WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHILD CUSTODY IN MALAYSIA?
Child Custody Definition
Although the definition is rather self-explanatory, but it is important to understand that a parent with legal custody, generally can make decisions (for example) about the schooling, religious upbringing and medical care.
Myth About Child Custody in Malaysia
The common misconception when it comes to child custody rights in Malaysia is that the Family Court will always favour the mother, simply because the mother is the best person to be the custodian. Although in most, if not all cases it is true 😉 , but this may not always be a true representation of child custody cases in Malaysia. Let’s have a look at some important points that might help you understand more on How Custody Decision are made?
Decision Making On Child Custody In Malaysia
It is common practice in Malaysia for the parents to discuss by way of mediation in deciding whether it’s a full custody, limited reasonable access or joint custody by both parents.
However, in the circumstances where the parents are unable to reach an amicable decision on the custody, the Family Court may then make such a decision for the parents and child.
How custody decision are made is that the Family Court will always consider the best interest of the child.
This then begs the question what amounts to “best interest”?
Best Interest of the Child
- best interest – means the Family Court will look at the welfare of the child which includes both physical and mental welfare;
- the wishes of the child – the court will also consider the child’s wishes, provided the child is of an age to express an independent opinion;
- ability of the birth parents to raise the child – child custody may be awarded to other family members, relatives or local welfare department if it is proven that the birth parents are incapable of carrying their duties and responsibilities towards the child; and
- other relevant facts – such as the relationship between the parents and the child.
IMPORTANT FACT: The Paramount consideration in child custody in Malaysia shall always be the welfare of the child.