Jordan: Child Custody

Jordan Child Custody: Custodianship Chapter, Jordanian Personal Status Law

Jeremy Morley: Important note: These provisions deal with custodianship but not with guardianship. Custodianship in Sharia law is akin to physical custody alone. Guardianship is an entirely different concept. It is akin to legal custody. The father has the automatic right to be the guardian of his child. If the father is unable to perform this duty then the right falls upon the father's appointed guardian, then the paternal grandfather, then the guardian appointed by paternal grandfather and then to the court.

Jordanian Personal Status Law of 1976

Chapter XVI


Article 154: The Women Entitled to Custodianship

The genealogical mother shall be more deserving of the custodianship and upbringing of her child once the matrimonial status is established and after separation. Then, following the mother, the right shall devolve to the women who follow the mother in the order provided for in the School of Thought of Imam Abu Hanifah.

Article 155: Conditions of the Female Custodian

It shall be a condition precedent that the female custodian is of legal age, of sound mind and trustworthy, with whom the child is not negatively affected because of her engagement [with matters] other than the child. She shall be capable of the upbringing and maintenance of the child and she shall neither be an apostate nor shall she be married to a person who is a Mahram (unmarriageable relative) of the child.

Furthermore, she shall not retain the child in the house of those who are malicious to him/her.

Article 156: Loss of Custodianship

The female custodian with a marriage contract with a Mahram who is a relative to the fostered child shall lose her custodianship.

Article 157: Choice of the Fittest for the Fostered Child

In the event the persons entitled to the right of custodianship are in one grade and are multiple, the judge shall have the right to choose the fittest person for the fostered child.

Article 158: Restoration of Custodianship

The right to custodianship shall be restored in case the reason of its loss has vanished.

Article 159: The Wage of Custodianship

The wage of custodianship shall be incumbent on the person who is responsible for the maintenance of the child. It shall be estimated with a similar wage of the female custodian, provided that it does not surpass the capacity of the maintainer.

Article 160: Non-entitlement by the Mother to a Wage

The mother shall not be entitled to a wage for custodianship during the existence of her matrimonial status or during the waiting period legally prescribed for the revocable divorce.

Article 161: Termination of the Mother's Custodianship

Custodianship of the male child by a woman other than his mother shall terminate once he reaches nine (9) years of age and of the female child once she reaches eleven (11) years of age.

Article 162: Extension of the Mother's Custodianship

Custodianship of the mother, who has occupied herself with the upbringing and custodianship over her children, shall extend until they reach the age of puberty.

Article 163: Visiting the Child

The right of the mother and the right of the father or paternal grandfather to see the child

 shall be equal when he is in the hand of another person who has the right to foster the child.

Article 164: Retention of the Child

The travel of the guardian or female custodian with the child to a region inside the Kingdom shall not affect his or her right to the retention of the child unless such travel bears an influence on the preponderance of the child's interest with him or her. In the event the influence of travel upon the interest of the child is established, the travel of the child shall be prevented and the child shall be handed to the other party.

Article 165: The Female Virgin

1. The Mahram [unmarriageable] guardian shall be entitled to supervise the female virgin in case she is under forty (40) years of age, as well as the previously wedded woman if it is not safe for her to be unsupervised, and in case the supervision is not intended to beguile or harm her.

2. In the event the woman who is under the supervision of her guardian disobeys him without cause, her alimony shall not be incumbent on him.

Article 166: Prohibition of Travel for the Female Custodian

The female custodian shall not be allowed to travel with the fostered child outside the Kingdom except with approval of the guardian and after the verification of safeguarding the interest of the child.

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