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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 01-07-2011, 02:51 PM
ConcernenedStepMom78 ConcernenedStepMom78 is offline
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This book and article, is not taking sides. It is not sexist, nor gender biased. Take a step back and really listen. The author is giving a history of what has transpired over the years in the legal system. Please look at it solely from the author giving a history, of what has transpired in the legal system, in regards to Custody; perhaps this will change how you see the article. She is not saying that it should be one parent over the other, she is taking a stance of the “Child’s Best Interests” from a standpoint of the “Child’s Rights”, not the Parent’s Rights. (Mother, Father, or Same Sex)She is not utilizing the “tender year’s” to say that the child should be with the “mother” she said "For more than a century the
"tender years" doctrine dictated that small children needed the nurture and stability of a primary parent, (not specifying by gender)and that parent was (past tense) most likely to be the mother. The child then was(past tense) assigned a single primary residence and a single primary parent-nearly always the mother.”

She is saying that this is the way it was, and that the primary parent “used to always be the mother”

Maybe try reading the article again from a historical standpoint instead of taking it so matter-of-factly.

Her view is that we are objectifying our children in these custody wars, turning them into property, instead of individual human beings, with real emotions, and wants and needs of their own.

The image of that child in the classroom, saying goodbye to his friend, and hearing him say “I do not know who I belong to tonight”, speaks volumes.

What ConcernedDad said,
On the other hand, if there is an 8 year old child saying "I don't get enough time with you mommy", and at daddy's house says, "I don't like you always going to work in the morning, I don't get to see you much". "I want to stay here at home because this is where I was born and I feel comfortable here, it is scary out at mommy's house because I'm all alone outside with nobody to play with, I wish I could stay with you and visit mommy". Given that, do you not feel it abusive that a court doesn't take that into consideration or even want to hear it, rather the courts just want to focus on equal time with both parents regardless of the circumstances?”

This is really the true reality of it, what a child says outside of his or her own parent’s views, and influence can speak volumes, and the statement of that little boy in the classroom, was unprompted and probably never heard.

In fact this book may have been a stepping stone for its time, making sure that Gender Biased ceased, and that equal parenting is/ was construed in favour of the child’s rights. I do feel that the author had the intent of the children’s best interest which we are coming more and more to know. When parents cannot agree, is when the book is thrown, and a Judge makes a decision for the child and not the parents, thus leaving the parents frustrated and possibly seeking appeals. I think the key here is that when families cannot agree, and when they are in court with no settlement, and the parents are not thinking of anyone but themselves, while the child(ren) is caught in the middle of the unnecessary conflict, the courts are leaning more and more towards favour of the child. It is still fresh and a lot has to be changed. I thought you all may be interested in actually viewing some information that is for the Children's Rights movement, The Legislative Reform, from November 2009.

The courts need to be revamped and hopefully make conflict resolution more readily available, as it appears to be slowly doing. For those that cannot agree to anything then perhaps it is good that the courts are seeing the realities, because if making a child decide is abuse, then perhaps those types of parents should have their rights taken. Please listen to your children, no you don’t need to question who they want to live with, but if they are making comments like those of the little boy in the article “I don’t know who I belong to tonight”, something is not right.

Take my view as you will, I know I am already not liked in here so I have nothing to lose.
Old 01-07-2011, 03:36 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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IMO it isn't a court issue, but more of an issue with a child's understanding.

Kids see in black and white. The comment of "who I belong to" could easily just be a kids way of saying "which parent is coming to get me". It may sound literal to an adult, but to the child, it could mean something else. It simply boils down to how a child thinks and simple logic they use. And if the child is showing signs of confusion it is up to the parents to seek counselling for the children.

Taking away a parents right to be a parent for no other reason then believing they capable of being a parent is absurd IMO.

And the Berkley review did come off as sexist. Consistently refering to "mothering" instead of "parenting". And the authors past tense review also made it seem utopic, as if life was easier back then and it was almost something that we should strive to return to. But then again, the author was from Berkley university, which is a haven for left leaning individuals and feminist agendas (and if you don't believe me, you should do some research to see that Berkley is one of the most feminist education centres in the USA).
Old 01-07-2011, 04:50 PM
lumpy lumpy is offline
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I agree with HammerDad.

Even if I read the article from a historical lean and forget any gender bias....

I disagee with her main point - that today we focus on parent's rights and forget about the child's rights.

"While this rule undoubtedly caused some unfairness, it did focus on the child's need for nurture and stability rather than on the parents' rights to access."

Calling it the "parents right to access" is a wierd way of putting it IMO. I think of it as the child's right to access with both parents.

And what of the children's other needs? It is certainly in the child's best interest to grow up with both parents (except in abusive cases). Historically these children who were in the stable, nuturing homes with one parent had lasting side effects from not having the other parent. Children who grow up without fathers can have many disadvantages. Teen pregnancy is more prevelant, drug & alcohol abuse more likely, dropping out of school more likely... etc. It neglects to mention the child's need for the other parents influence. Shouldn't the child have the right to meaningful contact with both parents?

The solution to this seems to be the system that we have now. It isn't perfect and there are many changes that could be made, but I believe that Joint Custody is the fairest to all concerned and promotes a very important right of the child , equal access to both parents.
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