Activists hail move on joint child custody

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) Child rights activists Friday hailed the decision of the Law Commission to frame guidelines for joint custody of children in case of divorce, saying a child needs love and affection from both father and mother.

“The child is not party to divorce but family courts prefer mother as the custodian and hardly give any right to the father,” activist and president of Bangalore-based Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) Kumar V. Jahgirdar told IANS.
He said shared parenting would allow such couples to take joint decisions about bringing up their children.
To strengthen a legal framework and give more rights to fathers, the Law Commission will study and suggest amendments to the Guardians and Wards Act of 1890, according to official sources.
There is no specific law or guidelines for joint custody of children in India. However, the concept of shared parenting is prevalent in developed countries.
Bangalore-based child psychologist Savio Periara said divorced couples fight to control their children and use them as tools to settle their personal scores.
“Such situation can be avoided by making shared parenting mandatory in the interest of children as over 60 percent of the couples are following this in the US and its time for India to amend the laws,” she said.
“It is now required to amend the Guardians and Wards Act in the interest of children because studies have shown that a child without his father’s love is more prone to be a school dropout and get involved in crimes,” Jahgirdar said.