Child custody is the giant sledge hammer used to make men submit. It is also the single thing that people complain about causing harm to the kids. The courts are adversarial in nature, and thus they encourage both parties to make the other party look bad. As a general rule it is not good for the kids to see their parents rip each other’s characters to shreds. The psychological impact of each part of the kid being scrutinized is awful. There are several problems with the current system, if it is left to the more accepted custody arrangements. One is that the mother is presumed to be the best care taker, because she has been the primary care taker. This has been the norm in many marriages, and has been accepted as the best end result as a matter of course. The stabilizing factors that fathers bring to the household just don’t seem to be considered.
Its time to make the default legal status of custody one of shared custody. Schedules should be required to be as close to 50% time as possible. The reason for this, is it will take the negotiations to room with the parents rather than in front of a judge. If the judge is going to view these cases based on the idea that there must be something horribly wrong to justify giving one parent a preference over another, then fathers would no longer be negotiating in the shadow of the law. They would have confidence that within reason their considerations will be considered. If mothers and fathers know that the judge isn’t going to consider anything that doesn’t show a risk to the kids as a reason to modify this would work out the details on their own.
I also think that any contractual agreement entered into should not have to go to court at all for approval. Parents were free to do just about any stupid thing they wanted to when they were married. I don’t understand why this should change if they are both able to work it out. Why should the state in a free society suddenly become a larger stake holder the moment parents split up. Contracts are nullified all the time without the court being involved. Parties are able to do this in business all the time.
As for child support, as I have said before. The parent with the kids should be responsible for the kids expenses. When both parents are involved, they should share the expenses as they agree upon for school and medical expenses, or the assumption should be that each will pay half whenever there is no other agreement. There should be no compulsary transfer of funds from one parent to another, not ever.
At the core of the argument that happens in court, is which parent is better. That argument should be replaced simply with is one parent dangerous. The couple had the child together. If one is a stupid mother fucker and trains the kids to be the same, that is life. Sorry kids your mom or dad was a complete idiot and taught you how to be too. When the parents stay together that would be the case too.