Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dads have rights in Lebanon

A Massachusetts family court refused to respect a Lebanese child custody decision, because their law is too favorable to dads. Here is how the court described Lebanon law:
“Based on the evidence, it is clear that male children in Lebanon go to the Father at the age of two. The parents are not evaluated equally when determining the best interest of the children and which parent should have physical custody. Although the Mother can obtain custody, it is only if the father is a criminal or cannot or will not care for the children. Unlike Massachusetts which requires that the court determine the best interest of the child and which parent should have custody based upon the ‘happiness and welfare of the children,’ it is clear that the Lebanese law does not take that into consideration unless the father is unfit. G.L. c. 208, § 31.”
The court then reasoned:
The issue before us, whether the substantive laws of the Jaafarite Court in Lebanon are in substantial conformity with those of Massachusetts, turns largely on the question whether the Lebanese Jaafarite Court considers the best interests of the children, as that standard is understood under the laws of the Commonwealth. ...

The best interests of a child is the overarching principle that governs custody disputes in the Commonwealth. “[T]he touchstone inquiry of what is ‘best for the child’ is firmly rooted in American history, dating back to the Nineteenth Century.” What is in a child’s best interest depends upon the particular needs of the child, and is left largely to the discretion of the judge, who “may consider any factor pertinent to those interests.” ...
So because American judges have the discretion to decide child custody however they please, and Lebanon actually has some laws about it, then American judges do not have to respect Lebanon law.

That drew this comment:
If you change the genders, it would roughly fit Massachusett’s de facto standard. At the time of my divorce not so long ago, approx. 90% of custody was awarded to the mothers in MA. I envy the men whose ex-wives actually took the best interest of the children at heart and had more equitable arrangements.
And this:
As BlackX notes, American judges are much more dishonest than foreign judges: in particular, much more willing to recite neutral principles of general applicability before rendering wholly politicized decisions based on the race, sex and religion of the parties involved.

Many people prefer it this way, including most lawyers I think, hypocrisy being the tribute vice pays to virtue.
I wish that I could say that American law is more advanced that some chaotic Mideastern country, but it is really not.

Here is another good comment:
“The parents are not evaluated equally when determining the best interest of the children and which parent should have physical custody.”

The court just described every single United States court.

Let’s be honest, a mother could bring a child to court in America, beat it with a stick in open court while spitting on it, and the judge would award her custody and double normal child support rates for showing extra attention to the child.
It is just laughable for an American family court to look down on another court in this way. I have been following our family court for six years now, and I have never seen even one example of the parents being evaluated equally when determining the best interest of the children. It does not happen in the USA, and these judges are hypocrites for pretending that it does.

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