Chapter 5WELFARE OF CHILDREN
Meaning of “child”
122.  In this Chapter, wherever the context so requires, “child” means a child of the marriage as defined in section 92 but who is below the age of 21 years.
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Arrangements for welfare of children
123.—(1)  Subject to this section, the court shall not make final any judgment of divorce or nullity of marriage or grant a judgment of judicial separation unless the court is satisfied as respects every child —
(a)that arrangements have been made for the welfare of the child and that those arrangements are satisfactory or are the best that can be devised in the circumstances; or
(b)that it is impracticable for the party or parties appearing before the court to make any such arrangements.
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(2)  The court may, if it thinks fit, proceed without observing the requirements of subsection (1) if —
(a)it appears that there are circumstances making it desirable that the interim judgment be made final or, as the case may be, that the judgment of judicial separation should be granted without delay; and
(b)the court has obtained a satisfactory undertaking from either or both of the parties to bring the question of the arrangements for the child before the court within a specified time.
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(3)  In this section and section 124, “welfare”, in relation to a child, includes the custody and education of the child and financial provision for him.
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Orders on welfare of children
124.  In any proceedings for divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage, the court may, at any stage of the proceedings, or after a final judgment has been granted, make such orders as it thinks fit with respect to the welfare of any child and may vary or discharge the said orders, and may, if it thinks fit, direct that proceedings be commenced for placing the child under the protection of the court.
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[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Paramount consideration to be welfare of child
125.—(1)  The court may at any time by order place a child in the custody, or in the care and control, of the child’s father or mother or (where there are exceptional circumstances making it undesirable that the child be entrusted to either parent) of any other relative of the child or of any organisation or association the objects of which include child welfare, or of any other suitable person.
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(2)  In deciding in whose custody, or in whose care and control, a child should be placed, the paramount consideration shall be the welfare of the child and subject to this, the court shall have regard —
(a)to the wishes of the parents of the child; and
(b)to the wishes of the child, where he or she is of an age to express an independent opinion.
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Orders subject to conditions
126.—(1)  An order for custody may be made subject to such conditions as the court may think fit to impose and, subject to such conditions, if any, as may from time to time apply, shall entitle the person given custody to decide all questions relating to the upbringing and education of the child.
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(2)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), an order for custody may —
(a)contain conditions as to the place where the child is to reside, as to the manner of his or her education and as to the religion in which he or she is to be brought up;
(b)provide for the child to be temporarily in the care and control of some person other than the person given custody;
(c)provide for the child to visit a parent deprived of custody, or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or has been deprived of custody, at such times and for such periods as the court may consider reasonable;
(d)give a parent deprived of custody or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or has been deprived of custody the right of access to the child at such times and with such frequency as the court may consider reasonable; or
(e)prohibit the person given custody from taking the child out of Singapore.
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(2A)  An order for the care and control of a child may be made subject to such conditions as the court may think fit to impose.
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(2B)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2A), an order for the care and control of a child may —
(a)contain conditions as to the place where the child is to reside;
(b)provide for the child to visit a parent who does not have custody or care and control of the child, or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or does not have custody or care and control of the child, at such times and for such periods as the court may consider reasonable;
(c)give a parent who does not have custody or care and control of the child, or any member of the family of a parent who is dead or does not have custody or care and control of the child, the right of access to the child at such times and with such frequency as the court may consider reasonable; or
(d)prohibit the person given care and control of the child from taking the child out of Singapore.
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(3)  Despite subsections (1) and (2A), where an order for custody, or an order for care and control, is in force, a person must not take the child who is the subject of the order out of Singapore, except with the written consent of both parents or the leave of the court.
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(4)  Subsection (3) does not prevent the taking out of Singapore for a period of less than one month of the child by the person given custody, or care and control, of the child or by any other person who has the written consent of the person given custody, or care and control, of the child to take the child out of Singapore.
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(5)  Any person who contravenes subsection (3) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
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Power of court to order maintenance for children
127.—(1)  During the pendency of any matrimonial proceedings or when granting or at any time subsequent to the grant of a judgment of divorce, judicial separation or nullity of marriage, the court may order a parent to pay maintenance for the benefit of his child in such manner as the court thinks fit.
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(2)  The provisions of Parts VIII and IX shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to an application for maintenance and a maintenance order made under subsection (1).
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Power of court to vary order for custody, etc.
128.  The court may at any time vary or rescind any order for the custody, or the care and control, of a child on the application of any interested person, where it is satisfied that the order was based on any misrepresentation or mistake of fact or where there has been any material change in the circumstances.
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[Act 7 of 2016 wef 01/07/2016]
Power of court to vary agreement for custody, etc.
129.  The court may, at any time and from time to time, vary the terms of any agreement relating to the custody, or the care and control, of a child, regardless when the agreement was made, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in that agreement, where it is satisfied that it is reasonable and for the welfare of the child to do so.
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Court to have regard to advice of welfare officers, etc.
130.  When considering any question relating to the custody, or the care and control, of any child, the court shall, whenever it is practicable, have regard to the advice of a person, whether or not a public officer, who is trained or experienced in child welfare but shall not be bound to follow such advice.
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Power of court to restrain taking of child out of Singapore
131.—(1)  The court may, on the application of the father or mother of a child —
(a)where any matrimonial proceedings are pending; or
(b)where, under any agreement or order of court, one parent has custody, or care and control, of the child to the exclusion of the other,
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issue an injunction restraining the other parent from taking the child out of Singapore or may give leave for such child to be taken out of Singapore either unconditionally or subject to such conditions or such undertaking as the court may think fit.
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(2)  The court may, on the application of any interested person, issue an injunction restraining any person, other than a person having custody, or care and control, of a child, from taking the child out of Singapore.
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(3)  [Deleted by Act 19 of 2016 wef 01/10/2017]
Power of court to set aside and prevent dispositions intended to defeat claims to maintenance
132.—(1)  Where —
(a)any matrimonial proceedings are pending;
(b)an order has been made under section 112 and has not been complied with;
(c)an order for maintenance has been made under section 113 or 127 and has not been rescinded;
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(d)maintenance is payable under any agreement to or for the benefit of a wife or former wife, an incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband, or a child; or
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(e)an order has been made under section 121E or 121G and has not been rescinded or complied with,
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the court shall have power on application —
(i)to set aside any disposition of property, if it is satisfied that the disposition of property has been made within the preceding 3 years, with the object on the part of the person making the disposition of —
(A)reducing that person’s means to pay maintenance; or
(B)depriving that person’s wife, former wife, incapacitated husband or incapacitated former husband of any rights in relation to that property; and
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(ii)if it is satisfied that any disposition of property is intended to be made with any such object, to grant an injunction preventing that disposition.
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(2)  In this section —
“disposition” includes a sale, gift, lease, mortgage or any other transaction whereby ownership or possession of the property is transferred or encumbered but does not include a disposition made for money or money’s worth to or in favour of a person acting in good faith and in ignorance of the object with which the disposition is made;
“property” means property of any nature, movable or immovable, and includes money.
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