Here Is What You Don't About Child’s Guardianship & Custody In Morocco

Morocco's family code, known as the Moudawana, outlines the laws regarding guardianship and custody of children.
Jan.15.2023 20:20 GMT
sad girl holding teddy bear

Morocco's family code, known as the Moudawana, outlines the laws regarding guardianship and custody of children. One important aspect of the Moudawana is that a mother will not automatically lose custody of her child if she remarries. The child's best interests are always taken into account when determining custody, and a mother's remarriage would not necessarily be considered detrimental to the child.

Article 175 of Moudawana lists the following cases where the mother's custody is not forfeited when she remarries:
1. If the child under custody is young, less than seven years old, or if he is harmed by separation from her;
2. If the fostered child has a disease or disability that makes his custody difficult for anyone other than the mother;
3. If her husband is a close relative or a legal representative of the child under custody;
4. If she is a legal representative of the fostered child.

Another important point is that when a child is old enough, they have the option of choosing which parent they would like to have custody. This is when the child reaches the age of 15 years old, pursuant to Article 166 of the Moudawana.

A judge may intervene in a custody case in certain circumstances, such as if there is evidence of abuse or neglect, or if one parent is deemed unfit to care for the child (Article 170 of the Moudawana).
It must be pointed out that the Moudawana does not grant parents equal rights with regard to custody of their children. If a child needs to complete any administrative procedure where the consent of an adult is required (e.g., opening a bank account, transferring from school, applying for a passport), these procedures can only be completed by the companionship of the father because Article 263 grants the father the priority right to be the legal representative/guardian. However, only exceptionally, the mother may be a guardian/ legal representative in the following cases (Articles 236 & 238 of the Moudawana):
1. The father is stripped of his guardianship by a judicial ruling
2. Upon the death of the father
3. The absence of the father
4. When the father loses his capacity.

Overall, Moroccan's family code prioritizes the child's best interest. However, the guardianship rights are not distributed equally between the parents, as the father has the priority right of the guardianship, meanwhile the mother has the guardianship's right only as an exception and in certain cases. For instance, Moroccan actress Jamila el Haouni is currently attempting to obtain guardianship of her child after she expressed her frustration of trying to get her ex-husband (Moroccan actor Amine Naji) to complete certain administrative procedures for her kid, addressing how this guardianship's right can be used by fathers to block the accomplishment of certain procedures that may be deemed important and, in the child’s, best interest.

link to Morocco's family code- PDF
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