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Here is the 17th in a series of Divorce Corp polls. Please vote only once.

[polldaddy poll=7998891]


And here are the results accurate to +/- 3%



OK, the question could have been worded a little more clearly. But, you get it, as did our followers. Yes, the American public thinks that two parents are better than one. Not in all cases, but in the vast majority of cases. The laws need to be changed to reflect common sense. Please write to your senator and congressperson to let them know they need to change Title IV-D to remove the profit element from child support formulas. Join our reform movement at divorcecorp.com/reform. Thanks!

77 thoughts on “Should courts grant equal custody time to both parents if the parents cannot agree on a custody schedule and both parents are willing to share custody equally? Poll #17

    • Considertion must be given to the safety of the child. Unsupervised custody or visitation should not be given to a child abuser or perpetrator of domestic abuse.

      • Sure but allegations of child abuse should be backed up by clear and convincing evidence litigated within a short time period not 5 years of a child’s life and and domestic abuse likewise.

      • Sure thing. How do you prove “domestic abuse”? Criminal court with a stringent “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard or the collected garbage spewed by the collusive, corrupt, seemingly immune family court judges, GALS, custody evaluators, anti-domestic abuse special interest groupies, divorce lawyers, psych evaluators or any one of the other minions that make up the so-called divorce “professionals”‘ society for profitably extracting children from their parent on the pretext of serving some “best interests of the child”. How the hell can the cesspool of self-serving, self-interest protecting divorce universe ever come close to even guessing what is in a child’s best interests?

        Right now, the divorce lobbyists have convinced society at large and legislators in particular that society is well served by casting a wide net to grab just about anyone on filmsy allegations of “domestic abuse” because doing so protects those that are truly victims of domestic abuse. But doing so wreaks havoc on millions of innocent parent-child relationships and opens up revenue rich hunting groounds for the divorce professionals.

        Enough is enough. You can go find some other means to trip up and grab the actual domestic abuse perps. As for the system currently in place, if it allows even a single parent-child relationship (where no domestic abuse has occured) to fall prey to the greed and corruption of the divorce ecology, the agony visited upon that child and parent for an entire lifetime goes beyond “abuse” in its most diabolical form. Nothing, but nothing can justify such an outcome but the crude, for-profit logic of the sick and demented souls that make up the divorce practitioner universe could care less.

        But then, this is the same judicial system which offers justifications to carry out the execution of wrongfully convicted persons, retarded persons etc because the misplaced zeal of a prosecutor is allowed to overcome all notions of justice, fairness and even the appearance of fairness.

    • Yes, 50/50 custody unless it is disruptive to the child’s school week– then weekends and summer vacation and holiday breaks should be given to the parent who does not have them Mon thru Fri.

      Sadly, my horrible experience has been this in a nutshell.

      2006: Initial Divorce (5 months, low money and I was awarded children everyday but 48 hours a week. I also received 3 years alimony as I had been a stay at home mom for 7 years—no income. And I was awarded child support. HE did not ask or argue for more time with kids: too busy with work and dating scene.

      2009: He got angry for 3 years mailing me “his money” as he told the kids. “Dad said when he gets his money back, he is going to buy himself a Mustang.” Former hires a lawyer and requests son 5 days a week and daughter 3 days a week (seriously.)

      Long story short, after 6 months, former stops paying child support. Later told to me that his lawyer advised him to d so to pressure me into signing agreement in 2010 (this process took longer than initial court process and cost more due to GAL fee’s.

      Non payment of child support brings foreclosure papers and essentially I was forced to give HIM primary residential custody thus losing time with kids the four days a month and some vacation time. My daughter went into distress and has had a 4 year downward spiral that has gone from bed wetting, to cutting, to eating disorder, to decreased academics, to now drug use….to recent attempts at suicide. She wants to live with me.

      Former does well , so he got no child support– per court order until 2013.

      Angry that kids are “work” and it takes effort to parent and they “cost money,” he files another court order for sole custody and moves 60 miles away so that my ability to see kids is now much more difficult due to geographical reason. Why did he move?? Girlfriend– who then left him after he moved.

      Now this last court process took 18 months: I lost my home– sold at a $100,000 loss. I have legal debt beyond my income of the last 2 years, I lost all parental rights and all decision making power, etc…my daughter had pleaded to the GAL to live with me, that plea was ignored (she was 15 and capable of decision making.) BUT the goal was to award him sole custody and to receive child support … this last trial outcome put our daughter into crisis and she had suicidal ideation. She is being held against her will at dad’s and i only see my kids now when he “allows” me to be with them.

      I pay $200.oo a week in child support and I have outstanding legals fee’s. How is this just and in the best interest of any child?? I am sickened by the system and fight every day for reform. Suzanne Cyr

    • I say no to this only because the more we leave to court system and judges out the better everyone will be. I would rather have an arbrtrator than have a court decide.

  1. I have been involved in an ongoing custody battle for several years and our marital settlement agreement (MSA) states that we have full joint and legal custody however my ex wife is listed as the “Primary Custodial Parent” and I am listed as the “Non-Custodial Parent”. Had someone informed me of the juxtaposition between these two designations prior to signing my MSA, I would not have signed it. You think that you are going to have equal rights, but the designation of “Primary Custodian” as defined by the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines exposes a completely different reality. I have met with members of the Indiana State Legislature and this is one of the issues that we will be addressing in attempts to get reform here in the state of Indiana.

    • Right on Jon…I agree with you. I got the same title…not sure why… Good luck on getting justice. I still to this day not understand why they give one parent PCP vs. NCP.
      What is the purpose, other than to give on parent more control.

    • It is so sad that children are used as pawns. It just goes to show how corrupt the courts are. Money becomes more emportant than what’s right.

      • I agree with you Paul. It’s disgusting that the court system is making money off our children who are legally KID napped. The court system ostensibly is given 3% Federal funding for every child support dollar that is collected by the State Attorney General’s Office.

  2. I played a major part in everything my kids do. Kaufman County did think I shouldn’t have anything to do with my kids. They made a weekend dad because of their decision. I wasn’t rised to be a weekend dad!
    I want to be there for all moments possible with my kids.

    • Most divorces end in shared parenting. What is best for kids is SUBSTANTIALLY EQUAL shared parenting.

  3. if both are fit parents neither have records are not violent but just do not get along with each other then it should be equal rights, because it took two to make baby, not one

  4. The only issue is that most custodial parents (usually the mother) won’t agree to it because they want the “child support” money to pay for their own personal expenses.

    • I Originally was the Custodial parent and never once thought about getting more time so that I would receive child support. I in fact now pay the child support My former spouse is an airline pilot and I’m disabled

      • Leslie… that doesn’t make sense that you pay child support when your ex is a pilot and you’re on disability? Did you have an attorney? if you did, he should be shot.
        Stop injustice NOW

        • Paul, thank you for the response.

          I Like most people attempting to get a divorce could write a book about the injustice and corruption that they suffered once subjected to the judicially branch of our government. As a mother of two girls I certainly apologize for how the court treated men in the past decades. I guess it’s the woman’s turn now.
          So I agree,it’s really the children that suffer the most from how the judicial branch of our government is making money off of the back’s of our children

    • There is no accounting needed from the mother and as such, she can spend it on makeup, vacations or to lavish on her new boyfriend, you know, the guy she left her marriage for?
      There is ABSOLUTLY no guarantee that it will ever make it to the child and MOST times, it does not! There is no possible way it takes 50,000 dollars monthly child support that some celebs have to pay. And why you people are OK with this will never be understood! My 1500 per month for one kid is outrageous!

      • Having to pay $1500 a month for one child and have the child 50% of the time should be a crime. That’s what I have and it’s awful. 🙁

      • I have to pay $2400 a month for three, and $8600 a month for spousal maintenance. My ex to be “stayed at home” (with cleaning help part time nannies and mommies helpers over time, and the past three years–all three in school, nearly full time for two, now full time this year). She hasn’t worked in 11 years. She has no plans to work. She gets 70% of my net monthly income. Over $200,000 per year–just a modest sum for the Cinderella lifestyle she leads–6-7 hours a day to herself and all. I get to see the kids 2 hours once a week ‘supervised’ by my own family (thanks to the $12000 parenting consultant and GAL reports that I have unresolved resentment towards my wife for her three year affair). And two overnight visits per month, also supervised. Despite that I now make the equivalent of my net income 12 years ago and have had to pay all the legal fees (approaching $100k over 10 months–now all debt as I have no liquid funds left and assets were frozen–I was am not able to get a car loan!) despite all that insanity—I would give more if I could just be the dad I was a year and a half a go and have my kids ‘around’ 50% of the time. I have been ashamed to even talk about this because it had been filled with humilating dissection of every nook and cranny of my past and person–violating, and a dissent from standing up for myself, speaking my mind, getting furious at the incompetency and blatant sloppy one-sided “experts” process to learning that any voice from me is grounds for punishment. I naively believed justice would prevail at some point, so far it has not. I had no idea this was he state of this system. None. Now I am helpless and stuck. I was told to stop speaking up and “going off” about my situation. “Take down those ‘likes’ and posts (eg Divorce Court). So apparently, no constitutional rights to parenting or free speech for me. I don’t know what to do; and having no ability to try to fix or solve is foreign to me. But I was also told I have control issues and am grandiose. By the experts. I spent no more than a few hours with them in total. My wife many times more than that. My kids? They met my oldest once for 1-2 hours. He is 11. The two youngest…they couldn’t tell me their names. it’s a bad dream with no waking up.

      • This is not the norm, even in the very flawed systems that are in place in most states today. Clay, are you speaking from experience or an opinion based upon hearsay? If you are a victim of the system in a county/state in which child support payees are consistently abusing the system, you should try to change it. Contact others who have been affected, and contact your legislator as agroup – demand some equity in the legal system.

  5. Commentators opposed to shared residence and overnights for infants and toddlers have been relying on misleading interpretations of very flawed research to argue that young children need to spend most of their time, and every night, in the care of one primary parent.

    In order to clarify where social science stands on these issues, the February 2014 paper published in the prestigious peer-review journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law with the endorsement of 110 of
    the world’s top authorities from 15 countries in attachment, early child development, and divorce, recommends that in normal circumstances, overnights and “shared parenting should be the norm for children of all ages.”

    The study is a major intellectual event and its importance cannot be overstated. The calibre of the distinguished international authorities is exceptional and the names and affiliations are listed in the Appendix. Charlie Lewis, Ph.D., Head of Department and Professor of Family and Developmental Psychology, Lancaster University is the United Kingdom signatory.

    According to Rutter the first few years of a child’s life have special significance for bond formation & the sex of the parent has nothing to do with the bonding process. Kruk’s findings show a child must spend at least 40% of the time with a parent to establish & maintain a beneficial attachment.

    However, there is no research used to train family court judges on how much contact a none resident parent needs to have with their children after parental separation or divorce to ensure their long term relationship is sustainable & CafCass officers have never been given any training or guidelines on how much contact they should recommend in what kind of case which is exactly the same reason why it’s predecessor the Family Court Welfare Service was closed in 2001.

    • David – I’v tried to locate the article you refer to but can’t. Can you include the link – thanks!

    • The notion that the state can arbitrarily “split” a child’s time between its parents if the parents decide to divorce, is offensive and harkens to the time in the nation’s history of slavery of men, women and children. Barring the most egregious of offenses against a child by a parent, where the parent is convicted of the offense in criminal court, the only other justification for the machinations of the divorce courts and the divorce system is GREED and PURITAN SADISM. There are so many hurt souls commenting on these forums yet nothing moves or changes in the divorce system. The posts help blow off steam. The proverbial punching bag filled with words. Animal rights, Cattle grazing rights, oil pipeline rights, anti-abortion rights and other marginal issues have huge public interest and can mobilize large groups in a hearbeat. But the plight of little kids exploited by the bogey-men – the judiciary, the legislators, judges, custody evaluators, gals, family law practitioners and other low-lives for fun, profit and to get matching federal grants for the state – none of it draws anything more than posts on forums. There is something very wrong when the common person does not know about such practices and even if it does it cannot and does not care for little ones such as these – Best Interests of the Child? Sure. It hsa the sound of the ancient Aztec chants as they processioned to make burnt offerings to satisfy the blood-thirst of the bogey man.

  6. Absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt. A child has equal intrinsic right to both parents and no one should mess with that except for the parent them self, relinquishing their own time.

  7. This is really a rhetorical question, because equal physical custody and parental rights should be the standard, not the exception and it certainly should not be up to the discretion of ANY court of law. No one should have to “audition” for the role of parent….it is supposed to be a right of any American citizen by virtue of nature. Parents have the right to raise their children as THEY see fit….period….this should not be subjected to scrutiny by anyone else. We are not speaking of extreme scenarios, which is what most people jump to when discussing this subject matter and what the Family Court of Law uses to justify its actions….we cannot base the lives of many, by the actions of few.

    As far as the stated Poll question, if both parents were willing to share equal custody then I believe that answers the question itself…..because if the custody is equal, that must mean the custody schedule is equal and at that point, is just common sense, there is not much to fight about there. But then if parents could agree on equal custody, then they would most likely not be in court to begin with.

    This question is an oxymoron, as it pertains to family court, there is always one parent, typically the custodial parent, who will not agree to anything, which is why the parents are in court. However, if the standard is shared, equal, physical custody and parental rights….then that eliminates the fight and any need for a court to “rule” on the matter at all. I also think it is important to include and emphasize equal parental rights as well as physical custody…..because you have parents, typically the custodial parent (the mother, lets be honest here) who think they are “the boss” and are entitled to make all major decisions for the child….and interfere with the non-custodial parents right to raise and influence their child as they see fit.

    You cannot give one parent authority over the other and expect that situation to “work out” or be “in the best interest” of ANY child. You cannot give one parent a “blank check” of authority to say and do whatever they want and leave the other parent defenseless and powerless to do anything…..what does that teach the child(ren) involved about the alienated parent? What kind of example does that set? What kind of respect will that child have for the alienated parent? When they have been taught to disregard and devalue that other parent’s authority, that opens the window for blatant disrespect to one parent, encouraged by the other. Is THAT the goal here?

    NO parent should have to ask the other parent or a judge “permission” to do anything FOR or WITH their OWN children. That is a ridiculous and impossible situation for ANYONE to be in. No one would appreciate being told what they can and can’t do with their own children….not you judges, not you lawyers, not you custodial parents (women) nor anyone who would try to use a child as leverage over the other parent. So I voted yes, but this is a loaded question and has way more parameters to consider before one can vote a simple “yes” or “no” – its simply not a “yes or no” kind of question.

    In any case, the general theme to the basis of ANY family law reform is this….equal and shared physical custody and parental rights…by that statute alone, it will eliminate much of the fight in court. Because once everything is shared and equal, then there is no leverage, there is no “weapon” for either parent to use…there is no money to fight for because by virtue of equal custody and rights, each parent is and will be responsible for their half of the care of the child and rearing when in custody. This is a simple equation.

    The answer to these problems are simple and obvious….this is not some global issue that requires scientists to develop solutions derived of complex mathematical statistics and computations. It only requires greed to be circumvented, incentives removed and common sense applied.

    • I could not agree more with this individual. Almost always, the custodial parent (read mother) uses this parenting time, custodial rights, joint custody through the divorce with the full cooperation and guidance of the lawyer and the courts.
      It does not take much to see if one of two parties is being uncooperative in setting up parenting and joint physical custody arrangements then that person should be penalized. Instead, the custodial parent (read mother) is rewarded. Ipso facto, extended court battles for nothing and the non custodial parent (read father) and children adversely impacted. So much for “the best interest of the children”.

    • You are assuming that every parent has his/her children’s best interest in mind simply because they are parents. I hate to burst your bubble, but as a family law paralegal who has been involved in hundreds of cases, I have to tell you that this is not automatic. There are people who use their own children to punish their exes. There are parents who are narcissistic, or have borderline personality disorder, are predators, or who have any of a number of other physiological or psychological conditions that preclude good parenting. There are domestic violence perpetrators, who threaten the abused spouse to get the parenting time they want, and then are abusive to the child(ren). I could go on, but a black and white approach just doesn’t work. It’s too bad there are not more sets of parents who can get along and can work together, but they appear to be in a minority. Too many people who are divorcing want to “get even”, and some don’t even realize they’re using their children to do so.

    if a parent is not agreeable and amenable to a decision, he/she may not always act in best interest of child when with him or them.

    • I have such a dislike for the phrase. “In the best interest of the children. The average parents wants and knows what is in the “In the best interest of their children. When I hear that phrase being bandied around by the court and the attorney’s, I want to throw up.

      That phrase is so ambiguous it is unconstitutional on it’s face. It is a violation of every parent’s due process rights. In essence the judges can and do remove the children from one parent’s residence under the catch phrase it’s “In the best interest of their children.

  9. Sorry, 50-50 causes problems. Someone has to have more power or nothing will be decided on. Which school, which team, etc.
    But the courts should CAREFULLY determine who is the better coparent that will cooperate instead of smelling out the vagina.

    • Um, no it doesn’t. Just because you say it here does not make it accurate. Women like you will ALWAYS fight the 50/50 because of the money loss.

      Anyone who refuses to abide by 50/50 should loose the children outright.

  10. Depends on what is best for the child or children. I do not see anyone considering what a child prefers in any of this as if they do not have any say. They already do not have any say in there parents divorcing and where they have to go and how often.

    This countries system was deliberately set up to create more conflict in order to make money through the grant fund fraud and court appointed phonies which reeks havoc on parent financially.

    There are many studies that indicate children that grow up in 2 hones do not fair as well as children that spend more time in one home and spend quality time with the other parent. Especially when they are older and cannot make plans because they have to be at a certain parents home.

    The best scenarios I have seen are where two parents divorce and live near each other so the child can come and go at both locations according to their individual needs.

  11. If both parents are willing and capable, they should have equal/shared parenting. This should be automatic, not because the parents could not agree on a custody schedule.

  12. Children have a right to a relationship with both parents. Many parents lack the proper skills to co-parent without conflict. Parents need to learn the vital skills of resilience and problem solving so that they can better model these skills to their children.

    A lot of parents want to focus on the bad behavior in the other parent, instead of focusing on the good behavior and helping their child find solutions and challenging family situations.

    As close to a 50/50 custody arrangement is best for the children, it allows them the opportunity to love both parents and develop routines in both homes. Kids are resilient and can adapt to a two home environment easily, even if the two homes have different sets of rules. 50/50 is also the best way to prevent alienation from happening in most cases, of course there are always exceptions to any rule.

    Parental Alienation ends when parents have a greater love for their children then they do hate, for their child’s other parent.

    If you want to reduce the number of families struggling through conflict, make shared parenting the rule, and then exceptions to the rule are determined in extreme cases.

  13. Joint Custody is by every reasonable and logical standard the obvious choice – the world endorses and practices children being raised by two parents since pre-historic times for a reason. UNFORTUNATELY Joint Custody with a default of 40% minimum custody will and has in those states that have adopted child custody reform the last few years with substantially less follow-on post-divorce conflict, i.e. parents don’t return to court. AND not returning to court is BAD BUSINESS to the BAR, Judges and divorce attorneys in what I understand is a $50B business in the USA. SADLY state BARs, Judges and attorneys and their $$$ has corrupted the political process to the severe and life-long detriment to innocent children and loving parents (generally fathers). SADLY where I live in Alabama as had as I’ve tried few seem to care as now generations of children have grown up without both parents contributing in their upbringing – result is substantial tear in the fabric of America for the benefit of very few (Judges, attorneys, politicians) as the masses suffer.

  14. Absolutely! If they cannot agree, and they both want custody, and they are both found to be FIT parents, then why not? This should always, always, always be the default position. Both parents have rights to the care, concern and custody of their children free from government intrusion. Children have the right to free association with both parents equally.

  15. A non-custodial parent should not have to start out as a 25% parent and then prove themselves to be an equal parent. Equal should be the starting point. If there is evidence to support another option that is more appropriate for an individual family situation, then it should be presented and factored into that family’s decisions.
    The presumption of some district court judges is not consistent with constitutional protection of Paternal Rights free of undue state/ judicial interference, and that the law needs to be changed to protect these rights.

  16. Approval of the parents should not be required for shared custody. In Texas, child support is paid by the noncustodial parent (father) to the custodial parent (mother), independent of the mother’s income or financial situation. My stay-at-home ex got $1,000,000 in the settlement (including a mortgage-free house, cash, part of my pension, house content and car, while I provide the children’s health and dental insurances and get to see them only 1/3 of the time. Child support for my two kids is $25,000 per year or about $2,000 per month (tax-free to my ex), which is well more than needed for clothing, food, after school activities and other essentials for the kids. The child support supplements my ex’s lifestyle, even though she officially gets no alimony. The child support is enough to also provide money for a gardener, maid and health club membership. She would never agree to shared parenting, fearing that would endanger her child support, which is effectively also alimony in Texas. Custody arguments are mostly about the fight for child support and the mother wanting to retain her lifestyle after divorce..

    • If this is an example of Texas “justice”, you should have a lot of company if you try to get some reform. Please think about it!

  17. This should not depend on both parents agreeing but one not agreeing. In other words either parent should be able to elect equal time and custody unless there is “clear and convincing evidence” that a parent is “unfit” (literally dangerous to) child. Anything else drives conflict and what the lawyers want an expensive custody battle.
    This is the ONLY way that state courts can be consistent with the 14th Amendment (equal rights) AND the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which say the parents rights cannot be interfered with by the state without this level of proof. The excuses these courts use are false and misleading at best. The Domestic Relations Doctrine and state statutes are always trumped by U.S. Constitutional rights.The Supreme Court has stated that parental rights are Fundamental Constitutional rights that require “Strict Scrutiny” and he highest level of due process – just all 50 states ignore this to usurp power for themselves that is protected by the federal Constitution.
    50-50 custody should be a default with NO court costs or lawyers involved, until and unless one parent can PROVE the other parent is unfit (in front of a jury as also required by the U.S. Constitution for any case over $20).

  18. Can’t even vote on this stupid question. If being a judge is not about ensuring the kids come out with the best deal and not about ensuring that a fair divorce procedure is followed, they don’t deserve to make any decision at all. If they know one parent is using access to the kids to be vindictive, perhaps they were behaving this way all along? A parent that uses his or her children as a tool get and advantage in divorce is scum. A parent that uses a kid in marriage on a daily basis against their spouse should not be a parent. All the people involved in divorce are out to make money of others misery, that’s it. The truth, there is no truth and no justice. If you’re in a long heated divorce, it’s either because you are vindictive or think that someday you’ll get justice, you won’t.

    • Unfortunately, too many judges are not qualified or hang onto their biases, and are allowed to make decisions that affect people and their children on a daily basis nevertheless. This is the reason reform is so very necessary. Take the ridiculous power that judges and their favorite attorneys have, and blow it to smithereens; just do it though the power of the vote. Contact your legislator. Form a reform group. Circulate petitions. This is worth fighting for, right?

  19. Great question! In general, yes. There are many other aspects to consider:

    First, the word “grant” is too soft. The courts need to step in and demand 50/50 early in the process before anyone gets any other bright ideas. It would prevent a lot of problems.

    Unfortunately, the depth of the custody question supersedes looking at custody at one slice in time – especially the extremely volatile slice in which the case was brought to court. It is not unusual that circumstances at this particular moment are a far cry from the norm in the household. We need to combat the courts using “status quo” as a crutch. If you want pick a status quo, pick the slice before the divorce was dropped on a parent out of nowhere (I’m being facetious – kill status quo).

    I was the primary caretaker of my kids for the majority of their lives. I left home to get work to support the family. I didn’t take the kids mid-school year and unestablished in a new city because it wasn’t best at that moment. I’ve been fighting status quo ever since and pretty much accepted losing my kids permanently to a corrupt twisted system.

    Please take the time to evaluate my proposal: The Annual Elective 50/50 Custody Agreement (click my name above for the link (www.ae5050.com). I think it has promise, if even merely a starting point towards debating and drafting a better agreement.

  20. But what in the case of a spiteful parent who wants to exclude the other parent from custody and/or visitation? That’s what happened in my case. The spiteful parent didn’t care if the children suffered. The other parent (me) was totally excluded from the children’s lives when they were minors; when they were adults, one child ran away and the other was expelled from the spiteful parent’s home with only fifteen minutes notice. What does the family court do in such cases? Justice was not done, and I doubt that family court will ever change that.

  21. It sounds to me like you are saying in your question that both parents want joint custody, it’s just a matter of working out the schedule. Don’t courts already order visitation and custody anyway ? It should not matter if both parents agree with joint custody or not. It should be automatically ordered despite one parent opposing unless there is hard proof that a parent is unfit. Those who lie and make false allegations of abuse should have their parenting time supervised. By ordering automatic joint custody, and punishing false allegations of abuse, this will actually cut down on the number of divorces. No one should be rewarded for destroying a marriage and a child’s life.

  22. most certainly. As Tanner Justis stated- the children have a right to both parents. In addition- I feel us parents have that same right to be with our children. The fact that joint-equal custody is not a given (barring clear proof of abuse or other similar negative factors) is just dead wrong.
    Phrases such as the residential or non-residential parent should be banned all together from use.
    If one parent decides they can’t swing equal time, for whatever reason, then the other parent simply gets to continue in their place with always a right of first choice-WITHOUT the Court imposing it’s bias and ignorance.
    Any parent that out of the blue, ie as soon as the papers are filed..decides that they need to be the sole parent should be dismissed and even sanctioned for game playing.
    My ex was never involved with our kids in more than a “Dad’s going to try and make it” role until it came time for him to decide he didn’t wan to be married to me anymore. I was even told-I deserve to be left with nothing so consider myself lucky if I see them at all.
    Power-Money and and easy to abuse systems makes it all too easy for one parent to deprive the other of the time and love with the children that hold their hearts.. my loves were stolen from me, and I am left with a broken heart and a child support order that is 58% more than my gross take home.
    (and by the way that includes paying for the boarding school he promptly shipped them off to)

    Lady Justice- has left the building

    • Bring her back!! Get together with others who have been subjected to extreme lack of justice and visit your state representative or senator. Put the pressure on them until someone listens. This is what you can do for your children, yourself, and many, many others.

  23. Also, let’s not forget an extremely important fact: these overpriced written agreements are virtually worthless.

    My partner was being blocked from her court ordered visitation for nearly a year. No one would assist including:
    – Two attempts to complain to the courts thrown out for “lack of evidence”
    – Calls to police: Worthless
    – Complaint to DA’s office: Ridiculed for saying the kids were abducted because they were “safe with their father”

    Someone takes your kids and no one cares.

    So in addition to 50/50 custody, we need a way to actually enforce the law for parents who believe they are above it.

  24. Absolutely yes. Failure to agree on a schedule does not indicate that 50/50 won’t work. The insistence of one parent that they should have primary custody is a reflection of that parents best personal bias, financial incentives, and emotional interest; that doesn’t make it the best interest of the child, and it doesn’t make it right. Overwhelming social science data and common sense argue for approximately 50/50 split when both parents are willing and able….and the vast majority are able.

  25. THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS NO!!! I must concur with the reasoning of the Indiana Court of Appeals in this matter. “Although courts should give great weight to the wishes of the parents, it is the duty of the trial court to determine if any agreement is in the best interests of the child.” Beaman v. Beaman, 844 N.E.2d 525, 532 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). “A trial court cannot ‘rubber-stamp’ such an agreement.” Id. at 533 I was involved in a case once where the children would have clearly been endangered in a 50/50 arrangement but the parent who provided a suitable home didn’t want to be totally responsible for the children no have to fight in court with the deranged parent who was squatting as a residential arrangement.

    • Stuart – I argue there are far more children being harmed from being stripped from a parent than from bad 50/50 scenarios. A child stuck in a bad 50/50 arrangement has 50% freedom from abuse and a means of learning in the long run to recognize and escape their abuser. The less government involvement, the better. There will be scenarios that fall through the cracks. Putting those decisions in the hands of bias judges is a proven recipe for disaster.

    • I think that if parents want to share custody they have to agree on some level of equivalency
      in their lifestyles. This is where the courts have a role because so often there is a disparity
      in the economic realities that the parents face. Having one parent who has an abundance of money to spend on the kids and one who dosen’t creates favoritism and friction.

  26. After TEN years we’re still fighting over custody. She is just trying to out spend me. In the end everyone will lose!

  27. These so called professionals are ignorant morons and if they didn’t go to school to get credentials, they’d be completely useless! The only reason I stand there before the judge calmly is because I know if I speak up for my rights, she’ll just screw up my life more by throwing me in jail. This is not the America I was raised to believe in. Women, women are vindictive evil creatures that want equal rights, but no accountability. I think you’re all taught to lie and cheat and play games from a very young age without ever being responsible for your actions. Then when you all get married, you all blame your husbands for your own problems. An men who don’t have a clue, you were probably raised by stupid women!

  28. In my area, the woman gets to be the custodial parent, and the non-custodial parent gets screwed. He is ordered to pay child support. Whether or not he gets to spend tilme with his kids is left up to tlhe custodial parent. A man usually loses the custody battle, but the big losers are the children.

  29. Fathers need to file a class action suit against the family courts in this country.Family court lawyers do not want automatic equal custody because it would take away their ability to create litigation.

  30. Talk about the oldest form of sexism alive today!

    Men are automatically designated non-custodial parents and only get ‘visitation’ with their own child

    I never understood this, because the woman carries the child and gives birth she is automatically the primary caregiver and custodial parent

    We all know of the cases of women on drugs and getting duis while the child is in the car, but yet you can not get custody away from the Mom

    The system is broke and sexist at its core

  31. If we are sincere about the best interest of the children, they should remain in the original home. Parents are the only ones who should shoulder the burden of changing domiciles daily/weekly/monthly. This removes a large portion of the stress from the children to parents (where it belongs) and the motivation to contrive scheduling conflicts.

  32. Kids should get the house and parents move out, when it is their time to have custody they get to
    move in during their allotted time. If anyone should be inconvenienced it should be the parents!!

    • Yes, that is called “bird-nesting”. I proposed that as an arrangement, along with continuing to use the joint checking account for all children-related and household expenses instead of paying “support”. Both lawyers immediately went down my throat that I cannot do that, it is unworkable, the “ex” is a slob and I would have twice the mess to clean in half the time, and so on. The children wanted “bird-nesting” and explicitly told the guardian that they would like this to be the arrangement. The biggest problem with this is that there are no Part IV-D matching funds from the federal government to the state to pay for judges unfunded pension liability, if there is no child support paid to the other parent. This also excludes the house as a marital asset, as the house is not available to be “divided” until the children are emancipated or one parent decides to move out of the marital home and relinquish responsibility for the children; and would therefore decrease the “marital estate” to be divided and fought over.

  33. Oregon need major reform. All the mothers have to do is simply disagree to give joint custody and they will get full custody in court. It is against Oregon law for judges to award joint custody. Now the mother has put our son in school in another city. I have to pay so much support that I have to work overtime. How am i supposed to have equal time with my son when I have to work overtime and his school is in the next city over?

  34. At first, I was the sole custodial parent. Once my ex recovered some emotional stability and stopped abusing our children emotionally and protecting another family member who was similarly abusive, with some incidents of mild physical abuse, we worked out a 50-50 split which worked fairly well. Although she wasted no opportunity to make vicious gratuitous comments ….

  35. It should be shared even if one parent is against it. No parent should lose custody of their child without grounds. In a no-fault case the one who files should be held responsible for the divorce. They should not be allowed to sue for custody or alimony unless they have grounds for doing so.

  36. I do not that courts should automatically grant custody even if both parties “say” they agree. In my situation, what my x says to “authorities” and what he does behind their backs are two very different things. So, although someone “says” they agree, does not necessarily mean they do agree, and does not necessarily mean that it is best for the kids.

  37. I think that’s the way the system should be (Equal Custody) taking away all the manipulation and exploitation out of the system while keeping both parents involved. The way it is now, where choosing a bad parent or a side to be on usually ends up eliminating the man or the person that’s trying to do things the right way, out of the equation. We all know something needs to be done to change this. Title IV or whatever they call it gives judges the right to ruin people’s lives and that’s the total opposite of why people seek to get a divorce in the first place

  38. When some files for sole or primary custody without grounds for doing so, the parents’ rights are automatically taken from them. The Judge decides what is best for a child that is not theirs and that they don’t know. Any decision they make not based on fault and or the fitness of the parent is one of bias. In fact the act of allowing one parent to sue the other for custody without grounds is by itself bias.

    The bias in these cases is virtually always against the father. This is not hard to understand because, most of us grew up in homes where the mother was the primary care giver. However, it should not be our place to say what is best for someone else’s child or how much they should be spending on them. That is a course, as long as the child is not being neglected.

    A divorce is going to affect a child. Is should not up to anyone but a parent to decide what is best for their child after a divorce. Image what would happen if the government started ordering married parents to spend a percentage of their income on their children.

    It is painful to see how a father must have the mother’s consent in order to have shared 50/50 custody. While at the same time she is not required to have his consent to reduce him to a secondary custody status. Thus, she is given greater protection by a court that is allowed to ignore the equal protection clause of our Constitution.

    The Scandinavians seem to have a lot more respect for the rights of parents than we have. Perhaps our cries are just being drowned out or ignored, we’re too beaten down to make a cry or, we just become complacent. May be there are many that just agree with the government making decisions about our children for us. Whatever the case, things need to change.