“Grandparents aren’t substitutes for nannies”-EXEMPLARY VERDICT BY THE PUNE COURT-
Parish Rupanawar 29 May 2018

“Grandparents aren’t substitutes for nannies”-EXEMPLARY  VERDICT BY THE PUNE COURT-


      In a case civil suit for maintenance by a mother of two in her 40s, the Court observed that the primary duty to look after infant children falls on parents, and not on the grandparents. The Pune Family Court brought to the recognition to the compromised freewill of the grandparents’ active social lives.

   “Grandparents may be there to support, guide and assist in raising the children. However, they should not be burdened to babysit grandchildren as their primary duty, by compromising on their relaxation, entertainment and travel plans,” the court observed.

The woman in question held her parents-in-law responsible for having to place her children in a crèche. The court said that grandparents could not be held accountable if the children needed to be left in a crèche.

The parents of the children in question are estranged and had gotten married about 20 years ago. The woman had approached the family court in 2012 when both her children were minors. She had accused her husband of not providing for them financially, which compelled her to resume her job four months after she first gave birth.

She further alleged that a few months after taking care of her infant, her in-laws were away on travel to visit their second son, which is why the woman had to leave her children in the crèche. She said that she had paid for the crèche facilities, and her husband had not taken care of the kids’ expenses in the last 10 years.

The Pune court pointed out that a common perception in a majority of Indian families was that “grandparents are a substitute for nannies”. However, this should not be imposed as a duty on grandparents. “After performing all the duties and the responsibilities of life in their young and adult age, old age is the time for an old couple to live for themselves. There can be no doubt that the grandchildren are one of the precious endowments an old couple looks forward to. But this endowment should not become their burden,” the court said.

The court added that it was convenient to forget that grandparents have their own lives to live, and need their own “space, time, entertainment, pleasure and rest.” “It is time to look into the specific needs of the aged in our society,” the court observed.

The court finally ruled that the father of the children should bear equal monetary responsibility for their education and continue paying a maintenance of Rs 10,000 for each child – as he had been mandated to by an interim 2012 order. He would have to pay these expenses till his son is no longer a minor and till his daughter is married. The mother of the children, meanwhile, was directed to pay for the hobbies and extra-curricular activities of the kids.   

             Whereas this is a worldwide issue including whether the grandparents must be paid for looking after their grandchildren once again after they’ve been through the same while taking care of own kids.


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