PKWA Law Family and Matrimonial Partner Dorothy Tan has been quoted in the Sunday Times article titled “Coronavirus: Divorced couples face child access and maintenance issues during circuit breaker period”. The article was first published on 19 April 2020.
SINGAPORE – One divorced father said he was anxious that he would not be able to see his children again, even after the circuit breaker period ends. His ex-wife has denied him child access during this time.
Another divorced father who has lost his job amid the coronavirus outbreak, worries that he will not be able to pay the monthly maintenance amount and be taken to court by his ex-wife.
Divorced ex-spouses The Straits Times spoke to said they are facing difficulties during this period.
While Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines state that access arrangements are allowed to continue, such as if children take turns to live with either parent, the ministry also said to “keep changes to a minimum, where possible, to lower the risk of transmission across different households”.
In particular, for cases where ex-spouses have an acrimonious relationship, sorting out child access and maintenance payouts during this period is not clear-cut.
PKWA Law Practice family lawyer Dorothy Tan said that despite MOH’s guidelines, there were several scenarios where these parents would face problems.
Ex-couples that have not already established access orders with the courts – including couples in the midst of divorce proceedings – would have to come to an interim agreement for this period.
Those who had supervised access at divorce support specialist agencies would also have access suspended as these centres are closed during the circuit breaker period.
“These cases are usually the most difficult, with concerns of potential abuse, or lack of trust between parent and child. There is no alternative and unfortunately their process to re-forge the bonds will now have to take longer,” said Ms Tan.
Full article can be found here.
Source: The Sunday Times
Reporters: Goh Yan Han and Theresa Tan
Divorced couples facing child access, maintenance issues