changed to the other Parent

The order on care and control may be reversed if the Court is satisfied that it is in the welfare and best interests of the child to do so.

What’s in the best interests of the child?

The judges at the Family Justice Courts have the tedious job to make sure that both parents are treated equally and fairly, regardless of gender, and financial ability. There has been a trend since 2015 for ‘shared care and control” order, aside from the usual ‘sole care and control’ order.

This approach attempts to recognise modern families with both parents having equal responsibility in caring for the child while they are at work. When it is deemed workable in some families where the children are placed in whole day childcare centre, both parents may have the chance to live with the children to care for them on an alternative basis, as long as the schedule does not adversely affect the child’s life. There are other factors that the judge may consider granting ‘shared care and control” order.

If you are concerned about the care of your children, do seek professional legal advice to work out your options for yourself and your children. At Yeo & Associate LLC, we offer a sound and professional advice to your situations that goes a long way. Call us at 62203400 for an appointment.

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