Minor daughter’s custody shifted to her mother keeping in mind the welfare of the child

Bombay High Court: Upholding the welfare of the child as the most important factor in a custody battle, a bench comprising of  Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai, JJ shifted the custody of a young girl who had lived with her father for over seven years to her mother.The appellant had approached the Court to challenge a Family Court’s order rejecting her application seeking to modify the consent terms of her divorce. The women had handed over the custody of her daughter to her ex husband by mutual consent and moved to Denmark. The woman had complained that she was not allowed to meet her daughter regularly and that the father was trying to alienate her from her daughter.

The appellant subsequently wanted her daughter to join her in Denmark where she had migrated. The Court agreed to the request of the mother after it was pointed that the girl was anxious and emotional while in the father’s custody and wished to live with her mother. From the interactions with the child, the Court was satisfied that the child was mature enough to take such a difficult and painful decision of choosing between the two parents, both of whom she loved immensely and equally. The Court was satisfied that the decision of the child was not emotionally maneuvered but a conscious decision.

The Court also rejected the arguments of the father that uprooting the child from the local environment and compelling her to adjust to a foreign country, culture and education system would adversely impact her development and overall growth. The bench observed that young  children are more resilient than adults are and they learn and adapt quickly and find their own ways to cope with any new situation and surroundings. In the instance case, the child was at an age where she would have no difficulty in gelling with the new culture and country. The Court allowed the father to be in contact with the child through social networking or electronic media and to make regular visits.  Aakansha Roy Rasmussen vs. Adwait Anil Dixit, 2015 SCC OnLine Bom 558decided on 23-02-2015

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