Child custody is defined in the Children’s Act as the parental rights and duties that relate to the possession of the child. Child custody is divided into two:
- Legal Custody – This is the parental rights and duties in relation to possession of a child as are conferred on a person by a custody order. These include the responsibility to maintain a child.
- Actual custody – Actual custody of a child refers to the actual possession of a child whether or not the possession is shared with the other parent or any other person. Therefore, whoever the court gives actual custody of the child to, will live with the child.
The court is always guided by the best interests of the child when making a decision on which parent to give actual custody.
Section 83 of the Children’s Act sets out the principles guiding the court in making a custody order. The court must consider the conduct and wishes of the parent or guardian of the child, the ascertainable the child and the best interests of the child.
Once the courts have taken into consideration everything above, then they will make a custody order. Usually the court is guided by the official report made by a Children’s officer.
At Judy Thongori & Co. Advocates we understand that the best interest of the child is paramount and we are able to assist parents/guardians in taking the appropriate steps to ensure the best outcome for their child.