Child Maintenance Issues Explained
Matrimonial law in Singapore is governed by the Women’s Charter (“WC’). If you have questions on interim child maintenance or child maintenance after the divorce, as you Singapore divorce lawyer for further clarification.
Who is Responsible for Child Maintenance?
Under Section 68 of the WC, it is the duty of parents to maintain their children, whether or not they are in his or her custody. Under Section 46(1) of the WC, both mother and father are equally responsible in caring and providing for the children. Therefore, under family law in Singapore, both parents are responsible for child maintenance.
Child Maintenance includes paying for the costs of the child’s accommodation, clothing, food and education.
How does the Court rule on Child Maintenance Orders?
When ruling on a Child Maintenance Order, the court will consider all the circumstances of the case. The main factors that the court will consider are:
a) the financial needs of the child; and
b) the ability of the parent who is being sued for maintenance to meet these needs.
Other factors that the court will take into consideration are listed in Section 69(4) of the WC include:
– whether the child has any mental or physical disability
– the manner in which the child was being (and expected to be) raised and educated
What if Child Maintenance Costs Increase years down the track?
In family law in Singapore, it is trite law that a Child Maintenance Order will cease once the child turns 21 years old, unless there has been an order made under Section 69(5) of the WC to allow the child to continue receiving maintenance from the parent despite having reached adulthood.
As the child grows up, the costs of his clothing, food and education will increase. Thus Section 72 of the WC allows for the application for a variation of the Child Maintenance Order.
The court may vary an existing Child Maintenance Order if there is a change in circumstances and the person applying for the variation of the Child Maintenance Order shows proof of that. The court may also consider the changes in the general cost of living when varying a Child Maintenance Order.
If you need legal advice on Child Maintenance Order or are seeking to vary an existing one, Gloria James-Civetta & Co has a dedicated team of lawyers that can help you.
Gloria James-Civetta & Co (“GJC Law”), is an established Law Firm, with one of largest matrimonial law departments in Singapore.
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