Equality has been a consistent struggle throughout American history. Society has picked and chosen what is, or is not, equal in our culture through a lens of bias and discrimination. Equality means equal in all aspects of life, regardless of color, race, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious belief, gender, or parental status. The recent and pointless murder of George Floyd is another disheartening and tragic example of inequality (bias and discrimination) that festers in our country.
In Broken Through – The Path to Half, I cover the inequality that exists in the American industry of family law. Per the US Census Bureau, sole custody is awarded to the mother five out of six times nationally, when sole custody is disputed in our family court system.
In my research to determine the best interests and welfare of children in separation or divorce, I interviewed family mediators, custody evaluators, parental-rights activists, child psychologists, lawmakers, single parents, and children of divorce. My takeaway from the interviews was that the professionals in human services recognized the harmful effects of legal custody laws, children suffered from the harmful effects of legal custody laws, and lawmakers wanted to protect the volatile legal custody laws that drive litigation and revenue in family law.
The basic way to legally reform family law is to focus on equality in the family. There are two major parenting responsibilities that require equality in parenthood for the best interest and welfare of the child.
· Parenting time with the child
· Decision-making for the child (otherwise known as legal custody)
The solution for parental equality is logical, rational, and does not require extensive litigation. In cases where parents cannot agree to equal parenting time and shared decision-making responsibilities (joint custody) for the child, the court must still be able to mandate equality, if both parents are stable and involved in the child’s life. A loaded argument to discredit the other parent through litigation logical or rational. Our children deserve better that the antiquated and volatile legal custody laws that marginalize parents and hurt children.
Children thrive best when both parents are equally involved in their lives. A heavily weighted legal dispute that places the child in the middle of a dispute as an “award” is not the answer. The preservation of parental involvement for the best interest and welfare of the child is the solution.
Now is the time to demand equality for all walks of life, including single parenthood. Our children deserve the preservation and balance in the family, rather than being placed awards to the winners of a legal custody dispute.