Thorsen Jens Christian v Amjit Kaur

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeKoh Juat Jong
Judgment Date29 July 2000
Neutral Citation[2000] SGDC 29
Citation[2000] SGDC 29
Published date19 September 2003




1 The parties were divorced in 1997. On 7 July 1998, a consent order was made granting joint custody of the child of the marriage, J (male, born 25 January 1994), to both parties, with the father having care and control of the child from Friday to Monday and the mother, during the other days. Parties subsequently applied to vary the order. On 28 July 1999, the father was granted the custody, care and control of the child with certain stated periods of access to the mother. The father brought the child back to Denmark. He was to bring the child back to Singapore for mother to have access in December 1999. He did not do so. The mother went to Denmark in April 2000 and brought the child back to Singapore without notice to and consent of the father. The mother then make an application under SIC 750836 of 2000 ("the main SIC") for her to have custody, care an control of the child. The matter was not ready to be heard as parties had not filed all the affidavits necessary for the application. Meanwhile, the father filed several applications. Five of them were heard by me on 24 July 2000. Essentially, the father wanted an order to allow him to bring the child back to Denmark with him. He was due to leave Singapore for Denmark at 9.40 p.m. the next day on 25 July 2000. I refused and ordered that the child shall remain in Singapore until the hearing of the main SIC. However, I also ordered that during the period when he was in Singapore, he would have care and control of the child and during the period when he was not in Singapore, the mother would have care and control of the child. He has appealed against these orders.

Order on 28 July 1999

2 The custody, care and control of the child was granted to the father on 28 May 1999 by District Judge Emily Wilfred. The orders were as follows:

(1) the father shall have custody, care and control of the child forthwith with reasonable access to the mother

(a) four weeks in summer commencing July 2000;

(b) two weeks in winter commencing January 2000;

(c) one week in December commencing December 1999;

(2) the father shall bring the child back personally to Singapore for the access by the mother at his own expense;

(3) on arrival and departure to and from Singapore, the child shall be taken to a doctor to be examined at the father’s own expense;

(4) every Sunday, the child shall be permitted to speak to the mother at 6 pm Singapore time;

(5) the father shall provide his residential address and contact number in office and home in Denmark to his counsel, the mother’s counsel and the Court and the mother’s counsel to undertake not to disclose the said particulars to the mother;

(6) progress report of the child shall be provided by the school to the Court and to the mother every three months for the first year of custody.

Child brought to Denmark

3 The father took the child right after the court hearing and subsequently brought the child to Denmark. The child had weekly telephone conversation with the mother as ordered by the court. The father taped the conversations and produced a transcription. Assuming the contents of the transcript reflected correctly the conversations, the father was present whenever the child spoke to the mother and was monitoring the conversation. There was also evidence that the mother had tried to ask the child of their whereabouts, when the order of court dated 28 July 1999 did not allow her to have that information.

4 The father was to bring the child to Singapore for access by the mother in December 1999. The mother repeatedly asked during the telephone conversation when the child would be back. The father claimed that he could not obtain the air tickets. He informed the mother during the telephone conversations and told her that they would come back only in July 2000.

5 In April 2000, the child was taken away by the mother abruptly from Denmark. The mother was resourceful. She flew to Germany, supposedly to visit her fianc, a German citizen, who just had an operation. They then obtained from the Registry of Danish nationals the address of the father. They drove to that address and waited for the child. When they saw the child outside the house, they took the child and drove him away in the car and subsequently brought him back to Singapore from Germany. Not knowing the whereabouts of the child, the father alerted the Interpol. The matter was widely reported in the press. It was subsequently found that the child was with the mother in Singapore.

The main SIC

6 On 8 May...

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