A parent's right to guardianship over minor children
I am married and have a minor son who was born on 1st July 1997. What are my legal rights concerning the following:
- Complete guardianship over the child.
- Choosing his school and other affairs related to him.
To what extent is my wife legally entitled to guardianship and does she have the right to decide his educational future?
A mother is entitled to custody i.e. guardianship over the rearing and bringing up of the child due to his need for her in taking care of him and seeing to his needs.
It is natural for a child to be raised by both parents for his welfare, care and support. In the event of separation and unless she lacks any of the required conditions, a mother takes precedence over the father with regards to her child's custody. A custodial mother rears and brings up her child in return for expenses paid by the father as stated in Article 388 of Law no. 21/1929 of the Personal Status law.
On the other hand, a father has full guardianship over his minor child and enjoys authority concerning his or her schooling and education. He assumes any other responsibility even if the child is less than 10 years i.e. is in his mother's custody. This is because a mother's guardianship revolves around only taking care of the child. There is no doubt that it is desirable that both parents agree on the child's education. In case of dispute, however, the father enjoys absolute authority.
The above answers the question and Allah the Almighty knows best.