While granting a father overnight access to his minor child, the Bombay high court stated that a “child deserves love, affection, and quality time to be spent with both the parents” for general growth, and that separated parents must put their “acrimonious past and animosity” aside.
The mother of the child approached vacation judge Justice Milind Jadhav in protest of a trial court judgement allowing the father overnight access to the child. For their proper development, children require the love, understanding, and company of both parents, according to the Court.
“The parties in this case should not forget that both parents have common responsibilities, most importantly been together would be an ideal case but even if they are separated they still have to helm the primary responsibility of upbringing and development of the child. For this, the child requires the love, affection and quality time to be spent with both the parents. Focus should be aimed at the development of the child.”
The couple married in 2012, and their son was born in April 2015, nevertheless, the pair divorced in September of the following year, and their divorce case under the Special Marriage Act is still pending at the family court.
The wife began the divorce process, which included applications for custody and maintenance.The family court awarded the father overnight access to the child from May 17 to 30, 2022, while the divorce proceedings were pending.This was challenged in High Court by the mother in the current case.
In his order, Justice Jadhav stated that he interacted with the youngster in his chamber and found him to be very reciprocative, he appeared to be more than intelligent for his age based on his body language, demeanour, comments, and answers to a variety of common inquiries, “his reflexes were sharp”.
“If the petitioner has a genuine apprehension then such an apprehension has to be backed by cogent material. Just as the petitioner is the mother of the child it should not be forgotten that the respondent is his father and from the record it is clearly gathered that he is a doting father. There was no trust deficit between the two or any fear shown by the child.”
The court also noted that the boy, who was four and a half years old at the time, had visited Dubai for seven days with his father and grandfather in December 2019.
The High Court changed the dates of overnight access because seven days of the overnight access granted by the family court had already been used. The High Court has also ordered the father not to take the child outside of India for any travel or vacation as a precaution.
Aside from providing sufficient care for the child, the father has been instructed to allow the youngster to communicate with the mother twice a day, or as the child desires.