LAHORE - Just in a period of one-week, the four guardian courts took up 1064 cases regarding the custody of separated children - which reflects an incessant destruction of family units in the society.

The official data shows the cases for the custody of children are rising with every passing day. In 2012, the size of suits filed for the custody of children were at 2748, and in 2013 it was at 2833 while at the end of 2014 the cases for the custody of children reached at 3342. The uncontested cases out of 3342 were 2169 at the end of the last year.

Now the pending cases are 3368 in 2015 including 320 cases which are uncontested.

The data shows thousands of children become victims of their parents’ egoistic attitude and are forced to live in deprivation, far away from the love and affection of their parents which not only cause them psychological problems as well as lead them towards stubbornness in all matters of their lives.

And such tendency seems uncontrolled as children and parents both to face it continuously due to different factors; most importantly the factor of non-compliance of courts orders regarding the custody matters.

An official at the guardian courts told this scribe although the courts work as per law to provide justice to the aggrieved it does not evolve all aspects of the custody cases as there is no law in family or guardian laws to save a child from the harms of ‘a different ideology’ one of the separated individual or their siblings have. Timing for visitation is also a big issue which is also not addressed by the relevant laws, he added.

“It is often observed that the courts fail to decide their matters and separated couples are asked to solve their issues by their own,” said the official.

He further said that the staff and number of courts are short as compared with the rising demand along with the rising population. Sometimes, the individual who possess the custody of children does not want take his children to the opponent person/party for egoistic attitude which disturbs children.

Shazia Mirza, who is also a non-custodial mother, tells this scribe that sadly the country’s guardian courts treat family conflicts in same way they perceive property disputes, where the idea of “possession” is the root cause of problem.

“Not responding to the original grievance by following the logic and spirit relevant to the issues, the courts treat the offspring as immovable property; lifeless object with no emotional strings attached to its owner.”

Interim custody is instantly granted to one parent, many times the bully who already has the physical possession.

“Non-custodian parent usually gets two hours against 742 hours given to custodian parent every month. I argue that this is the day our justice providers take sides and eliminate the need for reconciliation forever,” she contends.

A non-custodial father, who is a surgeon by profession, comes every month to Lahore from Quetta to see his child who lives presently under the custody of his wife. Mostly, he returns back disappointed without visiting of his child, he said.

When the luck favours him, he just finds one and half hour time to spend with his separated-son in the premises of these courts but usually he is not given this chance. The surgeon says he spends about Rs30,000 every month to see his son for last six years.

Though he is financially sound he does not find much time to spend it with his child - who resides with his mother at a place hardly five kilometers away from the guardian courts in Lahore. While a two-hour meeting between both father and son after completion of a month is against the fundamental rights but the laws also do not cover it purely on logical grounds.

The courts and laws both need attention of the lawmakers for larger national interests.

Aleena, a female professor, also complains about the custody of her children who live at their paternal home. She says time and again she got the directions of the court regarding the meeting with children but all the time she goes back to home without meeting with her children - which is unbearable for a mother.

“After 11-year period, I m non-custodial mother while the opponent party does not care of courts’ order regarding the meeting with children,” said the lady professor requesting not to mention her name.