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Sunday January 14th 2018

Singaporean married to foreigner on S Pass work permit unable to see own child


Hi Gilbert,
My brother is married to a foreigner who’s working and holding the  ’S’ Pass work permit after marriage.
Once their baby was born, she left him and started staying separately in a rental room.
She does not have anyone to help her babysit and  since she’s working shift hours, she has a nanny to look after the baby.
They went through  counselling sessions in the syariah court. but she kept asking for divorce. so my brother agreed to her request.
Now,  they are waiting for the letter for mediation.
While waiting for the letter, my brother is not allowed to see his baby.
Whenever my brother wants to see his child,  she  rejected his request and  says that he can only see the baby  when the baby’s mom is present.
She can trust a third party – the babysitter –  to look after the  baby while she’s working but  ironically, she’s not allowing my brother who is the father  to see his child… its very painful for him indeed.
She has also  filed a maintenance case against my brother and he  has been contributing to the baby’s expenses even though she’s not living with him.
We are also very ashamed to say that there are some lawyers out there who’s willing to help this ungrateful foreigner using the Women’s Charter for a very low fee. but when my brother approached a lawyer,  he is not helping him much but only ended up paying  thousands of dollars as legal fee.
Please advise who can we approach for help. 
Thanks  &  regards,
Hi Amin
If your brother’s wife is not allowing him to see the child, your brother can approach a lawyer and make an application to court via the Family Court to seek interim access of the child.
However, making such an application in court may cost money.
Further, if your brother suspects that the mother is going to bring the child out of jurisdiction since the wife has applied for a new passport for the child without your brother’s knowledge, your brother could also apply for an injunction to prevent the wife from bringing the child out of the jurisdiction.
Application that I have described above can be expensive. You may try approaching the Legal Aid Bureau (LAB) for assistance if costs is the issue. However, LAB has a stringent means test that you have to go through before they decide whether or not to extend assistance to you.
 There is no reason why your brother should not be allowed to have access of the child.
The wife does not have sold custody of the child since there is no order of court. The child belongs to both parents.
If your brother were to take the child and bring the child to his home, there is nothing wrong with that since he is the father unless there is an order of court that says otherwise. 
It is not for your  brother’s wife to dictate when he can see the child. Only the court can do so. She wants to be around when your brother sees the child because I believe she is afraid that your brother may take the child away.
James (legal counsel)
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2 Responses to “Singaporean married to foreigner on S Pass work permit unable to see own child”

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