Thursday, December 09, 2004

California law specifies equal custody

A reader named Bob thinks that he has a solution to some of these family court problems. He says that when two people get married, they should agree to a contract that governs the dissolution of the marriage, including child custody. Then the family court would just have to apply the contract.

But we have that system already. Marriage is just a standardized contract, with the terms spelled out by the state. Couples are free to sign some pre-nuptial agreement, if they wish to modify that contract.

The California Family Code states:
3010. (a) The mother of an unemancipated minor child and the father, if presumed to be the father under Section 7611, are equally entitled to the custody of the child.

3020. (b) The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship, and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy ...
So the California marriage contract already specifies that child custody will be divided equally in case of divorce. The trouble is that the family courts refuse to take this language seriously, and use all sorts of crazy arguments to sabotage equal custody.

No comments: