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Child Custody

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Laws pertinent to child custody are in place to protect the best interests of the child and not the separating or divorcing parents. Whether the separation is amicable or bitter, the child’s physical and mental well-being and safety must always be given first importance and there are several Indian laws that make provisions for the child, the parents and assets in the name of the child.

 

The misconception that only an earning parent is eligible for child custody is gradually being removed from our country. Even women without income can gain custody of the child and the father is regulated to provide maintenance expenses of the child. The child’s upbringing, education, medical and recreational expenses should be borne in mind when custody is awarded to one parent. The other parent may be given visiting rights once a week, month, fortnight or as per both parents’ convenience. Free access to the non-custodial parent may also be given. Depending on how well the two parents reach an understanding and what is best for the child, these decisions are made.

 


 

As a child becomes older, his/her views are also considered in child custody cases. Infants are generally looked after by the mother as in the formative years, special care needs to be taken care in terms of health, food and medical care and which the mother is better equipped to deal with. The parent providing financial support to the custodial parent can also get properties registered in the child’s name and the rent earned from such properties can be used for the child’s welfare. Indian laws are particular that no fraudulent activities can take place by the trustees of a child’s assets and that the child is emotionally and physically brought up by a parent to whom they award the child custody.

 

Finally, how well the parents maintain themselves in their personal and professional lives is thoroughly scrutinized. If a mother or father behaves irresponsibly, leads an erratic lifestyle or cannot provide stable financial support to the child, for example, preference is always given to the more responsible parent.

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