Okay, let’s say that your relationship with your spouse has soured and the only way for you to reconcile would be to actually end your marriage. Maybe it has come to a point that it became unbearable to be living with them under one roof.
That being said, things get complicated when you have children. That is because you will also have to think about the welfare and custody of your children as well. Consulting a family attorney would be the first thing that you need to do. They will give you ample advice regarding the matter and will be able to represent you in the court of law when it comes to the proceedings.
This article will cover some important things that parents need to know about child custody in Malaysia. But before that, I want to dispel a myth regarding the matter.
For a time, people actually believe that the custody of their children will always be awarded to the mother. After all, people can collectively agree that the mother would be the best custodian since they are able to nurture their child in the best way possible.
Although that is true before that the courts of Malaysia would grant custody to the mother by default, especially if we are talking about children under the age of 7 years old. However, this is no longer the case nowadays.
The law has been modified to take into consideration a lot of things, but the main idea would be who will give the child/children the best care possible?
How the Custody Case is Decided?
It is a common practice among Malaysian people that both of the parents would discuss in front of a mediator, the terms of child custody. It could be that either of the parents will have limited reasonable access or it could be that they have joint custody of their children. However, there are also times where both parties could not come up with an amicable agreement, which is why the family court would make the decision for them.
Keep in mind that the court will always look at all of the factors, but in the end, it will always be for the welfare of the child. In other words, the court will consider only what’s best for the children involved in the matter.
Because of this, this begs the question, “what exactly constitutes ‘best interest’”?
What is ‘Best’ for a Child?
When we talk about the ‘best interest’ for a child, this means that the court will decide what is best for the physical and mental welfare of the children. This means, which parent is able to provide more for the child that will ensure their holistic development.
However, if the child is able to decide for themselves (i.e. they are above the age of 7), then they will be able to tell the court which parent they want to go to (this presupposes that both parents weren’t able to come up with an amicable agreement).