Care and control refers to the responsibility of being a child’s daily caregiver. As such, when a parent is granted care and control of a child, it will mean that:
Custody refers to the right to make major decisions for the child in the areas of their education, religion and healthcare. It does not determine with whom should the child reside with. Separately, access is given in lieu of care and control. It allows the parent whom care and control is not granted to spend a certain amount of time with the child.
Following the definition above, shared care and control means that both parents will take turns to be responsible in being the child’s daily caregiver. The parent with whom the child is living with under an arrangement pursuant to an order for shared care and control will be the primary caregiver of the child at that time.
For example, an order for shared care and control is granted to Parents A and B. Parent A is granted care and control of the child from Monday to Thursday. Parent B is granted care and control of the child from Friday to Sunday. Parent A will therefore be the caregiver for the child from Monday to Thursday while Parent B will be the caregiver for the child from Friday to Sunday.
Ultimately, the Court will prioritise the welfare of the child when deciding over children’s issues. Whilst an order for shared care and control appears to be fair for the parents, the Court is not likely to make such an order if it is not in the best interests of the child to do so. The Court will look at the following factors (not exhaustive) as a whole when considering a child’s welfare:
In addition to the above, a high level of co-operation is necessary for an order for shared care and control to be effective. Therefore, the Court is unlikely to grant an order for shared care and control especially if the divorce is acrimonious and the parties are unable to cooperate. In such a situation, the Court is likely to make an order for sole care and control to a parent with liberal access to other parent.
For example, in the case of AQL v AQM, the learned judge dismissed the father’s appeal for shared care and control for the following reasons:
In light of the above, it is in the child’s best interests that parties are able to cooperate and compromise as much as possible. This will help to support shared care and control arrangements and ensure that any disruption to the child’s development is minimised.
ABOUT PKWA FAMILY LAW
At PKWA Law, our team of Family Lawyers are consistently named as leading Singapore family lawyers by respected independent legal publications such as Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review, Global Law Experts and Doyle's Guide to Singapore Family Lawyers.
Contact us at tel 6854-5336 for a free first consultation.
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