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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why I wouldn't want to be a judge.

My current assignment for Marriage and Family Relations is this:

Custody:
  • In most divorce cases, the mother is given custody. What conditions would need to exist for you to give custody to the father?
  • Does the father only get custody if the mother is unfit?
  • What if both parents are good, kind parents, but couldn't have joint custody? Who gets custody of the children? Why? Explain.
If you know my family personally, you probably already know what my paper says. If you don't, though, let me just say that my incredible brother has been fighting a nearly-impossible custody battle for the last year, on zero budget and all the cards stacked against him. Our family is fairly hot-tempered and outspoken (surprised?) but my brother is the kindest, most patient and loving father I have ever met. He adores his daughters, and even the son he's only met once, and has never raised a hand (or a book) to anyone in anger. Growing up, my brother and I were best friends, staying up all night long to talk and laugh, until (and hours after) my mom called for us to go to bed. Am I biased? Perhaps. But I don't know a soul on Earth who knows him personally who could claim anything else.

Except his (soon-to-be-ex) wife.

Now, I'm not here to tear anybody down. I am not interested in getting into the specifics of why I believe my former sister-in-law is lying, or why I believe my nieces and nephew deserve to live with their father. The things she has done and the lies she has told to convince the court, her friends and family, and many, many strangers that my brother doesn't deserve his beloved children (because of claims of abuse and misconduct) are unfair at best, and wrong at most.

But I'll let God work that out.

Do I blame the judge/commissioner for being cautious about claims of abuse? Not really. Women and children are being murdered by husbands and fathers no one would have ever suspected. But do mothers do the same? Yeah, they absolutely do.

Let me ask you this: Do mothers automatically deserve custody because they have a uterus? Mammaries? A Vagina? PMS? What is it that makes a woman more deserving of her children than a man?

I know many, many men who are better parents - financially, emotionally, and otherwise - than their wives are, and not one of these good, hard-working, loving men deserve the pain of losing the daughters and sons they love.

If the judge finds in favor of my brother's "wife" in the end, it will be a tragedy like I've never witnessed before, and (I hope) may never witness again. I don't understand how blind preference for the mother is still the most common verdict... but it's about time something is done about it.


(Note to my "ex" sister-in-law: You are welcome to comment if you feel you must. But I cannot be held responsible for my audience's reactions to your statements, and I will not censor them.)

2 comments:

  1. What a horrible world we live in. There are very few good parents in the world today and it's unfair to think that a complete stranger (a judge) gets to determine if someone is a good parent or not. I don't think women are automatically better parents than men. I think SOME women are instinctually good mothers- but only SOME. I think there are an equal amount of men who are instinctually good fathers. But more than that- I think being a good parent is a CHOICE- one that has nothing to do with gender or instincts. Parents who make the conscious effort to be GOOD parents deserve to be involved in their children's lives. It is selfishness for one parent to deny the other parent access to the children. (unless the circumstances are extremely dangerous to the children.)

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  2. Just saw this today, Aubs (linked from your other blog). Thanks for your great words.

    Minor victory today: she failed to provide proof of her expenses for childcare (which we're pretty sure were falsified as she wasn't even working), so I don't have to reimburse her. Only saves me like $450, but I'll take every small win I can get. :)

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