Saturday, February 23, 2008

Whats in the best interest of the children? -- Both Parents!

There is an important kids issue that is begging attention in this country. Thousands of young children in Oregon other states with out-dated family law system suffer the loss of one parent in a divorce because the it favors one parent (usually mother who is in general the primary care giver) in case that parent disagrees to equally share custody (both legal and physical) of the children. It has become a systemic problem and the system encourages mothers to refuse to share custody even though the father is willing and available.

Mothers in that case typically get sole custody and majority of parenting time and the father is marginalized to a weekend dad with little mid-week time. Kids in such situations get caught up in the middle of expensive high conflict legal battles and get hurt. Studies have shown that kids fair best when there is shared custody which gives both parent equal opportunity to be involved in their upbringing. It reduces conflict between divorcing parents.

Oregon is one of the few states where joint custody is not a rebuttable presumption and family courts are reluctant to grant equal time to both parents. The silent sufferers - the kids! Most kids in the juvenile system are from single family homes where one parent is missing. Past efforts to change this law have been thwarted by special interest lobby serving the divorce industry.

With new laws on domestic partnership in Oregon, the lines between "mom" and "dad" are even more blurried... how long will these kids suffer... Some food for thought! Its about time to change these out-dates laws and make it even and fair for both parents and keep both of them equally in their lives. Kids need a voice too and they need both parents equally involved.

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