The Supreme Court of India has recently granted custody of a minor boy to his teacher mother of humble means. The father in this case, a Mr. Gaurav Nagpal kidnapped his son after the divorce, and was holding on to him against the rule of law. In this case, the ruling was absolutely right. Clearly, the father has displayed a lack of moral fibre with his acts. Let me say on the record that I completely support this ruling.
The Times of India titled this story as “Money has no meaning in custody battles: SC.” The bench is quoted as saying, “In determining the question as to who should be given custody of a minor child, the paramount consideration is the ‘welfare of the child’ and not rights of the parents under a statute.” Fair enough. It goes on to say, “Simply because the father loves his children and is not shown to be otherwise undesirable does not necessarily lead to a conclusion that the welfare of the children would be better promoted by granting their custody to him.”
The welfare of a child in a custody battle is paramount. I get that. I also understand that a child needs a mother during the developmental years. Gaurav Nagpal in this case is a rich man who is providing his son an education well beyond the mother’s means. He used this point to state that he is in a better position to take care of his son. The SC ruled that as the education of son is very important, the father should continue to pay for the education while the son stays with his mother.
My question is this; to what extent must the mother be proved to be a deviant for the father to get custody? I appreciate the need for maternal love in the growing years of a child, but what if the son is 16 years old? I would contend that he needs his father more. I don’t know the age of the boy in this case, but I’m pretty sure that the bench would be skittish in granting the custody to the father if the son was a teenager unless there is sufficient proof of the mother being abusive or something.
I am unclear about this topic as I am far from the stage where I would consider myself mature enough to have a child of my own, but I was always old enough to have an opinion. So readers, please chime in with opinions to clear my mind a little.