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“In family laws, we are almost 30 to 40 years behind. The world has gone far ahead,” said justice AP Shah. Justice Shah explained that the norm in Indian courts — to give the custody to one parent (mostly the mother) with the other parent getting visitation rights — is outdated.
Justice Dalvi explained that joint custody indicates shared physical custody of the child, or a legal custody in which the child is in close contact with both parents. The parents also make joint decisions for the child.
“The sole custody precedent works against the best interests of the child. Besides, selection of one parent increases litigation. The laws need to be amended, enabling the court to award joint custody whenever possible,” said justice Shah.
The law clearly says that custody decisions are in best interest of child… it is only the judges who do not want to create any new precedent who need to wake up from slumber!
Justice Dalvi also insisted that judges should grant “free qualitative time” to the non-custodial parent. Usually, the parent, mostly the father, gets to spend time in the children’s complex at the family court. “This is not for the welfare of the child. It’s only for the appeasement of the parties,” said justice Dalvi, adding that parents should be given visitation rights by way of dropping the child to school, a parent-teacher meeting, or a soccer lesson, for instance.
Check for next child visitation/ custody judgment of Justice Dalvi, whether he practices what he preaches.
Dr Kersi Chavda, president of Bombay Psychiatric Society, spoke of the overwhelming research that proves that a child who grows up with a single parent can exhibit criminal tendencies and other social diseases.