Parental Responsibilities

The decision of having a child is necessary to be a calculated one if the child is to have all the favorable circumstances to foster their capabilities as a human person. The role of living parents is definitive in ensuring that. Here are a few things we should know about the duties and standard of care parents need to ascertain with regards to their child:

  1. Joint Responsibility: The father and the mother have joint and equal responsibilities to look after their child, provide them with nourishment, and care for their growth and development.
  2. Home Alone: A child not having attained the age of six years is not to be left alone at home or sent elsewhere without company.
  3. Standard of Care: Parents are tasked with providing opportunities for nurturing a child's personality in a loving and supportive environment enrolling them in suitable educational institutions. They must refrain from subjecting the child to any labor activities that may jeopardize the child's education, health and overall development. 
  4. Separation of Parents: An annulment of the marriage is not allowed if the wife who has given birth or is pregnant as a result of the marriage does not agree. Divorce or judicial separation shall not be a hindrance in getting the child their social, economic, civil, political and other legal rights. 
  5. Custody: In case of parents’ separation, a child below the age of 5 years shall stay with their mother, a child aged between 5 to 10 years shall stay with their father and a child above the age of 10 years may choose the parent they want to live with.
  6. Paying for Child Care: The parent not having the custody of their child is still responsible to pay for the child’s education, health and treatment if that parent is financially stronger than the parent the child is with.
  7. Physical and Mental Torture: A child shall not be physically or mentally tortured in the name of punishment. However, the parents may take actions for the sake of maintaining discipline and improving the child's behaviors.
  8. Claiming Rights: If the rights of a child have not been fulfilled according to the laws, the child themself or any concerned authority may submit the case to the Judicial Committee at the local level or may directly file a case at the High Court.
  9. Punishment: An irresponsible parent may have to pay up to one hundred thousand rupees in fine or be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Following are the relevant provisions in the legal context concerning the responsibilities of parents towards their child(ren) in Nepal:


Constitution of Nepal 2072 (2015)

Article 39

Rights of the child

The Act Relating to Children 2075 (2018)

Section 17(1)

Joint responsibility of both the parents

Section 17(2) ,17(3) & 17(4)

Standard of Care

Section 17(5)

Not to be left without company

Section 64 & 65

Filing the case to Judicial Committee or the High Court

Section 66(2)(d)

Refrain from physical and mental punishments

Section 72


The National Civil Code 2074 (2017)

Section 73

Divorce not to be affected without mother’s approval

Section 75

Child’s rights not to be affected because of dissolution of marriage 

Section 114

Joint responsibility of both the parents

Section 115

Custody of the child

Section 129

Parents may take action to improve child’s behavior