WDW v WDX and another matter

JudgeChia Wee Kiat
Judgment Date24 June 2022
Neutral Citation[2022] SGFC 55
CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
Docket NumberOSG 51 of 2021 & OSG 103 of 2021
Published date01 July 2022
Hearing Date10 February 2022,04 March 2022
Plaintiff CounselMs Iman Marini binte Salem Ibrahim (Salem Ibrahim LLC)
Defendant CounselMs Lee Mong Jen (LMJ Law Corporation)
Subject MatterFamily law,care and control,access,maintenance,child
Citation[2022] SGFC 55
District Judge Chia Wee Kiat:

There were two applications before me, namely, FC/OSG 51/2021 (“OSG 51”) and FC/OSG 103/2021 (“OSG 103”). These were cross-applications under s 5 of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1934 (“GIA”). The applications concern a 2-year-old child (“C”) taken out by her parents whom I shall refer to as the “Father” and the “Mother”.

I heard the applications on 10 February 2022 and gave my decision on 4 March 2022 with brief grounds. The orders made were as follows:

Custody, Care and Control

Parties are to have joint custody of C The Mother shall have care and control of C


The Father shall have access to C on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm at the Father's residence. The parties may, by mutual agreement, vary any term of the access arrangement set out in this order. The access shall be unsupervised save that the helper shall be allowed to accompany C for the duration of the Father's access for a period of 3 months till 31 May 2022 to help C adapt to the new routine. Thereafter, the Father shall have the discretion to decide whether to have the helper accompany C for access. The Father is to arrange for pickup and return of C and the helper from the Mother's residence. The question of overnight and overseas access shall be deferred to a time when C is older.

The Child's Passports/Child Development Account

Both Singapore and United States of America passports of C shall be kept by the Mother. The Father shall change the trustee of C's Child Development Account to the Mother.

Maintenance for the Child

The Father shall pay the sum of $3,200 per month to the Mother as maintenance for C on the first day of each month and such maintenance is to be backdated to 1 August 2021 less the amounts paid by the Father to date. The Father shall pay or reimburse the Mother 65% of the additional educational expenses within 7 days upon the Mother providing the invoice.


The Father shall pay costs of $4,000 (all in) to the Mother.

As the parties have appealed against my decision, I now provide my full grounds of decision (“GD”).


The Father is an American citizen who owns a US-based construction company. The Mother, a Singapore citizen, is a Senior Associate at a bank.1

The Father met the Mother on a trip to Singapore in 20192 and the Mother became pregnant with his child.3 On 25 November 2019, the Father received a text message from the Mother explaining to him that she desired to get married before the child was born as she wanted to qualify for a Housing and Development Board (“HDB”) flat. When the Father texted the Mother the following day, she informed him that since there was a 3-week period to solemnize a marriage and she was due to give birth in 4 weeks, she had gone ahead to register to marry a close friend of hers.4

The Father says he was worried that the Mother marrying another man was not in his child’s best interests. He therefore agreed to marry the Mother but told her that he intended to consult a Singapore lawyer to better understand what marriage in Singapore would entail.5

The Father arrived in Singapore about a week later and first met with a lawyer on 10 December 2019. He was advised that a pre-nuptial agreement would be prudent and suggested this to the Mother.6

The parties registered their marriage on 17 December 2019.7

The Mother says the marriage is not a conventional one8 - the parties are neither friends nor companions.9 As she was below the age of 35, she thought the best position for her to raise the child would be to get married to form a family nucleus to purchase a property.10

The Mother says the Father made her sign a Prenuptial Deed (“the Deed”) prior to the registration of the marriage.11 Under the Deed dated 16 December 2019,12 the parties agreed inter alia that they shall retain their separate property set out in the Appendices in the event of a termination of the marriage. The Appendices show a contrasting difference in the wealth of the parties – the Father owns a wide variety of assets13 while the Mother has none.14 The Father’s assets include a condominium at Marina del Rey, a Tesla Model S P85D, a Piper Comanche aircraft and a 35’ C&C sailboat.

The Father says after the Mother informed him that she was pregnant, he planned to relocate to Singapore at the end of November 2019 so that he could be present for the child’s birth and be part of her life thereafter.15

The child C was born on 18 December 2019, the day after the parties registered their marriage.16 The Father says he was present for C’s birth, and prior to 7 April 2020 (commencement of circuit breaker), he saw C every day when he was in Singapore.17 After the circuit breaker, he would see C at least 3 to 4 times a week. Regular access took place on Wednesdays at his home and on Sundays where he would typically take C on outings. On other weekdays, he would usually text the Mother to ascertain when he could pop in to see C at her home.18

Shortly after the marriage, the Mother discovered through enquiries made with the HDB that she was prohibited from buying a HDB flat as the Father owns several properties overseas.19 The Mother says her parents were not supportive of her relationship with the Father and had threatened to kick her out of their home and let her fend for herself.20 To appease her mother, she gave her a $20,000 ang pow on 11 February 2021 to cover the loss of rent for the past year.21

The Mother’s parents reside in Indonesia 22 and her sister [S] stays with her to help take care of C.23 The Father stays separately at a rented condominium, which the Mother says costs him at least $4,000 rent per month.24

The Mother says permanent housing for her and C is a perennial problem. The Father is only interested in becoming a permanent resident of Singapore (“PR”)25 and the state of her relationship with the Father changed when he approached her to provide her company documents in order for her to be his sponsor. The Father adopted the position that if he did not obtain PR, he would not assist her in obtaining a home for her and C.26

The Mother says she did not bother to argue with the Father27 and no longer wanted to stay married.28 She tried to get his consent for an annulment of the marriage but the Father refused to do so.29 This was despite cl 7 of the Deed which provides that in the event that the parties permanently cease their association as husband and wife for any reason, the parties will attempt to dissolve the marriage on an uncontested basis on a mutually agreed ground.30

The Father says the Mother approached him seeking to terminate the marriage at the beginning of 2021.31 The Father proposed a visitation plan to the Mother on 11 February 2021 but she became increasingly cagey and difficult. On 12 February 2021, he was informed by the Mother that he could no longer bring C to his home for access. He says that since then, the Mother has unreasonably denied and diminished his access with C.32

On 14 April 2021, the Father filed OSG 51 seeking the following orders: The Plaintiff and the Defendant shall have joint custody of the child, [C] (“Child”). The Defendant shall have care and control of the Child. The Plaintiff shall access with the child as follows: On Wednesdays from 10 am to 6 pm if the Child is not attending nursery;

b. On Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm;

When the Child has attained the age of 18 months, there shall be additional access on alternate weekends from 10 am to Saturday until 7.30 pm on Sunday;

d. Handovers shall take place at the Defendant’s home save for Wednesdays when the Plaintiff shall pick the Child up from nursery, where applicable;

Ad hoc access may be arranged by mutual agreement. The Plaintiff shall pay to the Defendant the sum of $700 per month on the 1st day of each month for the maintenance of the Child. The Plaintiff shall additionally reimburse to the Defendant 50% of expenses incurred by the Defendant for the Child’s school fees and school-related expenses, medical/dental expenses and medical insurance within seven (7) days of the receipt of proof of payment from the Defendant. Save as aforesaid, the Child’s expenses incurred when the Child is with each respective party shall be borne by the respective parties themselves. Parties shall be at liberty to apply. The costs of this application shall be borne by the Defendant. Such further or other orders as the Court may deem fit.

The Mother says she has never denied the Father access or restricted his access towards C. In fact, she has been the one planning activities and inviting the Father to join them for outings.33 In June 2020 when C was 7 months old, the Father reduced his time spent with her by more than half on his own accord.34 The Father joined an expat recreational sailing team and his sailing activities is on every Saturday and some Sundays. He would join his expat group for drinks after their sailing and he almost never visited C on Saturdays.35 In November 2020, the Father stated that he could change his planned work schedule to visit C at the last minute but chose to participate in several weekend activities and visiting C became much more infrequent.36 After February 2021, he reduced his time spent with C to a mere 6 hours per week.37

The Mother says the Father is a Casanova. He had a girlfriend when she was pregnant and continues to have one after the solemnisation of the marriage and uses his Tinder Profile to meet other girls.38 The Father is not in Singapore often39 and attends rave parties and concerts in the United States.40

On 3 August 2021, the Mother filed OSG 103 seeking the following orders: ...

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