Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer

What is Interim Custody Care and Control (ICCC)

An Interim Custody, Care and Control (ICCC) order is the temporary order for care arrangements for the Children of a marriage before a final divorce order is granted.

Reasons for applying for an ICCC Order

The marriage may be failing but couple has not started the divorce proceedings.

Or, the divorce proceedings have just start, depending on Parties’ settlement, or whether there is mediation or even trial, the usual time line from start to end may sometimes take months, even years to completely conclude. Without this Order, one parent may be totally excluded from having access to the children.

You can apply for an ICCC Order at any time during the marriage, the separation or the Court proceedings for a divorce to ensure that your rights to your Child and his welfare are protected. Such situations include but not limited to:-

  1. Your spouse has left the country and is uncontactable. You will require an ICCC Order to dispense with the other parent’s consent with regard to the Child’s matters such as enrolment in schools;
  2. You have been stopped from seeing the Child/or excluded in the making of major decisions for the Child;
  3. Your Child is subjected to physical and mental abuse from your spouse and you are seeking for custodial rights of the Child pending the determination of your application for Personal Protection Order;
  4. Risk of your spouse removing the Child from Singapore;
  5. You might have been chased out of the matrimonial home and the child(ren) remains in the home with your spouse;
  6. You have been restricted by your spouse to visit child(ren);
  7. You have difficulty in accessing to the child(ren);
  8. Your spouse refused to release the child(ren) to you;
  9. Your spouse’s family members who lives with the child(ren) accuses you of trespassing and threatens that you are not allowed to come to their homes;
  10. Your spouse calls the police each and every time you fetch the child(ren);
  11. Your spouse claims that you have committed violence or sexually abusing to the child(ren) etc

A temporary order to ensure that the child(ren)’s rights to access to their parents is thus essential.

The laws governing ICCC

The primary guiding principle for ICCC is the welfare of the Child. Generally, the “welfare of the Child” refers to the overall welfare of the Child, not simply providing monetary or physical comforts.

Welfare includes all aspects of his upbringing including like:

  1. Daily care;
  2. Child’s education;
  3. Health;
  4. Morality;
  5. Religion;
  6. Emotions;

Rights to have access to both parents etc.

Advantages of an ICCC Order

An ICCC Order may become very useful for the ousted parent to continue his role as a parent in the child’s life and prevent any permanence of his/her absence. This also prevents your spouse from alleging that you have no interests in contacting the children and that you are an irresponsible parent.

If you are the parent who wishes to keep the children with you during the breakdown of the marriage or during the divorce proceedings, you may wish to apply for an ICCC order to prevent your spouse from disrupting your child’s life by “snatching” the child away. If you are the parent who has the Child in your care, you have a very strong argument for continuing the status quo in the divorce as the Courts tends to prefer stability and continuity for the Child.

With an order in hand, your spouse may not be able to “snatch” the child away. When you call for police’s help, the police may rely on the Order for ICCC to see who the children should follow.

Limitations of an ICCC Order

Nevertheless, there may be exceptional cases where an ICCC Order may not be immediately effective in compelling the other parent to obey, for instance when the other Party continues to ignore the Order. It may then be necessary for you to take stronger and more punitive actions against your spouse, such as by applying for contempt of Court for the defaulting party’s refusal to comply with the Court Order, which attracts fine or jail term for that spouse.

If you are concerned about the care of your children, do take advice before making any final decisions. We offer a free initial chat with a lawyer so that you can get all the facts about the legal issues.

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