a child choose which parent to live with?
article resulted in two interesting replies, definitely worth mentioning:
I thought you might be interested to know
that, in Georgia, children 14 and over are allowed to elect with
which parent they will live, in a divorce (or modification). The
Court (and parents) essentially have no say in the matter (absent a
showing of unfitness of the elected parent). It's a terrible system,
but it's the law, here.
This one needs some expansion.
Children most definitely have an awareness of and security in the parent
they are safe with, who prepares their meals, who helps them with
who hugs them when they get boo-boos, who they come to in the middle of
night when they are frightened or sick, and who listens to them when they
talk. That is to say, parents are not always equal in the role they
played or will continue to play in their children's lives.
While the article seeks to promote the concept that "the best parent
parents", we both know that a child does not "need" either
they need is at least one caring, present and safe person in their lives.
Let's be realistic about what is really best for children and not be so
concerned about promoting those concepts that do more for espousing
mandatory joint/physical custody theories.
Also, an over-reliance on professionals to make decisions about children's
placement in divorce belies the fact that a vast majority of those doing
court work--including the judges--have little to no training in domestic
violence and child abuse and often minimize the effects of DV on children
and blame the mother for being "alienating" because she doesn't
As always, domestic violence is a prevalent issue among divorcing couples,
and these sorts of feel-good articles do much to place event greater
on protective parents in custody litigation by shaping public policy that
not grounded in reality.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him
an expert on child development, parent-child relations, marital and family
therapy, custody and access recommendations, social work and an expert for
the purpose of giving a critique on a Section 112 (social work) report.
Search Gary’s name on GOOGLE.COM to view his many articles or visit his
website. Call him for your next conference and for expert opinion on
family matters. His services include counseling, mediation, assessment and
information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane,