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What are the Child Custody Laws in Pakistan?

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

When learning about child custody laws in Pakistan, it is essential to understand that the law will always rule in the child's favour and best interest. Because the child cannot live in two places simultaneously, the court will decide which parent the child should reside with.

Child custody cases are decided by Family Courts in Pakistan and often require highly skilled lawyers and experienced judges. The cases are sometimes tricky and complicated. The addition of the sensitive nature of the situation can often create more stress for the individuals involved.

The following guide explains important terms and what you should remember when filing for custody of your child in Pakistan.

child custody laws in Pakistan Small male child playing in blue shorts

Photo credit: Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

Table of Contents

Age Limit and Child Custody Laws in Pakistan

In Pakistan, the custody laws follow Sharia law. In Islam, the custody of a minor child will permanently reside with the mother, which is called Hizanat. This means that in the case of child custody cases, children who are of tender age are considered minors. For boys, this is below the age of seven and, for girls, before they reach puberty.

However, this is only sometimes the case. There are exceptions, and this guide will explain the details and how the custody of a child is decided in Pakistan.

But, Family Courts in Pakistan are required by law to decide cases according to the welfare of the child. This means that in some cases, the minor child's custody may be awarded to the father if the mother's right of custody is disqualified. The best interest and welfare of the child are always taken as the foremost concern by the court.

We will discuss what constitutes disqualification below.

Before we get into custody, let us learn some important terms you will need to understand when filing for custody of your child.

Custodial vs Non-Custodial Parent?

The custodial parent is the one that is granted custody, while the non-custodial parent is the parent that does not have physical custody of the child. This does not mean that the non-custodial parent will not have visitation rights or guardianship of the child. These terms are only used to determine where the child will reside physically.

Differences between Child Custody and Guardianship

Guardianship can be applied to anyone related to the child. In Pakistan, guardianship is by law given to the father because he is bearing the child's expenses. Guardianship means that the guardian will have authority over the care and property of the minor and will be the decision-maker for all legal matters. This does not mean that the child will be in the father's custody, but he can still be the legal guardian and take decisions regarding the child's welfare.

The custodian of the child will have physical custody and will be responsible for the mental and physical care of the child.

Factors Considered When Deciding Custody

To summarise, the following are some crucial points that the court will consider when deciding the custody of the child.

  • The best interest and welfare of the child

  • Who can provide financial support to the child

  • The living situation of both parents

  • Who has taken care of the child primarily since birth

  • How old the child is

  • Is the child male or female

  • The demeanour of custodial parent

  • The behaviour of the non-custodial parent

  • Is the father paying child maintenance payments

  • What is the present visitation schedule

  • Relationship between child and parent

  • The profile and family background of each parent

Disqualification of Custody

In some cases, the mother or father can be disqualified for the custody of the child. This is important to understand before you file for custody of your child.

For the mother, the following could disqualify custody:

  • The mother is convicted of an illegal offence like drug abuse or anything not in line with Islam.

  • A mother who is promiscuous and has a bad reputation.

  • If the mother is deemed unfit to parent the child.

In the case of the father, the following situations can disqualify him from having custody:

  • The same factors mentioned above for the mother.

  • The non-payment of maintenance from the father

Duration of Child Custody Cases

The duration of child custody cases differs. Often we are asked by clients how long with their cases last. There is, however, no single answer to this question. In most cases, custody cases can take years to decide. It is best to hire experienced legal professionals to handle your case.

Hire the Best for your Case

Hiring the best and most qualified legal experts is vital when dealing with child custody cases. Alam & Alam Legal and Financial Consultants can help you navigate the legal course to ensure the best for your child.

Having legal experts that can explain the intricacies of the legal aspects of a child case is essential. Our legal experts will take the time to explain the entire scenario so that you are aware of all of the circumstances surrounding your unique situation.

Call Alam & Alam Legal and Financial Consultants today to schedule an appointment.

A & A has provided reliable, trustworthy, and expert legal assistance to individuals, corporations, and firms for the last twelve years. Contact us today to receive a consult and discuss your legal or financial concerns.

Telephone: +92-51-2355777, +92-332-5233523, +92-344-5555588



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