WHAT IS CHILD MAINTENANCE?
According to the law, a parent’s primary role is considered to be the protection of his or her child. Parenthood is a lifelong commitment to a relationship that consists of how the child is nurtured, their financial stability, food and shelter– the support towards the child’s everyday living costs. These various elements of the parenthood concept, make up Child Maintenance.
Child maintenance is about providing the basic necessities to a minor in order to ensure that they are safe and that their upbringing is not hindered in any way. It is a mutual agreement between both the parents about the exercise of their authority over the child, solely for the purpose of taking care of and providing for the child. The parent who does not have the main day-to-day care of the child pays child maintenance to the parent who does. It is enforced to provide financial aid to a child who lives with a lone parent or a legal guardian. However, maintenance orders may be varied depending on the situations.
The calculations of Home Contribution ratios between spouses, as well as Child maintenance monthly costs can be made on The Singapore Divorce Calculator, a FREE APP.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHILD MAINTENANCE
The importance of child maintenance includes making a real difference to the child as it can help pay for essentials such as clothing and food. Apart from being just a legal responsibility, this procedure allows both parents to be involved actively in the life of their child. If a parent fails or refuses to contribute to the maintenance of the child, a court may order that the parent do so by providing a monthly payment or a lump sum amount.
Some parents may decide they would rather make private maintenance arrangements, instead of having to go through child support agency channels or through courts. However if there are disputes and difficulties, an agency can put forth an arrangement for the parent.
- The guardian of the child
- Anyone who has actual custody of the child
- A child who is at least 21 years of age
- Any sibling of the child who is above the age of 21, only if the child is not yet 21
ARE CHILDREN ABOVE THE AGE OF 21 ELIGIBLE FOR CHILD MAINTENANCE?
Yes, children who are more than 21 years of age are eligible for receiving child maintenance provided that they fall under any one of these circumstances:
- The child suffers from a mental or physical disability
- The child is or will be serving full-time national service
- The child is or will be studying or undergoing vocational training
- Any other special circumstances that approve of their eligibility for child maintenance.