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Divorced Parents, Do You Feel Like Courts Are Taking Away Your Rights?

Our online divorce review site is a place where you can come to research proper legal representation, and unfortunately, when it comes to co-parenting, the courts don’t make it easy for you to fulfill your responsibility. This is an inconsistency that caused one writer to recently question:

Do divorced parents have the same rights as married parents? 

The latest NY Times piece from Robert E. Emery goes with a resounding no, and he makes a pretty good point this is the case. Stemming from the fact that divorced parents often have to have child-rearing decisions made by a judge, Emery points out that even mutually agreed parenting plans can be overridden by a divorce court judge.

This, Emery says, is an outdated product of a time when most children were born in wedlock — a statistic that is no longer so pronounced. Emery also notes that close to half of first marriages end in divorce, resulting in many children caught in the middle.

To help co-parents make better decisions in the interests of their child, he proposes a “simple” solution.

We can do this with a very simple change in the law. When judges make decisions, they are guided by the “best interests of the child” — a list of factors like the parents’ mental health and the child’s wishes. States should add parental agreement to the list, and make it the primary consideration. This would mean that, at least when they agree, unmarried parents, not judges, make decisions about their children.

This change could help us move away from litigation and toward alternative kinds of dispute resolution.

What do you feel, divorced parents? Do courts often get in yours and your spouse’s way, or are the current standards still broadly relevant?

As a site that specializes in online divorce reviews, it is always fascinating to hear what the co-parenting experience is like — the challenges, the triumphs, the obstacles out of your control. We’d love to read your comments!

 

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