Parental status of child remains same despite marriage dissolution: Delhi HC

- February 5, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The court ruled that during the man's lifetime, there was no valid reason for his ex-wife to replace his name with her second husband's on their son's school admission form

The Delhi High Court has emphasised that the dissolution of a marriage does not erase the parental status of the mother and father of a child. This observation came in response to a man’s plea seeking the inclusion of his name in the school records of his minor son.

The court ruled that during the man’s lifetime, there was no valid reason for his ex-wife to replace his name with her second husband’s on their son’s school admission form. While acknowledging the woman’s right to be recognized as the mother of the minor in the school records, the court held that this should not deny the man’s right to have his name listed as the child’s father.

Justice C Hari Shankar stated, “The dissolution of a marriage does not efface the parental status of the mother and father of the child borne out of the said marriage.” The court deemed it appropriate to grant the man’s plea and directed the school to rectify its records within two weeks.

The petitioner, in his plea, highlighted that his name was absent from the school records since 2016, with the woman’s second husband listed as the child’s guardian instead. The court noted that the couple’s marriage had been annulled by a divorce decree in June 2015 due to certain matrimonial disputes.

In response, the woman acknowledged the petitioner as the child’s father but argued that their acrimonious relationship and her present husband’s acceptance of the child justified excluding the petitioner’s name.

The court dismissed these emotional arguments, emphasising that neither the nature of their relationship nor the divorce could strip the petitioner of his stature as the child’s father. It ordered the school to include both parents’ names in the records, recognising the rights of both individuals.

(with PTI inputs)