An aggrieved party may make an application for the Court to issue an injunction restraining the other parent from taking the child out of Singapore where there is an agreement or order of court that one parent has custody, care and control of the child.
If there is no existing care and control order, the parent who seeks to restrain the other parent from removing the child from Singapore should file an application under section 5 of the Guardianship of Infants Act (“GIA”) for substantive orders in relation to custody, care and control of the child while simultaneously praying for the relevant injunction orders to restrain the other parent from removing the child from Singapore.
One such case where an injunction was granted was TOG v TOH  SGFC 60. The mother and father were both British citizens, although they lived in Singapore for about 12 years and were married in Singapore. The child, a British citizen, was born in Singapore on 25 January 2011. The father said that the mother had abducted the child on 9 March 2016 and left for the UK, without his permission. The mother said the father had agreed that they would relocate to UK, as their employment passes would expire by the end of the year. The child was on a dependant pass.
The Court considered factors such as the child’s welfare, the degree of connection of the child with Singapore (factors such as his nationality, where he has lived for most of his life, his first language, his race or ethnicity, his religion, his culture, and his education are all relevant), and the length of time the child spent in Singapore or elsewhere in making its decision to grant the injunction.
In the case of TBI v TBJ  SGDC 127, the Court held that considering the matters in their totality, Singapore was not the appropriate forum to determine the issues concerning the children because there were no connecting factors to Singapore. The Court also relied on the general rule regarding jurisdictional challenges involving children is that the jurisdiction is where the children habitually reside.
In ANT v ANU  SGHC 229, the husband held an employment pass for work and the wife and children held dependant passes. The Court dismissed the wife’s application based on the Spilida test that Singapore is not the appropriate forum because, inter alia, none of the parties nor the children were habitually resident in Singapore.
Ultimately, the Courts will consider the degree of connection of the child with Singapore and what is in the best interests of the child.
Foo Soon Yien
Director, Bernard & Rada Law Corporation
The posts found in this Law Blog are not legal advice, nor are they given for the purpose of providing legal advice.
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