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Singapore Divorce Lawyer - Lam & Co Blog

For most people, divorce is a rare and scary thing. You simply do not have any previous experience with it and there are many horror stories you have heard from your friends. Lam & Co.'s expert divorce lawyers are focused on sharing information with you to assist you as much as possible in making painless and correct decisions.

How the court allocates the parental responsibilities over children in a divorce and how to find a suitable advocate for divorce case

In a divorce, the allocation of parental responsibilities over the children is a crucial part of the case.

To maximize the chances of getting a favourable outcome, you should find a suitable advocate for divorce case to assist you as early as you can.

Parental responsibilities

The court divides parent responsibilities into 3 main parts:

(a) Care and control

(b) Access

(c) Custody

Care and control

By care and control, the court generally refers to the right to take care of a child and to make day-to-day, short-term decisions concerning the children's upbringing and welfare such as what the children will eat today, what they will wear today, where they will sleep today, etc.

Therefore, the court intends the child to live with one party, then, the court will order that party to have care and control over the child.


Usually, if one party gets care and control over the children, the other party gets reasonable access.

Reasonable access can be left to the parties to decide (based on mutually agreeable timing, terms and conditions, etc.).Alternatively, the court can expressly order that the other party can have access to the child from what time to that time, from which day to which day, etc.

Usually, the access is unsupervised (meaning that the other party can bring the child away from the home for outings, etc.).The access may (or may not) be for overnight access (meaning the other party can keep the children overnight.


Custody deals with long term decisions such as decisions regarding the child's religion, education, name (including surname), major medical decisions, etc.

How the court allocates parental responsibilities

The court is required by the Women's Charter to treat the children's welfare as the paramount consideration (i.e., treat the children's best interests as the most important factor.)Often, the court places significant weight on ensuring a stable household for the children.

The court will also take into account legal precedents (i.e., previous court decisions in other cases).

Legal precedents

(a)Soon Peck Wah v Woon Che Chye [1997] 3 SLR(R) 430, para. 45.

(b)ZO v ZP [2011] 3 SLR 647, holding 2.

(c)CX v CY [2005] 3 SLR(R) 690, holdings 3 and 4, para. 38.

(d)ACU v ACR [2011] 1 SLR 1235, paras. 40 and 41.

How the court allocates parental responsibilities in light of legal precedents

Even if both parents are equally capable of taking care of the child, the court will lean in favour of the mother being given custody of young infants. An infant of tender age is by nature more physically and spiritually dependent on its own mother than anyone else.

Joint custody is the norm and is very much in the welfare of the child.Sole custody is only justified in exceptional situations or circumstances.

The idea behind joint or no custody orders is to ensure that neither parent has a better right over the child and that both have a responsibility to bring the child up in the best way possible. Similarly, the child has a right to the guidance of both his parents.

The court may make a "joint custody order" to remind one party that the other party had an equal say in more significant matters concerning the child's upbringing, and that the one party should be more co-operative with the other party.

Finding a suitable advocate for divorce case

To find a suitable advocate for divorce case, call 6535 1800 now for a No Obligation discussion.

The above is not legal advice and should not be taken as such.

Lam & Co. (Advocates & Solicitors): An International and Singapore divorce law firm.

We can help by addressing your questions and speaking about how to move forward.

For a no obligation discussion, call +65 6535 1800, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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