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UDG v UDF [2019] SGCA 24

Outcome: Appeal allowed in part


1 The Husband appealed against the decision of the High Court judge on 3 main grounds, one of which was in relation to overnight and overseas access to the only child of the marriage. 

Court’s Decision:

2 The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal in relation to access and permitted both overnight as well as overseas access subject to the child’s agreement on timing and conditions, if any: at [11]. 

3 The guiding principle is that the court must have regard to the welfare and the interests of the child, and much will depend upon the precise facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, one important aspect relating to the best interests of the child of the marriage is that she be permitted the widest possible latitude to bond with both of her parents. There is also nothing in the evidence that shows that it would be detrimental for the child to spend more time with the Appellant and/or that, on the whole, the child does not wish to spend more time with the Appellant: at [8].

4 The court was of the view that there was nothing unusual about the Appellant’s and his current relationship with his child may well be the product of a vicious cycle in which he has been deprived of the opportunity to bond with her. Their relationship would die if that vicious cycle was not turned into a virtuous one: at [8].

5 The court also noted that the child was 16 years old and was capable of expressing her wishes and deciding for herself: at [9] and [11]

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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