ND Fathers' Rights Part 2
Hmm, apparently, blogger ate my last post. I wonder how that happened.
I had a post up here with links and stuff, but I'm not going to do all that research all over again. If it wasn't for the fact that I am using public computers, I'd back up all of my posts. But I'm not, so, *shrugs*.
Anyway, in my last entry I spoke of the Family Law Reform Initiative, and why I felt it was a poor piece of legislation. Today, I would like to write about the Shared Parenting Initiative which I'm told is a kinder, more mainstream version of Fathers' Rights Activism.
I must say, I don't like this one much better than flri. Yes, it has less immediately objectionable material, but SP still has the joint parenting presumption, which is not good for anyone around.
Here is what the problem with joint parenting presumption: it is completely not feasible and harmful for the child. In amicable divorces, the custody is decided out of court, and most of the time it’s a joint custody. Even in not-so-amicable divorces, most parents can put aside their personal problems for children's needs.
But in not-so-amicable divorces, or even worse, violent divorces, the presumption of joint custody is the most harmful thing you could do to the spouse/s and the children. To be a child, forced to witness your parents fight every week, or if not fight, be tense and snipping at each other and to be a child is hard, and just continues to be hard.
To see one parent live comfortably, maybe with a new family, while you spend the bulk of the time with the other, watching that parent try to make ends meet and you have to suffer the lack of income, is hard on a child. A child starts to wonder why they aren't important enough to get income, why they don't get some of the income of the other.
And then, we throw in people having lives. Today's economy means that parents will have to move, nine times out of ten, if they want to get a decent income. What then? Do you have a bi-coastal childhood? How do you get the money for all the travel the child has to do? What do you do when the child wants to go to a friend's birthday party, but oh no, that's the week they're supposed to be at their other house.
What about children who do not want to live with the secondary parent? What about the children who are scared to death of their secondary parent? What do you do then? Tell them to suck it up because their parents own them, and therefore have rights to them?
So who exactly is the presumption of joint custody helping? The children? The primary parent? It seems to me that the only person the presumption of joint custody is helping is the parent who didn't do any of the parenting labor. It seems to me that the secondary parent gets to mess with the lives of their children and ex-spouse.
I think the premise of joint custody is that both parents have a "right" to their children. I don't think you do. I think as parents, it is your responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the child, not what makes you the most comfortable. And I think the law should reflect that.