The family courts is a little different and special than the common court, that is because it works more or less to the satisfaction of both the parties; In other words, family matters are usually settled through mediation, indemnity, etc. That is why this court is a little special.
In this article, we will discuss family court in a simple and easy way and try to understand its various aspects. So read this article till the end
What is Family Courts?
The Family Court Act was enacted in 1984 to resolve disputes related to marriage and family matters through mediation and negotiation and to ensure speedy resolution . Under this Act, the Family Court is established. In other words, Family Court is a statutory body whose purpose is to settle family disputes through negotiation, mediation and compensation etc.
Why was the family court needed?
Despite having so many courts in India, the need for setting up a separate Family Court arose because
(1) some women’s organizations and some other institutions put great emphasis on its formation. He believed that a specialized, cheap and accessible court should be created which would deal only with family matters and would have expertise in resolving family matters.
2. The Law Commission in its 59th Report has emphasized that courts should adopt a conciliatory approach in family disputes and generally avoid using ordinary civil procedures. But arbitration or conciliation measures were not used adequately by the courts to settle family disputes and these matters continued to be seen and treated as ordinary civil matters. That is why a need has been felt in the public interest that family courts should be set up for resolving family disputes.
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Features of Family Courts
According to the Family Court Act 1984 , the main features of the Family Court are as follows:-
1. This Act provides for the establishment of Family Courts by the State Governments with the concurrence of the High Courts.
2. This Act obliges the State Governments to establish a Family Court in every town having a population of more than one lakh.
3. According to this Act, the jurisdiction of the Family Court shall be as follows –
(1) Marriage related matters such as – Invalidation of marriage, Judicial separation, Divorce, Restoration of marital rights, Maintenance of husband or wife and subsistence allowance etc.
(2) Matters relating to property of the couple or one of them
(3) Guardian of any person or custodian of a minor
(4) Includes matters relating to maintenance of wife, children and parents etc.
4. It is an imperative responsibility for the Family Court to first try to reconcile or compromise the parties in a family dispute. And make provision for the cooperation of social welfare agencies and consultants as well as medical and welfare experts at the negotiating stage as per the need of the case.
5. It provides that any legal expert may be consulted as an amicus curiae but no party shall be represented by a law practitioner.
6. It lays emphasis on simplification of rules relating to evidence and procedure and gives only one right of appeal which can be made to the High Court only. That is, if a settlement or decision has been given with the consent of both the parties, then it cannot be appealed anywhere else, but if the agreement is not reached, then it can be appealed only in the High Court.
7. The Family Court has the power to hand over the custody of the child to whomever it thinks fit.
How does the Court operate?
The Family Court has the power to make its own provisions relating to governance. They are not required to record the lengthy oral statement of the witness.
The Family Court can obtain any document or statement even if it is not admissible under the Indian Evidence Act 1872.
The enforcement of the orders of the Family Court takes place under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Presently there are 535 Family Courts operating across the country. You can see the list from here.
Family Courts Statewise list
What types of cases come up in family court?
Family matters are a type of civil matter, but they are usually related to domestic matters. Some such cases are brought in the Family Court –
Marriage dissolution – When someone wants to annul a marriage, they can file a case in the Family Court. Marriage can be terminated through cases of divorce or annulment. This court can issue orders regarding property, alimony and child custody. The divorce of Hindu marriage takes place under 13B of the ‘Hindu Marriage Act 1955’.
Paternity and child custody – When a man needs to be declared the father of a child, the parents can ask the family court to determine the paternity. It permanently declares the father of the child.
Protection order against domestic violence – The family or any person suffering from domestic violence can ask the court to issue a protection order to remove their insult. The court issues the protection order under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Name change – A child or an adult can legally change their name through a name change case in the family court.
Guardianship – In guardianship, it is determined who will be responsible for medical, personal and financial decisions on a child or adult who cannot take care of themselves.
End of parental rights and adoption – If the court finds that the parent should no longer have a relationship with the child (such as abandonment, neglect, abuse, etc.), the family court can terminate that parental rights.
If a person wishes to become the legal parent of someone else’s child, the Family Court may grant an adoption. For this there is a law called The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956.
Juvenile Matters – The Family Court deals with all cases where there are allegations of child abuse, child neglect, or where minors are accused of participating in illegal behavior. There is also a law for this named Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act , 2015.
Liberation and acceptance of young people – People under the age of 18 who want to be legally free from their parental control can petition the family court for approval .
Overall, here is the most important information related to Family Court. Hope it is understood. Links of other important articles are given below, do visit them also.
⚫ Other Important Articles ⚫
कुटुम्ब न्यायालय अधिनियम, 1984