Our expert says:
Family law expert
It is a good option to approach FAMSA as they will be able to give you guidance in the matter. The court will always determine what are in the best interest of the child. In determining what is in the best interests of the child, the court must decide which of the parents is better able to promote and ensure his physical, moral, emotional and spiritual welfare. This can be assessed by reference to certain facts or criteria which are set out hereunder, not in order of importance, and also bearing in mind that there is a measure of unavoidable overlapping and that some of the listed criteria may differ only as to nuance. The criteria are the following: (a) the love, affection and other emotional ties which exists between parent and child and the parent's comfortability with the child; (b) the capabilities, character and temperament of the parent and the impact thereof on the child's needs and desires; (c) the ability of the parent to communicate with the child and the parent's insight into, understanding of and sensitivity to the child's feelings; (d) the capacity and disposition of the parent to give the child the guidance which he requires; (e) the ability of the parent to provide for the basic physical needs of the child, the so-called 'creature comforts', such as food, clothing, housing and other material needs - generally speaking, the provision of economic security; (f) the ability of the parent to provide for the educational wellbeing and security of the child, both religious and secular; (g) the ability of the parent to provide for the child's emotional, psychological, cultural and environmental development; (h) the mental and physical health B and moral fitness of the parent; (i) the stability or otherwise of the child's existing environment, having regard to the desirability of maintaining the status quo; (j) the desirability or otherwise of keeping siblings together; (k) the child's preference, if the court is satisfied that in the particular circumstances the child's preference should be taken into consideration.
The actions of the mother might just be seen as contributing to unstable circumstances, which might count in your favour if she wants to take the child back.
Remember that the Deed of Settlement, if in place is a court order and a deviation or variation thereof in future must be confirmed by the court as the upper gaurdian, so to enforce your rights, you will have to approach the court later, should you wish to be awarded custody or primary caretaker rights.
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