within the definition of the law in Malaysia
A parent who is granted the custody of a child has a right in the care of the child in fixing the daily lifestyles of the child including education, co-curricular activities and upbringing of the child.
Who can apply for Custody?
Under the Law Reform (Marriage & Divorce) Act 1976, the only party that has the right to make application for the custody of the child would be the parents of the child.
The Court however may in exceptional circumstances grant temporary custody to any other relative of the child, any association or any suitable person the court deems fit.
When can you make an application for
You may make an application for child custody anytime. There is no need for you to wait for divorce proceeding to commence, unlike maintenance claim.
What are the relevant facts the Court would look into?
In such application, the child’s welfare is the first and paramount consideration. However, the court would also have regard of wishes of the parents and wishes of the child who is of age and capable of expressing his or her independent opinion.
What if your child is below the age of 7 years?
There is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the child’s best interest below the age of 7 years to be with his or her mother. But in deciding whether the presumption applies, the court shall have regard to the undesirability of disturbing the life of a child by changes of custody. Welfare of each child is to be considered independently.