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You look at your bank statement, and you wished it was a few digits longer. You feel at an all-time low because you cant to give your children the life you wished you had and wished for them. If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to support your children after a divorce, this article may be able to offer you some insight.
In Singapore, even if you divorce your spouse, you still need to support your child (whether adopted or not). You can’t avoid this responsibility by disowning your child, either. The Singapore Courts are of the view that the child’s needs are paramount, and parents (whether biological or not) have to help their children.
According to the Women’s Charter, Section 68, children are entitled to financial support from their parents. The law states, “It shall be the duty of a parent to maintain or contribute to the maintenance of his or her children….” The parent is to fulfil his or her duties regardless of whether the child is living with the parent or another person.
It is important to note that the parent is also to fulfil his or her duties regardless of whether the child is legitimate or illegitimate. The forms of financial support include clothing, food, education, medical needs and any other accommodations. Additionally, a non-parent may also become responsible for the maintenance of a dependent child if he or she accepts the child into the family. However, the non-parent will no longer have to care and provide for the child if the child’s birth mother or father comes knocking asking to bring the child home with them. At that point, the non-parent may receive get reimbursement in the form of debt by the birth parents for the expenses of the child.
A child can file for maintenance if he or she is unable to independently manage him or herself or in the case that his or her parent has neglected or refused to provide reasonable care. Then the Court may order that parent to pay a monthly allowance or a lump sum for the maintenance of the child.
The amount of payable maintenance depends on a range of factors. The Court will settle on the amount of maintenance after considering the following factors:
The order for child maintenance will end when the child reaches 21 years old unless the child still needs financial support due to the following reasons:
Once the Court mandates the order, changing it won’t be easy. It can only be modified under certain circumstances. The parent may apply for the maintenance amount to be decreased if there are material changes in his current situation that disable him from paying the same amount of maintenance (e.g. if the paying parent goes to jail or falls ill and is unable to earn enough money to support the child).
The Court may take into account any change in the general cost of living which may have occurred between the date of the making of the order sought to be changed and the date of the hearing of the application.
The parent who pays child maintenance usually forwards the payment to the parent who has custody and care or control of the child. Furthermore, if the Court finds reasons to further enforce the order, it may order the paying parent to secure it by putting any of his or her property in the trustees. Both parties should keep records of financial expenses to keep each other accountable.
If the parent fails to make one or more payments as stated in the order, the Court can do one or all of these things:
Child maintenance in Singapore is something that should not be taken lightly. At Lions Chambers LLC, we understand that the needs of the child are very important, and it needs to balance with the needs of the parent at times.
Lions Chambers LLC is an established law firm in Singapore. Our team of lawyers specialise in various areas of law and will be able to assist you. Our consultations are free. Please call +65 8777 3677 or click wa.link/1fuh5d to WhatsApp us today.