Divorced parents set to gain co-custody
21 March 2006, BRUSSELS — The federal Parliament was debating on Tuesday afternoon a legislative proposal aimed at granting divorced parents co-custody of their children, overturning current practices in which mothers are usually granted sole custody.
21 March 2006
BRUSSELS — The federal Parliament was debating on Tuesday afternoon a legislative proposal aimed at granting divorced parents co-custody of their children, overturning current practices in which mothers are usually granted sole custody.
The proposal aims to clearly outline judicial custody procedures after a divorce and calls for the equal division of custody between both parents to become the standard ruling.
Any ruling to the contrary will only be allowed if there are sufficient arguments, news agency Belga reported.
"That will especially happen based on material reasons," said Socialist SP.A MP Guy Swennen who lodged the legislative proposal.
"This would be when the housing, for example, is not suitable for children to be raised in or when both parents live too far apart from one another."
Currently, Family Court judges are free to arrange custody as they deem fit, approving or rejecting custody based on their own discretion. A child or children was previously placed in the custody of one parent when one of the parents did not want custody.
However, in future a judge will be required to examine the situation and still award co-custody if considered appropriate.
Academic research has indicated there are more advantages than disadvantages under the proposed system.
The federal Family Law commission has worked on the legislative proposal for more than a year and a large parliamentary majority is expected to approve the changes.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news