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Getting Full Custody of Children in a Contested Divorce – A Male`s Perspective

In a contested divorce in Singapore, the Courts will only consider granting sole custody of the children if you can show that your wife has been an unfit mother to the children.

Examples of such situations are:
  1. Your wife has a history of abusing the children and the children should not be left alone in her care;
  2. Your wife is unstable and unable to take care of the children on her own;
  3. Your wife has repeatedly shown that she is not interested in taking care of the children and their well-being;
  4. It is impossible to obtain your wife’s co-operation and consent in any child-related issues (i.e. school, medical issues etc) and this is affecting the children’s development or well-being;
Ultimately, the Court needs to be convinced that the welfare and well-being of your children would be more stable and consistent if you had sole custody of them. It would be best if you had a list of such incidents and any supporting documents of the events occurring (pictures, emails, text messages etc). These documents are presented to court with the assistance of your divorce lawyer.

For care and control of the children (i.e. to be the parent in charge of their day to day needs), you will need to show that you have always been the parent taking care of them of their daily needs and necessities, been involved in their school work and activities and their development etc.
You will also need to show that, after the divorce, you will be the parent who is better able and better equipped to continue looking after them daily as you have more flexible working hours or your work is less demanding etc when compared to your wife’s working schedule or ability to care for the children.


If the relationship has “irretrievably broken down” but i would still prefer get a uncontested divorce (expedited divorce proceedings) What are my options?

Please refer to the checklist for the uncontested expedited divorce process. This process is only applicable if both of you agree on all the terms of the divorce (i.e. the grounds for divorce, division of matrimonial assets, custody care and control of children, maintenance for wife and children).

If i were to file for a divorce based on adultery, how would it affect the outcome of the custody of the children?

The court will look at the welfare of the children as paramount importance when granting custody. The grounds of divorce does not have an impact on the children's issues. Unless you are able to show that your wife has been an unfit mother / history of abuse / the children would have a better and stable life if sole custody was awarded to you, then the courts would normally grant joint custody of children to both parents to encourage co-parenting of the children. How much evidence do i need to prove the case? You will need concrete proof of the act of adultery or the intention to commit such adultery (e.g. a Private Investigator's report / photographs / exchanges of text messages etc). If you face difficulty obtaining such proof, we would suggest filing for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour on your wife's part instead since the threshold to prove this is lower.

Is there an estimation on how much the divorce will cost?

For uncontested expedited divorce proceedings where all the terms are agreed on, our costs would be S$2,500 nett (see inclusions). We will liase with you over email to prepare the divorce documents. You and your wife only need to attend at our office to execute the divorce documents for filing with the courts.

If your matter is contested, then our lawyers' hourly rates (range from S$350.00 for junior lawyers to S$650.00 for senior lawyers) and capped fee packages will apply. In this case, we can arrange for you to meet with one of our lawyers for a free 20 minute consultation with one of our family lawyers to discuss further.

Please let us know if you have any further queries, one of our dedicated divorce lawyers will be more than glad to assist you further. You can phone us on 63370469 or email us at consult@gjclaw.com.sg

This Blog is Written By Siti Narul from GJC LAW

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