FAQs : Child Maintenance in Singapore
Child maintenance is one of the many aspects that couples who are going through a divorce has to consider. It is also the time when you would start to wonder how the divorce is going to affect your child’s daily activities and how you are going to provide for the child.
We shall now look at some of the questions we are asked by families on a regular basis.
- Who is Responsible to Pay for Child Maintenance?
- If you are not the Biological Parent of the Child, are you still Responsible to Pay for Child Maintenance?
- When can you Apply for Child Maintenance?
- What Documents do you Need to Apply for Child Maintenance?
- What are the Factors the Court Consider when deciding whether to Order Child Maintenance?
- How do you Determine what is a Reasonable Quantum for Child Maintenance?
- What Maintenance Orders can the Court Made?
- Can you withhold Paying Child Maintenance if the other Parent has not been Allowing you to see the Child?
- How can we help you?
Who is Responsible to Pay for Child Maintenance?
In Singapore, both parents have the legal duty to maintain their Child until the Child attains the age of 21. This does not change if the parents are divorced or if one parent has care and control of the Child.
However, a Child above the age of 21 may seek maintenance from you if he or she meets any of the following requirements:
- Your Child suffers from a mental or physical disability;
- Your Child is or will be serving full time national service;
- Your Child is or will be enrolling in tertiary education, whether or not while in gainful employment; or
- Any other special circumstances which justify the need for the Court to make the order.
If you are not the Biological Parent of the Child, are you still Responsible to Pay for Child Maintenance?
If you are not the biological parent of the Child but have accepted the Child into the family, then you are legally obligated to provide for the Child. However, this duty ceases when the Child is taken away by his father or mother.
When can you Apply for Child Maintenance?
You can apply for child maintenance before or during the divorce proceedings.
What Documents do you Need to Apply for Child Maintenance?
You are required to provide the following documents:
- A list of your and your child’s monthly expenses
- Receipts and documents to justify the monthly expenses
- Proof of your employment
- Your CPF statements and payslips for the past 6 months
- Your IRAS statement for the past 3 years
- Documents evidencing any debts
What are the Factors the Court Consider when deciding whether to Order Child Maintenance?
When ordering maintenance for a Child, the Court will consider all of the circumstances as set out at section 69(4) of the Women’s Charter as follows:
- The financial needs of your child
- The earning capacity of your child
- Whether your child has a mental or physical disability
- The ages of your spouse and yourself
- The contributions made by each party to the marriage
- The standard of living your child enjoyed before the parent neglected or refused to provide reasonable maintenance
- The manner in which you expect your child to be trained or educated
- Any conduct that you and your spouse want the Court to disregard
How do you Determine what is a Reasonable Quantum for Child Maintenance?
There is no fixed formula to determine the quantum for maintenance. Generally, the quantum should cover your child’s basic living expenses including but not limited to food, transport, utilities, medical and education.
What Maintenance Orders can the Court Made?
If there is neglect by one parent to provide maintenance, the Court may order one party to pay maintenance for the child. Some of the common maintenance orders, which the Court can made are as follows:
- Monthly allowance;
- Repayment of specific expenses that are being paid by one party; or
- Direct payment of expenses to a service provider.
Can you withhold Paying Child Maintenance if the other Parent has not been Allowing you to see the Child?
How can we help you?
The process of child maintenance can be difficult, especially for a lay person who is not experience in this aspect. Hence, we are here to guide you through this journey and most importantly, help protect your child’s interests. Please do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced divorce lawyers if you require further clarification.