Supreme Court adjudicates on custody dispute; guardian reports on best interests of children

‘Alu e husepāniti’ he toli ‘o lava fakapa’anga ai hona fale koloa mo fakatau ha me’alele fo’ou ka ne pango’ ne iku ke ‘nofo fakamali ai e hoa’ ia mo ha tangata ne tiliva koloa atu ki hona fale koloa' kae li’aki ‘ena fanau lolotonga ‘oku kei ‘i muli e husepāniti’. Ne na iku ai ki he fakamaau’anga' ‘o ala atu ‘a e lao' ke fakatonutonu e founga ki hono tāuhi ‘ena fānau ‘e toko nima.

The Supreme Court has adjudicated on a custody dispute involving a separated couple.

The court was told that the couple became estranged after the wife began an affair with another man while the husband was away working overseas under seasonal picking fruit programmes.

The husband subsequently sought custody of all the children, three boys aged 11, 8 and 7, and two girls aged 5 and 3, which was granted by the magistrate’s court.

The wife appealed and was given custody by another magistrate.

Before the current case the three boys went to live with their father’s mother. The girls were living with their mother’s sister.

The court ordered that a guardian be appointed to investigate the best interests of children Following the guardian’s report, Judge Niu ordered that the two daughters remain with their mother.

He ordered that the three sons be given into the custody of the father.

He ordered that the parents have access to all the children at set times during the weekend.

Judge Niu ordered that maintenance and school expenses of the children will be provided by the parent in whose custody the children are.

“Each parent shall ensure that each child is properly cared for and shall be responsible for the good health, honesty, discipline and religious teaching of the children in his/her custody,” the judge said.

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