When a married couple files for divorce or separate, the issues of custody, care and control will be inevitable, especially if it affects children below the age of 21.

What is custody?

By definition, custody refers to the authority that one or both parents get in order to make long-term decisions for the welfare of their children. These include the general upbringing of the child; health matters; education and even the religion of the child.

The three main types of custody orders are:

Sole Custody: Only one parent is given exclusive authority to make major decisions for the child. This also includes sole care and control as well. In this case, the parent will take full responsibility of the child.

This order is not commonly meted out mainly because parental responsibility is supposed to be a lifelong partnership between the parents, regardless their marriage status. The exceptions to this view include situations where parents are deemed to be unfit to care for a child. This includes drug addicts, compulsive gamblers and those who are physically abusive.

Joint Custody: Joint custody reinforces the parental responsibility of both parents over their children, and also serves as a clear reminder that they are expected by law, to cooperate and promote the best interests of the child and his/her well-being.

No Order as to Custody: In cases where current arrangements between the parents in relation to the child bear little risk of serious dispute, and if the parents are shown to be civil enough to work together, then the court can grant ‘no order as to custody’ which means it will not intervene in the parent-child relationship.

Care and Control

The child will live with the parent who has care and control. This refers to the short-term, day-to-day care of the child. The parent gets to decide on the child’s daily schedule and transport arrangements. In the situation where parents get shared care and control, each parent will take turns to be the child’s daily caregiver and the child’s time will be equally spent between both parents.

For more information on the different types of custody, as well as the finer details of care and control, feel free to contact us to speak to our team of lawyers led by Amarjit Singh Sidhu.

Amarjit has vast experience in Singapore’s laws and has defended numerous clients, including some highly-publicised criminal cases. He is also well-versed in family law, having guided clients over the years with his deep knowledge, as well as his compassionate approach, and supported by a strong team of lawyers.

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