Re G (Guardianship of an Infant)

JurisdictionSingapore
Judgment Date29 October 2003
Date29 October 2003
Docket NumberOriginating Summons 650238 of 2002
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Re G (guardianship of an infant)

[2003] SGHC 265

Tan Lee Meng J

Originating Summons 650238 of 2002 (RAS No 720030 of 2003)

High Court

Family Law–Custody–No order made–Whether joint custody order appropriate–Whether court should make no order as to custody

The respondent was the wife of the appellant. After the birth of their only child in 2002, their relationship deteriorated and the respondent left the matrimonial home. The appellant accepted that the respondent should be granted care and control of the child, but filed an originating summons to obtain joint custody of the child and for rights of access. The respondent sought sole custody of the child. At the time of hearing, neither party had instituted divorce proceedings. The district judge granted care and control as well as sole custody of the child to the respondent. The appellant was granted right of access for stated periods. The appellant appealed against the sole custody order.

Held, allowing the appeal, setting aside the sole custody order and making no order on custody:

(1) As a general rule, it was preferable that joint parental responsibility for a child's welfare be maintained. While it was true that a joint custody order might be unrealistic where the parents of a child had an acrimonious relationship, it did not always follow that the alternative was to grant sole custody to one parent. Where there was no immediate or pressing need for the question of custody to be settled, one should seriously consider whether an order for sole custody was in the best interest of a child, who should be entitled to the guidance of both parents: at [6] and [8].

(2) All that was presently needed was an order for care and control of the child. There was no urgent need for him to be placed under the sole custody of the respondent. If the parties could not cooperate in matters relating to the child's upbringing and it became necessary in the future to deal with the issue of custody, the parties could come to court to settle the issue: at [9].

Aliya Aziz Tayabali, Re [1992] 3 SLR (R) 894; [2000] 1 SLR 754 (folld)

Ho Quee Neo Helen v Lim Pui Heng [1974-1976] SLR (R) 158; [1972-1974] SLR 249 (folld)

Jussa v Jussa [1972] 1 WLR 881 (folld)

Guardianship of Infants Act (Cap 122, 1985 Rev Ed) s 3

S Magintharan (Netto Tan & S Magin) for the appellant

Christopher Gill (Chris Gill & Co) for the respondent.

Tan Lee Meng J

1 The appellant, P, who contended that he and his wife, the respondent, B, should have joint custody of their son, G, appealed against the district judge's decision to grant his wife sole custody of G. I ruled that while B should have care and control of G...

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15 cases
  • BG v BF
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 25 May 2007
    ...not cease even after the marriage has ended; in the area of custody, this court in CX v CY endorsed Tan Lee Meng J’s decision in Re G [2004] 1 SLR 229 that joint parenthood must be the starting point so that both parents can continue to have a direct involvement in the child’s life. A child......
  • Cx v Cy (Minor: Custody and Access)
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 19 July 2005
    ...any serious matters relating to the child’s upbringing (see Re Aliya Aziz Tayabali [2000] 1 SLR 754 and Re G (guardianship of an infant) [2004] 1 SLR 229 (“Re 19 Since the practical effects of a “no custody order” and “joint custody order” are similar, the more important question to address......
  • VCX v VCY
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 26 November 2019
    ...Court case of Re Aliya Aziz Tayabali [1992] 3 SLR (R) 894 which was followed in a subsequent case of Re G (guardianship of infants) [2004] 1 SLR (R) 229 where Justice Tan Lee Meng held: “8. …Where there is no immediate or pressing need for the question of custody to be settled, one should s......
  • VCX v VCY
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 26 November 2019
    ...Court case of Re Aliya Aziz Tayabali [1992] 3 SLR (R) 894 which was followed in a subsequent case of Re G (guardianship of infants) [2004] 1 SLR (R) 229 where Justice Tan Lee Meng held: “8. …Where there is no immediate or pressing need for the question of custody to be settled, one should s......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 books & journal articles
  • Family Law
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2008, December 2008
    • 1 December 2008
    ...of Appeal in CX v CY[2005] 3 SLR 690 where a sole custody order is apt. Further, it has been observed in Re G (guardianship of an infant)[2004] 1 SLR 229 at [8] that: Where there is no immediate or pressing need for the question of custody to be settled, one should seriously consider whethe......
  • Family Law
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2004, December 2004
    • 1 December 2004
    ...adoption. Custody of children Joint, sole or no custody order? 13.10 In last year”s review, the case of Re G (guardianship of an infant)[2004] 1 SLR 229 (‘Re G’) was welcomed as a landmark decision endorsing joint parenting. In that case, the High Court made no order of custody and cautione......
  • Family Law
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2003, December 2003
    • 1 December 2003
    ...number awarded sole custody to one parent. Against this background, the landmark High Court decision of Re G (guardianship of an infant)[2004] 1 SLR 229, is warmly welcomed (see Ong, ‘Making No Custody Order: Re G (Guardianship of an infant)’[2003] Sing JLS 583). 13.10 In Re G (guardianship......
  • Family Law
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review No. 2005, December 2005
    • 1 December 2005
    ...difficult for the party seeking divorce. Custody of children No custody order 13.11 The case of Re G (guardianship of an infant)[2004] 1 SLR 229 (‘Re G’) was a welcomed case reviewed previously (see ‘Family Law’(2003) 4 SAL Ann Rev 243 at paras 13.9—13.13). The judgment in Re G set the stag......
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