Singaporean court has finally ruled on the case of a divorced couple who could not agree amicably on where their son would spend Chinese New Year celebrations every year.
According to The Straits Times, the couple had a $60 million settlement between them, but had failed to reach any decision regarding their son’s visiting arrangement during Chinese New Year.
Some people need a court to tell them how to be a parent
The court proceedings lasted for one and a half years until the decision was finally set that 13-year-old should have dinner first with his mother, before a second dinner at his father’s home on the same day, according to the same report. The decision was handed down in 2019 but the parents, unsatisfied, appealed the case.
The appeal was thrown out.
According to High Court Judge Debbie Ong, “The court is the last resort for the resolution of parenting matters, for parents should intentionally endeavour to make these decisions for their children themselves.”
“What would significantly affect [the child’s] welfare is the parents’ conflicts and the spirit in which they carry out the orders,” said the judge.
Who is this couple who can’t decide on their own where their teenage child would go for Chinese New Year?
According to the same report, the couple had four children, and had an uncontested divorce in 2012 after a 25-year marriage. The eldest child has passed away and the couple’s remaining children are 21, 22, and 13 years old. The case pertained to the youngest child.
Before the court case, the couple did not have any problems regarding their children’s arrangements during the holidays. But the relationship are parents soured in 2019 when they accused each other of different things.
The mother said that she had served her ex-husband a demand to give her $60 million as agreed. The father, on the other hand, said that it was his ex-wife’s fault for deliberately not communicating with him on the matter.
The 2019 CNY dinner that changed it all
The report said that in 2019, the mother asked for the youngest child to spend time with her on Chinese New Year, especially with other children abroad. “She said with her daughters overseas, it was important to spend quality time as a family that day.” according to The Straits Times.
The father, on the other hand, wanted the boy to spend dinner time with his side of the family. The court said that having a second dinner was acceptable if the father wanted to spend time on Chinese New Year.
The father disagreed, and wanted his youngest child to have lunch with his ex-wife’s family and dinner with his family. He said that his child might be too full for a last dinner after being to his mother’s. The judge demurred, saying that a second dinner was not troublesome.
When the father appealed the decision, the higher court judge upheld the lower court’s decision, saying that the dinner arrangements would not have any effect on the child.