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Doctor wins custody battle for children from first wife

A person cannot be denied custody of children from his first marriage merely because he lives with his second wife, the Supreme Court held in a recent judgment.

It should not be held against a person if he decides to go ahead with his life after divorce, a Bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Sanjay Kishan Kaul observed in a judgment.

The case involved a legal battle between a doctor couple for custody of their children. The couple had divorced by mutual consent. They have two minor children. The husband re-married.

The plea of the husband was that the condition of the divorce was that he would take care of the expenses of the son while the wife took care of the daughter. However, he had ended up providing for both, the husband alleged.

The former wife however had claimed custody of the children when he asked her to contribute financially for the welfare of the children. His second marriage was also made a ground to claim child custody by the previous wife.

The apex court decided in favour of the husband. It found that the woman did not contribute for her own daughter’s expenses out of financial difficulty, but was unwilling to do so.

The court did not view the husband’s second marriage as a hurdle to allow him to keep custody of the children.

“Merely because he has decided to go ahead in life, and has had a second marriage, it provides no ground whatsoever to deprive him of the custody of the children,” Justice Kaul wrote in the judgment.

The court said the man has looked after the children and “not gone back on any of his commitments.” One of the conditions for mutual divorce was that they were free to re-marry.

“We, however, see no reason why the appellant (husband) has been compelled to go through this unnecessary litigation when the parties, at the threshold, after deep deliberation, and for the interest of the children, have given the custody to the appellant,” the apex court observed.


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Printable version | Sep 13, 2021 12:30:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/doctor-wins-custody-battle-for-children-from-first-wife/article25353987.ece

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