Single fathers advocate shared parenting
Tribune News Service
Shimla, August 15
Being a single parent if Jawaharlal Nehru could groom his daughter to become the Prime Minister of India, why can fathers not be trusted by the law in being responsible and sensitive towards children of failed marriages?
Putting their brilliant careers as top IT professionals in the US, a master chef owning four hotels, top notch businessman or an Army officer on hold, it is such fathers who have put everything at stake to seek the right of “shared parenting” to save their children from the trauma of legal and emotional battle in a failed marriage.
Espousing the cause of shared parenting is Kumar Jahgirdar, entangled in a legal battle for his child’s custody with his former wife now married to cricketer and former skipper Anil Kumble.
Jahgirdar, a stockbroker, along with such other fathers who have formed an NGO, Children’s Rights Initiative For Shared Parenting (CRISP), met here today to discuss the issue.
Recognising the serious effects of “parental alienation” on children due to single parent families on account of separation or divorce, CRISP advocates the rights of children to remain connected with both biological parents.
“Judiciary presumes the child to be the property of the mother and the visitation rights given to a father for an hour once a week is like a meaningless television show,” opines Jahgirdar.
Similar is the case of a strapping Army officer for whom taking on insurgents and gunning down four dreaded militants in Kargil was hardly a task as compared to the battle he is fighting for the custody of his four-year-old child.
“Both biological parents ought to be responsible for emotional and psychological well-being of their child even if things did not work out between them for whatever reasons,” he feels.
Research indicates that children do best when both parents are actively involved in the emotional and psychological well-being of the child. Parents contemplating divorce should go in for shared parenting as this would eliminate avoidable child custody battles, they feel.
They say in many cases the child is kept with the maternal grandparents as the ambitious mother pursues her career.
CRISP is seeking two days per week with the child for the non-custodian parent along with the right to spend half of the vacation with the child as this will ensure quality time.
“Even getting visitation rights to see my own child took me three long years, so we demand that this arrangement must be put in place within three months of the filing of petition,” stresses an IT professional, who moved from Malaysia to India to spend time with his child.
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