Child Custody in Malaysia

In Malaysia, there are various types of custody involving children for example joint custody, full custody or custody with reasonable access given the other parent. The issue of custody can be determined by the parents. Under a joint petition divorce in Malaysia, the issues custody of the children are agreed upon by the parties themselves.

However, the Court may intervene if parties are unable to agree on the terms of custody. In such circumstances and very often in single petition for divorce in Malaysia, the court will make a decision in the best interest of the child and the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration. In Malaysia, this is provided for under section 88 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976. It is also presumed under the law that it is the best interest of a child below the age of 7 to be with the mother. While this may normally be the case, this presumption can be rebutted if there are evidence to show that the mother is not fit to take care of the child.

The Court may order that child maintenance be paid for the benefit of the child during the divorce proceeding or when an order for custody is made by the Court.