Afternoon Voice

When parents are forced to become responsible

While the internet is flooded with articles on how to improve your child and make him responsible, there isn’t much information available on how to make a parent more responsible towards the child.

An ongoing court battle can create irresponsible parents.

Maintenance of a child may be a legal issue however while deciding each case the concern of the court is to find out the real earning capacity of both the parents.

It should not just be the father but a mother who has the capacity to provide financial support can volunteer to pay for their own children and their expenses.

In Indian law, it is the duty of both the parents to provide financial help for their children.

The court cannot be prejudicial to anyone parent.

In case of custody, the visiting parent has to provide for maintenance of the child since most of the expenses are being taken care of by the custodian parent.

While giving a judgement, there can be a fair maintenance order only after assessment of capacity to pay towards their child support.

Unfortunately, in a very few cases parents willingly offer to come up with the best amount that they can provide for their child hence parties have to seek Court intervention to decide this figure.

Some parents are not only responsible but also vindictive towards their own children as if the child is just an opponent to his or her freedom.

 

REASONS FOR IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDE IN PARENTS:

  1. If they are being prevented from meeting their own child by the other parent.
  2. If they are in an adulterous relationship and may not like to reduce their income in order to raise another parallel family in future.
  3. If there is no parent-child bond due to dysfunctional family setup.
  4. Finally, it is also a legal ploy adopted by some litigating parents to manipulate or pressurise the opposing spouse to give in and agree for divorce or surrender to other demands such as division of jointly owned property or similar issues.

I am yet to come across a parent who voluntarily offered more than what he wants to retain for himself.

While this is an alarming issue and may damage the mental fibre of a child due to parental irresponsibility and immaturity, few litigating parents may themselves volunteer to give an appropriate amount of money required for the child every month and towards their education but their lawyers may advice them not to give in easily so that they can save their clients money in eventuality of maintenance orders. The greed and manipulations tactics are limitless.

Responsibility of a child remains with the custodian parent and in most cases it is the mother who volunteers to take custody even though she may or may not have enough financial resources which she enjoyed along with her children before the husband ceased to act like a member of their family and to provide the same lifestyle that the child was used to. Thus legally killing the dreams of his own child.

Often the court dates and lengthened process forces the custodian parent to voluntarily give up his/her right to claim child support money or maintenance as their patience begins to run out.

Unfortunately, it is also a gimmick or advice given by lawyers themselves to stop making payment towards maintenance until there is an interim court order and even after a court order the lawyer’s advice the fathers to defer and default on payments. Therefore, it is time to look into these dark areas which only a legally competent person can understand as there is more need for reforms in this area. While these tactics may not only enrage the mother, it may also cause the child to suffer.

Luckily now, there are mediation officers assigned by the court to help parties reach a reasonable settlement without stretching the case unnecessarily.

By Adv. Pratibha Bangera