The latest effort to change the system calls for “shared parenting.” Although advocacy groups differ on how shared parenting would be implemented, it generally consists of making the default custody arrangement 50/50 joint physical and legal custody when parents split up, absent egregious circumstances. This would replace the current system which leaves it up to a judge’s whim to decide what constitutes “the best interests of the child.” Shared parenting bills are being introduced in state legislatures around the country, and several states now have some version of shared parenting. In those states, studies are finding that divorce rates are lower and the children are better adjusted.She is correct. Most of the family court conflict is caused by bad incentives created by the court. In my case, 100% of it is.
In addition to passing shared parenting laws, there must be tougher requirements for issuing restraining orders and reform of child support laws. 50/50 shared custody should not include child support unless there are egregious circumstances. Child support creates an incentive to continue fighting. Neither parent wants to get stuck paying it, and some parents greedily want it as a source of income to use as they please, since there is little monitoring of how it is spent. Eliminate child support in all but the most egregious situations, and most of the fighting clogging our family courts will cease.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The child support incentives
Rachel Alexander writes: