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Sound Research or Wishful Thinking in Child Custody Cases? Lessons from Relocation Law
Family Law Quarterly, Volume 40 Number 2, Summer 2006, 06/01/

Professionals who deal with specific child custody disputes surely seek to advance the children’s best interests, as do the legislators and commentators who address child custody law. Yet there is often profound disagreement about the principles that should guide them, and decision-makers are at a particular disadvantage if—as is increasingly the case—flawed research and inaccurate reviews are offered as improvements on the sound work of others. This article examines these forces in the context of relocation disputes— cases that arise when a noncustodial parent seeks to prevent the custodial parent and their children from moving. It summarizes the relevant legal issues, provides an overview of the credible U.S. research on children’s needs, and critiques the wishful thinking and mistaken analyses that threaten sound outcomes for children. Although it addresses U.S. cases and scholarship, its analysis also applies to relocation disputes elsewhere and, more broadly, to additional aspects of child custody law that require an understanding of children’s needs when their parents do not live together.
[SFV note - this article provides a good overview of joint custody literature in general, and then applies that information in the context of relocation concerns.] (more)

Father´s Responsibilities Before Father´s Rights
Male supremacists promote mandatory joint custody saying "children love, want and need their fathers" and therefore should have equal time with them. But their cookie-cutter solution disregards the individual decisions and needs of separating families while tying judges’ hands, endangering battered women, and placing the father’s interests above the best interest of the children. (more)

Solomon´s Solution, 04/21/

Joint custody is all the rage in courts across the United States, but it doesn't always look as good in practice as it does on paper. Fathers' rights groups lobby for presumptive joint physical custody, which would make joint physical custody the starting point in all divorces, regardless of whether or not joint custody would be appropriate for the families. The Indiana chapter of the Children's Rights Council (a fathers' rights group) has urged the filing of class action suits nationwide calling for a presumption for joint physical custody. While presumptive joint custody looks fair on paper, it should not be applied to families in a cookie-cutter fashion. Custody decisions should be taken into consideration based on an individual families needs on a case-by-case basis. (more)

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