skip to Main Content
Innocent Law +250 787 314 139


Child custody in Rwanda  is one of the most asked questions because whenever there is family breakdown, parents resort to who takes a child/ children.

Child custody  refers to the rights and responsibilities between parents for taking care of their children.

Can a mother get full custody of  child in Rwanda?

A mother  in default has  sole physical and legal custody, she must prove  the court that awarding  custody that  the best interests of child are not at stake.

One is supposed to show court that there is already  existing relationship with the child, stability of the home life  inability of the father to meet the child’s needs and one has to show court that  father is careless in taking care of their child.

How to get child custody in Rwanda in 2022?

The court may also order that custody of children be shared between both spouses if it is in the best interests of the children.

The right to  child custody in Rwanda is solely determined by court not parties except in mutual consent divorce.

Both parents in Rwanda have equal obligations to wards moral & growth of their child but this doesn’t stop even at divorce.

Child custody refers  to the rights and responsibilities between parents for taking care of their children

Joint custody, where both parents have custody of all children involved, is preferred and is the most common arrangement, if conditions allow

Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make long-term decisions for a child’s well-being.

Physical custody refers to the right of parents to live with and take care of their children on a daily basis.

Shared custody  means two parents who share physical time with a child on a close-to-equal basis, which is not relevant when it comes to decision-making, but important when it comes to determining child support.

In Rwanda, child custody is rendered by court where parents fail to agree on who should take the child in case of breakup or divorce.

Furthermore, all  court decisions regarding child custody, child’s best interest be taken paramount.

More so, a child in Rwanda refers to any person below the age of 18 years.

Can a mother take her child away from the father in Rwanda?

It is possible for court to order for the cancellation of child custody.

Custody orders are not usually  permanent but rather temporary in nature. Any aggrieved parent petitions court for  his/ her child custody.

Also, a mother can given full custody of their child if she proves that her husband is not be able to take care of the child.

This may result from the following:

  • Drug abuse,
  • Alcoholism,
  • Addiction,
  • Domestic abuse and violence
  • Sickness
  • Child’s choice of parent.

Who has custody of a child when the parents are not married in Rwanda?

Previously, mothers could  stay with child  below 6 years. In 2020 Rwanda amended the legal provision which was sought to be discriminative to men. A new law  no longer states that  children of 6 years must  stay with their mothers.

Today, court determines a competent parent to stay with the child on the account of putting child’s best interest.

Court may even grant child custody to the third party if parents are incompetent,

Child custody case may take between 6 months to 12months   depending on the following:
  • Complexity of the case,
  • Willingness of the parties to cooperate and resolve the matter
  • Case backlog before court
For more information please contact us:
 Call & WhatsApp: +250787314139
This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top
× How can I help you?