Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer
Divorce in Singapore

Children and Divorce FAQs

Children and Divorce Questions Answered

Q. How much contact do I have to allow my ex spouse to have?

A. Regular and frequent contact with both parents is normally considered important. There are no strict formulas for how much time a child should spend with each parent. Shared parenting does not imply an equal amount of time. The most important thing to consider is what is in the best interests of your child.

Q. Can I move abroad with my children?

A. If you have parental responsibility for your child, you can take your child abroad for up to one month without the need to obtain special agreement from the Court. For periods in excess of one month, unless both parents agree, you must obtain the permission of the Court to take a child abroad. If you would like to apply to the Courts for this permission Yeo Law has extensive experience in such applications and is well-placed to advise you.

Q. Can I prevent my ex spouse from moving away with my children?

A. It is possible to apply to the Court to prevent your child from being moved abroad without your consent. Time is often of the essence in such situations. Call us at 62203400 for a no-obligation discussion now.

Q. How much does it cost to reach an agreement about the children?

A. You will need to obtain a quote based on your own circumstances. It’s true to say however that if you can reach agreement between yourselves it won’t cost anything, as there is no need to involve lawyers or the Courts.

If you are unable to come to an agreement with your ex spouse, negotiations with the help of a lawyer could start from about S$450 and escalate with complexity. If mediation is required, your lawyers can assist in the process for anywhere between S$2,000 and S$3,000 – and these costs are often shared between both parties.

If you apply formally through the Courts for a Child Arrangement Order there are a number of steps in the process and the costs depend on where you are in the process when an agreement is reached. It is not unusual for a matter to be resolved only after two or three hearings. To make an initial application costs between S$2,000 and S$2,500 plus Court fees. If the case proceeds all the way through the various Court processes, costs are likely to be at least S$8,500.

For a more accurate estimation of costs, call us at Yeo Law to learn about our flexible and affordable fees.

Q. If I have parental responsibility for my child do I automatically have a right to see them?

A. Although parental responsibility gives you certain legal right in relation to the upbringing of your child and the right to see the child, it does not automatically give you the right to contact them or have them visit or stay with you whenever you wish. This should ideally be agreed amicably with your ex spouse. If you are unable to come to an agreement, you will need to apply for a Child Arrangement Order from the Courts.

Q. If I leave will I be allowed to see my children?

A. The starting point is that a relationship with both parents is desirable, and likely to be in the best interests of the child. This assumption would apply unless there is a good reason to believe otherwise, for example, where there have been allegations of abuse or neglect. If you cannot agree to a sensible pattern of contact between yourself and your children, you can apply to the Court for an Order. The Court will take into account all relevant fats, including the children’s age and wishes, to decide what is in the children’s best interests.

Q. How much child maintenance will I get?

A. If you have children who live with you, you will be entitled to receive maintenance for their benefit from the non-resident parent. The amount will depend on the circumstances of the parties and the children, such as income, assets, age of the child, level of savings and any special health needs the child may have.

Q. If I agree to a divorce from my wife, will she automatically get custody of our children?

A. No, the law focuses on what is in the best interests of the child and begins from the starting point that a child should have a relationship with both parents. Where the child lives and how much contact they have with the parent they don’t live with should be agreed between the parties as far as possible. The Courts will step in only if the parties are unable to come to an agreement.

Our legal experts at Yeo Law can assist you in all custody-related issues. Please call us at 62203400 to discuss your concerns.

Q. Can I stop my children seeing my ex’s new partner?

A. Probably not. The way family law works is that it assumes that your child should have contact with both parents and that the parents will only bring them into contact with people who are good for them. Unless you can show that contact with your ex’s new partner poses some kind of risk or danger to your child, a Court would not stop your child being introduced to them any more than they would stop the child from seeing a new partner of yours.

Q. Can my ex change my child’s name?

A. Not without your, or the Court’s, agreement. The Court will only give its agreement if it is persuaded that it is in the best interests of the child to do so. There are some exceptions especially in cases where the parents were not married at the time of the child’s birth.

If you need professional advice on this, please call our team of family law experts at Yeo Law at 62203400.

Q. Do I have the right to see my grandchildren?

A. Unfortunately, grandparents do not have automatic legal rights in relation to their grandchildren. However, the law recognises the importance of grandparents and offers an avenue to apply through the Court for a Child Arrangement Order if necessary. If you can show that you have a meaningful and close relationship with your grandchild the Court is likely to grant permission to apply for the Order.


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