How does the court determine child custody?

Child Custody (Hadhanah) will be determined by the Court by considering of the child's welfare. In most cases, custody of minors under the age of mumaiyyiz (under age 7) is given to the biological mother, unless it is proven that the mother has been disqualified as a guardian.There are many possible ways that the mother can be disqualified as a guardian, you are advised to speak to Syarie Lawyer for more information. 

Can a child decide which parent to follow in the event of divorce?

For mumaiyyiz children (over 7 years old), the Court may ask the child to choose with whom the child wants to live with. If one of the parties disagrees the decision determined by the child's choice, the Syariah Lawyer can apply to the court, and the court will consider several factors that affect the child's welfare before making decision.

Can a party get the sole custody before divorce?

Yes, provided the Syarie Lawyer is required to prove the need of the sole custody. For example:

(a) The parties no longer live together.
(b) Both parties in the process of divorce.
(c) The husband has polygamy.

How does the Syariah court decides on visitation rights? What happen if my partner refuses to let me visit my kid?

The visitation rights will be given to those who did not get the child custody. Usually the schedule of visitation will be determined by the Court according to the needs of the child, the child's daily schedule, the distance between both parties and other factors that the Court deems necessary.

If the party entitled to custody (Party A) does not allow the party entitled to the visitation rights (Party B) to visit the child, the syarie lawyer of Party B may file an Application in Court against Party A for variation of the Court Order. 

Can me and my spouse have joint custody?

Yes. Your syarie lawyer can applyfor it if both parties agree.  The parties are advised to engage a syarie lawyer to enter into an agreement relating the joint custody and in agreements are the detailed terms of visitation and overnight rights, school holidays, festivals and so on to avoid confusion and issues arise in the future.

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