KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — The courts should favour granting custody of children to the non-violent parent insteading of sending them to live with the one accused of domestic abuse, the Association of Women Lawyers (AWL) said today.
Commenting on the Federal Court’s split custody of one child each to Hindu mother S. Deepa and her Muslim convert ex-husband Izwan Abdullah, AWL president Goh Siu Lin noted the judges had reached their decision by interviewing the two children Mithran and Sharmila — aged eight and 11 respectively.
But Goh highlighted that Deepa had not only complained of domestic violence by Izwan through more than seven police reports from 2007 to 2012, but had received an interim protection order against Izwan on August 2013.
For child custody dispute cases like Deepa’s where there was domestic violence, Goh said many countries including the United States (US) have changed how they view the best interests of the child.
“It may be timely for Malaysia to implement legal reform and structural changes to keep abreast of legal developments in the area of domestic violence and custodial rights,” she said in a statement. Read more