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Shared Custody. Do fathers matter in a divorce?

 
 
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 02:47 pm
I recently finished a divorce and had to fight for shared custody (where each parent has an equal part in raising their children).

My ex-wife's lawyer was opposed to it and almost persuaded my wife to force a legal custody battle. Fortunately we settled with shared custody which is clearly best for our child.

Shared custody seems obvious to me. The presumption that mothers are more important, or better parents, than fathers is outdated and wrong. If you believe in equality, I don't see how you can support this.

It is frustrating to me how many people, including the National Organization of Women, oppose equality when it comes to parenting.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 6,253 • Replies: 96

 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 02:57 pm
http://futureofchildren.org/publications/journals/article/index.xml?journalid=63&articleid=414&sectionid=2825

joint custody is a comparatively new idea

Quote:
These converging trends, amplified by the fact that more than one million children were involved in divorce each year, resulted in pressure to pass new laws permitting joint custody as a viable option for postdivorce custodial status. In 1979, the first joint custody statute was enacted in California, followed by Kansas, and Oregon.18 By 1991, more than 40 states had statutes in which joint custody was either an option or a preference, and most other states had recognized the concept of joint custody in case law.31,32


for centuries, custody automatically went to the father

mothers getting custody really became big in the 1970's (when I grew up, all kids I knew whose parents were separated/divorced lived either with their fathers or more commonly their fathers' families)

balance is better. whatever is best for the individual child is the right answer for me.

the examples I've liked best were the few families where the kids stayed in their homes and the parents took turns living in the house. The results for the kids seemed to have been best in those cases but it's more expensive for the parents as there are usually three residences to maintain. It's also hard for parents who remarry and have blended families but ... for me, it's about the kids,not the parents.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 02:58 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Shared custody seems obvious to me.


I don't think anything about custody is obvious - other than - the children's needs take precedence.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 03:07 pm
@ehBeth,
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13524-014-0307-8

downloadable pdf at the link if anyone is interested

Quote:
Who Gets Custody Now? Dramatic Changes in Children’s Living Arrangements After Divorce

This article reexamines the living arrangements of children following their parents’ divorce, using Wisconsin Court Records, updating an analysis that showed relatively small but significant increases in shared custody in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

These changes have accelerated markedly in the intervening years: between 1988 and 2008, the proportion of mothers granted sole physical custody fell substantially, the proportion of parents sharing custody increased dramatically, and father–sole custody remained relatively stable.

We explore changes in the correlates of alternative custody outcomes, showing that some results from the earlier analysis still hold (for example, cases with higher total family income are more likely to have shared custody), but other differences have lessened (shared-custody cases have become less distinctive as they have become more common).

Despite the considerable changes in marriage and divorce patterns over this period, we do not find strong evidence that the changes in custody are related to changes in the characteristics of families experiencing a divorce; rather, changes in custody may be the result of changes in social norms and the process by which custody is determined.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 03:11 pm
@ehBeth,
Of course Beth, the needs of the children are more important than anything else. However, divorce is an adversarial legal process. Two lawyers arguing in front of a Judge is a very poor way to decide what is best for children (I don't know if you have experienced the process).

From my experience, the presumption that joint custody is the best way forward. It makes the legal battle less likely. A mother would have to have a good reason to challenge the father's role as equal parent, and a father would have to have a good reason to challenge the mother's role.

This seems best for most children. In real life each situation is different, there will still be court battles (although hopefully fewer). Starting with a presumption of equality seems like the best thing.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 03:28 pm
@maxdancona,
I'd agree - that most cases, the best thing for the child is shared custody. As a mom, I could not imagine wanting to take that experience away from my child - the experience of her father being a part of her life. If you really love your child, you would want what is best for them, not you.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 03:41 pm
@maxdancona,
So when you said you were a single father just like me you were lying. I thought as much.

This thread is so typical of you. You've got what you wanted and you're still not happy. Poor me, poor men, what nasty women, blah blah blah.
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:09 pm
My experience is so much different than yours. My children were allowed to choose to live with me or my wife and I became the custodial parent in the joint custody of my daughters.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:13 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
And even though you've gone through a divorce, you've not got a downer on all women.

Look Max, it can be done.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:14 pm
@izzythepush,
Thank you for the personal attack Izzy. I always appreciate a little mud-slinging in my threads.

But, do you have anything to contribute to the conversation... like maybe some well-reasoned thoughts on the topic?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:19 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
That sounds great, Bobsal. Did your wife accept this willingly, or was this arrangement contested? I think the age of the children matters in this type of arrangement, younger kids would have trouble understanding or making this difficult decision.

In Massachusetts (and I think this is typical) there is the concept of Guardian Ad Litem. This is a lawyer who represents the interests of the child in hotly contested cases.

I was told about this option during my divorce... but it sounds unthinkably horrible. It would put the child right in the middle of a nasty legal fight. Two parents who take things this far should both be shot.



izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:23 pm
@maxdancona,
Not a bunch of lies that's for sure. Being a single parent means just that 24/7, every decision is down to you, nobody else to discuss your child's future with, just you.

And when you compare your part time jollies with what I've done all on my own, you belittle it. And you insult me.

Don't accuse me of slinging mud just because I've pointed out your lies.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:38 pm
@izzythepush,
Izzy. I apologize that I have hurt your feelings. My intention was not to insult you. Please forgive my horrible insensitivity to your heroic life.

But please understand... I meant no harm. The reason that I thoughtlessly used the term "single parent" is that I am single and I am a parent. If I realized how sensitive you are to the term, and how this would denigrate your station of true single parentingness, I would never have thought to use the term.

You are absolutely correct (as always), part time jollies must never be compared with full time jollies. Please accept my deep heartfelt apology.

There... now can we discuss the topic?


ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:39 pm
@maxdancona,
Not always, re adversarial.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:51 pm
@maxdancona,
I'm glad it's over and might, knowing nothing, be glad that is how it worked out, but I foresee that you will be an inveterate batterer of every thing you wife was about.

I hope you don't do that. Enough of that already.
You are clearly very angry, and many will understand that, but don't make your time with your children be about cancelling your ex wife.
engineer
 
  4  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 04:55 pm
Some interesting reading on maternal preference in court cases and some good background.

http://aja.ncsc.dni.us/publications/courtrv/cr38-4/CR38-4Stamps.pdf



0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 05:11 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I'm glad it's over and might, knowing nothing, be glad that is how it worked out, but I foresee that you will be an inveterate batterer of every thing you wife was about.


Geez Osso! I wish you and Izzy would lay off the personal attacks so we can have a intelligent discussion. I may be a 'prick', but I am not a batterer (nor am I particularly angry).

I have been very careful not to put my daughter in between my ex-wife and I, and (to her credit) my ex-wife has been pretty good about this too.

But thank you for your concern.
ossobuco
 
  4  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 05:28 pm
@maxdancona,
Battering can be verbal. I did not meant that you hit your wife, am unlikely to say that re you, for pete's sake.

You're angry? You post my whataprick thing for possibly forever?
Run with it.

I wish you and your daughter well. Looks like dad is supergrump.

You are angry in almost every post.

maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 05:36 pm
@ossobuco,
Why the need for personal attacks Osso? Why can't we have an intelligent conversation without them?
ossobuco
 
  5  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2015 05:43 pm
@maxdancona,
What personal attack?

I don't dislike you. You have for me a word description I learned later in life, agita'.

Batches of anger, ongoing.

Which is fine, your business, and most of us get it.

But try not to give it to your child or children.

Maybe your ex does that too.

 

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