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CHILD ACCESS & CUSTODY GUIDELINES-Approved by Hon’ble Bombay High Court

CHILD ACCESS & VISITATION GUIDELINES
BY
CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION

A serious need is felt for approaching the Hon’ble Principal Judge Family court to set proper guidelines for the Family Courts regarding access, visitation and custody, as this will help in disposing off the cases quickly in a scientific manner ensuring that the right of the child to be showered with the love and affection of both the parents is not lost or delayed.
I. Under Section 10(3) of the Family Courts Act the Principal Judge has the
powers to frame rules.
II. When making a parenting order in relation to a child, the court must apply a
presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the child’s parents to
have equal shared parental responsibility for the child While determining the
best interests of the child:
III. The primary considerations are:
a. Ensuring benefit to the child of having spend equal or substantial or
significant time to develop a meaningful relationship with both the child’s
parents and to ensure an implement of overnight access so that the child
gets love and affection of not only both the parents but also of grandparents,
uncles , aunties, cousins etc thereby ensuring that the family heritage is
maintained; and
b. Ensuring the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm
from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.

INTRODUCTION :

The recent trend in the society is seeing a paradigm change in the matrimonial
relationship. The numbers of divorce cases are rising, particularly in the last decade, more and more middle and lower-middle class couples have been approaching family court for divorce, resulting in rise of bitter child custody battles. Often, the innocent children are used as tools of vengeance by vindictive litigants who inflict severe emotional and psychological abuse on the child thereby seriously affecting the child in his/her later part of life . Failure in marriages is sometimes due to lack of awareness or realization among the litigants where often one of the partner suffers from a personality disorder and/or adjustment disorder which can be easily diagnosed through psychological evaluation.
1 A serious need is felt for approaching the Hon’ble court as well as HC to set
proper guidelines for the Family Courts, as this will help in disposing off the cases quickly in a scientific manner rather than on speculation.
In family disputes, litigants often make false and vindictive allegations against
each other, wasting & consuming enormous court’s time which can be reduced
considerably.
Further it would also help to some extent in reconciliation of marital disputes.
Presently, even the Legal system, bureaucrats, politicians, statutory agencies for child welfare, NGO’s etc., have forgotten or missed to appreciate or understand child rights as well as the immense emotional trauma that innocent children undergo in the process of custody litigation and parent separation due to lack of love and affection from both the parents.
Depriving love & affection of both parents, more particularly due to alienation of the child by the custodial parent and or denial of proper access to the non-custodial parent by the courts without realizing the serious consequences caused in the later part of the child’s life such as drug abuse, deteriorating educational achievement, premature sexuality, mental/personality disorder, chronic depression, suicidal tendency, out of wed-lock birth, and often a major force behind serious crimes.
There is an urgent need to establish well defined framework and guidelines for
family courts and the counselors to implement while deciding the custody of the children.
Delay in action or callous approach, what kind of future society/generation are we going to create.
Needless, to say today’s youth are going to be leaders & thinkers of tomorrow.
The Nation’s future depends upon today’s children. Hence, immediate intervention of higher courts must. Presently these issues are being decided in an absolutely subjective fashion by the family court seriously affecting the mental health of the tender children as well as specific violations of UN Convention on rights of the Child.
One of the fundamental rights of the children is to get love and affection from both the parents (irrespective of parent’s conflict), right to quality of life and survival, and right to be cared, right to develop a sense of belonging, right to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.
2 We would like to bring specific focus to Article 39(e) & (f), the state shall direct its Policy in such a manner that the tender age of children is not abused and children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and childhood is protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
While framing guidelines a clear distinction needs to be made between the Rights of the Child versus the Rights of a Parent (which invariably ends up being interpreted as Rights of only the mother).
India and the *UNCRC The UNCRC – United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) a clarion of worldwide movement and the pinnacle of international effort to promote the basic needs of children as fundamental human rights is a remarkable and wonderful gift to the children which is given a ‘go by’ by our current legal system. (India along with 193 countries has also agreed to undertake the obligations of the Convention by ratifying to it as on December 2008).

INTERIM CHILD VISITATION GUIDELINES


Immediately within one week from the date of service of summons or the first
meeting with the counselor for mediation and conciliation parties shall draw up an interim visitation plan.
The basic principles of the courts are to ensure that the child/children get(s) to
spend equal or substantial and significant time to be showered with love and
affection from both the parents irrespective of parent’s conflict.
Efforts should be made by parties and if necessary court should direct parties to mutually agree upon a visitation schedule to be drawn up along with the Marriage Counselor within a maximum period of 60 days. Pending, finalization of mutual final overnight visitation agreement, an interim access has to be worked out immediately.
If the parties cannot agree on visitation, their first alternative is to mediate the
conflict. Visitation is for the primary benefit of the child. Visitation should not be viewed as a privilege to be exercised at the whim of either parent, but as a
responsibility that should be fulfilled as a necessary cause. The custodial  parent is expected to provide access of each child at unscheduled times if requested and if to do so would not unreasonably disrupt prior planned activities of the child or the custodial parent.
REINTRODUCTION OF ABSENT PARENT: The Guidelines assume that each
parent has been a continuous presence in the children’s lives. In the event that  a parent has had limited or no contact with his or her children and wishes to be
reintroduced into the children’s lives, it is up to the parents to agree on the means by which this is to be accomplished. If the parents are unable to agree, the first alternative shall be to mediate the conflict. If mediation is unsuccessful, it shall be the responsibility of the Court to adopt a schedule to ease the reintroduction.

CHAPTER 1
INTERIM VISITATION


The following visitation guidelines should balance the needs of both parent and
child, regardless of whether that child has older siblings that enjoy extended
visitation with the Non-custodial parent.
A. VISITATION (CHILDREN AGED BETWEEN 0 TO 36 MONTHS)
The following visitation guidelines should balance the needs of both parent and
child, regardless of whether that child has older siblings that enjoy extended
visitation with the Non-custodial parent.
1. WEEKENDS: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to weekend visitation
every weekend. For children between 0 to 36 months visitation shall be between 11.00 A.M. to 2.00 P.M. or 4.30 P.M. to 7.30 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday during the weekend and Twice (two times) during Weekday between Monday to Friday for 1½ hours (90 Minutes).
2. WEEKDAY VISITATION: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to visitation two (2) evenings per week during weekday between Monday to Friday for 1½ hours (90 Minutes). These shall be the same two evenings every week and varied only if the weekday visitation schedule conflicts with the holiday or vacation schedule. If the parties cannot agree, weekday visitation shall be on Monday and Wednesday.
3. HOLIDAYS: The non-custodial parent shall be entitled to spend at least 3 Three hours on the holiday or festival day including 15th August, 26th January, 1st May (Maharashtra day;) , 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti), 14th November (Children’s day) excluding the time of travel. Only where it is not possible to share during the festival day due to reasons of distance or otherwise. In odd-numbered years, the Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to spend with the minor child; in even numbered years, the schedule shall be reversed. Aparty’s entitlement to Holiday visitation overrides the other party’s right to regularly scheduled weeknight or weekend visitation. If either or both parties celebrate other holidays, such holidays should be written down, divided and alternated each year

 Note : For children aged between 0 to 36 months it shall be open for the custodial parent to remain present during visitation.
i. Visitation shall be from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. or 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.
on the official holiday.

B. VISITATION (CHILDREN 36 MONTHS AND OLDER)
4. WEEKENDS: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to weekend visitation
every other weekend or every weekend one night every week. Every other
weekend Visitation shall begin Friday at 6:00 p.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. on
Sunday. If every weekend visitation is opted then every week overnight visitation shall begin either from every Friday at 6.00 p.m. and end on Saturday 6.00 pm. or from every Saturday 6.00 p.m. and end on 6.00 p.m on Sunday. It is not the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide food or shelter for the child during the Non-custodial parent parent’s visitation.
5. WEEKDAY VISITATION: If the parties reside within thirty (30) Kilometers driving distance of each other, the Non-custodial parent shall have visitation two (2) evening per week for 2 two hours between 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m., but shall exercise the weekday visitation in the locale of the child’s primary residence or within the radius of 10 ten kilometers. The preceding sentence shall not preclude occasional travel beyond the thirty (30) Kilometers for special weekday events. The weekday visitation shall be on the same evening each week and varied only if it conflicts with the holiday or vacation schedule. If the parties cannot agree on the weeknight and if there are no scheduled activities for Wednesday, it shall be Wednesday evening for 2 hours. If there are activities scheduled for Wednesday, the Non-custodial parent shall have first choice of an alternate weekday for weekday visitation
6. HOLIDAYS: The non-custodial parent shall be entitled to spend at least Three (3) hours on holidays and festival day excluding the time of travel. Only where it is not possible to share during the holidays and festival day due to reasons of distance or otherwise. Aparty’s entitlement to Holiday visitation overrides the other party’s right to regularly scheduled weeknight or weekend visitation. If either or both parties celebrate other holidays, such holidays should be written down, divided and alternated. In the absence of an agreement, the court shall allocate religious holidays between the parties.
i. Visitation shall be from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Or from 4.00pm to 7.00pm on the official holiday.
7. CHILDREN COMPLEX ROOM: Where access even though either agreed by
mutual consent or ordered by the court is not being granted to the noncustodial parent, Children’s complex room situated in the premises of the Family Courts or such other place as either mutually agreed or directed by the court such as premises made available and approved by the Hon’ble Family court shall be used for purposes of counseling the child or the parent for a specific period and thereafter access can continue as per schedule set forth.

CHAPTER – 2
FINAL CHILD VISITATION GUIDELINES PENDING CUSTODY ORDER OF THE HON’BLE COURT.

8. GENERALPROVISIONS
The parent with primary custody (parent who is having custody of child since
birth and is taking care of the day to day and hour to hour need of the child) shall be referred to herein as the custodial parent, and the other parent shall be
referred to as the Non-custodial parent.
9. ACCESS VISITATION SCHEDULE:
This visitation schedule has been approved by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court
as a model visitation schedule. Parties to any order entered before the effective
date of these guidelines may agree in writing to the provisions herein; otherwise, such parties shall continue to comply with the old order unless a modification of the order is entered by the court.
I. If the parties cannot agree on visitation, their first alternative is to mediate the conflict. Even if mediation does not work then the court can pass an
appropriate order in terms of the visitation schedule for parties to comply.
Special reasons may exist to alter this visitation schedule such as: age of the
child, health, special care needs, etc.
ii. Within a period of not more than 60 days parties shall draw up and finalize a
final schedule of visitation as per chapter 3 below.
iii.On the visitation schedule being drawn and agreed upon between the
custodial and the non-custodial parent the counselor shall have the same duly
executed by the parties and the same shall be placed on record for the
approval of the Hon’ble court. Parties shall comply with the agreement in full
and any violation shall give rise to cause of action to the aggrieved party to
seek appropriate directions from the court.
A. The no-contact or limitation-of-contact provisions of any domestic violence
case, injunction case, juvenile case, or criminal case supersede any
contact provisions set forth in these guidelines. That is, the no-contact or
limitation-of-contact provisions of any domestic violence case, injunction
case, juvenile case, or criminal case should be followed as set forth by the judge in that case. It may be necessary to seek a modification of the no contact or limitation-of-contact provisions in order to facilitate visitation.

B. The term “local” shall apply to parties residing within 200 driving kms
of each other.
C. The term “nonlocal” shall apply to parties not residing within 200 driving
Kilometers of each other.
10. ENFORCEMENT OF VISITATION SCHEDULE: If the parties cannot agree on
visitation, their first alternative is to mediate the conflict. Even if mediation does not work then the court can pass an appropriate order in terms of the visitation schedule for parties to comply.
11. MEDICATION, ILLNESS OR ACCIDENT: If medication or therapy has been
prescribed for the child, then both parents shall without fail provide the child all medical prescription dosages, treatment and/or therapy as may be prescribed for the child. The parents shall share the health care professional’s name and phone number as well as instructions for treatment. If the child becomes ill or is involved in an accident, and treatment by a medical professional is obtained, the parent who has the child at the time of the illness or accident shall notify the other parent as soon as practicable but no later than three (3) hours after the incident or diagnosis. ILLNESS OF THE CHILD SHALL NOT PREVENT VISITATION WITH THE CHILD, UNLESS THE CHILD IS HOSPITALIZED. NON CUSTODIAL PARENT CAN VISIT THE CHILD IN HOSPITAL.
12. COMMUNICATIONS. Provided that both parents have telephones in their
homes, the child shall be entitled telephone communication at least once every
day with both parents. Each parent shall immediately deliver to the child all
letters, cards, e-mails, correspondence, telephone messages, gifts, toys,
clothes and other items sent to that child by the other parent. Neither parent shall withhold, return, destroy, give away, sell or otherwise dispose of any such items. If either parent plans a vacation or trip out of town with the child for three (3) days or more, that parent must provide the other parent with a general itinerary, a phone number where the child can be reached, and the dates of departure and return. Each Parent shall provide the other Parent promptly upon being requested to do so, with information concerning the well-being of said children including, but not limited to; monthly school attendance reports, reports concerning completion of homework, copies of report cards, school meeting notices, vacation schedules, class programs, requests for conferences, results of diagnostic tests, notices of activities involving said children, samples of school work, order forms for school pictures, communications from health care providers; the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all schools, preschools, regular day care providers, all health care providers, counselors, or other activity supervisor, and friends, schoolmates and relatives.

13. SCHEDULED EVENTS: Both parents shall be entitled and are encouraged to
attend and participate in the child’s special events, such as school programs,
graduation, sports, recitals, and other extracurricular activities. When the child has extracurricular activities, the parent caring for the child when the activity is scheduled should assure the child’s attendance. Each parent shall advise the other parent of extracurricular activities in which the child participates within twenty-four (24) hours of notification of an event or activity. Each parent shall make an effort not to schedule activities for the child that interferes with the other parent’s visitation time with the child.

14. ADDITIONAL VISITATION :

a.The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to exercise other reasonable visitation in the locale of the child’s primary residence or at other places like
club, place of worship, shop, ground, mall, upon reasonable notice subject to a
minimum of 12 hours notice to the custodial parent whenever. There may be
need where the non-custodial parent may wish and desire that the child
should be present on certain occasions such as poojas, religious functions,
birthdays, anniversary celebration, inaugurations, marriage, or emergencies
such as untimely death or hospitalization of a close relative such as
grandparent/relations etc. In such circumstances the custodial parent shall
allow access of the child immediately.
15. ADEQUATE AND CLEAN CLOTHING FOR VISITATION: Adequate and clean
clothing shall be supplied by the custodial parent and all these clothes shall be
returned in the same clean condition by the Non-custodial parent to the custodial parent after each visitation period.
16. INTENT TO RELOCATE: Neither party to the suit can relocate unless final
visitation rights agreement as set out is signed and finalized.
17. NOTICE OF INTENT TO RELOCATE: In the event that either parent intends to relocate outside of local area of residence of the non-custodial parent, he/she shall provide the other parent with ninety (90) days written notice prior to any relocation. This is a notice provision only and does not eliminate the need for court approval of such relocation if legally necessary. In the event such relocation does take place and the custodial parent is permitted to relocate and further if the non-custodial parent in order to be able to be near the child and for the sake of the child also chooses to relocate then under such circumstances the non-custodial parent on relocation shall enjoy the same access schedules as already decided and agreed without any alterations. In the event the noncustodial parent’s status changes from ‘Non-local’to ‘Local’the access schedule shall also likewise change and the non-custodial parent shall be entitled to all provisions of local access.
18.CHANGES IN ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBERS: Neither parent shall
conceal the whereabouts of the child from the other parent. Each parent shall
advise the other parent at all times of the residence address and telephone
number where the child will be as well as the parent’s work telephone number. If a residence or telephone number changes, the parent making the change shall notify the other parent personally or by telephone within twenty-four (24) hours and in writing within seventy-two (72) hours of the change.
19. CHILD SUPPORT / MAINTENANCE: Non-payment or late payment of child
support is NOT an acceptable reason to deny or interfere with visitation.
Conversely, denial of visitation is NOT justification for nonpayment or late
payment of child support. Child support and child visitation are separate and
independent issues and are not to be manipulated by either parent to gain
leverage over the other parent with regard to visitation or child support. Child
support shall NOTstop during visitation periods, unless provided by court order.
20. FLEXIBILITY AND THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD: The parents may
agree to change this schedule to meet the needs of their child. The parents are
encouraged to put such changes in writing. If the parents do not agree to
visitation schedule changes, they must adhere to these guidelines, or a parent in violation may be held in contempt of court.
21. SHIFTOF CUSTODY: FOR REASONS OF CHILD ALIENATION / TUTORING /
MIND POISONING / BRAINWASHING / PARENTAL ALIENATION
SYNDROME : In the event it is observed or alleged by concrete substantive
evidence or material placed on record enumerating instances as listed below the court shall proceed to seriously entertain and decide that the custody of the child be shifted from the custodial parent to the non-custodial parents on their being conclusive evidence to substantiate either any one or more of the following :

A custodial parent who unjustifiably punishes her divorcing or divorced Non-
Custodial parent by:
I. Attempting to alienate their mutual child(ren) from the Non-Custodial parent.
ii. Any act, deed done or caused to be done by the custodial parent which may
lead to the infringement of the right of the non-custodial parent’s visitation.
iii. Involving others in malicious actions against the Non-Custodial parent.
iv. Engaging in excessive litigation.
v. The custodial parent specifically attempts to deny her child(ren)regular
uninterrupted visitation with the Non-Custodial parent.
vi. Uninhibited telephone access to the Non-Custodial parent.
vii. Obstructs or causes any obstruction in the Non Custodial parents
participation in the child(ren)’s school life and extracurricular activities.
viii. The pattern is pervasive and includes malicious acts towards the Non-
Custodial parent including:
ix. Lying to the children
x. Lying to others
xi. Violations of law Or Making False Complaints
xii. The disorder is not specifically due to another mental disorder although a
separate mental disorder may coexist.
22.NEW SPOUSE OR COMPANION: The parents shall not encourage the child to
call a new spouse or companion “Papa” “Mummy” “Father”, “Dad”, “Mother”,
“Mom”, or similar names, as such is detrimental to the child’s relationship with
his/her natural parents and may confuse and adversely affect the child. A
substitute name may be suggested or encouraged. Each parent shall encourage
a new spouse or companion not to confront or to interfere with the other parent’s contacts or visitation with the child and each parent is expected to prevent any such confrontation or interference. The other parent shall not be adversarial or hostile to a new spouse or companion but shall be courteous, polite, respectful, and non-threatening. Unless otherwise ordered or agreed by the parties, the parents are expected to speak directly with each other concerning all matters related to a divorce or separation judgment or order.
23.NAME OF THE CHILD & SURNAME: The custodial parent shall not be entitled to change the name or the surname of the child which has been given to the child as per either a ceremony performed for the same or the name along with the father’s surname as it appears in the birth certificate.
24.CHANGE OF SCHOOLOR DAYCARE CENTRE: The custodial parent shall not
be entitled to admit, change the school or the daycare centre of the child without written consent and/or agreement between the parties. If the issues is not being resolved then such admission, change of school/daycare centre of the child shall be as per the order of the court.
25.REMOVAL OF CHILD FROM DAYCARE OR SCHOOL: In the absence of prior
agreement between the parties and proper notification of the daycare or school – except in the event of an emergency – the Non-custodial parent shall not remove the child from daycare or school for visitation or otherwise. This paragraph shall not be applied to preclude the Noncustodial parent’s participation as a parent in school activities and access to the child at school, to the same extent as afforded the custodial parent, nor to prevent the Non-custodial parent from picking the child up after school or daycare if such pickup is pursuant to the parties’ visitation arrangement.
26. CANCELLATION BYNON-CUSTODIAL PARENT
A.Local (parties residing within 200 driving Kilometers of each other)
i. Twelve (12) hours’ notice shall be given by the parent entitled to visitation
with the child if visitation will not be exercised for the weekday or weekend.
ii. A minimum of Three (3) days notice shall be given by the parent entitled to
visitation for a holiday if visitation will not be exercised.
iii. A minimum of Fifteen (15) days’ notice shall be given in writing by the
parent entitled to visitation for a period of one week or greater if visitation
will not be exercised.
iv. The parent seeking cancellation shall arrange and pay for babysitting, child
care or other appropriate visitation of the child for the visitation period; to
the extent such expense is due to the cancellation. ANY VISITATION
CANCELLED BY THE NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT SHALL BE FORFEITED, UNLESS THE PARTIES AGREE TO SUBSTITUTE VISITATION. THE REQUIRED CANCELLATION NOTICE IS GIVEN; THE CUSTODIAL PARENT SHALL NOT UNREASONABLY WITHHOLD SUBSTITUTE VISITATION.
27. NOTICE – NONLOCAL (PARTIES NOT RESIDING WITHIN 200 DRIVING
KILOMETERS OF EACH OTHER):
i. A minimum of three days (3 days) notice shall be given by the parent
entitled to visitation for a holiday or special occasion if visitation will not be
exercised. A minimum of Fifteen (15) days’ notice shall be given in writing
by the parent entitled to visitation for Diwali, Christmas, Summer vacations
or an annual visitation period of one (1) week or greater if visitation will not
be exercised. If the cancellation is NOT agreed to by both parents, the
parent seeking cancellation must arrange and pay for child care or other
appropriate supervision of the child for the visitation period, to the extent
such expense is due to the cancellation. ANY VISITATION CANCELLED
BY THE NONCUSTODIAL PARENT SHALL BE FORFEITED, UNLESS
THE PARTIES AGREE TO SUBSTITUTE VISITATION. IF THE
REQUIRED CANCELLATION NOTICE IS GIVEN, THE CUSTODIAL
PARENT SHALL NOT UNREASONABLY WITHHOLD SUBSTITUTE
VISITATION.
ii. ADDITIONAL VISITATION: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to
exercise other reasonable visitation in the local of the child’s primary
residence upon reasonable notice to the custodial parent.
28. TRANSPORTATION
A.Local (parties residing within 200 driving Kilometers of each other): The Noncustodial
parent shall pick up the child for visitation and the custodial parent
shall pick up the child after visitation. A third party, agreed to by both parents,
may substitute for one of the parents in transporting the child to and from
visitation. The parties should reasonably consider a parent’s current spouse
or a family member of the child as a substitute. Aparty who moves and thereby
causes an increase of more than thirty (30) Kilometers in driving distance
between the two parents, shall bear responsibility for transportation in absence of Court intervention. The place of pick up and drop of the child shall be agreed to in writing by both the parents. However the place of pick up and drop shall either be the residence of the custodial parent or the family court children’s complex or as ordered by the Hon’ble court.

B.Nonlocal (parties not residing within 200 driving Kilometers of each other):
The court shall decide the issue of transportation on a case by case basis
absent an agreement by the parties.
29.WAITING: Achild shall be picked up or delivered within thirty (30) minutes of the scheduled time of exchange. If the Non-custodial parent is more than thirty (30) minutes late to pick up the child for visitation and creates a hardship as a result, visitation shall be forfeited for that visitation period. If legitimate reasons exist for delay in picking up the child for any weekend or longer visitation, and beginning the visitation the next day does not create a hardship on the custodial parent, the Non-custodial parent may pick up the child at a mutually agreed upon time later in the visitation period. The Non-custodial parent shall give the custodial parent as much notice as reasonably possible of any delay in picking up the child.

 

30. AMENDMENTS: Parties can vary; alter the interim access schedule as per
convenience within a period of one week from the date of presentation of the
petition before the Hon’ble court or within one week from the date of their
meeting with the counselor for mediation whichever is earlier. In the event
parties fail to arrive at a decision and conclude on the interim visitation schedule then the counselor shall draw up an interim visitation schedule and place the same before the Hon’ble court to be made final by an order of the court.
31.OVER NIGHT ACCESS: Court’s are under obligations to consider the child
spending equal time, or substantial and significant time, with each parent. In
making a parenting order the court ‘must consider’ making orders that the child spend equal time, or if not equal then substantial and significant time, with each parent. ‘Substantial and significant time’ is defined to mean, essentially, weekdays and overnight weekends and holidays, times that allow the parent to be involved in the child’s daily routine as well as occasions and events that are of particular significance to the child or the parent child to maintain or consolidate a secure attachment with a parent whose behavior is oriented only to ‘visiting’rather than ‘care-giving’.
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• Children have the right to know and be cared for by both their parents, regard -
less of whether their parents are married, separated, divorced, have never
married or have never lived together; and
• Children have a right to spend time on a regular basis with, and communicate
on a regular basis with, both their parents and other people significant to their
care, welfare and development (such as grandparents and other immediate
family members & relatives);and
• Children have a right to enjoy their culture (including the right to enjoy that
culture with other people who share that culture).
Over Night Access at home of the non-custodial parent should be encouraged at
an early stage so that the children have a close and continuing relationship and get
the love, affection of not only parents but also of grandparents and other immediate
family members like uncle, aunties, cousins etc. The healthy emotional
development of children depends upon their early experience of a continuous,
emotionally available care-giving relationship, through which they are able to form
an organized attachment, and to develop their human capacities for thought and
relationships essentially,
Children have their right to childhood of hopeful existence free of exploitations,
neglect. Children need consistent support system as well as love, hope and
encouragement, all these things and more are required in order to experience
childhood to the fullest and to eventually develop into a healthy, capable adult for the
full and hormonal development of his or her personality children should grow up in a
family environment in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding which is
very important for their overall growth and well being. The children should be fully
prepared to live life in society, in the spirit, dignity tolerance, freedom, equality and
solidarity. However young children are subjected to exploitation especially in a
broken marriage where the court has to intervene to protect the rights of the child.
Children have to be ensured that the their right to parental access, right to quality of
life, right to be cared for, and right to freedom of expression is not compromised and
children get love and affection from both parents and grandparents and immediate
family members. They should have a sense of belonging to a healthy family
environment maintaining their heritage so that the genealogy of the child is not lost
after attaining adulthood and they are able to be linked with their ancestors.
Overnight access should therefore be encouraged at an early stage.
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CHAPTER – 3
LOCAL GUIDELINES
(PARTIES RESIDING WITHIN 200 DRIVING KILOMETERS OF EACH OTHER)
C. FINALVISITATION (CHILDREN BETWEEN AGE 0–TO-36 MONTHS)
The following visitation guidelines should balance the needs of both parent and
child, regardless of whether that child has older siblings that enjoy extended
visitation with the Non-custodial parent.
32. WEEKENDS: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to overnight weekend
visitation every weekend. For children between 0 to 36 months visitation shall be
between 11.00 A.M. to 2.00 P.M. or 4.30 P.M. to 7.30 P.M. on Saturday and
Sunday and Twice (two times) during weekday between Monday to Friday for
1½ hours (90 Minutes). One of the most important considerations is for
attachment with both parents. It is important for visitation to provide
opportunities to establish a bond between the child and the parent. Generally,
frequency of visitation is given more consideration than duration of visitation.
Making up for less frequent visits by increasing the length of time of visits is not
recommended for infants recommended daily visits, but if this is impractical,
then visits should be spaced no more than two days apart. There is research,
however, to show that overnight visits with the parent can occur, provided that
the parent has been a significant caretaker and a primary attachment figure.
33. WEEKDAY VISITATION: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to visitation
two (2) evenings per week during weekday between Monday to Friday for 1½
hours (90 Minutes). These shall be the same two evenings every week and
varied only if the weekday visitation schedule conflicts with the holiday or
vacation schedule. If the parties cannot agree, weekday visitation shall be on
Monday and Wednesday.
34. HOLIDAYS: The non-custodial parent shall be entitled to spend at least 3 Three
hours on the holiday or festival day including 15th August, 26the January, 1st
May (Maharashtra day;) , 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti), 14th November
(Children’s day) excluding the time of travel. Only where it is not possible to
share during the festival day due to reasons of distance or otherwise. In oddnumbered
years, the Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to spend with the
minor child; in even numbered years, the schedule shall be reversed. A party’s
16
entitlement to Holiday visitation overrides the other party’s right to regularly
scheduled weeknight or weekend visitation. If either or both parties celebrate
other holidays, such holidays should be written down, divided and alternated
each year.
Note : For children aged between 0 to 36 months it shall be open for the custodial
parent to remain present during visitation.
i. Visitation shall be from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. or from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on
the official holiday.
ii. Mother’s day Shall be spent with the mother every year with priority over any
other visitation schedule; visitation hours shall be from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00
pm or 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
iii.Father’s day shall be spent with the father every year with priority over any
other visitation schedule; visitation hours shall be from 11:00 am. until 2:00
p.m. or 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
iv.Diwali / Eid / Moharram / Makarsakaranti / Janmashtmi/Mahavir Jayanti /
Mahashivratri / Ramnavi / Parsi New Year / Dussera / Laxmipoojan / Bhau
Bheej / Gurunanak Jayanti / Raksha Bandhan / Navratri / Ganesh Chaturthi /
Anant Chaturthi / Holi visitation to the non-custodial parent shall be for a period
of 3 three hours excluding travelling time and timings shall be decided
between the parties mutually.
35. FESTIVALS WEEKEND OVERNIGHTACCESS : Festivals which last for more
than seven days especially Navratri, Ganpati and Ramzan and for which long
holidays are not available to the child the non-custodial parent shall be entitled to
one weekend overnight stay during this stretch of festival. Aparty’s entitlement to
this festival weekend overnight stay overrides the other party’s right to regularly
scheduled weeknight or weekend visitation .
36. MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY: shall be spent with the mother every year. If the mother
is the Non-custodial parent and the mother’s birthday is on Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, visitation hours shall be from 5:00 p.m. until
8:00 p.m. If the mother’s birthday is on Saturday or Sunday, visitation shall be
from 11:00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. This visitation will not affect holiday visitation.
37. FATHER’S BIRTHDAY: shall be spent with the father every year. If the father is
the Non-custodial parent and the father’s birthday is on Sunday, Monday,
17
Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, visitation hours shall be from 5:00 p.m. until
8:00 p.m. If the father’s birthday is on Saturday or Sunday, visitation shall be from
11:00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. This visitation will not affect holiday visitation.
38. CHILD’S BIRTHDAY: The child shall celebrate his or her birthday with the Noncustodial
parent in odd-numbered years and the custodial parent in evennumbered
years. In years that the child spends his or her birthday with the Noncustodial
parent, if the child’s birthday falls on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, or Thursday, visitation shall be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.; if the
child’s birthday falls on Saturday or Sunday, visitation shall be from 11:00 a.m. to
4.00 p.m.. The parent holding a birthday party for the child may wish to consider
inviting the other parent.
39. ANNUAL VISITATION FOR CHILDREN (UNDER AGED 0-TO-36 MONTHS):
Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties, regular weekend and weekday
visitation shall be maintained year round in lieu of a designated annual visitation
period.
D. FINALVISITATION (CHILDREN 36 MONTHS AND OLDER)
40. WEEKENDS: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to weekend visitation
every other weekend. Visitation shall begin Friday at 6:00 p.m. and end at 6:00
p.m. on Sunday. If parties wish to avail continuous every week access then every
weekend access shall begin from Friday at 6.00 p.m. and end on Saturday 6.00
p.m. or Saturday 6.00 p.m. to Sunday 6.00 p.m. It is not the responsibility of the
custodial parent to provide food or shelter for the child during the Non-custodial
parent’s visitation.
41. WEEKDAY VISITATION: If the parties reside within thirty (30) Kilometers driving
distance of each other, the Non-custodial parent shall have visitation two (2)
evening per week for 2 two hours between 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m., but shall
exercise the weekday visitation in the locale of the child’s primary residence or
within the radius of 10 ten kilometers. The preceding sentence shall not preclude
occasional travel beyond the thirty (30) Kilometers for special weekday events.
The weekday visitation shall be on the same evening each week and varied only
if it conflicts with the holiday or vacation schedule. If the parties cannot agree on
the weeknight and if there are no scheduled activities for Wednesday, it shall be
Wednesday evening. If there are activities scheduled for Wednesday, the Noncustodial
parent shall have first choice of an alternate weekday for weekday
visitation.
18
42. HOLIDAYS: The non-custodial parent shall be entitled to spend at least 4 Four
hours on the holiday or festival day including 15th August, 26the January, 1st
May (Maharashtra day ) , 2nd October (Gandhi Jayanti), 14th November
(Children’s day) excluding the time of travel. Only where it is not possible to
share during the festival day due to reasons of distance or otherwise. In oddnumbered
years, the Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to spend with the
minor child; in even numbered years, the schedule shall be reversed. A party’s
entitlement to Holiday visitation overrides the other party’s right to regularly
scheduled weeknight or weekend visitation. If the parties celebrate religious
holidays other than those defined in sections A and B below, those religious
holidays shall be mutually agreed upon in writing, divided, and alternated each
year. In the absence of an agreement, the court shall allocate those religious
holidays between the parties..
i. Visitation shall be from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. or 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. on
the official holiday.
ii. Mother’s day Shall be spent with the mother every year with priority over any
other visitation schedule; visitation hours shall be from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00
p.m. or 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. Father’s day shall be spent with the father every
year with priority over any other visitation schedule; visitation hours shall be
from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. or 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
iii.Diwali / EId / Moharram / Makarsakaranti / Janmashtmi / Mahavir Jayanti /
Mahashivratri / Ramnavi / Parsi New Year / Dussera / Laxmi poojan / Bhau
Bheej / Gurunanak Jayanti / Raksha Bandhan / Navratri / Ganesh Chaturthi /
Anant Chaturthi / Holi visitation to the non-custodial parent shall be for a
period of 4 Four hours excluding travelling time and timings shall be decided
between the parties mutually.
NOTE : Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to take the child at his residence
during this period of access.
43. FESTIVALS WEEKEND OVERNIGHTACCESS : Festivals which last for more
than seven days especially Navratri, Ganpati and Ramzan and for which long
holidays are not available to the child the non-custodial parent shall be entitled to
one weekend overnight stay during this stretch of festival. Aparty’s entitlement to
this festival weekend overnight stay overrides the other party’s right to regularly
scheduled weeknight or weekend visitation.
19
44. FIFTY% VACATION: The non custodial parent shall be entitled to 50% of each
vacation during the year the child has vacations for Diwali, Christmas and
Summer.
45. MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY: shall be spent with the mother every year. If the mother
is the Non-custodial parent and the mother’s birthday is on Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, visitation hours shall be from 5:00 p.m. until
8:00 p.m. If the mother’s birthday is on Saturday or Sunday, visitation shall be
from 11:00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. This visitation will not affect holiday visitation.
46. FATHER’S BIRTHDAY: shall be spent with the father every year. If the father is
the Non-custodial parent and the father’s birthday is on Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, visitation hours shall be from 5:00 p.m. until
8:00 p.m. If the father’s birthday is on Saturday or Sunday, visitation shall be from
11:00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. This visitation will not affect holiday visitation.
47. CHILD’S BIRTHDAY: The child shall celebrate his or her birthday with the Noncustodial
parent in odd-numbered years and the custodial parent in evennumbered
years. In years that the child spends his or her birthday with the Noncustodial
parent, if the child’s birthday falls on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, or Thursday, visitation shall be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.; if the
child’s birthday falls on Saturday or Sunday, visitation shall be from 11:00 a.m. to
4.00 p.m.. The parent holding a birthday party for the child may wish to consider
inviting the other parent.
E.CHILDREN IN DIFFERENTAGE GROUPINGS:
i. If there are two (2) or more children whose ages span different age
groupings entitling the children to different visitation periods with the Noncustodial
parent, then the younger children shall get the benefit of the
oldest child’s visitation schedule.
ii. THIS PROVISION DOES NOTAPPLYTO CHILDREN AGED BETWEEN 0
TO 36 MONTHS. PARENTS OF A CHILD AGED BETWEEN 0 TO 36
MONTHS MUST FOLLOW THE VISITATION SCHEDULE FOR THAT
CHILD REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOTTHE CHILD HAS OLDER
SIBLINGS ON ADIFFERENTSCHEDULE.
20
48. SCHEDULING ANNUALVACATION :
i. The Non-custodial parent shall have first choice of annual vacation visitation
and shall designate such choice in writing no later than March 1 of each year.
Subject to the Non-custodial parent parent’s designated choice on or before
March 1, the custodial parent shall designate in writing his or her choice for
annual vacation by March 15th of each year.
ii. The custodial parent’s annual vacation shall be scheduled around the Noncustodial
parent’s annual vacation and may override no more than one (1)
weekend and three (3) weeknight regularly scheduled visitation periods of
the Non-custodial parent.
iii. A parent’s first choice of annual vacation shall not interfere with the other
parent’s entitlement to the child’s birthday or the Diwali Holiday.
iv. Unless specifically prohibited by Court order, either parent may temporarily
remove the child from the jurisdiction of the court for purposes of annual
visitation only if the parent travelling with the child provides the other parent
with a written general itinerary and phone numbers where the child can be
contacted during the vacation.
v. Annual vacation shall not conflict with the school calendar.
21
CHAPTER – 4
NON-LOCAL GUIDELINES
(PARTIES NOT RESIDING WITHIN 200 DRIVING KILOMETERS OF EACH
OTHER)
49. VISITATION (CHILDREN AGED BETWEEN 0 TO 36 MONTHS) Visitation for
children under 36 months old shall be established by the court on a case-bycase
basis.
50. ADDITIONAL VISITATION: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to
exercise other reasonable visitation in the local of the child’s primary residence
upon reasonable notice to the custodial parent.
51. VISITATION (CHILDREN AGED 36 MONTHS & OLDER)
52. WEEKENDS: The Non-custodial parent shall be entitled to at least one weekend
visitation every week. Visitation shall begin either on Saturday and / or Sunday at
11:00 a.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. It shall be open for the parties to work out more
than one visitation per week as per mutual agreement.
53. HOLIDAYS: If the parties celebrate religious holidays other than those defined in
sections 41 above, those religious holidays shall be mutually agreed upon in
writing, divided, and alternated each year. In the absence of an agreement, the
court shall allocate those religious holidays between the parties.
54. FIFTY% VACATION: The non custodial parent shall be entitled to 50% of each
vacation during the year the child has such as Diwali, Christmas and Summer
vacation.
Note : In case non-custodial parent is unable to avail vacation access during a
particular year he/she shall be entitled to be compensated by full vacation
sharing during the subsequent year.
55. ANNUALSUMMER VACATION: Visitation shall be as follows:
A. CHILDREN IN DIFFERENTAGE GROUPINGS: If there are two (2) or more
children whose ages span different age groupings entitling the children to
different visitation periods with the Non-custodial parent, the younger children
get the benefit of the oldest child’s visitation schedule. THIS PROVISION
DOES NOT APPLY TO CHILDREN UNDER AGED BETWEEN 0 TO 36

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  1. Vivek
    January 25, 2012 at 11:11 am

    thanks. can you provide link to the HC document. The google link seems broken.

    • 498agladiator
      February 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Well Vivekji and Monu ji……honestly speaking I dont have the HC link. I would request you to kindly have word with the NGO whose contact nos are mentioned on the Document. May be they could give you the official copy.

      Rest i have tried opening link from various locations, OS’s and its working!!

  2. Manu
    January 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Dear can you tell me if they are posted on the website of Bombay High Court as well ? If yes, then also advice me the link to the web page. Thanks a lot !!!!!!

    • Suresh
      May 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Dear ALL,

      FOR DETAILS OR ANY QUERY REGARDING

      CHILD ACCESS & CUSTODY GUIDELINES AND PARENTING PLAN BOTH HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY BOMBAY HIGH COURT.

      KINDLY CONTACT :
      CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION
      NGO

      http://www.childrightsngo.com

      email : childrights@in.com
      call : +91 9699994646 / 9702022691

    • Suresh
      May 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Dear ALL,
      FOR DETAILS OR ANY QUERY REGARDING
      CHILD ACCESS & CUSTODY GUIDELINES AND PARENTING PLAN BOTH HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY BOMBAY HIGH COURT.
      KINDLY CONTACT :
      CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION
      NGO

      http://www.childrightsngo.com

      email : childrights@in.com
      call : +91 9699994646 / 9702022691

  3. 498agladiator
    January 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Sorry Vivek Sir/Manu, Now you can check the link…its open to all.

  4. siddharth murarka
    February 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    well approved when.. where is court seal

    • Suresh
      May 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Dear ALL,

      FOR DETAILS OR ANY QUERY KINDLY CONTACT :
      CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION
      NGO

      http://www.childrightsngo.com

      email : childrights@in.com
      call : +91 9699994646 / 9702022691

    • Suresh
      May 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION, NGO, HAS PREPARED CHILD ACCESS & CUSTODY GUIDELINES AND PARENTING PLAN BOTH HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY BOMBAY HIGH COURT.
      FOR DETAILS OR ANY QUERY KINDLY CONTACT :
      CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION
      NGO

      http://www.childrightsngo.com

      email : childrights@in.com
      call : +91 9699994646 / 9702022691

  5. Vivek
    February 6, 2012 at 11:43 am

    siddharth ji, maybe it does not seem fully official but the effort seems to be in right direction – to put pressure on judiciary to create guidelines.

    i will pursue karnataka high court for creation of guidelines. let’s see if they can come up with any formula justifying 3 hours a month as the situation is now after 2 years of pending application.

    • Suresh
      May 31, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Dear ALL,
      CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION, NGO, HAS PREPARED CHILD ACCESS & CUSTODY GUIDELINES AND PARENTING PLAN BOTH HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY BOMBAY HIGH COURT.
      FOR DETAILS OR ANY QUERY KINDLY CONTACT :
      CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION
      NGO

      http://www.childrightsngo.com

      email : childrights@in.com
      call : +91 9699994646 / 9702022691

  6. Suresh
    May 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Dear ALL,

    CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION, NGO, HAS PREPARED CHILD ACCESS & CUSTODY GUIDELINES AND PARENTING PLAN BOTH HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY BOMBAY HIGH COURT.

    FOR DETAILS OR ANY QUERY KINDLY CONTACT :

    CHILD RIGHTS FOUNDATION
    NGO
    http://www.childrightsngo.com
    email : childrights@in.com
    call : +91 9699994646 / 9702022691

  7. siddharth
    July 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    its a fraud.. high court says it never approved… this is unfair…..

    • 498agladiator
      July 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Vakil Babu……thik se pado……its not fraud.
      Vakil Saheb…documents agar dhyan se pado to aapko Bombay High Court ke Seal dikhenge…..

      Just dont argue…..its fraud.

  8. Vijay
    July 13, 2013 at 1:09 am

    who said that they are not approved?? Kindly give me the name and contact details of the person at High Court who said so ?

  9. Vijay
    July 13, 2013 at 1:09 am

    they are approved…

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