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Understanding Child Custody Laws in Egypt: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Child Custody Laws in Egypt: A Comprehensive Guide


In Egypt, child custody laws are deeply rooted in Islamic Sharia principles, aiming to prioritize the best interests of the child while ensuring their proper care and upbringing. Understanding these laws is essential for parents navigating the complexities of custody arrangements post-divorce or separation.

Determining Custody

  1. Legal Criteria: The law considers various factors to determine custody, including the child’s age and the parent’s ability to provide suitable care.
  2. Priority of Caregivers: Egyptian Family Law prioritizes female caregivers for young children, based on the belief that women are better equipped to meet their needs.

Legal Conditions for Custody Rights

To be eligible for custody, a caregiver must meet specific legal criteria:

  • Good physical and mental health.
  • Mental stability and legal adulthood.
  • Good moral character.
  • Not married to anyone who could marry the child.
  • Agreement on religion (not a strict requirement).

Duration of Custody

  • Custody typically extends from birth until the child reaches 15 years old.
  • Afterward, the child can choose which parent to live with until they turn 21 for males or marry for females.

Moving with the Child

  • If the mother is married to the father or in the waiting period after divorce, she cannot leave the country without his permission.
  • If divorced, she can move under certain conditions, ensuring the safety and well-being of the child.

Enforcing Custody Rights

  • If a parent refuses to hand over the child, the family prosecutor can issue an order for their return until a custody decision is made.
  • Penalties exist for parents or grandparents who refuse to comply with custody orders or attempt to kidnap the child.


Navigating child custody laws in Egypt requires a clear understanding of legal rights, responsibilities, and procedures. By prioritizing the child’s well-being and adhering to legal guidelines, parents can ensure a smoother transition for their children during challenging times.

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