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TAU v TAT [2018] SGHCF 11

Outcome: Orders varied


1 The Father appealed against the decision of the Family Court not making an order for shared care and control of the child.

Court’s Decision:

2 The Family Division of the High Court varied some of the orders of the Family Court but affirmed its decision not to order shared care and control.

3 “Custody” pertains to decision-making over the major aspects of a child’s life, such as the child’s education and major healthcare issues. “Care and control” relates to which parent the child should live with primarily, with that parent as the daily caregiver. Consequently, that parent is generally responsible for making day-to-day decisions for the child, such as how the child is to dress or what the child is to eat. In most cases, the child will also spend regular periods of time with the other parent through an arrangement known as “access”: at [8] and [9].

4 In making orders for custody, care and control, and access, the court’s focus is on the child’s welfare, which is the paramount consideration in all proceedings directly affecting the interests of a child: at [10].

5 In appropriate cases, the court may grant both parents shared care and control. Each parent will be responsible for day-to-day decision-making for the child when the child is living with him or her. The child will effectively have two homes and two primary caregivers in this arrangement: at [11].

6 There is neither any legal principle against shared care and control, nor a legal presumption that this arrangement is always in a child’s welfare. Where such an arrangement is in a child’s welfare, the court will have to consider factors such as that particular child’s needs at that stage of life, considering his or her relationship with each parent, the extent to which the parents are able to co-operate within such an arrangement, and whether it is easy for that child, bearing in mind his or her age and personality, to live in two homes within one week: at [12] and [20].

The full text of the decision can be found here.

This summary is provided to assist the public to have a better understanding of the Court’s judgment. It is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the Court. All numbers in bold font and square brackets refer to the corresponding paragraph numbers in the Court’s judgment.

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