Women’s Charter Amendments 2011
The Women’s Charter governs the law of marriage and divorce, and recent amendments have attempted to make these processes more convenient and efficient. These measures include the following:
Stronger protection measures for maintenance orders
An amendment to Section 71 of the Women’s Charter allows the courts to use a banker’s guarantee, in the event of one party in the divorce defaulting on maintenance payments. These debts can also be reported to relevant credit bureau by the complainant.
In the amendment to Section 85, the courts are also empowered to direct the Central Provident Fund Board (CPF) to disclose information on the defaulter, including:
- The name and address of the defendant’s employer or employers or, if the defendant is unemployed, the defendant’s last known employer or employers in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the order;
- The contributions, if any, made by the defendant or his employer to the defendant’s Central Provident Fund account in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the order
Part X of the Charter is to have a new Chapter 4A, which allows for overseas divorcees to apply for financial aid after the divorce, so long as the divorce is recognizable within Singaporean law.
Child Development Accounts
The Children Development Co-Savings Act (Cap. 38A) is amended to recognize more children whose interests may be safeguarded by the court. The court may make an order for their parents’ marital assets to be transferred into a bank account called the ‘Child Development Account’, for the financial provision of the child.
Section 50 amendments give the court power to impose a mandatory mediation and counseling session, on divorcing couples with children.