Tuesday, June 13, 2006

TV custody dispute

Dateline NBC just had a TV show about a bitter child custody dispute. The dad was reduced to supervised visitation, but the mom spent years making various abuse allegations. The biggest piece of evidence was some bedwetting. No one at the court believed the mom, except for one expert who convinced the mom to kidnap the daughter and take her overseas. The show presented both sides of the dispute.

I thought that the mom, Peggy Farmer, seemed crazy. The daughter appeared to have been coached to badmouth the dad, as she refused to say his name and could not look anyone in the eye when making accusations.

The show ended up with a child psychiatrist named Roy Lubit saying:
I'd like to see a significantly restructured system where, instead of two warring parties, the child and their interests were more front and centered. ... Well, one possibility is to have a jury, let's say of three child professionals -- social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists -- who decide what the visitation and custody should be when there is a custody battle.
The idea is kooky. It is like saying that a murder trial should use a jury of chiropractors.

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