Article More support for divorcing couples, more power for judges as Government accepts review recommendations

voltra

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Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singap...ower-for-judges-to-come-as-government-accepts

PUBLISHED
FEB 24, 2020, 6:03 PM SGT
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Goh Yan Han


SINGAPORE - Couples going through a divorce will receive more support and judges will get more power to prevent conflicts from dragging on.

The Government said on Monday (Feb 24) that it has accepted the wide-ranging recommendations by the Committee to Review and Enhance Reforms in the Family Justice System that were put forward in September last year.

The committee, formed in 2017, had come up with suggestions to help strengthen the existing family justice system, reduce acrimonious disputes and achieve more positive family outcomes.

These include giving judges more power to prevent conflicts from dragging on and inflicting more hurt to the children involved, such as by weeding out applications that have no merit, as well as beefing up the enforcement regime for child access orders through ways such as ordering a parent to place a security bond.

The committee is proposing more tools, such as getting a parent to compensate the other in terms of make-up access time or to put up a performance bond. If the parent defaults on providing access, the bond may be forfeited or a fine can be imposed.

The Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Social and Family Development said in a joint statement on Monday that there had been wide support for many of the recommendations during a six-week-long public consultation from September to November last year.


Feedback was collected from members of the public and stakeholders in the legal and social service sectors such as the Law Society, Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura and Association of Women for Action and Research.


The ministries said they will work with the Family Justice Courts, Divorce Support Specialist Agencies and other legal and social service sector partners to look into implementing the recommendations.

The recommendations and the subsequent acceptance by the ministries come in the face of more marital break-ups occurring.

Earlier statistics showed that by the 10th year of marriage, 17 per cent of those who married in 2005 had had their marriages dissolved, up from 12.2 per cent for those wed in 1995.


One recommendation by the committee was to strengthen support for couples before the divorce by setting up an online portal that gives couples information on housing and finance matters, so they are better prepared for the future when they go their separate ways.

A number of respondents to the public consultation said it was important for divorce support professionals to have financial counselling skills to help divorcing couples plan post-divorce finances, said the ministries.

Other recommendations for improved support include enhancing the existing Mandatory Parenting Programme, and also the counselling and mediation that couples get even before they decide to start divorce proceedings to help address their emotional needs and reduce acrimony from the outset.

A concern among respondents about the recommendations to promote compliance of child access orders - a common bugbear among couples - was that if a parent did not comply, the courts should order imprisonment or a fine with discretion and caution, and consider extenuating circumstances that delay a parent from handing over a child.

The Law Ministry said in response that it understood the need to consider exceptional circumstances and would consider the concerns in implementing the recommendations.

Outside of the committee's recommendations, some respondents suggested simplifying the maintenance enforcement process and for the Government to be more actively involved by setting up a maintenance collection or monitoring agency.

Both ministries said such an agency would not necessarily reduce non-payment of maintenance, but they would study how to improve the process through other methods.

Those interested in the full summary of the feedback can head to the website of either ministry.
 

KenaWC

Member
Thanks bro for the update.
For me in accessing my children is pain in the a*s. My kids will auto reject to meet me with all sorts of excuse. Tuition ah, CCA ah, tired ah, need do homework ah.. its on auto mode that they will reply in text this way. The mother in the group chat just ignore. My kids have already indirectly brain washed by her and they just responded autonomously with excuses.

During the interim judgement, She acted graciously infront of the judge saying she willing to have access for me to the kids anytime.

If i were to go thru my lawyer, she can say it's them who reject seeing me and she has nothing to do with it. She just play ignorant.

Any advice for me? Can i take legal action against her? I have the group chat msg as proof.
 
Thanks bro for the update.
For me in accessing my children is pain in the a*s. My kids will auto reject to meet me with all sorts of excuse. Tuition ah, CCA ah, tired ah, need do homework ah.. its on auto mode that they will reply in text this way. The mother in the group chat just ignore. My kids have already indirectly brain washed by her and they just responded autonomously with excuses.

During the interim judgement, She acted graciously infront of the judge saying she willing to have access for me to the kids anytime.

If i were to go thru my lawyer, she can say it's them who reject seeing me and she has nothing to do with it. She just play ignorant.

Any advice for me? Can i take legal action against her? I have the group chat msg as proof.
I also have this problem.
 

voltra

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks bro for the update.
For me in accessing my children is pain in the a*s. My kids will auto reject to meet me with all sorts of excuse. Tuition ah, CCA ah, tired ah, need do homework ah.. its on auto mode that they will reply in text this way. The mother in the group chat just ignore. My kids have already indirectly brain washed by her and they just responded autonomously with excuses.

During the interim judgement, She acted graciously infront of the judge saying she willing to have access for me to the kids anytime.

If i were to go thru my lawyer, she can say it's them who reject seeing me and she has nothing to do with it. She just play ignorant.

Any advice for me? Can i take legal action against her? I have the group chat msg as proof.
How old are your kids?

From a 3rd party point of view, if its coming from the kids who don't want to meet you, seems hard to call for any legal action against the mum. Unless maybe you can prove that the mum has been manipulating the whole thing?

I'm no legal expert. But if I were in this situation I'd talk to a lawyer and see what possible options are available with this new support initiative above. The family courts' priorities has always been the children's wellbeing and that the parents have access to the kids. So I'm actually quite certain that something can be done, just specifically what I'm not sure.

Please update us though, what your findings are, coz I think alot of us may face this same issue
 

KenaWC

Member
How old are your kids?

From a 3rd party point of view, if its coming from the kids who don't want to meet you, seems hard to call for any legal action against the mum. Unless maybe you can prove that the mum has been manipulating the whole thing?

I'm no legal expert. But if I were in this situation I'd talk to a lawyer and see what possible options are available with this new support initiative above. The family courts' priorities has always been the children's wellbeing and that the parents have access to the kids. So I'm actually quite certain that something can be done, just specifically what I'm not sure.

Please update us though, what your findings are, coz I think alot of us may face this same issue
Thanks for the reply. 13 and 9. I'm being rejected 3 time in a row, once every week. The term is there will be make up date If cancelled due to who ever party can't make it. We have a group chat. Mum just keep mum and i do not know if the mum type on our son phone or not. But she just quiet and let meet up pass! I going to type private to mum there's make up dates . The more dates son is pushing, then it will be make up. Else i goto my lawyer. I hope more support by gov on such issue , esp such idiotic mum.
 
Tell me more. How u tackle?
She just use the kid as a shield..."The kid dont want...I cannot force...*angelic face*"

You dont have care and control.....U dont get to spend enough time with your kid(s) as you have liked to.....even if U manage to get your kid to tell u that they are being manipulated....they can flip story at any time.....

I dont have a solution for you.....from what I see....tackling this is to go back to court.....but the flip story part is very much the danger.....Kids are smart...they know they stay with the mother....what the mother says they will follow.....

This is the part that is holding me back from dragging the mother back to court.....apart from the lawyer fees of course.
 
Thanks for the reply. 13 and 9. I'm being rejected 3 time in a row, once every week. The term is there will be make up date If cancelled due to who ever party can't make it. We have a group chat. Mum just keep mum and i do not know if the mum type on our son phone or not. But she just quiet and let meet up pass! I going to type private to mum there's make up dates . The more dates son is pushing, then it will be make up. Else i goto my lawyer. I hope more support by gov on such issue , esp such idiotic mum.
U wait for gov U can forget about it.
If they are willing to make things fair....WC wouldnt even be around.

Update us on what your lawyer says bah.....
 
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