This May 2015 judgment of Mumbai Bandra family court is the first in India which in an interim child custody/visitation order, has asked both mother (petitioner) and father (respondent) to make a parenting plan, and has created a shared parenting plan based on those submitted by both of them. It has also explicitly refers to benefits and necessity of Shared Parenting in child custody matters, and to December 2014 recommendations of Law Commission on shared parenting.
Following are the main points of the judgment:
1. It has divided the interim custody of daughter for 6 months of the year each to father and mother. There is another Sep 2013 judgment of Karnataka HC which did something similar, but that order was not based on creating a shared parenting plan and did not refer to that concept at all. This judgment creates a new precedent by actually putting child’s interests as paramount, rather than doing lip service to it by granting custody to mothers, and relegating fathers to their ‘sole duty’ of maintenance providers.
2. The final shared parenting plan was evolved after submitting of parenting plan by both mother and father to a marriage counsellor, and then a common parenting plan was evolved by the court. This is interesting because usually in family courts we see only mediators, who are more of lawyers than marriage counsellors of any kind.
3. Apart from several other practical directions on how to divide long vacations/holidays time, intimation of school reports to both parents, sharing medical details of child etc.
4. Child’s surname can’t be changed without court order or permission of both parents. Also for removal of child from school, the non-custodial parent will be informed.
5. To resolve any on-going custody or access disputes in working of the arrangement, instead of parties approaching court every time as is the norm so far, it has created a mediator who will be paid Rs 5000 yearly by the parents, and that mediator seemingly is from a child welfare and mental health initiative Muskaan, and I am mentioning that to ensure that you don’t agree to appointment of some “committed to the cause of women” or outright feminist as your child’s counsellor/mediator.
6. Since both mother and father are working, it has ordered child support costs to be shared by both of them. The money is to be deposited into an account in name of child. Opening account in name of child is again in line with our recommendation to law commission, and was mentioned by law commission in it’s report too. Otherwise the common situation normally is of maintenance being paid to mother who usually has child’s custody, but there is later no account of whether the money is being spent on child or not. An account in child’s name will make it difficult for any parent to misuse the funds.
7. If any parent’s actions results in loss of access to child to other parent, then that parent has to pay compensatory cost of Rs.1000/- for each day of loss of access to the other parent.
Note that this is an interim order on child custody (which in reality all custody orders are because they can be modified based on change of circumstances), but usually once the child is comfortable in a certain arrangement, the court will not disturb it in the final custody order. So one should focus energies on interim order stage, rather than trying for appeals to interim orders, going to high court, and such ‘techniques’ which only increase compensation for lawyers.
The details of shared parenting plan are at the end of judgment. Names and other details of parties have been removed to protect privacy.
Full text of judgement below:
IN THE FAMILY COURT MUMBAI AT BANDRA
INT. APPLN. NO.60 OF 2015
PETITION NO. A- 932 OF 2015
Mrs A Petitioner
Mr T Respondent
CORAM : H. H. J. SHRI P. L. PALSINGANKAR
DATED : 27TH MAY 2015
FURTHER ORDER BELOW EX. 9
This is a first occasion in History of Family Court Mumbai
that by judicial order this court is handing over a parenting plan to
parties to follow as an interim measure. The parties are fighting
over the issue of custody of daughter M, who is now presently in
physical custody of the respondent. The petitioner has prayed for
interim custody of the daughter. The respondent has opposed it.
2 By way of an order passed below Ex.9, this court has
directed the respondent to provide over night access of the daughter
on 11 May 2015 to 16 May 2015 and ultimately directed both the
parties to prepare a joint parenting plan in letter and spirit and submit
the same on 18 May 2015.
3 In compliance of that order dated 8 May 2015, both the
parties have endeavored to prepare a parenting plan of their own,
which is at Ex. Nos.23 and 24.
4 Both the parties were directed to appear before the
Marriage Counselor with copy of their respective parenting plan and
fine tune the proposal to have a single final document of parenting
plan. Accordingly, the parties appeared before the Marriage
Counselor but the consensus could not be arrived, so the parties
were heard, through their learned counsels, on the point of parenting
5 This is a unique case and may be this is a unique order;
so far as Family Court, Mumbai is concerned. I say so because this
is the first attempt of Family Court, Mumbai to consider the proposals
of parenting plan submitted by the parties and prepare a
comprehensive parenting plan as an interim measure till Petition No.
A-932 of 2015 is disposed of. In other words, by way of this order,
Family Court Mumbai will be deciding, rather providing parenting
plan to the parties by way a judicial order. So this is an unique
6 The only question that arises for my determination is as
1) What should be interim custody access visitation As per final
arrangement for the daughter M in the form order
of parenting plan?
2) What order? As per final
R E A S O N S
7 Both the parties are directed to comply with the parenting
plan annexed with this order as Annexture ‘A’ ,for the reasons stated
8 The learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that
respondent is a busy doctor and hence not fit to hold interim custody
of the minor daughter. It was also argued that till 14 February 2015
daughter M was with the petitioner-mother. My attention is then
drawn to various aspects of this litigation like instances of mother-in-
law shouting at the daughter, mother-in-law in fact holding the
custody of the daughter in absence of the respondent and so on.
The learned counsel for the respondent submits that respondent has
fixed schedules, as against the petitioner who is a nurse by
profession has shift duty round the clock. It is argued that the
respondent being a doctor had acquaintance with one Smita Kadam
and there is no such relationship. It is argued that mother of the
respondent is better placed to take care of the minor daughter.
9 The minor daughter was produced before the Marriage
Counsellor Smt Veena Athavale and the report of child interview is at
Ex.22. The Marriage Counselor has recorded her observation
regarding the interview. The daughter wants mother to be back to
home at Chembur residence, but the Marriage Counsellor observed
that the petitioner is not so comfortable with that proposition. The
Marriage Counsellor also observed that mother-daughter relationship
is healthy. The Marriage Counsellor also suggested that the bond
between the daughter and the parent is healthy and therefore access
of the daughter to mother needs to be given regularly to strengthen
the said bond.
10 Both the parties had taken pains to prepare parenting
plan and I appreciate their efforts. Before referring to the proposals in
the parenting plan, it would be appropriate to record my finding
regarding necessity of directing the parties to have parenting plan
and thereby making both of them equally responsible for upbringing
of the daughter. After the matter was heard before this court and the
order now being dictated, there is recent legal development and I
would like to refer to that document. The Law Commission of India
has sent its its Report NO.257 on 25 May 2015 and suggested
reforms in guardianship and custody laws in India. The Law
Commission has proposed amendment in Hindu Minority and
Guardianship Act,1956 and Guardian and Wards Act,1890 by
observing that law must accept the concept of joint custody and
shared parenting for the welfare of the child. The Law Commission
headed by Honourable Justice A P Shah and other members of the
Law Commission have referred to various judgments of the Hon’ble
Supreme Court and various Hon’ble High Courts and literature
available on the point and suggestions which were received by the
Law Commission from the members of the society and it has
prepared a report proposing that joint custody should be the norm
and presumption . No doubt, the said proposed amendments are in
pipeline. They are just in the form of suggestions and the law is yet
not been crystallized by legislative amendment in Parliament, but
that will not affect this court to refer to that document which is
relevant piece of material while deciding aspect of parenting plan .
11 The Law Commission in its recent report referred above
in Para 3.3.1 to 3.3.5 has given certain reasons for adopting joint
custody in India. I would like to reproduce that reasoning adopted by
the Law Commission in this order.
3.3.1.First, with rapid social and economic change, conjugal
and familial relationships are becoming more complex
and so are the conditions of their dissolution. As these
social changes that affect family life escalate, we need to
update the laws governing the family relationships, during
and after the marriage. At present, our legal framework
for custody is based on the assumption that custody can
be vested with either one of the contesting parties and
suitability is determined in a comparative manner. But
,just as the basis for dissolving marriage has shifted over
time, from fault-based divorce to mutual consent divorce,
we need to think about custody differently and provide for
a boarder framework within which divorcing parents and
children can decide what custodial arrangement works
best for them.
3.3.2 Second, the judicial attitude towards custody matters has
evolved considerably. As legal scholar and activist, Flavia
In modern day custody battles, neither the father, as the
traditional natural guardian, nor the mother, as the
biologically equipped parent to care for the child of
tender age, are routinely awarded custody. The principle,
best interest of the child takes into consideration the
existing living arrangements and home environment of
the child. … Each case will be decided on its own merit,
taking into account the overall social, educational and
emotional needs, of the child.
3.3.3 But despite this development in judicial attitude, we have
ignored the idea that under certain favourable
circumstances, the best interest of the child could also
result from simultaneous association with both the
parents. Since there is no inherent contradiction between
pursuing the best interest of the child and the concept of
shared custody, the law needs to provide for this option,
provided certain basic conditions are met.
3.3.4 Third, as already mentioned, a number of institutions,
including the judiciary, have already started engaging
with the idea of shared custody. We have referred to
some of these recent developments above. But currently
this idea is being put into practice in a haphazard
manner. There are several components to the idea of
shared custody, such as clear determinants of the best
interest of the child standard, the role of judges and
mediators, parenting plans and so on. These must be
laid down in the law, in order for shared custody to be a
viable option that facilitates divorcing parents to mutually
agree on the preferred custodial arrangement, without
compromising on the welfare of the child.
3.3.5 In the legal systems of several Western countries that we
have reviewed in this chapter, there is a presumption in
favor of joint custody, and sole custody is awarded only in
exceptional circumstances. We have already referred to
the inequalities in parental roles, responsibilities and
expectations that exists in our country. Therefore, we are
not in favor of the law placing a presumption in favour of
joint custody. As opposed to the case of guardianship,
where we have recommended shared and equal
guardianship for both parents, in this case, we are of the
view that joint custody must be provided as an option that
a decision-maker can award, if the decision-maker is
convinced that it shall further the welfare of the child.
If we peruse these reasons, then the Law Commission has assigned
the reasons like social economic change in society, judicial attitude
towards custody matters as recorded by legal scholar Flavia Agnes
in her book, number of institutions including judiciary accepting the
idea of share custody and practices followed in western countries.
Read my maintenance book (DV and CrPC 125) if you want to save HARD EARNED money
Download my free PDF eBook Surviving the Legal Jungle
Don't be a lone ranger... JOIN our Facebook group to connect
Read this FREE eBook written by fathers involved in child custody issues
12 The Law Commission has mentioned in its Re-para 5.8
that there are several key areas that should be addressed in a
custody order or parenting plan and these are common areas of
dispute, so it is best if there are clear rules specifying each parent’s
role in upbringing of the child. The areas are (a) medical- like
hospitalization, non-emergency surgical procedure to be performed
on the child, (b) education- choice of school, enrichment classes,
courses etc., (c) religion, (d) extra curricular activities and travelling
13 In the recent report, the Law Commission has also taken
the note of parenting plan and observed in the following manner. I
5.9 A number of jurisdictions require divorcing parents (either
jointly or individually) to submit a shared parenting plan to
the court. The plan must address major areas of decision
making, including: the child’s education; the child’s health
care; religious upbringing; procedures for resolving
disputes between the parties with respect to child-raising
decisions and duties; and the periods of time during
which each party will have the child reside or visit with
him, including holidays and vacations, or the procedure
by which such periods of time shall be determined. Some
jurisdictions provide additional guidance regarding
communication (between parents and between the child
and the non-custodial parent); transportation to and from
the other parent’s residence; what to do if a parent
wishes to relocate; how to change scheduled parenting
time; and exchanging information about the child. The
parenting plan itself is not a legal document; it must be
approved by a court to have legal effect.
While the proposing amendment in Guardians and Wards Act in the
form of Guardians and Wards Act (proposed), following objectives
are suggested and they are as under:
a) ensuring that the child has the benefit of both parents
having a meaningful involvement in his life, to the
maximum extent consistent with the welfare of the child;
b) ensuring that the child receives adequate and proper
parenting to help achieve his full potential;
c) ensuring that the parents fulfill their duties, and meet their
responsibilities concerning the care, welfare and
development of the child;
d) giving due consideration to the changing emotional,
intellectual and physical needs of the child;
e) encouraging both the parents to maintain a close and
continuing relationship with the child, and to cooperate in
and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the
f) recognizing that the child has the right to know and be
cared for by both the parents, regardless of whether the
parents are married, separated, or unmarried; and
g) protecting the child from physical or psychological harm
or from being subjected to, or exposed to, any abuse,
neglect or family violence.
These objectives thus underline the proposition that the child must
get best of both worlds and not just the benefit from any one parent.
In fact, the Law Commission has proposed one new definition of
“ Joint custody” in the Guardians and Wards Act which the
Commission has defined as under:
For the purpose of this Chapter:–
(a) “Joint custody” is where both the parents:–
i. share physical custody of the child, which may be equally
shared, or in such proportion as the court may determine for the
welfare of the child; and
ii. equally share the joint responsibility for the care and
control of the child and joint authority to take decisions concerning
the child; and
(b) “Sole custody” is where one parent retains physical custody
and responsibility for the care and control of the child, subject to the
power of the court to grant visitation rights to the other parent.
The face of child custody arrangements is changing. A
number of countries across the globe have adopted a
preference for shared parenting systems over sole
custody as a post-divorce arrangement with respect to
children. In the West, this trend has arisen largely in
response to changing familial roles (male care takers
taking on more child rearing responsibilities) as well
psychological studies revealing that the involvement of
both parents in child rearing is preferable to sole
custody arrangements.15 Studies indicate that children
generally fare better when parents share custody, and
some jurisdictions in some countries have a legally
prescribed presumption of joint custody. 16 However,
scholars and courts also caution that a presumption of
joint custody can run contrary to the “best interests of
the child” standard, especially in cases of domestic
violence, where battered women may agree to joint
custody out of fear of further violence.
14 The Commission after taking into consideration various
factors had proposed the following parameters while passing order
for joint custody and they are as under:
(1) In making an order for joint custody under Chapter IIA, the
court shall have regard to the following, namely:–
a. whether the parents will be able to cooperate and
generally agree concerning important decisions affecting
the welfare of the child;
b. whether each of the parents is willing and able to
facilitate, and encourage, a close and continuing
relationship between the child and the other parent;
c. whether the parents are able to jointly design and
implement a day-to-day care plan that fosters stability;
d. the maturity, lifestyle and background (including culture
and traditions) of the child and parents, and any other
characteristics that the court thinks arerelevant;
e. the extent to which each parent has fulfilled,or failed to
fulfill, his responsibilities as a parent;
f. the extent to which the parents are able or unable to find
a reasonable way of working together;
g. the extent to which the higher income parent is willing to
support in creating similar standards of living in each
h. the child’s existing relationship with each parent, siblings,
and other persons who may significantly affect the child’s
i. the needs of the child, giving due consideration to other
important relationships of the child, including but not
limited to siblings, peers and extended family members;
j. any family violence involving the child or a member of the
k. whether the child is capable of forming an intelligent
l. any other fact or circumstance that the court thinks is
No doubt, this court has placed heavy reliance upon the oven fresh
report of Law Commission dated 25 May 2015 in this order which is
passed on 27 May 2015, but there are reasons to place heavy
reliance. The time has come to give up the archaic mind set which
we adopted since British era to think that only one parent is better
than other parent to take care of the child. The Guardians and Wards
Act was passed in 1890, almost 125 years back. The Hindu Minority
and Guardianship Act was passed by our Parliament almost 60-70
years back. The society is evolving at the fast space. The new India
is adopting new ethos and new concepts. In 1890 when the
Guardians and Wards Act was passed, may be Indian woman may
not be a working woman but now the woman like petitioner who is
working as a nurse and earning her own livelihood and protecting
her self-respect even when there are alleged incompatibility between
the petitioner and the respondent. The standard set in 1890 by the
British era cannot be made applicable directly to the litigants of this
21 century, who lives in metro city like Mumbai. Therefore, a time
has come to change our mind set of finding out who is better parent
than to adopt a new thinking as to find out how these two parents
can behave in a better way; so that the child can have best from both
of them and by this view, the parties were directed to prepare a
parenting plan. I am happy that both the parties with guidance of
their learned counsels have endeavored to prepare parenting plan
and submitted in the court. So by their act of submitting their
parenting plan, they have indirectly consented for shared parenting
or joint custody. No doubt, the petitioner wants exclusive custody of
the daughter with visitation rights to the respondent, whereas the
respondent thinks that he is supremely competent to hold custody of
the daughter and the petitioner is incompetent to hold custody of the
daughter. I do not believe their statements, but I do believe that they
are well qualified in the field of medicine and medical service. They
are fully competent to hold joint custody of the daughter and to
support their daughter in their own way by dividing the custody.
15 The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Nil Ratan
Kundu Vs Abhijit Kundu, AIR 2009 SC 732 has said that the welfare
of a child is not to be measured merely be money or physical
comfort, but the word welfare must be taken in its widest sense that
the tie of affection cannot be disregarded. So considering this
judgment referred above, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has underlined
the proposition that wealth of the husband has nothing to do with his
competency to hold the custody and if that principle is applied here,
then merely because the respondent is a busy doctor and having
ability to generate more income cannot claim to be better parent. So
considering the above judgment I do feel that these parties can
share the custody. The petitioner-wife has proposed that she should
have the physical custody of 183 days and the daughter shall remain
with the respondent-father for 182 days. This can be accepted
provided the petitioner-mother shall relocate herself to the residential
area, where the respondent and the daughter now are staying. While
dictating this order, learned advocate for the petitioner submits that
petitioner has already relocated herself to Chembur near the house
of the respondent. So in that case it would be appropriate to direct
that physical custody of the daughter M be shared equally by
these two parties and therefore I direct that the daughter shall
remain in physical custody of the petitioner from 1 July to 31 st
December and from 1 January to 30 June the daughter shall
remain with the respondent. Therefore, appropriate changes in
parenting plan are made. When the daughter will be in the custody of
the mother, the father will have regular access on every Sunday
between 10.00 a. m. to 6.00 p. m. Likewise, when the daughter is in
custody of the father, the mother shall have regular access likewise.
So appropriate changes are made.
16 The parties have proposed for access to the daughter
during holidays. Clause (c) of the parenting plan deals with access
arrangement during holidays. In parenting plan prepared by the
petitioner, she proposed that the daughter be with her on every such
holidays between 3.00 p. m. to 7.00 p. m. I do not think this
arrangement is suitable for the daughter, rather it will tax the
daughter unnecessarily. Therefore, appropriate distribution of
holidays amongst these parties so far as appropriate changes in
parenting plan are suggested.
17 So far as long vacations are concerned, both the parties
shall share long vacations equally. The first half of such long
vacations like summer, Christmas and Diwali vacation, the daughter
will be with the petitioner and in the second half the daughter will be
with the respondent. The parties shall jointly take major decisions
like non emergency health care, religion, upbringing, extra curricular
activities and obtaining passport etc,.
18 The petitioner-wife has proposed that her monthly
income is Rs.35,000/- and the respondent-husband’s income is
Rs.1,50,000/-. The respondent-husband in his parenting plan has
proposed that his gross income is Rs.1 lakh and the child’s support
column is kept blank. I assume that that the respondent did not want
any contribution from the petitioner for maintenance of the daughter.
This is not fair for the child. Both are working and earning; so both
should contribute for upbringing of the daughter. The petitioner has
suggested that there should be new account in the name of the
daughter, where money can be deposited. I think this arrangement
will work. Therefore, the petitioner and the respondent shall open a
joint bank account where the amount can be deposited and utilized
for the necessities of the daughter. So, I direct both the parties to
open a new joint bank account in their name for the benefit of the
daughter. Considering the difference in income of the petitioner and
the respondent, I think that the respondent shall shoulder lion share
for expenses, whereas the petitioner shall also contribute. Therefore,
I direct that respondent shall deposit Rs.10,000/-every month in the
newly opened joint bank account from June 2015 onwards and the
petitioner shall also deposit Rs.5000/-every month in the newly
opened joint bank account. All the expenses of the daughter like
education, medical, medical insurance, extra curricular activities,
recreational activities be borne from this joint account. The parties
shall apply before the court before withdrawing the amount from this
account. For non compliance of access, the petitioner has proposed
cost of Rs.5000/- if there is any loss of access. The respondent has
not suggested any such amount towards cost. I think a token amount
of Rs.1000/- would remind the parties not to flout the order of the
court. So, I direct that the parenting plan should include
compensatory cost of Rs.1000/- for each day of loss of access.
19 The concept of parenting plan, joint parenting, shared
parenting, child support by way of parenting plan is a new concept
not only to the parties, but also to the advocates practicing in the
Family Court Mumbai. No doubt, it is also a new concept for the
Family Court Judges also. The Hon’ble High Court has approved
draft parenting plan proposed by the Family Court, Mumbai and that
now plan is available on the website. So the concept of joint
parenting plan has found favors with the Hon’ble High Court. With
this recent report of the Law Commission, the legal fraternity all over
India has made up its mind to accept this concept of joint parenting,
but it will take time to digest this idea. Therefore, there will be
problems in working this parenting plan for these parties. So in case
of any disagreement or non compliance of any term, parties need not
come to the court every time, rather they were asked to suggest the
name of one mediator, who can find the way in case of
disagreement. Parties have not suggested any name, I, therefore,
direct that Ms F, Psychiatric Social Worker from
MUSKAAN, an undertaking of Tata Institute of Social Science is
appointed as a mediator who shall sort out any issue regarding
disagreement or non compliance and the parties shall be bound by
that suggestion. The mediator may seek opinion of the court in
writing. All these observations made hereinabove are incorporated in
final parenting plan attached to this order as Annexture A. The
parties shall comply with this parenting plan till the rights of the
parties regarding custody access, visitation rights over the daughter
M are finally decided after a full trial.
20 A copy of this approved parenting plan with Annexture A
be supplied to both the parties free of cost and also to the mediator
21 The order is dictated and declared in the open court in
presence of both the parties and learned counsel for the petitioner.
22 The parties to take note of this order and collect the
parenting plan from the office of this court.
23 The order is explained to both the parties.
( P. L. Palsingankar )
Dated: 27 May 2015 Family Court No.3 Mumbai
Encl: Annexture ‘A’
Parenting Plan Annexture ‘A’
The numbers of divorce cases are rising, more and more couples have been
approaching family court for divorce, resulting in rise of bitter child custody
and access matters.
A serious need is therefore felt for the introduction of a Parenting Plan which
will help reduce the burden of courts and counselors to a great extent and
will also help in speedy disposal of court cases. Parenting Plan shall also
bring out an ease between the couples who are undergoing separation.
During the initial stage itself a copy of parenting plan can be provided to the
couples by the court counselors making them aware and help the parents
mutually draw a suitable parenting plan agreeable and acceptable to both
the parents and which would cover aspects related to the child custody and
access in the best interest and welfare of the child.
When children know that their parents have talked about what’s best for
them, and know that a plan is written down, they are likely to feel cared for
and safer. Children can predict the shape of their lives and know that parents
will keep the adult issues between adults (the allegations and arguments
between the couple entering the parenting plan would be at minimum),
Children will be able to manage the stresses and fears of the separation
much better and they may not be required to visit court for access or for
hearing that often.
The courts can direct the couple to draw a parenting plan (just like consent
terns) within a period of sixty (60) days and also pass appropriate orders
based on the parenting plan.
A Parenting Plan or Custody Agreement is required by the family court
when parents divorce or separate. A Parenting Plan allows parents to avoid
future conflicts in dealing with responsibilities relating to the children.
Without specific agreements around these responsibilities disputes can arise
and litigation may be needed to resolve these issues.
Divorce and separation are painful for everyone involved–particularly
children. At this challenging time children need support, love and contact
with both parents.
Some certainty about the future is also very important for everyone. A
written parenting plan, worked out between parents, will help clarify the
arrangements needed by the parents to put in place to care for the children.
It will help everyone involved to know what is expected of them and it will be
a valuable reference as time passes and circumstances change.
If the standard parenting plan by the court is agreed by parties before the
court hearing, it is called “stipulated”. Court can approve the stipulated
parenting plan without court hearing.
A standard parenting plan by the Court puts the best interests of the child
first. It is drawn up in good will with a shared commitment to the children
and their future firmly in mind (just like consent terms).
In developed nations most of the states, there is a law required that court-
ordered parenting plans must set forth the minimum amount of parenting
time and access a noncustodial parent is entitled to have.
A parenting plan is a written agreement between parents covering practical
issues of parental responsibility approved by the Court.
Parenting Plan will detail practical decisions about children’s care in such
Parenting Time (physical custody)
Major Decision Making (legal custody)
Visitation / Access
Transportation and Exchanges
School Holidays, Vacations and Festivals
Child Support / Maintenance
A Dispute Resolution Process
Schools Attended and Access to Records
Physical and Mental Health Care
Contact Information, Relocation
Activities and School functions
Overnights and Visitation
Communications and Mutual Decision-Making
Contact with Relatives and Significant Others
Parents normally can make variations to the court standard parenting plan or
develop a different custom plan if the judge approves the changes.
Parents later can modify the existing parenting plan by filing a new request
with a court when circumstances have changed.
A parenting plan can take any form, however it must be made free from any
threat, duress or coercion. It must be in writing and signed and dated by
If both parents agree on arrangements, Parents can submit parenting plan
(just like consent terms) to the Family Court and Court can pass an
appropriate order based on the parenting plan, giving it the same legal
effect as an order made after a Court hearing. Parenting Plan approved by
Court would be one form of consent order issued by the Court.
If parents cannot agree on arrangements for children they may need to have
the Family Court decide and issue a Parenting Order.
In deciding parenting arrangements the Court must always consider:
✦ the best interests of the child
✦ the extent to which both parents have complied with their obligations in
relation to the child, which may include those set out in a standard parenting
plan (As follow).
Standard Parenting Plan
STATE OF M AHARASHTRA F AMILY C OURT N .3
PERMANENT PARENTING PLAN ORDER P ETITION N 0:
a P ROPOSED a A GREED O RDERED BY THE C OURT ___________________
D ATE :
P ETITIONER (Name: First, Middle, Last) R ESPONDENT (Name: First, Middle, Last)
Mrs , Mr
A DDRESS : , A DDRESS :
The mother and father will behave with each other and each child so
as to provide a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the
child even though they are separated / divorced. They will not speak badly
of each other or the members of the family of the other parent. They will
encourage each child to continue to love the other parent and be
comfortable in both families.
This plan a is a new plan.
a modifies an existing Parenting Plan dated ________________.
a modifies an existing Order dated _____ Family / High Court
Child’s Name Date of Birth
Parenting Plan Note :
Tick that is applicable / Strike out—– what may not be applicable.
I. RESIDENTIAL PARENTING SCHEDULE
A. RESIDENTIAL TIME WITH EACH PARENT
The Primary Residential Parent (Custodial parent ) is mother and father
Under the above schedule each parent will spend the following number of
days with the children:
Mother 183 days Father 182 days
Child M shall stay (physical custody) with the mother from 1 July to 31 st
December and thereafter the child M shall stay with the father from 1 January to
30 June and so on in the above manner till disposal of the petition.
B. DAY-TO-DAY SCHEDULE
The mother / father shall have responsibility for the care and access of the
child or children except at the following times when the other parent shall
and access :
From ______N. A._______ to _____N. A.______
Day and Time Day and Time
The respective parent shall take care of day to day schedule of the child while the child is in their custody as per
every week every other week other:
(Advisable two days weekday access 2 hours each during the week at locals of thet child)
The non custodial parent shall have access to the child on every Sunday
between 10.00 a. m. to 6.00 p. m. The non custodial parent shall pick up the
child at the gate of the custodial parent at 10.00 a. m. on every Sunday and shall
drop back the child at 6.00 p. m. on the same day. The non custodial parent
during relevant period shall have telephonic access every day, if necessary at
7.00 p. m.
The other parent shall also have responsibility for the care and access of the
child or children at the additional parenting times specified below:
From _______________________ to ______________________
Day and Time Day and Time
every week every other week other:
This parenting schedule shall begin on 1 July and end on 31 December where the
child will be in custody of the mother and on 1 January and end of 30 June where the
child will be in custody of the father.
Parties are directed that non-custodial parent will be involved in
curricular and extra curricular activity, in following–
Swimming class/ Dance Class/ Tuition, Sports,
From _______________________ to ______________________
Day and Time Day and Time
The petitioner or the respondent shall take care of extra curricular activities of
the child whenever the child is in their custody for six months as per above
C. HOLIDAY SCHEDULE AND OTHER SCHOOL FREE DAYS
Indicate if child or children will be with parent During FESTVALS EVERY year:
MOTHER (tick) Timings FATHER
Parsi New Year 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. a
Dussera a 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m.
Diwali See note Below “G”
26 Jan Republic Day 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. a
Holi a 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m.
Mahashivratri 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. a
Janmasthami a 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m.
Rakshabandhan Day 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. a
Mother’s Day a 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m.
Father’s Day 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. a
15 August a 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m.
Bhaubeej 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. a
Ganpati a 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m.
Navratri 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. a
Eid a 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m.
Mother’s Birthday a 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m.
Father’s Birthday 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. a
Child’s Birthday On Odd Years 3.00 pm – 6.00 p.m. On Even Years
(Advisable to Choose any 9 days during the year)
Other School-Free Days ______________________________________
Other Significant Family Occasions:_______________________________________
(Choose any 3 days during the year)
A weekend access / holiday shall begin at 6:00 p.m. on the night preceding
the holiday and end at 6:00 p.m. the night of the holiday, unless otherwise
D. Long Festival Weekend Holidays ( If applicable Ganpati / Navratri /
Ramzan / Diwali / Christmas)
The day to day schedule shall apply except as follows : ——–
See Note Below
E. Other agreement of the parents: ——–
. CHRISTMAS VACATION. See Note Below
The day-to-day schedule shall apply except as follows: ______________________
G. SUMMER VACATION . See Note Below
The day-to-day schedule shall apply except as
follows:_________________________ _______________________________ beginning
Is written notice required? Yes No. If so, ________ number of days.
Note: The access denied / deprived by the custodial parent shall be
compensated within _____ days of receiving the notice / request from the
Note: The child will be with the petitioner-mother for first 50% of long
vacations like summer, Diwali and Christmas vacations, whereas the child will
be with the respondent-father for second half of these long vacations. This
arrangement is irrespective of 50% share of access by each parent.
H. T RANSPORTATION A RRANGEMENTS
The place of meeting for the exchange of the child or children shall be: at
the gate of house of respective parent.
Payment of long distance transportation costs (if applicable): mother
father both equally.
Other arrangements: ____________________________________________________
A parent he or she must make reasonable transportation arrangements to
protect the child or children while in the care of that parent.
II SUPERVISION OF PARENTING TIME (If applicable)
I Check if applicable
Supervised parenting time shall apply during the day-to-day schedule as
I Place: _______________________________________________________________.
I Person or organization supervising:
Responsibility for cost, if any: mother father both equally.
The following special provisions apply :
A. DAY-TO-DAY DECISIONS
Each parent shall make decisions regarding the day-to-day care of a child
while the child is residing with that parent, including any emergency
decisions affecting the health or safety of a child.
B. MAJOR DECISIONS
Major decisions regarding each child shall be made as follows:
Educational decisions mother father joint
Non-emergency health care mother father joint
Religious upbringing a mother a father a joint
Extracurricular activities a mother a father a joint
__________________________ a mother a father a joint
Obtaining passport, Caste
NAME OF THE CHILD & SURNAME: The custodial parent shall not be
entitled to change the name or the surname of the child which has
been given to the child as per either a ceremony performed for the
same or the name along with the father’s surname as it appears in the
birth certificate without the court order or written consent of the non-
REMOVAL OF CHILD FROM DAYCARE OR SCHOOL : The non-
custodial parent will be informed 60 days in advance in case if the child
is being removed from the day care or school.
MEDICATION, ILLNESS OR ACCIDENT: If the child becomes ill or is
involved in an accident, and treatment by a medical professional is
obtained, the parent who has the child at the time of the illness or
accident shall notify the other parent as soon as practicable but no later
than three (3) hours after the incident or diagnosis. ILLNESS OF THE
CHILD SHALL NOT PREVENT VISITATION WITH THE CHILD, UNLESS THE
CHILD IS HOSPITALIZED. NONCUSTODIAL PARENT CAN VISIT THE CHILD
IN HOSPITAL. /Residence of custodial parent or and place where
child is stays during illness.
III. FINANCIAL SUPPORT / MAINTENANCE
A. CHILD SUPPORT
Father’s gross monthly income is Rs. 1,00,000/-
Mother’s gross monthly income is Rs. 35,000/-
1. The interim child support order is as follows:
a. Both the parties shall open a new joint account within a period of
two weeks from today in any Nationalized Bank in Chembur, Mumbai
and the petitioner shall start depositing Rs.5000/-every month till
disposal of the petition, so also the respondent shall start depositing
Rs.10,000/-every month in the said account. The said accumulated
amount shall be utilized for educational expenses and other expenses
of the child. The party may deposit lumpsum amount in advance
towards these above amount instead of depositing every month. The
parties shall seek permission of the court while withdrawing the
amount for particular purpose.
The Child Support / Maintenance / Worksheet / Order shall be attached to
this Order as an Exhibit .
2. Payments shall begin on the _____ day of _____________, 20___.This
support / maintenance shall be paid:
a directly to the other parent.
a to the Family Court
by direct deposit to the other parent at ____________________________ Bank for
deposit in account no. ________________________.
The parents acknowledge that court approval must be obtained before child
support can be reduced or modified.
CHILD SUPPORT / MAINTENANCE : Non-payment or late payment of child
support is NOT an acceptable reason to deny or interfere with visitation.
Conversely, denial of visitation is NOT justification for non-payment or late
payment of child support. Both parents agree that the Child support and
child visitation are separate and independent issues and are not to be
manipulated by either parent to gain leverage over the other parent with
regard to visitation or child support. Child support shall NOT stop during
visitation periods, unless provided by court order.
B. HEALTH AND INSURANCE (Optional).
Reasonable health insurance on the child or children will be:
maintained by the mother
maintained by the father
maintained by both
C. (i) It is directed that they will not pamper children by expensive
IV. PRIMARY RESIDENTIAL PARENT (CUSTODIAN) FOR OTHER
The child or children are scheduled to reside the majority of the time with
the □ mother □ father. This parent is designated as the primary
residential parent also known as the custodian, SOLELY for purposes of any
other applicable state laws. If the parents are listed in Section II as joint
decision-makers, then, for purposes of obtaining health or other insurance,
they shall be considered to be joint custodians.
THIS DESIGNATION DOES NOT AFFECT EITHER PARENT’S RIGHTS OR
RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THIS PARENTING PLAN.
V. DISAGREEMENTS OR MODIFICATION OF PLAN OR NON
Should the parents disagree about this Parenting Plan or wish to modify it, or
in case of the non-compliance they must make a good faith effort to resolve
the issue by the process selected below before returning to Court.
□ Mediation by a neutral party chosen by the parents or the Court
Name of the Mediator Ms F, Psychiatric Social
Worker from MUSKAAN, an undertaking of Tata Institute of Social
Science attached to the Family Court shall act as mediator in case of
disagreement of the parenting plan. Both the parties shall deposit
Rs.5000/-(jointly) as remuneration for mediator every year.
His/Her Pone No /Cell No
□ a The Court DUE TO ORDER OF PROTECTION OR RESTRICTIONS.
It must be commenced by notifying the other parent and the Court by
□ a written request □ a registered mail.
□ a other: ___________________.
In the dispute resolution process:
A. Preference shall be given to carrying out this Parenting Plan.
B. The parents shall use the process to resolve disputes relating to
implementation of the Plan.
C. A written record shall be prepared of any agreement reached, and it
shall be provided to each parent.
D. If the Court finds that a parent willfully failed to appear without good
reason, the Court, upon motion, may pass appropriate order.
Non-Compliance of the parenting plan may amount to breach of
trust and parents are required to approach court for appropriate
Parties agree for following consequence for breach of access
□ a (a)Compensatory access immediately in next week.
□ a (b)Cost of Rs.1000/- for each day of loss of access.
□ a (c)Social service of defaulting parent at remand home,
□ a (d)A forfeiture of access, if access not taken for 3 consecutive
days without reasonable cause.
□ a (e)Dismissal of petition or striking of defence, if Court orders /
parenting plan /Consent Terms not obeyed.
□ a (f)Non-custodian parent will be eligible to apply to court for
shifting of custody, in case intentional repeated defaults in giving access
and visitation right to non custodial parents.
RIGHTS OF CHILD
Both Parents recognize child’s / children’s right to:
✦ emotional and physical safety, stability and security
✦ feel loved by both of us and significant family members
✦ know and be cared for by both parents and significant family
✦ develop independent and meaningful relationships with each
RIGHTS OF PARENTS
Both parents are entitled to the following rights:
(1) The right to unimpeded telephone and web cam conversations with the
child at least twice a week at reasonable times and for reasonable
(2) The right to send mail / gifts to the child which the other parent shall
not open or censor;
(3) The right to receive notice and relevant information as soon as
practicable but within three (3) hours of any event of hospitalization,
major illness or death of the child;
(4) The right to receive directly from the child’s school any school records
customarily made available to parents. (The school may require a
written request which includes a current mailing address and upon
payment of reasonable costs of duplicating.) These include copies of
the child’s report cards, attendance records, names of teachers, class
schedules, and standardized test scores;
(5) The right to receive copies of the child’s medical health or other
treatment records directly from the physician or health care provider
who provided treatment or health care. (The keeper of the records
may require a written request which contains a current mailing
address and the payment of reasonable costs of duplication.) No
person who receives the mailing address of a parent as a result of this
requirement shall provide such address to the other parent or a third
(6) The right to be free of unwarranted derogatory remarks made about the
parent or his or her family by the other parent to the child or in the
presence of the child;
(7) The right to be given at least forty-eight (48) hours notice, whenever
possible, of all extra-curricular activities, and the opportunity to
participate or observe them. These include the following: school
activities, athletic activities, and other activities where parental
participation or observation would be appropriate;
(8) The right to receive from the other parent, in the event the other parent
leaves the state with the minor child or children for more than two (2)
days, an itinerary including telephone numbers for use in the event of
(9) The right to access and participation in education on the same basis
that is provided to all parents. This includes the right of access to the
child for lunch and other activities. However participation or access
must be reasonable and not interfere with day-to-day operations or
with the child’s educational performance.
(10) Right to share the names and contact details of the friends of the child.
VII. NOTICE REGARDING PARENTAL RELOCATION
If a parent who is spending intervals of time with a child desires to relocate
outside the state or local jurisdiction from the other parent within the state,
the relocating parent shall send a notice to the other parent at the other
parent’s last known address by registered or certified mail. the notice shall
be mailed not later than sixty (60) days prior to the move. The notice shall
contain the following:
(1)Statement of intent to move;
(2)Location of proposed new residence;
(3)Reasons for proposed relocation; and
(4)Statement that the other parent may file a petition in opposition to the
move within sixty (60) days on receipt of the notice.
Sharing Emergency numbers
Compiled a list of emergency numbers for children.
Cell : Cell:
Email: @ gmail.com Email: @ gmail.com
Name 1: Name 1:
Relation: uncle Relation: brother
Home: Home :
Name 2: Name 2:
Relation: Grandmother Relation: brother
School Contact No: School Contact No:
Doctor Name & No: Doctor Name & No:
The Parents hereto have executed this Parenting Plan the day and year first
Sign Mother Sign Father
lawyer for Mother lawyer for Father
Address of Mother Address of Father
Parenting plan Provided by court order .
Note: In case of ambiguity, parties shall refer to the accompanying order of
the court dated 27 May 2015 passed below Ex.9.
( Prasad Palsingankar )
27 May, 2015 Family Court No.3, Mumbai.