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AY 2014-2015 Lect 12 Family-Youth
Transcript of AY 2014-2015 Lect 12 Family-Youth
1. The divorce
The formal ending of the legal relationship between the husband and the wife based on one or more of the categorised facts.
Child maintenance - Factors to consider
International Child Abduction Act
International treaties are not binding on the citizens of an independent state.
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
A court may award custody of a child to –
One parent, or both parents
An organisation, or
Any other suitable person
a. custody & access
Divorce: 2 stage process
Sources of Family Law
namely, the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
The divorce process
Personal Protection Order
How a marriage is legally ended.
The reorganisation of the family and its finances after the end of the marriage.
The International Child Abduction Act
sentencing options for Youth offenders
International Child Abduction Act
Administration of Muslim Law Act
Guardianship of Infants Act
Application for divorce
at least 3 years of marriage
2. Unreasonable behaviour
4. Living apart for 3 years + consent
5. Living apart for 4 years
Custody, access, maintenance
File in the Family Court several documents, including
Proposed Parenting Plan
Proposed Matrimonial Property Plan
Ground for Divorce
The defendant has committed adultery and the plaintiff finds it intolerable to live with the defendant.
The defendant has behaved in such a way that the plaintiff cannot reasonably be expected to live with the defendant.
The defendant has deserted the plaintiff for a continuous period of at least 2 years before the filing of the writ.
The parties have been living apart for 3 years and the defendant consents to the divorce.
The parties have been living apart for 4 years.
No consent requied.
1. The divorce
2. Ancillary matters:
division of matrimonial assets.
The divorce hearing may be contested or uncontested.
In making a custody order -
“paramount consideration”, the welfare of the child.
Subject to that, court considers
The wishes of the parents
The wishes of the child, if old enough to express an independent opinion
Sole or joint custody?
The current judicial thinking is to award joint custody with care and control to one parent.
The parent not granted care and control of the child may be given a right of access to the child.
This allows the other parent to maintain regular contact with the child.
The Hague Convention is a multi-lateral treaty between States to put in place a legal framework for the quick return of a child who has been–
abducted from the child’s country of habitual residence; or
wrongfully retained in a contracting state which is not the child’s country of habitual residence.
The State must pass laws incorporating the entire or specific parts of the international law. This is known as “ratifying a treaty".
When the treaty is ratified, it will then become part of the local laws binding on its citizens.
The Act has two objectives.
To secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in any state ("contracting state") that has agreed to be bound by the Hague Convention.
To ensure that rights of custody and of access under the law of one contracting state is respected in another contracting state.
The Act sets up the
Singapore Central Authority
Illustration 1 (Child in Singapore)
A person claims that a child was wrongfully removed to Singapore from contracting State X in breach of custody rights under the laws of state X.
The person making the claim applies to the Central Authority of Singapore for help to try to have the child returned voluntarily.
Illustration 2 (Child outside Singapore)
A person claims that in breach of custody rights under Singapore laws, a child was wrongfully removed to Contracting State X.
He then applies to the Central Authority of Singapore for assistance to have his claim sent to the Central Authority of state X.
If this fails, he then applies to the Singapore Family Court for an order that the child be returned to State X.
The Family Court is not deciding who should have custody, but whether the child was wrongfully removed from State X.
The Singapore Court may order the return of the child if
The child is under 16 years old.
The child has been wrongfully removed to and retained in Singapore.
The application is made within one year from the date of wrongful removal or retention
The Singapore Court may not order the return if
There is a grave risk that the child would be exposed to physical or psychological harm or placed in an intolerable situation if returned.
The child objects to returning and the child is matured enough for the court to take into account the child’s view
Maintenance of a child
It is the duty of parents to maintain a child regardless
Whether in his or her custody
Whether the child is legitimate or illegitimate
The parents have to provide the child with reasonable accommodation, clothing, food and education.
Maintenance of wife
The court may order a man to pay maintenance to his wife or former wife -
During the matrimonial proceedings or
When granting a divorce.
The court’s objective –
Place the parties in the financial position in which they would have been if the marriage had not broken down
The court will consider -
if each had discharged his/her financial obligations and responsibilities towards the other.
The Court will look at -
The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources each party is likely to have in future.
The financial needs of the parties in the future.
Principles for computation
The age of the parties and the duration of the marriage
Any mental or physical disability of the parties
Each party’s contributions to the family’s welfare, including looking after the home or caring for the family
Division of matrimonial assets
means any asset
by one party or both parties to the marriage –
(subject to certain qualifications)
the marriage and
“Matrimonial assets” does not include
gifts or inheritance
unless such gifts or inheritance have been substantially improved during the marriage by one or both spouses
Assets acquired BEFORE the marriage
Such Assets are treated as matrimonial assets subject to division, if the following conditions are met –
It must have been
ordinarily used or enjoyed
by the parties or their children
while the parties were residing together
for shelter, or transport, or
for household, education, recreational, social or aesthetic purposes;
it has been
substantially improved during
the marriage by the other party or by both parties to the marriage
The Juvenile Court deals with offenders who are less than 16 years of age.
The age of the offender will be determined when he is charged in court and not when he committed the offence.
Before involvement of police and court
Juveniles with delinquent behaviour.
Parents seek assistance from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), schools, Family Service Centres (FSC).
Parents considering whether to file
Beyond Parental Control (BPC) Complaint
are referred to FSC for counselling.
Juvenile commits a criminal offence
Juvenile referred to Streetwise Programme
Arrested and under investigation by the police.
The Public Prosecutor decides not to charge the juvenile.
Police issues a warning to the juvenile
Youth involved in street gangs and secret societies.
Individual counselling and group activities.
Attempts to equip these youth with the skills to cope with issues – peer pressure, anger, relationship.
Counselling and programmes failed, parents file a BPC Complaint in the Juvenile Court. The court calls for
a Social Report
Juvenile Court (BPC Complaint)
The Court may make the following orders:
withdraw or discharge Complaint
Approved Home Order
Community based rehabilitation
Youth to report to social service agency for counselling and other programmes.
2 – 3 years supervision
Juvenile Court (Youth charged in Court)
The court calls for
a Pre-Sentence Report if he is considering probation as a sentencing option
The Court may issue the following orders:
Discharge; Fine; Bond
Community Service Order (CSO)
weekend detention order
40 to 240 hours of
in not-for-profit organisations
the harm or hurt caused by offence.
something back to community.
the less fortunate and develop understanding and consideration for others.
To acquire a sense of
social responsibility, self discipline and interpersonal skills
The court may make a probation order if the offender:
is between age of 16 years and below 21 years at the time of his conviction;
has not been previously convicted of similar offence;
consents to a probation order being imposed on him and indicates his willingness to abide by the conditions of probation.
Personal Protection Order
has been committed or is likely to be committed against a family member, and
A Family Court may issue a Personal Protection Order (PPO) against a defendant -
to a family member
restraining or confining
a family member
to a family member
Orders that the court can make include:
) Allowing the protected person the right of exclusive occupation of the residence by excluding the defendant from it.
Referring the defendant or the protected person or both or their children to attend
means the defendant has left –
without just cause, and
without the plaintiff’s consent
under one roof, but there is 'living apart' if there is a
clear disruption of marital or sexual relations
– e.g., the parties did not have interactions with each other.
Either or both parties must have
for the separation to lead to divorce. In other words, separation must be
and not merely a matter of necessity.
A parent given
of a child has the legal decision-making authority in major life issues of a child - e.g., religion, education, health and activities.
A parent given
care and control
of the child lives with the child on a day-to-day basis.
Family Justice Act 2014
necessary for the protection
of the family member.
putting a family member in
fear of hurt
But it is NOT 'family violence' if force is lawfully used
in self-defence, or
by way of correction towards a child below 21 years of age.
"Family violence" means:
plaintiff has suffered exceptional hardship; or
defendant has been exceptionally depraved (immoral or degrading behaviour)
Five categorised facts:
Maintenance - of child and wife
The Family Court will look at the child's-
property and other
standard of living
enjoyed by the child
the parent neglected or refused to provide maintenance;
what the parents
of the child's education or training;
The Family Court will also look at -
how the child is being educated or trained