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24 June 2020

Developing Child Support Guidelines in Singapore: Lessons from Canada

Tan Ming Ren

Published on e-First 24 June 2020

Abstract:
The courts in Singapore currently award child support in a discretionary manner without the use of guidelines or tables. To promote consistency and reduce legal costs, Sundaresh Menon CJ established a committee in 2017 to develop child support guidelines in Singapore. This article examines how Singapore can learn from Canada’s positive experience with its Federal Child Support Guidelines over the past 23 years while avoiding the problems caused by the exceptions within the guidelines that conferred discretion upon judges to deviate from the presumptive table amount in special situations. An approach which balances the objectives of certainty and predictability with fairness and flexibility will be proposed for Singapore.