Friday, April 2, 2010

What Divorce Law is Doing to Marriage Part 8

Chapter 3 is called The “Best Interest of the Child”. My summary in this chapter is going to be brief because there will be so much to cover in the upcoming chapters. I will cover a paragraph on the first page and the last three concluding paragraphs of the chapter. This is because most of this chapter talks about history. I am not going to cover history. I will only cover what will happen to you as of today if you are going to get divorced.

Here is the first excerpt.

When the court awards sole custody to your ex, you lose some basic rights of parenthood: You lose the right to decide where your children go to school. You lose the right to choose their doctors. You lose the right to direct their primary religious training. Worst of all, you lose the right to direct their primary religious training.

Here are the three concluding paragraphs of the chapter.

For all this legal change, however, the change in practice was surprisingly moderate. Although some states made joint custody the preferred statutory outcome, many courts around the country did not look favorably upon new joint custody laws. Judges who believed that children belong with their mothers didn’t change their minds just because the law now said they could. Two decades after joint custody first became law, some 80% of divorcing mothers still come out of court with effective sole custody of their children firmly in hand.

Most courts award only “joint legal custody” not “joint physical custody.” Joint legal custody is the authority for you to share in making major decisions about your children’s welfare: education, health care, religious training. Joint physical custody is the authority for you to reside with your children for a substantial percentage – close to 50% - of the time. If you are awarded joint legal custody without joint physical custody, the time you are allowed to be with your children is generally no greater than it would be if your ex were awarded sole legal and physical custody and you were awarded no custody.

In a dispute between joint legal custodians, courts tend to side with the one who has physical custody. They consider her to be the “real” custodian. Deep down, they believe that joint legal custody that is not coupled with joint physical custody is just a placebo, a kind of custodial consolation prize that has little compelling content. This is a very bitter pill for the many divorced fathers who fight for joint legal custody only to find they are still less than full-fledged parents to their children, by court order.

Guys if your blood hasn’t boiled, just wait until I cover the next two chapters “When Your Wife Files For Divorce” and “Your Custody Hearing”. If you believe your reading some very fucked up bullshit, you have only seen the tip of the iceberg. It’s going to get a lot worse, and I mean a lot. You may need to find yourself close to bathroom so you can puke in the toilet when you read these next two chapters. If you are someone who can lose your temper by throwing things to let out your anger, I highly recommend you remove all valuable breakable objects insight.

With that said, the next chapter I will covering is a 30 page chapter called “When Your Wife Files For Divorce”.