Sandra is married to Jeffrey and together they have three children of the age of 4, 6 and 11. After a twelve year marriage Sandra decides to file for divorce on the ground that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Sandra thinks she as a mother is entitled to have full custody and guardianship over their children. She also demands maintenance of the children from Jeffrey. Jeffrey denies Sandra having any of those rights. Is it true that Sandra has no rights to her children after the divorce?


Under s.88 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, there is a presumption that it is for the good of a child below the age of 7 to be with his mother. However if the mother is proven to be an unfit mother, she might losses the custody of her children. Nevertheless the usual practice of the court is to consider the welfare of the children and financial standing of both the parents. Hence, the custody of the child may be given to the father in the event the court is satisfied that the father is capable to provide a better growing environment to the said child.
Meanwhile, both the Jeffrey and Sandra have the obligation to provide the maintenance for their children notwithstanding which party has the custody of the children pursuant to S.92 of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.

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