TEK v TEL

CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
JudgeEugene Tay
Judgment Date21 September 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGFC 117
Citation[2015] SGFC 117
Docket NumberDivorce No. 4733/2013, FC/SUM 375/2015 & FC/SUM 909/2015
Publication Date03 November 2015
Plaintiff CounselMs Carrie Gill (with legal executive) (M/s Harry Elias Partnership LLP)
Defendant CounselMr Lai Swee Fung & Mr Eric Low (with attachment student) (M/s Unilegal LLC)
SubjectFamily Law,Variation of Orders on Care and Control and Access and Maintenance
District Judge Eugene Tay: Introduction

This judgment arises out of the appeal by the Defendant husband (“Husband”) against my decision to make no order on FC/SUM 375/2015 (“the Husband’s Application”), which was heard on 8 June 2015 together with the cross application taken out by the Plaintiff wife (“Wife”) in FC/SUM 909/2015 (“the Wife’s Application”). I also made no order on the Wife’s Application. There was no cross appeal filed by the Wife.

Background

Parties were married in 2010. They have one child of the marriage, a four year old son born in 2011 (“the Child”).

On or about 6 June 2013, the Husband filed an originating summons in OSF No. 249/2013/G (“the OS”) seeking joint custody, as well as care and control of the Child, with consequential access orders. After two (2) sessions of mediation on 3 September 2013 and 5 September 2013 (collectively, “the Mediation”) conducted by the mediation judge (“Mediation Judge”), the following orders were recorded by consent:- Orders Made (By Consent): While neither party has plans to enter into a new marital relationship, it is understood by both parties that this might happen in the future, and both parties confirm that they will not object and create difficulties if and when this occurs. The main reason for the breakdown of the marriage is that both parties realise that their relationship as a couple has no future (for which both parties accept joint responsibility) and both parties want to give each other the chance to find again a new life and a degree of happiness. The parties pledge to support each other as friends in this quest and in the upbringing and education of [the Child] and they further pledge to withstand the temptation to engage in counterproductive behaviour such as jealousy, complaining about the past wrongs of the other party, instigating the child against the other party etc. Both parties undertake to do their best to treat each other with tolerance and respect. [The Husband] and [the Wife] shall have joint custody of the child with care and control to [the Wife] and liberal access to [the Husband]. (1) Until 30 November 2013, [the Husband] shall have access to the child as follows: On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am to 4pm on each day; From 4pm on Thursday to 10am on Friday; From 4pm on Friday to 10am on Saturday; and On Sunday, from 10am to 8.30pm [The Husband] shall pick the child up from and send the child back to [the Wife’s] home. With effect from 2014, the child shall attend preschool in the morning session (from 8.45am to 12 noon) at [redact]. With effect from 1 December 2013, the child shall live with [the Wife] from 9am to Sunday to 7.40am on Thursday. During this time, [the Husband] shall have access to the child on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 7.40am to 4pm on each day. With effect from 1 December 2013, the child shall live [the Husband] from 7.40am on Thursday to 9am on Sunday. During this time, [the Wife] shall have access to the child as follows:- On Thursday and Friday from 5pm to 6pm on each day; and On Saturday, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm. (1) [The Husband] shall pick the child up from and send the child back to [the Wife’s] home save that when [the Wife] exercises access to the child on Thursday and Friday or Saturday, [the Wife] shall pick the child up from and send the child back to [the Husband’s] home. [The Husband] shall send the child to school and pick him up from school. [The Wife] and [the Husband] shall from time to time (and in particular when the child’s schooling arrangements are about to change like when he approaches the age for Primary One) review the living and access arrangements to ensure that they are in the best interest of the child. The parties shall keep each other informed as regards the child’s school and enrichment events and both parties may attend the said events without interference and obstruction from any party and his/her family members. [The Husband’s] liberal access to the child shall include (but is not limited to) the following:- [The Husband] shall have the child with him for up to half of his mid-year and year-end school holidays starting from 2014. Initially, [the Husband] will have overnight access in alternate weeks during the said school holidays. At all times that the child is with one part, the other parent has reasonable telephone contact with the child by Skype or mobile phone. The Chinese New Year holidays shall be alternated between [the Wife] and [the Husband] so that the child will be with either parent as follows:- 10am on Chinese New Year (“CNY”) Eve to 10am on CNY Day One:-

(ia) In even years (eg. 2014) – with [the Wife].

(ib) In odd years (eg. 2015) – with [the Husband].

10am on CNY Day one to 10am on CNY Day Two:-

(iia) In even years (eg. 2014) – with [the Husband].

(iib) In odd years (eg. 2015) – with [the Wife].

10am on CNY Day Two to 8pm on CNY Day Two:-

(iiia) In even years (eg. 2014) – with [the Wife].

(iiib) In odd years (eg. 2015) – with [the Husband].

The child shall spend Christmas Eve and Day with [the Husband] save that the child will attend Church with [the Wife] on Christmas Day. (1) Either party is at liberty to take the child out of jurisdiction for overseas travel and the party seeking to do so shall obtain the prior written consent of the other party, which consent cannot be unreasonable withheld. The party seeking to take the child out of jurisdiction for overseas travel shall give to the other party full details of overseas travel including dates away, flight/travel details, itinerary, accommodation and contact details. With effect from 1 June 2013, [the Husband] is to pay [the Wife] $1,000/-per month as maintenance for the child. In addition [the Husband] is to pay the child’s school fees as and when they fall due. [The Husband] is to pay the fees of the child’s tuition and enrichment classes provided that the prior consent of [the Husband] is obtained for the child’s tuition and enrichment classes. Payment is to be made into [the Wife’s] designated bank account being POSB A/c No. [XXX-XXXXX-X].

The Wife subsequently commenced divorce proceedings on or about 26 September 2013. Interim Judgment (Divorce) (“IJ”) was granted on 5 November 2013. The Interim Judgment incorporated parties’ agreement on custody, care and control, access and maintenance of the Child reached after the Mediation in the OS proceedings as stated at [3] above, as well as parties’ agreement on division of matrimonial assets, all of which I will term collectively as “the Orders”.

On or about 21 January 2014, the Wife filed an application in Court for additional orders to supplement the Orders, to amend certain parts of the Orders relating to access, as well as an order for the child to attend kindergarten at [xxxxxxxxxxxx] (“SUM 1023/2014”). SUM 1023/2014 was heard on 29 May 2014, and dismissed with costs fixed at $1,000.00 to the Husband on 19 June 2014.

Less than a year after SUM 1023/2014 was heard and dismissed, the Husband filed his Application on 2 February 2015 for the following orders:- That pursuant to prayer 3(h) of the consent order which was subsequently incorporated in the Interim Judgment dated 5 November 2013 (“the Interim Judgment”), this Honourable Court reviews the living and access arrangements to ensure that they are in the best interest of the child. That consequent upon such review and as the child’s schooling arrangements are about to change as he is approaching the age for Primary One, this Honourable Court makes a determination that in the best interest of the child, either of [the Wife] or [the Husband] be directed to apply forthwith for a place for the child in a Catholic-run primary school such as St Joseph’s Institution Junior or St Anthony’s Primary School or their equivalent; That consequent upon the Order to be made in prayer (2) above or otherwise, prayer 3(b) of the Interim Judgment be varied to read as follows:-

“[The Wife] and [the Husband] shall have joint custody of the child with sole care and control to [the Husband] and reasonable access to [the Wife].”

That consequent upon the Order to be made in prayer (3) above, prayer 3(e), (f), (g) and (j) of the Interim Judgment be varied to read as follows:- With effect from the date of this Order, the child shall live with [the Husband] from 7.00pm on Saturday to 7.00pm [on] Friday. During this time, [the Wife] shall not have access to the child. With effect from the date of this Order, the child shall live with [the Wife] from 7.00pm on Friday to 7.00pm on Saturday. During this time, [the Husband] shall not have access to the child. Save as may otherwise be agreed between [the Wife] and [the Husband], [the Husband] shall pick the child up from and send the child back to [the Wife’s] home. [The Wife’s] access to the child shall include the following:- [The Wife] shall have access to the child with her for up to half of his mid-year and year-end school holidays starting from 2015. [The Wife] will have overnight access in alternative weeks during the said school holidays. At all times that the child is with one parent, the other parent has reasonable (but not daily) telephone contact with the child by Skype or mobile phone.” That consequent upon the Order to be made in prayer (3) above or otherwise, the first sentence of prayer 3(l) of the Interim Judgment be varied to read as follows:-

“With effect from the date of this Order, [the Husband] shall cease paying [the Wife] for the maintenance for the child.”

Subsequently, the Wife filed her Application on or about 24 March 2015 for the following...

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