Delhi High Court Granted Variations in Custody: Consideration of Joint-Parenting Plan

Case No. : MAT.APP.(F.C.) 167/2024 & CM Nos.29718-20/2024 AND MAT.APP.(F.C.) 168/2024 & CM APPL. 29929/2024
Order on:  17th May, 2024

Facts of the case
Devesh Manaswi Das (the appellant/father) filed appeals against orders passed by the Family Court regarding custody and interaction with the child. The Family Court, in its order dated 02.12.2023, issued directions for custody and interaction of the child with the appellant/father. Both parties, through their respective counsels, presented arguments regarding variations in the directions issued by the Family Court.

Whether the proposed variations in custody and interaction arrangements, particularly regarding the timing and duration of custody and interaction with the child.

Whether to consider a “joint-parenting plan” after six months, including the possibility of overnight custody for the appellant/father.
Whether the appropriate time for overnight custody, potentially involving the assistance of a child psychologist to ensure the child’s welfare.
Legal provisions
The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, of 1956: Deals with matters pertaining to the guardianship of minors and the rights and responsibilities of guardians within Hindu families.

The Guardians and Wards Act, of 1890: Deals with the appointment and regulation of guardianship for minors.
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955: Deals with the legal aspects of Hindu marriages in India.
Contentions of Appellant
The appellant request for variations in the directions issued by the Family Court. Proposed custody of the child on either two Saturdays or four Sundays per month, along with modifications to interaction timeframes during vacations. Requested consideration of a “joint-parenting plan” after six months.

Contentions of  Respondents
The respondent (mother) agreed to certain variations in custody and interaction arrangements, suggested extending the father’s custody to two Saturdays after the child’s classes and proposed adjustments to interaction timeframes during vacations.

Court Analysis & Judgement
In this case, The court considered submissions from both parties and granted variations in custody and interaction arrangements as proposed. Delhi High Court Directed the appellant/father to submit a “joint-parenting plan” after six months, with the possibility of overnight custody. Empowered the Family Court to consider the plan and seek assistance from a child psychologist if necessary. The appeals were disposed of in accordance with the variations in directions and provisions for future consideration of a joint-parenting plan. The court emphasized the importance of the child’s welfare and the need for flexibility in custody arrangements to ensure the best interests of the child.

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Judgement Reviewed By- Antara Ghosh

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