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Difficulties in Access to Children after Divorce – Supervised Access to Children

During a divorce, the Court may order that one party has care and control of the child, while the other party has supervised access to the child. This article informs you what to expect when a Court grants an order for supervised access, and will provide a guide on how to carry out such an order.
During a divorce, the Court may order that one party is to have sole care and control of the child, which means that the child will live with that party. However, to ensure that the child still has the benefit of guidance from both parents, the Court usually grants access to the parent who does not have care and control of the child.
In cases where the family is a high-conflict family, the access arrangements may have to be supervised. This is usually only ordered in special cases such as where the parent and children need to get used to each other or in any cases of divorce in Singapore where there has been a history of abuse. The Ministry of Social and Family Development states that supervised access arrangements provide “a safe platform for children who express strong reluctance and discomfort about meeting their access parent. Counsellors help by mitigating distrust and working on the complex family dynamics”

The Court does not order supervised access with a mind to prevent independent access by the non-care and control parent. The supervised access arrangements are aimed at building trust and a healthy relationship between the child and the non-care and control parent. These supervised access sessions aim to help parents’ co-parent in an effective and sustainable manner. They also provide the child with a safe and conducive environment to build a healthy and sustainable relationship with the non-care and control parent. 

To this end, the non-care and control parent can apply to the Court for variation of the Court order for supervised access when he/she is able to show that his/her relationship with the child has made sufficient progress and that it would now be feasible for him/her to have unsupervised access. 

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