CHILD CUSTODY IN RWANDA
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
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,
- Domestic abuse and violence
- 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,
How long does child custody case take in Rwanda ?
- Complexity of the case,
- Willingness of the parties to cooperate and resolve the matter
- Case backlog before court