The impact of child custody on property adjustment in Zambia
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Child custody and property adjustment are fundamental issues to be dealt with when a marriage breaks down. This paper has set out to investigate the impact of child custody on property adjustment particularly with regard to the matrimonial home. The questions that the study has set out to answer are how the best interest of the child principle is upheld in child custody issues, what the relationship between child custody and property adjustment is, what the factors that are considered by the courts in property adjustment issues particularly the matrimonial home are and how the best interest of the child principle is infused into the law regulating property adjustment in Zambia. This research is a qualitative one and it embraces both desk research and occasional field investigations. The desk research includes the use of books, dissertations and journals. The field research is in the form of open ended interviews. The study has found that the overriding principle that relates to child custody is the 'best interests of a child' principle which is provided for in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The research has also found that custody of children being granted to one parent affects property adjustment particularly the matrimonial home. The paper has revealed that in Zambia, the custodial parent is in most instances given preference with regards to the matrimonial home in order to uphold the best interests of the child. The study has also found that legislation in Zambia that deals with child custody and property adjustment is scattered in a number of statutes. The paper has also revealed that South Africa has a comprehensive Children's Act dealing with child related issues. The paper has recommended that Zambia should consider enacting a comprehensive statute to deal with child custody and that the best interest of the child principle should be expressly stated in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.
- Law