Mandatory mediation and counselling for parents undergoing divorce

Parents with at least one child below 14-years-old must attend mediation and/or counselling at Family Court from Monday.

Here is the full statement from the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Subordinate Courts:

With effect 1 July 2013, parties undergoing divorce proceedings with at least one child below 14 years of age must attend mediation and/ or counselling at the Family Court .

The change is in line with the amendment of the Women’s Charter in 2011 to make counselling and/ or mediation mandatory for all parties with at least one child aged below 21 years of age, when they commence divorce proceedings .

The mediation and counselling is implemented in a phased approach through the Family Court’s Child Focused Resolution Centre (CFRC) which was set up in 2011. The first phase, which commenced on 26 September 2011, was for divorcing parties with at least on e child below 8 years of age.

Providing counselling and/or mediation early will help the parties undergoing divorce proceedings to focus on the best interests and welfare of their children when making decisions on parenting and care arrangements .

In 2012, 98% of cases without agreed parenting plans had reach ed an agreement on parenting issues after the intervention at CFRC .

Among others, matters agreed upon pertain to custody, care , control, and access of children .