Monday

How Does Conflict Influence Joint Custody Research?

Dear Reader,

Let's see if I can properly address this. First, ask yourself, What is "conflict" ? In my mind, I think of it as being in a state of constant disagreement, usually involving words and ideas.

In the legal system, "conflict" is an umbrella term which serves to mask some very serious offenses, such as rape and assault and battery within a relationship. A divorce that is "high conflict" may involve two people who just can't get along and therefore, have many arguments, or one or more persons who are beating the shit out of each other. How do you know which is which--especially when the word "allegation" is thrown around?

Second, joint custody research is based on having a mother and a father in the home as married. Nope, no gay or lesbian couples, which is purposefully discriminatory. Nope, no cohabitating couples, again, purposefully discriminatory. This research creates our social policy, which wants us to be heterosexual and married (Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage Initiatives).

More importantly, joint custody research is based on intact households--where the parents are functional and not on the brink of divorce. They still love each other (or have some semblance of a loving relationship).

When "conflict" is present, the children are affected, period. Even if conflict is minimized directly in front of the kids, unhappy parents still affect the kids.

Joint custody research involves families who have opted for "joint custody" after being separated. Opted. Opted. Self-selected. Non-court imposed. Non-forced. Voluntary. Catch the drift?

Furthermore, "joint custody" means a variety of things in different studies: Both parents share decision-making and/or the both parents share physical custody of the kids...that joint custody arrangement can mean 25% at dads, and 75% at moms. What is joint custody, really?

Now add in a bit of resentment, psychological issues, family violence, dragging the kids back and forth between households, new girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives, new schools, money issues, power and control...and ask yourself again, How does conflict influence joint custody research?

It makes the shit impossible.

But as a result of our patriarchal system in which men continue to assert their father's rights this means joint custody at all costs. This means government interference on families as they maintain the for-profit system which involves third party, fourth, and fifth parties: child custody evaluators to see who would be the best parent (NOT based on who already has been successfully parenting), Guardians Ad Litem to represent the interests of the children parent with the most money, parenting coordinators to make decisions for families in violation of many of our Constitutions rights...and more psychology, and more psychology, and more.

Thanks for reading.