Session 8

Each custody case filed at court is unique in its own way, Custody cases are determined based on the Act No. 4/2000 (Family Act) enacted in 2000, and the Family Regulation as amended in 2006. It is important to consider the case law on custody to see how the courts have interpreted the different sections of the aforementioned legislation.

The Family Act states that all custody cases must be determined in the best interests of the child. Different elements of the principle have been discussed, applied and interpreted in other jurisdictions. However, the Family Act does not define the principle of the best interests of the child. As such, the paper will examine how this principle has been interpreted in case law.

The paper will also take a look at joint/shared custody which has been introduced in modern legal systems, how this concept is applied, and consider whether this concept can be used be in the Maldives. Furthermore, it will examine cases of child abduction, in cases where one parent who is a foreigner travels abroad with the child without permission of the other Maldivian parent in the context of applicable international conventions.