I happened to watch two big divorce movies on cable TV channels last week, Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).
These movies must have been made by people who experienced a nasty divorce. Otherwise, the stories are not very plausible. Particularly hard to take, in both movies, is the attitude of the wife/mother in seeking child custody, and the action of the family court in ignoring the merits of the father's case.
In both movies, the dads are not just average dads. They are heroic in what they do for their kids. They do wonderful things and they have no significant negative qualities. Furthermore, they are able to prove it in court. And yet they lose anyway.
If I had been asked to review either of these scripts, and if I had never been in family court, I would have said that the courtroom scenes don't make any sense. They show the dad winning the trial but losing the judgment.
In one movie, the mom wants to hire an outside nanny to babysit the kids after school. The dad has rock-solid proof that he would be better than any nanny that the mom could hire, and wants to take care of the them after school himself. And yet the court sides with the mom, and the dad gets shut out.
The court action is illogical, destructive, and cruel. And yet it has happened to me, and I have seen it happen to others. I will always believe that family courts are evil, as long as they do this.