Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt reached an agreement on custody, according to a representative for Jolie (7 November 2016). Under the agreement, Jolie shall have sole custody while Pitt would have “therapeutic visits” to the children. The statement indicated that the agreement was reached after consultations with childcare professionals. There was no mention of an investigation by child welfare workers into an alleged plane altercation between Pitt and his eldest son, Maddox on a plane.
See: “Custody agreement reached in Jolie-Pitt divorce case”, AP, 8 November 2016
In Singapore, having custody gives a parent the right to make major decisions for the child. Most divorced parents in Singapore have joint custody. Examples of such major decisions include decisions pertaining to healthcare, education and religion.
What most of my clients are concerned about is “care and control”. Essentially, having care and control allows a parent to live with the child. The parent without care and control is likely to be awarded access to the child.
In making these decisions, the Court’s primary consideration is the welfare of the child. There are new initiatives in Singapore, such as the appointment of “Child Representative” in cases where the custody or welfare of the child is at stake. The Court may make such an appointment if it opines that it is in the best interests of the child to do so. As a divorce lawyer
In addition, the Court may also direct the case to the relevant Ministry/ Centre for a report to be produced. Examples of such reports include:
- The Social Welfare Report
- Custody Evaluation Report/ Access Evaluation Report
- Assisted Access/ Assisted Transfer Report
As a divorce lawyer, I would always advise my clients to place the welfare of their child as the primary consideration. As Oscar Wilde once said, “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”
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