In a unique family court case, a young man in Singapore, who fathered a child with his lover, has been ordered to pay child maintenance despite claiming he should not be liable due to wearing protection. The judgment, dated January 19, reveals the complexities of the case, including disputes over paternity and the father’s argument that he should not have to contribute financially, according to Channel NewsAsia.
The case involves a couple who, despite not being married, became parents when their child was born in March 2023. The father, currently serving National Service (NS), argued that he practiced safe intercourse through contraception and never contemplated having a child. Disputes over paternity arose, leading to a court-ordered paternity test confirming the man as the biological father.
The father contended that he should not be held liable for child maintenance, asserting that he believed he had taken reasonable steps to prevent a pregnancy through the use of contraception. However, the court highlighted the unexpected failure of protective measures and emphasized the father’s legal obligation to contribute to the child’s maintenance.
The court addressed the absence of a court order or agreement governing parental responsibility between the unmarried couple. The father’s lawyer attempted to refer to an alleged agreement where the woman would assume responsibility if they chose to keep the child. However, the court found no evidence of a formal agreement, leading to the conclusion that the father should fulfill his duty of child maintenance.
Financial Contribution and Monthly Maintenance
Following the determination that the father should contribute to child maintenance, the court explored the amount to be paid. The father suggested a lump sum payment of S$25,000, but the court rejected this proposal. The judgment questioned the feasibility of such a payment, given the father’s claimed monthly income of S$800 during NS and his listed expenses.
While emphasizing the father’s responsibility, the court also scrutinized the mother’s listed expenses, deeming them “on the high side.” Both parties were urged to consider the child’s best interests, with the court providing a table of likely monthly expenses amounting to S$405.60. The mother, who also receives maintenance for her first child, was encouraged to moderate her expenditure.