RE: Divorce: shared custody should be mandatory

From: Lisa Dusseault (
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 14:34:38 PST

I was composing something along these lines, but since T expressed the first
part of my mail I'll cut it out and proceed with the subsequent thoughts...

If judges forced joint-custody, I would suspect that many of those
situations would be simply awful for the kid. Even without the child being
abused by one or both parents, even without the child being used as a
weapon, it can be a difficult situation:
 - Mom and Dad have to be _incredibly_ circumspect about asking or
commenting about each others new lives (loves) in order not to cause
conflict in the child
 - Having two sets of friends, one in Dad's neighborhood and one in Mom's,
is difficult
 - Coordinating two sets of rules is difficult and things are bound to fall
through the cracks
 - Grandparents, aunts/uncles, other relatives of the kid can cause
nastiness even if the parents are behaving

At least today, parents who think they can manage it can arrange joint
custody, whereas parents who don't trust each other can fight for (or
relinquish) sole custody. In situations where the parents don't want joint
custody; what is the system achieving by forcing it?

In many cases, though it ain't PC to say so, I wonder if kids wouldn't be
better off having one solid allegiance to one parent, and the other parent
being fairly completely absentee. Sure it's difficult for the kid to live
with the worry that the absentee parent "doesn't love me", but as I've
already pointed out, there are difficulties in any divorce situation.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2001 1:47 PM
> To:;
> Subject: Re: Divorce: shared custody should be mandatory
> an even better solution would be to require Dr. Laura Schlesinger
> to share
> the bed with the happy couple for the year--
> I quite agree about custody, though there are often cases where the child
> becomes a weapon; in those custody leads to the poor kid being
> stalemated--mommy says yes and daddy therefore says no, or vice versa. In
> such cases forcing one to give up control is better.
> Basically, I think there should be a bias in that direction (shared
> custody)--but from what I've seen, every case is different. These
> need to be
> worked out on a custom basis, couple by couple, judge by judge.
> T

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