Divorce in Singapore – family focus: What happens to expat children following a separation?

Splitting up a family is not a pretty subject matter, but it's important to understand the legal advice when it comes to being an expat family with kids in Singapore

If you’ve chosen to end your relationship with your partner, the separation process can be tough when you’re living away from home – especially when there are children involved. Life as a single parent in Singapore can be even more challenging if you don’t have close family and friends on hand. Without your support network, it can be hard to know where to turn to for help – but there are experts that can help you find the best way forward, from counsellors for you and the children, to family lawyers such as the team at Lander & Rogers, who can guide you through the process.

It’s only natural to want to make a fresh start and leave the old memories behind. But it’s important to know that without your ex’s consent, you can’t simply relocate to a new country to start a new life and take the children with you. If you do, the consequences can be serious.

A smooth and safe new start
It’s essential to know that there is an international legal treaty between countries that include Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom that effectively prevents one parent from permanently relocating to a new country with the children, if the other parent has not consented to this. According to the Hague Convention, if both parents do not agree to the move, and there are no court orders in place giving you the authority to permanently relocate overseas, the children can be forced to return. Not only is this extremely disruptive and confusing for them, it can result in you having to return and stay in Singapore against your wishes.

As an expat, if you separate from your partner and want to move to a new country with your children, it is important that you obtain expert legal advice before making any move. A skilled family lawyer will be able to assist you in obtaining the consent of the other parent to allow you and the children to move legally, or failing that, to advise you on the proper channels for obtaining a court order allowing you to relocate.

Different countries may have different rules on relocating with children, including financial issues like the payment of child support and dividing property. Legal advice specific to the country you are residing in is essential.

Getting good advice
Lander & Rogers is a leading provider of family law services in Australasia and abroad, with alliances with many international firms throughout Asia and the world. Its team has significant expertise in international relationship and family law matters, including international property, alimony, child support and relocation. Contact the Family and Relationship Law team to get the help you need at this difficult time.

This post is sponsored by Lander & Rogers.