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Divorce ruling to state which party is allowed to list child as occupier

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Children & Families

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang
MP for Nee Soon GRC


To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry will consider requiring divorce rulings that award shared care and control to also state which party is allowed to list the child as an essential occupier in their application to buy a subsidised HDB flat.


1 Section 126 of the Women’s Charter allows the Court to make a care and control order subject to any conditions as it thinks fit to impose, including the place where the child is to reside. Any condition included by a judge or by the parents, if they have reached an agreement, must be in the best interests of the child as well as necessary for their circumstances.

2 We have considered the suggestion for all care and control court orders to state which parent is allowed to list the child as an “essential occupier” for the purposes of applying for a HDB flat. However, we do not intend to make this a mandatory requirement.

3 Both parents have a shared and equal right to list their children in their flat. We want to encourage parents to work out suitable arrangements between themselves, bearing in mind what would be in their children’s best interests. It is not ideal for them, in a situation where they have shared care and control, to seek or rely on court orders to list down all matters pertaining to their children, including housing.

4 That said, some parents may face genuine difficulties in reaching an agreement. In such cases, the Housing & Development Board will review the matter, and will be prepared to exercise flexibility to protect the interests of the children.