Child Custody After Divorce in Bangladesh :
The rate of divorce in our country is increasing alarmingly. Husband and wife get separated due to personal problems. But the key question here is what happens to the children if the Divorced couple has children and who gets custody of the children?
After a divorce, both parents have the right to custody of the child but the father is the natural guardian of a child. However, being a guardian and having custody of a child are two different things and in this case, the mother has legal custody of the child. Male children belong to the mother until they are seven, while female children belong to her until they turn the age of puberty.
If the child lives with their mother, the father must pay child support. If the child is in the mother’s custody and the mother does not allow the husband to visit her children or tries to keep her children away, the father can plead to the family court for visitation.
There are laws of custody of children in our country those are:
- The Divorce Act, 1869
- The Family Courts Ordinance, 1985
- Guardian and a Wards Act, 1890
The Guardian and Wards Act of 1890 provides in Section 17(2) that guardians must be chosen with the minor welfare in mind. The Family Court Ordinance of 1985 Section 5 provides it the authority to try and resolve cases involving guardianship and custody of children. In the divorce act, 1869 section 41 provides that in any suit for obtaining a judicial separation, the Court may from time to time, before making its decree, make such interim orders and may make such provision in the decree as it deems proper with respect to the custody, maintenance, and education of the minor children, the marriage of whose parents is the subject of such suit and may, if it thinks fit, direct proceedings to be taken for placing such children under the protection of the said Court.
In the custody dispute involving Hindu children According to Section 6(a) of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act of 1956, mothers are entitled to custody of their children until they turn five.
Due to the absence of child custody rights under Christian law, these are governed by Section 41 of the Indian Divorce Act 1869. This states that the court has the right to decide the custodianship of the child by keeping the child’s welfare at heart. The court can even deny the custodianship to either parent if it does not consider them fit to take care of and raise the child. In Christian law, the right of child custody rights is not provided. So they follow the Indian divorce act 1869 section 41. Section 41 provides that in any suit for obtaining a judicial separation, the Court may from time to time, before making its decree, make such interim orders, and may make such provision in the decree, as it deems proper with respect to the custody, maintenance, and education of the minor children, the marriage of whose parents is the subject of such suit, and may, if it thinks fit, direct proceedings to be taken for placing such children under the protection of the said Court.
However, a mother may lose custody in the following circumstances:
- If the mother remarries and because of this, the children’s rights are undermined. Rights like education, medical care, maintenance, etc.
- If the mother leads an immoral life
- If she does not take proper care of the children.
Also, the father can lose custody if he
- Leads to an immoral life
- If he does not take proper care of the children.
Also if the court thinks both father and mother are not suitable so the court can give custody to the grandparents or other relatives or make the child a ward of the state.