Second Legal Workshop — Family Law

If you missed our second legal workshop on family law and advanced life planning, below is a summary compiled by our volunteer Han Shen.

In the case of divorce, does being transgender affect who gets the child?

  • Short answer: no. 

  • Long answer: It depends entirely on the welfare of the child. Some questions that the judge will look at, for example, are: who is the primary caregiver of the child? Who does the child turn to for emotional support?

  • Typically, the court will say that the child will go to the parent who provides the most welfare for the child.

  • In the lawyer’s opinion, she doubts that the judge will deem you as unfit to be a proper parent because one is transgender.

  • Bottom line: it will follow typical divorce proceedings

Does IC trump birth certificate for gender?

  • As you can change your gender marker on your IC after going for a sex change operation

  • IC should overrides birth certificate. But in some cases, where you have to prove family relationship, officials will look at the birth certificate with the deed pole.

If there is an amicable dissolution of the relationship (e.g. due to one person transitioning, and the other no longer wants to stay in the relationship), and both parties do not have a lot of cash, where can they go to resolve the dispute?

Family Justice Court

  • The Primary Justice Panel will soon be implemented, where for a small fixed fee of about $1800 covers both parties all the way to the end of the divorce

  • However, both parties must have most of the issues resolved already

Singapore Law Society

  • They offer a mediation scheme that is very cheap

  • E.g. if there are no assets, the fees can be as low as $200, and they will still ensure that the mediators are very good

  • Law Society Pro Bono Services has pamphlets that give information on exactly where one can go for various issues, e.g. counselling, accessible legal help, domestic violence etc.

Thank you very much once again to Law Society Pro Bono Services and OTP Law Corporation for facilitating this workshop. If you need any more information, please feel free to leave us an email or reach out to any of the above organisations.