Sunday, May 22, 2005

NY Times magazine letters

NY Times Magazine has some letters about fathers' rights. I'll comment on a few.
Why would it be in the best interests of a child to turn over custody to a man who is driven to spend his nights on the ledges of tall buildings ...
Men sometimes do extraordinary things for the sake of their families. Those men should be rewarded, not punished.
Why isn't the fathers' rights movement turning away en masse from the adversarial system and toward mediation?
It is doing that. The movement wants a presumption of 50-50 custody, rather than an adversarial determination of the child's best interests. Once there is 50-50 custody, mediation is the easy part.
A 50-50 arrangement may seem fair by adult standards, but it can be physically taxing and emotionally draining for a child. Think of the ordeal of shifting homes every three to four days, ...
Nothing would make my kids happier than shifting homes every 3 to 4 days. They spent a year shifting every day, and they begged the court not to change the schedule. They hate the court-imposed schedule.
A 16-year-old wants to spend his weekends with his friends, maybe have a part-time job. He does not want to be caught up in an endless tug of war between his parents.
50-50 custody ends the tug-of-war. It is the divorce lawyer lobby (and various other special interests) that promote the endless tug of war.
Dominus's insightful article highlights how current family law rewards custodial parents who maximize conflict. One thing on which all the social scientists agree is that parental conflict is bad for children in divorced families. If, instead, family-court judges created financial or other incentives linked to each parent's willingness to work together, high-conflict divorce might largely disappear — to the benefit of the children, the parents and the courts.
Finally, a good letter!

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