CourtFamily Court (Singapore)
JudgeGoh Zhuo Neng
Judgment Date17 January 2023
Neutral Citation[2023] SGFC 1
Citation[2023] SGFC 1
Docket NumberFC/D 4797/2021, HCF/DCA 93/2022
Hearing Date03 October 2022
Plaintiff CounselMr Malcus Poh (M/s Chung Ting Fai & Co)
Defendant CounselMs Natasha Choo (M/s AC Shone & Co)
Subject MatterAncillary Orders,Division of Matrimonial Assets
Published date26 January 2023
District Judge Goh Zhuo Neng: INTRODUCTION

This was an ancillary matters hearing between the Plaintiff mother (“Mother”) and the Defendant father (“Father”). The parties had two children aged 9 and 6 this year, who I will refer to respectively as Child A and Child B, and collectively as the “Children”).

Parties had already resolved the issue of the division of assets by a consent order dated 1 April 2022 (“Consent Order”). So in this hearing I addressed the issues of custody, care and control of the children, and maintenance for the children and the Mother.

Both parties were represented by counsel at the hearing on 3 October 2022. After hearing parties, I made the following orders: Parties will have joint custody of the Children, with the Mother having care and control. The Father will have access to the Children on the weekends from Saturday (6.00pm) to Sunday (6.00pm), and one other weekday access from 6.30pm to 8.30pm to be agreed between the parties. Father will pick up kids from their home at the start of access and return them at the end of access. Before 1 January 2023, the Father will pay directly for the Children’s school fees and insurance and pay the Mother the following monthly amounts for the Children’s maintenance starting from 15 October 2022 and on the 15th day of each month. Child A - $355.00 Child B – $25.00 From 1 January 2023, the Father will pay directly for the Children’s school fees (which do not include childcare) and insurance and pay the Mother the following monthly amounts for the Children’s maintenance starting from 15 January 2023 and on the 15th day of each month. Child A - $286.50 Child B – $286.50 There will be no maintenance for the Mother.

On 15 October 2022, the Father filed a Notice of Appeal against all of my orders. The full grounds of my decision are set out in below. The Mother did not appeal against my decision not to grant her maintenance, so I will not be addressing that in my decision.


Under the Women’s Charter 1961, section 125(2), the court can make orders as to the custody, care and control and access to the Child, taking into account what is in the best interests of the child’s welfare, which is the paramount consideration.

Joint Custody and Care and Control

Parties agreed that they would both have joint custody of the Children. They differed on who should have care and control of them.

The Father claimed that he should have care and control of the children, with the Mother’s access being supervised because the Mother had been diagnosed by the Institute of Mental Health (“IMH”) as suffering from delusions. This condition affected the Mother’s ability to parent, which was made worse as the Mother had refused to complete her courses of medication prescribed by IMH. He pointed out several incidents [since period] where she had arguments and altercations with third parties, and he was very concerned about how she had led Child B to believe that she was being bullied in school. In this regard, the Mother had advised Child B to look out for the bullies, and even opposed sending Child B to the same primary school as Child A. the Mother was also allegedly alienating him from Child A, who had refused to speak with him since September 2021.

The Mother agreed that she had been diagnosed by IMH as suffering from delusions. However, she disagreed that she had refused to complete the course of medication prescribed by IMH, as she had been told to take the medication only when required. The Mother also insisted that Child B was being bullied.

I took the view that the Mother’s condition did not impair her from caring for the Children. It should be pointed out that she was the primary caregiver of the Children throughout the marriage. She worked part time as a tutor while the Father worked full time. I inferred that the Father’s working hours caused him to come home late, as it was only in his affidavit of assets of means (“AOM”) dated 27 June 2022 that he informed that he had “recently” switched his working hours to be at work from Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 6.00pm.

As for the Mother’s medical condition, this was a recent diagnosis and certainly did not negate her contributions as caregiver. There was also no indication from the Mother’s course of medication that this was an issue that required long term or life time medication. An examination of the Mother’s medication as exhibited by the Father in his AOM (pages 64 to 67) showed that one course of medication was prescribed to be taken for 1 week. The other course was prescribed on the basis it be taken as necessary. So I do not agree with the Father that she should be medicating herself constantly, or that she had departed from the recommendations of the doctor.

On the issue of the Mother’s behaviour, I took the view that the Father was focusing too much on recent events that did not really have a strong bearing on the Mother’s ability to care for the children. The incidents with third parties were not verifiable, and even if proven, did not involve the Children at all. There was insufficient evidence to verify if Child B was actually being bullied, but that one issue alone was at worst a disagreement between parties on whether the Child was being bullied and not enough for me to justify giving care and control to the Father.

As for the Father’s concerns that Child A was being alienated from him, he was not able to provide any evidence of actual alienation apart from Child A’s refusal to speak with him. This made exact cause of Child B’s refusal to speak with him difficult to identify or attribute to the Mother.

Having given care and control to the Father, I decided that he should have regular weekend and weekday access to the Children. This would be from Saturday (6.00pm) to Sunday (6.00pm), and one other weekday access from 6.30pm to 8.30pm to be agreed between the parties. This would give him one full day with them on the weekend, and he would also have the flexibility to take access on one weekday, depending on his schedule.

CHILD MAINTENANCE Children’s Expenses

Child A was currently in primary school, and Child B would start primary school in 1 January 2023. This meant that from 1 January 2023, the expenses of both Children would be the same and follow that of Child A. Prior to that, both Children’s expenses would be different, mainly because Child B was attending childcare.

My assessment of Child A’s expenses is set out below. Child A


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