Law Commission of India has released a Consultation Paper on Adopting a Shared Parentage System in India on Nov 10, 2014. Any citizen can submit their suggestions which have to reach law commission latest by Dec 5, 2014. All fathers and men facing marital issues are advised to send their suggestions to Law Commission in favour of shared parenting being adopted in India, which will help fathers to get better access to and reasonable shared physical custody of their children. If you do strongly feel however that mother is always best for child, just remember the unwritten rule followed in the courts that father is best to pay maintenance and money, and nothing more than that! So don’t feel surprised if during mediation, CAW cell ‘counselling’, in DV cases/family court orders; you get treated no better than a walking ATM machine! After all, it was your own idea.
Also I have made some points which can be used by others in their own reply to Law Commission if they find them useful:
Those desirous of submitting suggestions/comments to the Law Commission of
India may send their written suggestions/comments either in English or Hindi to the
Member Secretary, Law Commission of India, Hindustan Times House, 14th Floor, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi-110 001, in person, by post or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org within 4 weeks.
The suggestions to be sent are on the following points (copied from the consultation paper). You can send comments/suggestions on any/all of the points. The last date is Dec 5, 2014.
We may therefore consider the wisdom and relevance of re-shaping the two legislations
with reference to the following:
1. Whether shared parenting should be an option and/or a preference for the courts?
2. Should such a presumption be dependent on the age or gender of the child?
3. Should such shared parentage arrangements be shared physical custody or shared
legal custody or some other derivative thereof?
4. Should and how can the “best interest of the child”/”welfare of the child” standard
be balanced against other factors (i.e. the wishes of the parents, other children, the
wishes of the child)
5. How and should the definition of guardian be expanded?
6. How to create and implement mediation or conciliation institutions to be
necessarily involved in the process of grant of guardianship and shared parentage
7. Whether child welfare officers may act as information/ service providers?
8. Whether there should be physical or joint custody or should it be left to the
discretion of the judge?
9. In which circumstances must shared parentage arrangements be withheld? Eg:
domestic violence, insolvency, mental illness
10. Should and how does gender inequality (e.g. financial) affect establishing a shared
parentage preference or option? E.G. the use of children as bargaining chips to
11. What should be the role of the court in matters of joint custody? Should the court be
proactive in such matters i.e. a constant supervisor of such arrangements?
12. What should be the nature or limit of discretion that judges can use while awarding
joint custody decisions?