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Non-custodial parents are forced to meet their children once or twice a month for only two hours and that too within court premises. “This harsh visitation schedule ultimately deteriorates the bond of love and affection between a parent and a child,” he said. “On the other hand, the parent who was granted custody of child by court uses the flawed system as judicial hijacking of the child.”
He said that litigation in Pakistan, especially that under the Guardians and Ward Act 1890, is a nightmare. “Fighting for child custody is a cumbersome, slow and nerve-wracking procedure, which on average takes five to seven years,” he said.
He further said that most procedures and precedents set by guardian courts favour the custodian parent and are being manipulated and used by parties only to seek revenge by making it extremely difficult for the non-custodial parent to meet his/her own children.
The petitioner said that it is a common observation that guardian courts are very stringent when it comes to visitation rights of non-custodial parents. Surprisingly, in most of cases, granted interim visitation to the non-custodial parent is as little as once a month for two hours only and within court premises.
The petitioner prayed that guardian courts be directed to protect the rights of children from broken families and the non-custodial parents by announcing a reasonable visitation schedule right from the start of “child custody litigation”
The petition in the Lahore High Court has been filed by Tariq Nawaz who chairs an organisation called My Foundation, which has been established by non-custodial parents.