Care and control orders in divorce cases need attention

It was revealed by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Sun Xueling in Parliament that shared care and control orders by the Family Court comprised a mere 4 per cent of all divorce care and control orders in 2016 (Call to ease housing rule for divorcees sharing care of kids; July 12) .

This is an astounding statistic.

Given clear scientific evidence of the importance of the involvement of both a father and mother in a child's development and upbringing, one would imagine that the majority of divorce cases have been given shared care and control orders.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Singapore is a signatory, stipulates that everyone - including governmental and judicial authorities - should make decisions and act in the best interests of the child.

It also adds that governments must ensure the rights of parents and families to provide guidance to their children.

A letter to The Straits Times Forum written by Professor Richard A. Warshak, citing research endorsed by 110 leading social scientists, is also unequivocal about the benefits of shared care and control orders on the long-term welfare and interests of children caught in divorce (Shared parenting beneficial for children despite conflict; April 2).

In this regard, how is a child's interests best served if care and control is awarded to only one parent?

Can the Family Court share how many of the sole care and control cases are awarded to the mothers, and how many to fathers?

Oh Ee Hoe

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2018, with the headline 'Care and control orders in divorce cases need attention'. Print Edition | Subscribe