How Easy is It to Lose Child Custody in Malaysia?

Lawyer

We all want to live with someone that we love for the rest of our lives. Although there are some couples that get to live happily ever after, there are some that, well, do not end well.

In those cases, a divorce would be in order. That being said, if you were to file for divorce and you happen to have children together, only one parent will be able to get their custody, unless the case is settled where both parties have an amicable agreement of the custody of their child.

A family attorney may be required in this case so that they will be able to give you the best-case scenario. But, how easy is it to lose child custody in Malaysia?

If You Are a Father and Your Kid is Below 7 Years of Age

Malaysian courts will most likely grant the custody of a couple’s children to the mother, especially if the child is below 7 years old. That is because children below that age are quite dependent on their mothers by nature. This is still true despite the father being capable of caring for the child.

However, it is important to note that although some courts do not deem this as a requirement any longer, there is still a huge chance that the mother will be granted sole custody of the children, especially if no amicable agreement was made between both parties.

If the Child is Converted to Islam

Malaysia practices Islamic faith and they choose that as their predominant religion in the country. However, there are some people that practice different religions, which is why laws governing marriage differ depending on the religion you are practicing.

If both of the spouses are practicing the Islamic faith, then they are bound by Syariah Law. If both are non-Muslims, then they will be governed by Civil Law. That being said, there were high-profile cases before where dads would secretly convert their kids to Islam (assuming that their wives are practicing other religions). That means that the custody was given to them based on Syariah Law.

Of course, these mothers would not allow this to happen, so they want to fight back. After granting full custody of the children, the father refused to give their daughter back, which prompted the police to arrest him.

There was one problem, which law will they follow? The Syariah Law or the Civil Law? That is actually very interesting indeed.

If the Child is Able to Express Their Preference

If the child is at least 8 years old and above, both the Syariah Law and the Civil Law mandates that the child choose where they want to go. Although this is considered practical since there will be no long legal battles regarding child custody, psychologists argue that this event would put too much strain on the child- forcing them to choose either of their parents.

This has been a long debate, but you just have to consider whether you want to be practical or you want to think about the welfare of the child.