Sunday, March 8, 2009

Against Sole Custody

As certain as joint custody benefits the child allowing him/her to have meaningful contact with his/her parents and benefits the parents by preserving the bond between them and their children, sole custody creates a myriad of problems and damaging situations that will accumulate and multiply throughout the years. As stated in Beck v. Beck, the case that established joint custody in New Jersey:

In recent years, the concept of joint custody has become topical, due largely to the perceived inadequacies of sole custody awards and in recognition of the modern trend toward shared parenting in marriage. Sole custody tends both to isolate children from the non-custodial parent and to place heavy financial and emotional burdens on the sole caretaker,(…) The upshot is that the best interest of the child are disserved by many aspects of sole custody. 86 N.J. 486 (1981)

The problem of the isolation of the children from their non-custodial parent is a very serious one. Sole custody demotes the non-custodial parent to secondary type of parent, and leaves the custodial parent as the only real parent.

In Beck v. Beck, Mr. Beck used as professional support of his claims for joint custody of his two adopted daughters, the testimonies of Dr. Warren Clark, a school psychologist, and Dr. Judith Greif, a psychiatric social worker who has conducted independent research on the topic of joint custody. The Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey found “…rational the viewpoints of Drs. Greif and Clark and hence adopted their conclusions” (86 N.J. 485 p. 493). Dr. Clark affirmed that joint custody:

…would foster the children’s relationship wit both parents and would have long-term beneficial impact on the girls’ development as young women. In his view, because the children would become aware that their mother is their only “real” parent in the sense of making decisions about their lives, mere visitation rights granted to non-custodial “zoo-daddy” would not be conducive to the development of a father-daughter relationship. (86 N.J. 491)

Sole custody damages the children and their parents. It takes their parents away from the children, leaving these children in a situation close to that of an orphan, leaving both of them desolated, without the people they love the most. Therefore, sole custody should be avoided as much as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment