Below Delhi HC judgment lays down following important points in determining child custody and visitation rights:
Excerpts from judgment in italics followed by my understanding and comments:
It has been noticed that the Guardian Judge does not follow a uniform practice in this regard in that sometimes the parent who does not have the custody of the child is granted a meeting of a duration of one or two hours in a month, that too in the uncomfortable and uncongenial environment of the Court, while in other cases weekly visitation or access for several hours is ordered.
From above it is clear that there is no uniformity on orders regarding visitation rights. It can vary from 1 hour per month to 1 hour per week.
It must also be highlighted that orders of this genre are inherently interlocutory in nature, subject to modification from time to time. It is not essential that the Court accepts consent terms presented to it by the parents. The Court is also not powerless to cancel or modify an arrangement approved by it earlier, if change in circumstances so compel.
It is very important to understand that visitation orders are interlocutory. It means that they are not final order/decree but subject to modifications as per circumstances as noted above in judgment.
Every child requires exposure to and influence of both his parents. Visitation in Court precincts should be resorted to where there is no other option, or where the conduct of a parent is deviant or unnatural thereby necessitating jural monitoring.
Visitation in court is resorted to when one parent is uncooperative and so it is necessary to have judicial monitoring of the visitation too
As has been observed, it is for the Mother to ensure that the Daughter has a healthy interaction with her Father, lest an opinion be formed that she is deliberately turning the Daughter against her Father. If such an opinion is formed by the Court, there would be no option available to the Court but to award/transfer the custody to the Father in the hope that with the change the child would adopt a more balanced and healthy attitude towards both her parents.
Custody can be given to other parent if it can be proven that parent with custody is poisoning mind of child against the non-custodial parent.
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