The Child Representative Singapore scheme was started in 2014. Since then, 26 individuals have now been appointed as Child Representatives. 8 cases in 2015 and 16 cases in 2016 involved a child representative.
What is the Child Representative Singapore scheme?
The Child Representative Singapore scheme aims to give children caught in acrimonious divorce cases an impartial voice.
Child Representatives interact with these children to learn more about them and represent them.
Challenges faced by Child Representatives include:
- Difficulties in gaining access to the children;
- Difficulties in getting children to warm up to them;
- Finding time to meet children;
- Parents who “brainwash” their children into saying what suits their case; and
- Suspicious parents who are wary of their motives. To mitigate this, Child Representatives may explain to parents about their role.
One Child Representative interviewed by Today said that he can only meet children mostly on weekends since children have school on weekdays. He makes many trips to the children’s homes, the playground or where they are comfortable at. He avoids seeing children in his office so that they are not intimidated.
Another Child Representative said that it is important to cross-check information with children and teachers when parents attempt to manipulate what their children say.
Child Representatives often have to find out from children about how they wish to spend their time with each parent. Success may mean arriving at the most suitable arrangement.
The Child Representative’s job is not limited to telling the Court what the children wants. Most of the time, Child Representatives have to make a judgement call as children are unable to articulate what is best for them.
If you find yourself in an acrimonious divorce case, and children’s issues are highly contentious, the Child Representative Singapore scheme may be right for you.
Contact us today to find out more about the Child Representative Singapore scheme!