Singapore single mothers now entitled to maternity leave — if they marry within 3 months

Marry in haste divorce at their leisure…

The Associated Press
Published: January 22, 2007

SINGAPORE: Singapore has relaxed its rules on maternity leave, now allowing single mothers to take 12 weeks away from work — as long as they marry the child’s father within three months of the birth, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Previously, women had to be married before the birth in order to be entitled to maternity leave.

The changes were announced Monday in Parliament by Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, state minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.

She noted that as the government-sponsored leave must be taken with six months of the baby’s birth, the marriage must take place within three months in order for the woman to enjoy the full leave, the Straits Times reported.

The change specifies that the mother must marry the father of the child to qualify, not just any man.

In 2004, there were at least 540 out-of-wedlock births, the report said.

It said the government and employer share the maternity leave costs for a woman’s first two children. For her third and fourth children, the government handles full reimbursement.

In another change, Parliament also announced that the natural parents of illegitimate children can claim parenthood tax rebates for their second, third and fourth children if they marry before the child turns 6

.

So how do you get a divorce after being ‘coerced’ into a shot-gun wedding? Please remember that we are refering to the Singaporean Law and any interpretation will come with a disclaimer,

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT MEANT TO DISPENSE LEGAL ADVICE. YOU ARE ADVISED TO SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY PROBLEMS OR QUESTIONS WHICH YOU MAY HAVE. THE AUTHOR IS NOT TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OF YOUR ACTS OR OMISSIONS IN RELIANCE ON ANY PART OF THIS ARTICLE.

DIVORCE IN SINGAPORE’S CONTEXT THE 10 MOST COMMON BELIEFS/FALLACIES
With Singapore becoming more and more cosmopolitan each day and with more Singaporeans going overseas for studies or work, potential clients seeking to initiate divorce proceedings in Singapore are influenced by the requirements to commence divorce proceedings in the various jurisdictions around the world.

In Singapore, the requirements are set out in the Women’s Charter, Chapter 353 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) and this article aims to dispel the 10 most common beliefs/fallacies with reference to the relevant provisions of the Act.

As the purpose of this article is to highlight the common beliefs/fallacies in relation to divorce proceedings to laypersons, there would not be any reference to case laws or judgments of any courts but broad statements of law with reference to the Act.

Belief No. 1 – So long as parties agree, they can obtain a divorce

This is the most common fallacy and presumably it is due to the fact that adults are not required to seek the consent of any third parties before they are married. Hence, it is assumed that so long as both adults consent to be divorced, why should their decision be dependant on third parties’ opinions or consent?

In Singapore, in order for parties to obtain a divorce, they must present a Petition for Divorce as set out in sections 92 and 93 of the Act which provide that the Judge of the High Court of the Republic of Singapore has the jurisdiction to hear such divorce petitions. It is not the common intention or decision of two adults which determine whether they are divorced or not. Whether parties are able to obtain a divorce depends on the decision of the High Court Judge after hearing the divorce petition.

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About soci
Lived in Singapore for 6 wonderful years and has been blogging since 2003, under various names but always on Singaporean issues.

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