HC refuses to entertain woman’s plea over custody of children

Observing that “prolonged exclusive custody may lead to parental alienation”, the Bombay High Court recently refused to entertain a plea filed by a mother of two minor children over their custody. The woman had sought that the HC quash a family court order granting the children’s father overnight access.

A Single Bench of Justice N.M. Jamdar was hearing the plea filed by the mother of a five-year-old and a nine-year-old, seeking interim relief from a family court order passed on April 18, 2019.

The couple married on May 9, 2006, in Mumbai and had two children thereafter. The woman moved to Vadodara with the children on April 15, 2016. A family court order on May 16, 2017, granted the father access to the children from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for 10 days a year. This was followed by the 2019 order granting overnight access to the father.

The HC took note of the fact that this was not the first time that the father had been given access to the children, and thus the objection was to the grant of unrestricted and overnight access during vacation.

The court said, “It is now well-nigh recognised that prolonged custody of children with one parent, to the exclusion of the other, has its share of influence on the mind of the children. Often, it is alleged that the custodial parent has poisoned the mind of the child against the non-custodial parent. In such a scenario the wishes of the child do not represent the true desire of the child. …Prolonged exclusive custody may lead to parental alienation.”

It said overnight custody may not have any adverse impact on the welfare and development of the children. “On the contrary, such overnight access will promote better growth and development of the children by strengthening the bond between the children and father,” it said, and did not pass an interim order in the matter.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 12:52:34 PM |

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