Child Custody Cases

In divorce proceedings, the most complex and emotionally drenching issue is that of child custody. and the child custody cases. Children, young and at times infant have to bear the pain for no fault of theirs. Due to the extreme emotional attachment, both parents want to keep custody of the children. In the Indian set-up, such a question is decided by the court of Guardian and Wards. The welfare of the children is the paramount consideration before the Court while deciding the question as to who is entitled to have the custody of children. Custody of children can be divided into three parts:

1) Permanent Custody: After determining all issues, Court grants permanent custody of children to one of the parties.

2) Interim Custody: During the pendency of the case and otherwise, the court can grant interim custody to one of the spouses. It is also possible that Court grants interim custody of children to the other parent at the times of vacations, holidays etc.

3) Visitation Rights: Every parent has an inalienable right to meet and see his/her children. Even after winning the case of custody of children by one parent, another parent can not be denied the right to meet and see his/her children. In disposing of such cases, Court awards reasonable visitation rights to the other parents and fix up the time and days for the meeting with his/ her children so that the emotional ties are not broken between the child and the other parent.

Where can the child custody case be filed?

A case for seeking custody and appointment of a natural guardian of the minor child can be filed only at the Place where the minor child is ordinarily residing. For example, husband and wife were living together in New Delhi. After separation, the father moves to Bangalore. The child continues to reside in New Delhi. In this case, a child custody case can be filed only at New Delhi as the minor child is ordinarily residing at New Delhi.

Can a wife file a claim for Child Custody at the place where she is residing but not the minor child?

Ans: As answered above, It can not be filed at any place other than the ordinary place of the residence of the minor child. However, Domestic Violence Law, under section 21, provides the right to the wife/mother of the child to seek a remedy before the Court of Magistrate regarding the child. Such proceedings under d0mestic violence are not substituted for a full-fledged inquiry conducted in child custody cases under the Guardian and Wards Acr-1890.

How much time does it take to decide the Child Custody cases in New Delhi/India?

Ans: It is difficult to predict the duration of a child custody case in Delhi or across India. There are several factors that determine the longevity or the timeline or the total duration of the case. It also varies from the District to District and from the Family Court to the Family Court.  On an average, we see around two years for child custody cases to be decided.

Can a party who loses the child custody case file an appeal?

Ans: Yes, the right to appeal definitely exists against the order of the Family Court. An aggrieved parent can initiate the appeal which is generally filed before the concerned Hon’ble High Court

How to file a child custody case in New Delhi or across India.

Ans: Child custody is generally filed by the spouse who does not have custody of the child.

Step1: A petition for custody of the child is drafted and filed before the Family Court.

Step2: Such a petition should cover such positive facts that indicate that you are the right parent for the custody and welfare of the child.

Step 3: Upon the filing of the child custody case, Family Court issues notice to the other parent for the reply.

Step4: During an initial couple of hearings, Family Court is expected to make provisions for the meeting of the child with the parent who does not have custody of the children. Such an approach is necessary for the bonding of the child with both parents fighting their divorce cases.

Step 5: After the initial exchange of documents i.e child custody petition, reply to such petition, the case gets listed for the evidence of parties. Party or parent who has filed the child custody case will have to lead his evidence first.

Step6: After that, the other party files their evidence.

Setp7: Final arguments are heard from both parents.  Both parties try to justify their respective points to claim the custody of the child.

Step: Court passes an order granting custody to one of the parents as per the nature of the case, evidence filed and arguments presented. It is to be borne in mind that invariably in all cases the parent who does not get custody of the child gets the right to have visitation rights and temporary or interim custody of the child.

What is joint custody of the child in a child custody case? 

As it suggests, joint custody refers to a situation where parties by their own agreement and consent decide that custody of the children shall be joint with both parents. One parent may have longer physical custody due to practical considerations like the vicinity of the School. Other parents can have physical custody during weekends. Family Court may also award joint custody of the child on such terms and conditions as may be good and conducive for the best interest and the welfare of the child.

We as child custody lawyers thrive and strategize on the strength of the enormous experience that we have acquired by conducting thousands of cases. In pursuing child custody cases, we are governed and focused on prominence for the child. We do not follow the practice of winning the child custody case but ultimately losing the love and respect of the child by following the most correct processes for the child.  Top child custody lawyers are also expected to a good counselor and develop strong and meaningful bonds with the child.