Aql v Aqm

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Judgment Date16 December 2011
Date16 December 2011
Docket NumberOriginating Summons Family No 168 of 2010 (Registrar's Appeal Subordinate Courts No 84 of 2011)

High Court

Woo Bih Li J

Originating Summons Family No 168 of 2010 (Registrar's Appeal Subordinate Courts No 84 of 2011)


Julian Lim (JLim & Chew Law Corporation) for the plaintiff/appellant

Alfred Tan (Alfred Tan and Co) for the defendant/respondent.

AHJ v AHK [2010] SGHC 148 (refd)

AKF v AKG [2010] SGHC 225 (refd)

CX v CY [2005] 3 SLR (R) 690; [2005] 3 SLR 690 (folld)

Soon Peck Wah v Woon Che Chye [1997] 3 SLR (R) 430; [1998] 1 SLR 234 (folld)

Guardianship of Infants Act (Cap 122, 1985 Rev Ed) s 5

Family Law—Custody—Care and control—Access

Family Law—Custody—Care and control—Shared care and control

The parties were married and had a young child. The Family Court gave the wife sole care and control of the child, with liberal access to the husband. The husband appealed seeking shared care and control or, alternatively, increased access. One of his reasons was that he wished to take the child for more enrichment lessons.

Held, dismissing the appeal:

(1) Care and control referred to the right to make the daily decisions of a child's upbringing. This right naturally belonged to the parent with whom the child lived: at [6].

(2) An order of shared care and control meant the child would spend roughly equal amounts of time living with each parent. That parent would in turn become the child's primary caregiver for the duration that the child lived with him: at [7] to [9].

(3) On the present facts, an order for shared care and control was not in the interests of the child. It would be too disruptive to the constancy of routine that the child required. The animosity between the parents and their resulting inability to compromise would also exacerbate the sense of disruption: at [14] to [21].

(4) The breakdown of the family meant that the husband could not expect unfettered access to the child. The access presently allowed to the husband was enough for meaningful interaction. The husband was too preoccupied with enrichment classes for the child, and there was no compelling reason to increase his access: at [22] to [24].

Woo Bih Li J

1 The parties were married on 22 May 2000. A daughter was born to them on 21 September 2008. The parties' relationship was breaking down even before the birth of the child. One week before the child's delivery, the wife left the matrimonial home to live with her parents. The wife and child have been staying with her parents ever since. Like most soured love, the relationship between the parties is now notably marked by acrimony. There have been mutual allegations of adultery. Each party accuses the other of not having the child's best interests at heart. They cannot even agree on which pre-school centre to send the child to.

2 This case is about care and control of that child, now three years old. Her parents are in the middle of a divorce. The husband's application for care and control of the child was taken out under s 5 of the Guardianship of Infants Act (Cap 122, 1985 Rev Ed) as it was made before the start of the divorce proceedings. Before that application was heard, the husband filed two more summonses seeking interim care and control. The first asked for access from 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm from Mondays to Fridays, and from 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm on Saturdays; the second sought access from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm on Mondays to Fridays, and from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm on Saturdays. These summonses were heard on Christmas Eve 2010. The husband was granted interim access from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm on Mondays and Thursdays, 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10.30 am to 4.30 pm on alternate Saturdays.

3 On 3 May 2011, a district judge (‘District Judge’) of the Family Court ordered joint custody but gave sole care and control of the child to the wife. The husband was allowed liberal access every weekday from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm and from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm on Saturdays including alternate public holidays. During the Chinese New Year holidays, the husband was allowed access from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm on the eve...

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13 cases
  • UMX v UMY
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 6 July 2018
    ...depend on the facts: see Wong Phila Mae v Shaw Harold [1991] 1 SLR(R) 680, Soon Peck Wah v Woon Che Chye [1998] 1 SLR 234 and AQL v AQM [2012] 1 SLR 840. That is not a decisive factor but is one of the factors to be considered. On the other hand, the husband submitted that the wife’s mental......
  • TRQ v TRR
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 9 September 2016 have access. Having said that, the court does order what is known as “shared care and control” in the appropriate case. In AQL v AQM [2012] 1 SLR 840, Justice Woo clarified at [8] that when “shared care and control” is ordered, it means that the child spends time living with each parent ......
  • TBO v TBP
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 20 April 2015
    ...different ideas on how to bring up the child and/or otherwise if such an arrangement would be disruptive for the child. In AQL v AQM [2012] 1 SLR 840, involving a 3 year old child, the Court declined to make a shared care and control order. The court held that “when a child is very young, a......
  • VJL v VGM
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 19 June 2020 and control is not ideal in a situation where both parents have vastly different parenting styles. It was recognised in AQL v. AQM [2012] 1 SLR 840 that when a child is very young, “a strong clash in parenting styles” was relevant in considering shared care and control as a young child......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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