Care and Control – Father or Mother
In granting care and control to one parent, factors that a court may take into consideration include the gender of the parent, continuity of living arrangements for the child and the lifestyle of each parent.
Gender of the Parent
Although the laws have evolved towards achieving sex-neutrality, there is nevertheless an inherent difference between the interaction of the child with the father and the mother. While the courts in Soon Peck Wah v Woon Che Chye  3 SLR(R) 430 identified the indestructible and incomparable bond of the natural mother to an infant, care and control may nevertheless be granted to the father, especially in circumstances where things are not equal between the parents.
For instance, care and control may be granted to the father if the mother is too preoccupied with her career and as such has no sufficient time to care for the child (Shoba d/o Gunasekaran v A Rajandran  SGDC 54), or in the event the paternal grandparent or any third party supporting the father, has taken a key role in caring for the child (EO v EP  SGDC 18).
Click here for more information on child custody for fathers in a divorce proceeding.
Continuity of Living Arrangements
Courts also consider the living arrangements prior to the breakdown of marriage. Courts are less inclined to grant care and control to a parent that would result in an alternation of the child current living arrangements. The objective is to minimize the impact on the child.
Lifestyle of the Parent
Other factors include any gambling habits of the parent, whether the parent is suffering from any depression, the amount of available time that a working parent has for the child and whether the parent has a strong interest in the child’s wellbeing and education.
Section 125(2) of the Women’s Charter also provides that the court shall have regards not only to the wishes of the parents, but also the child, provided that the child is of an age capable of expressing an independent opinion.
Nevertheless, the above considerations are inconclusive and each case would be assessed in its entirety. You may wish to contact one of our lawyers to advice you on your position in relation to the care and control of your child.