All You Need To Know On Preventing Child Abduction
Under the Women’s Charter (Cap 353), your spouse/ex-spouse is required to seek your consent or obtain the permission of court before removing your child from Singapore. If your spouse/ex-spouse is going to bring or has brought the child out of Singapore without your consent, that could amount to child abduction. We understand how terrifying this experience might be. Hence, we will share with you the ways to prevent removal of your child.
1. Application to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (“ICA”)
Our International Divorce Lawyers can assist with you obtaining an injunction, which is a court order that will prevent your ex-spouse from removing the child from Singapore. Once you have obtained the Court Order, you can apply to the ICA for assistance.
Step 1: You will need to sign an Undertaking in the prescribed Form 190A of Appendix A to the Family Justice Court’s Practice Directions.
Step 2: File the Undertaking through e-Litigation under the document code “Other Supporting Documents“.
Step 3: After the Undertaking has been filed, send the extracted Court order and the Undertaking to ICA’s email: ICA_FJC_Notification@ica.gov.sg during the ICA’s working hours:
Mondays to Fridays: 8am to 5pm
Public Holiday Eves: 8am to 12pm
Saturdays, Sunday and Public Holiday: Closed.
The ICA will not provide assistance to stop the child from being taken out of Singapore if the above steps are not complied with. Our Specialist Divorce Lawyers can assist in making this process an expedient one in this critical period of tight timelines.
Step 4: Send a copy of the email sent to ICA containing the extracted Court order and the Undertaking to your spouse/ex-spouse or their solicitor’s email.
1. Make an application for interim custody, care and control over your child
Concurrent with an application for an injunction to restrain your spouse from removing the child from Singapore, you can make an application for interim custody, care and control (“ICCC”) over your child while the divorce proceedings are ongoing.
To apply for an ICCC order, you must submit an application to the Court under the Guardianship of Infants Act (“GIA”). This application must include the following:
- the current care arrangements for your child, such as their schooling and living arrangements;
- why an ICCC order is necessary to govern the future care arrangements for your child; and
- the orders for custody, care and control which are being requested.
In deciding whether or not to grant the application for ICCC, the court has one paramount consideration: the welfare of the child. Hence, it has to be shown that the ICCC is in the best interests of your child. While there is no definitive scope for the term ‘welfare’, you can find out more about it by speaking to our Specialist Divorce Lawyers.
2. Talk to your spouse/ex-spouse
It is important to communicate with your spouse/ex-spouse on the custody, care and access arrangements for the child. Try to discuss and reach a compromise on the child’s welfare.
1. Talk to our Specialist Divorce Lawyers
We understand that communication could be difficult if you and your spouse/ex-spouse share an acrimonious relationship. In such a situation, our Divorce Lawyers are here to negotiate for you, and are here to assist you with the various procedural issues.