Archive for India

Child Custody in India

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-tells-estranged-couples-your-children-need-you-both/articlhttp://www.thehindu.com/news/national/supreme-court-tells-estranged-couples-your-children-need-you-both/articlv

In case the link is no longer active, go to the above website and type “child custody” in their search bar: it’s from 4/11/16.

*This is a continuation of child custody in major nations.  India is the only major nation I haven’t visited, or lived in for considerable time.  They include China, Japan, Indonesia, Russia, the UK, France, Germany and Spain.

*It is very important because demographers predict it will have the world’s largest population, surpassing China sometime this century. It has also recently modernized its economy under Prime Minister Modi and even has a realistic goal of surpassing the US in national Wi-Fi coverage.

*As an Asian nation, most in the West might presume they are a male-dominated nation.  If so, like Japan and China, it doesn’t extend to child custody.  This case, while giving a token mention of the importance of both parents, gave the father very little parenting time.

*Nevertheless, at least the Indian Supreme Court has made a statement on the importance of both parents.  I could find no such comments by the US Supreme Court, which appears to confine itself to international custody cases, rather than applying the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to child custody.

*There are four aspects to Indian society which would tend to make child custody a far less contentious issue there than in the US: arranged marriages, very important extended families, a very low divorce rate and much lower rates of geographic mobility.

*While I haven’t visited India, my daughter attended an elaborate three day wedding there.  One can imagine the vast social pressure extending from such an event, which might be enough on its own to keep a precarious marriage together in later years.

*In conclusion, although the vast majority of the Indian population are Hindus (hence the newspaper title), it is estimated to be up to 15 % Muslim.  In those families, a child custody case could follow very different parameters.  A future blog entry will touch on one or more Muslim nations.

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