In January, 2016, at the beginning of the new legal year, Chief Justice Singapore emphasized on the role of family justice court for smooth and sophisticated legal processes. According to Mr. Sundaresh Menon, family justice court has to ensure that the amount of pressure on the people going through divorce process should be as low as possible. One of the major point of concern was children who usually suffer a great deal during and after divorce.
CJ added that Family Justice Court must keep pace with new complexities, such as:
• New pressures on families
• Ageing population,
• Increase in family relocations, and
• Increase in transnational marriages
Family Justice Court for Children’s Welfare
Ever since it was launched, the family justice court Singapore has been involved in making things easier for divorcees as well as their kids. If divorce involved contentious child case, parents and kids need to go through mandatory counselling and mediation. It is a pilot therapeutic program introduced by Singapore Law in 2014. A therapeutic interview is conducted with kids of divorce and they’re prepared for the future.
According to Chief Justice, the treatment has rendered favorable results. It has helped a lot of couples in making better decisions for themselves as well as their children. Until now, 75% divorce cases have been resolved in which there was some kind of agreement on child issues.
Then there is a new scheme for children. It comprises of 24 experts and well trained family lawyers. The purpose of this scheme is to preserve and protect the rights of children whose parents have been going through divorce process. You can consult your divorce lawyer regarding this scheme.
National Mediation Framework
Singapore is full of races and religions. The fact that it offers a space for everyone, people from different continents have arrived here and began their lives. This trend is increasing day by day, and so as the problem of cross-border family issues. It’s certainly a challenge for the country’s family law authorities.
An update related to mediation process was, Singapore International Mediation Institute collaborated with Singapore Mediation Center in order to develop a family mediation process across the country. It seeks to unify different mediation institutions, giving national accreditation to the mediators throughout the country. So far, 51 mediators have been accredited.
International Mediation Framework
This process will further enhance in coming years as FJC intends to develop an international system for family mediation. It will help attend to increasing number of cross-border family legal issues. This, according to CJ, would give a learning platform for the country’s family law authorities that can use other jurisdictions and face these challenges.
This was the reason why Mr. Menon had decided to create an international council of well-known family judges belonging to different jurisdictions. The council will also have law experts and social science experts from different parts of the world.
With so many developments and improvements in the family law, the efforts of Chief Justice Singapore are worth admiring as the country has shown significant improvements in terms marriages and divorce. Having mentioned that, experts of social sciences are still not sure whether decreasing divorce rate and increasing marriages were the results of these efforts, or was it a familiar trend that had occurred a decade ago.