Many parents are reluctant to send their children to boarding schools, because they think that spending more time with their children is good for the children (as well as good for the parent). But what if the parents have split up, and one wants to send the child to boarding school and the other doesn’t? That’s the subject of an interesting decision from the Arizona Court of Appeals last week, in Baker v. Meyer:The dad persuaded a family court judge to break the shared parenting agreement and send the kid to an out-of-state boarding school. The appeals court reversed, saying that the mom's central concerns were ignored.
There are lawyers who love to gloat about cases like this, because they say that shared parenting can never work unless it is supervised by a judge.
The unfortunate fact is that it is impossible to agree to a binding parenting plan because one side can always break it later if he convinces a meddlesome judge. And that it exactly what happened here, until the appeals court stopped it.
I wish I could say that the appellate decision upheld parental rights, but the judge can just make the same decision anyway, and explain the reasoning a little differently.
One commenter argues that the dad's choice of school is a "better school", and adds:
I have complete respect for parental rights; ...The family court is infested with worms like this guy. He has contempt for parents and likes dictating their lives. He claims to believe that people are better off outside family court, but he strenuously argues for the policies that bring them into court. That is, he wants one parent to be able to break an agreement by appealing to the prejudices of a judge.
And I would have a lot more respect for all parties if they would just agree on something and get it out of the court system. They are wasting their time and money.
That said, you are right about one thing; the world would be a better place if I was the dictator. ...
"You side with the judge because of your own opinion about the better school."
I side with no one. My opinion in these matters is always the same- people need to settle their issues. 99.99% of the time, it isn't worth the time and money. It is a waste of the family's resources to bring this before the court, and the only people to benefit are the attorneys. More often than not, it is a continuation of a dysfunctional dynamic- often, the same one that made the divorce. Get over it. Nobody- not you, not the other person, and certainly not the child, wins in family court.
"You are like a medieval serf who cannot imagine life without a king."
I appreciate the sentiment, but I am closer to the King than the serf.
If it is really true, as he says, that the child never benefits from these legal actions, then the logical conclusion is for the court to refuse to hear them. The court has no business holding a hearing on which school is better.
Thomas Paine wrote a book in 1776 called Common Sense that convinced the American colonists that they did not need a king. Is there anyone today who can convince Americans that we do not need judges and experts micro-managing our families? Can that lawyer quoted above be convinced?
Hillary Clinton is announcing her candidacy for President, and her most famous book is It Takes a Village. It advocated government control of child rearing, and an end to family autonomy. Barack Obama campaigned on The Life Of Julia, and incorrect portrayal of government dependence and male elimination. No self-respecting man would vote for either one of these creeps.
We had more common sense in 1776.