Better support for troubled families

Better support for troubled families

The Government has accepted the recommendations of a committee looking into providing support for troubled families.

The Committee for Family Justice yesterday announced its proposed measures, which include better support for families to resolve disputes via a robust and integrated network of assistance and support.

It also proposed a new body, known as the Family Justice Courts, to deal with all family-related cases. It will comprise the existing High Court (family division), Family Court and Juvenile Court.

The committee also proposed a child-centred approach which places more emphasis on the interests of children. This includes measures like the appointment of child representatives in court proceedings.

Before going for a divorce, couples with children must undergo a pre-filing consultation session to understand the importance of co-parenting and practical issues arising from a divorce that may have an impact on children.

The Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Social and Family Development said yesterday that they welcomed the recommendations and are committed to implementing them. This will include the development of the social support framework, and the introduction of a new Family Justice Act in Parliament to establish the Family Justice Courts.

On the recommendations, Senior Minister of State for Education and Law and co-chairman of the committee, Ms Indranee Rajah, said: "Families should be saved as far as possible and court proceedings should be brought only as a last resort.

"If, notwithstanding this, the family still ends up in the court system, the court process should not worsen the anguish that the family is undergoing."

This article was first published on july 07, 2014.
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