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Why Custody Agreements Are Unjust
Ever seen an unattractive girl win a beauty pageant because she knew the judges? How about a boxing match be won or lost due to politics in the sport? Since there is no concrete outline of which parent should receive primary custody, I feel as though we are trusting our children's lives with a broken system. Judges that officiate custody agreements are human, like you and I. They have feelings, wake up late for work, have issues at home and make decisions based on emotions even though they are told to be unbiased and uphold the law. Again, they are human. So why is it that there is no clear-cut definition of what a child needs most as they grow older in a parent? Essentially, we are asking that an individual that cannot possibly know the ins and outs of the daily lives of both parents nor their individual relationships with the child(ren), decide who is best suited to make the daily decisions for the child and have them in their care for the majority of the time.
First impressions are the lasting ones. A person usually makes a total assessment of an individual within the first ten seconds of meeting them. So you're tire went flat on the way to court and you had to fix it on the side of the interstate and became quite dirty in the process. Your hair is now windblown from the cars driving by you at 80 mph and you look like a total wreck. You enter the courtroom ten minutes late, which obviously is an attestation to you not being punctual and not caring about the court proceedings enough to be on time. You look across the courtroom and see that the other parent is sitting comfortably, nicely dressed and smiling ear to ear. At what point during this description did you become nervous that no matter what was said in court, you aren't going to get anything you ask for?
The Prettiest Liar
I recently went through a battle for child custody that did not involve a resolution of marriage as I never was married to the female that carried my child. The entire process was ugly. It was like playing a game where everything the other person does has to be turned into something that could be used against them in court. For instance, I was training for a mixed martial arts fight at a sanctioned event. I had my son in wrestling classes and allowed him to go with me for one of my jiu jitsu training sessions. His mother used that to say that I was bringing him up with violence and encouraging him to hurt other children. I guess Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have delinquents as children? So when it was time to get down to the paperwork and what we could agree on, I looked terrible on paper.
A Little Background
My background and current status for court was as follows:
- Bachelor's degree in Nursing
- Full-time job at a local hospital
- I only work three days per week to fulfill full-time requirements (12 hour work days)
- All family and relatives live within five miles of my residence
- Have owned my own residence since the age of 22
- Full-time student pursuing my advanced registered nurse practitioner license
My son's mother has this for a background:
- Has lived in nine difference households in three years
- Has never owned her own place and always lived with roommates
- Dropped out of college twice even though my mother paid for her classes and signed her up
- Has only worked at daycares and bars for employment
- Currently is in the Coast Guard reserve which means she sits on a boat for two days per month
- Has no other means of income except for a boyfriend whose house she currently lives in
With all of that being said, on paper I still look worse. A person that has a career and is currently furthering it looks worse than a person that doesn't work because she I available more hours of the day. I currently drive once or twice a week over an hour on the highway just to get him to school in the morning because that's where she lives and put him in school and I can't change that. My brand new car that I bought in October of 2013 has over 37,000 miles on it in one year and a half of driving it.
Where Is The Justice?
So what does it take? Do I have to do something drastic like get a sex change in order to be thought of as equal in this game? Why on earth does she get to spend more time with my son when she can barely help him with his first grade homework? My son has stated several times that he enjoys his time with me and my family more than with his mother. I provide him with stability, discipline and a schedule that he needs in order to grow up and be a productive citizen and moral human being. Why am I getting trashed in paperwork given to a judge that has never met me or spent any time with me to see that the claims in the paperwork are hearsay and slander, not factual and depictive of who I am as a person and father? I feel horrible for the men and women that have to go to court because the other parent wants nothing to do with the child, but I feel even worse for parents bringing their child(ren) through the court system when the other parent wants to be an active participant in their child(ren)'s life. I mean, how incredible is it that the other person wants to make sure that their child is taken care of, fed and brought up in a way that is wholesome? I will never understand people who put everyone through the court system like that, especially when it harms the child the most.
And So It Goes
Now I am stuck being the person I never wanted to resort to. I sit documenting every movement, discussion and argument that I have with my son's mother. I have to call her out in emails for not following the parenting plan exactly how it is meant to be followed in order to make sure that Legend (my son) is kept out of the loop of our disagreements. I beg for her in emails to allow for him to just be six years old and stop including him in our grown-up discussions. She doesn't listen, though. She repetitively rejects anything that I say and doesn't answer half of the emails that I send to her. I'm hoping that the judge will see a repetitive pattern of bad parenting and refusal to follow the parenting plan when I bring her back to court. I can't stand to see my child being raised by someone who doesn't know the meaning of hard work and has lived off of other's for so long that she's forgotten how to be an individual. Pray for peace and God's will. That's all I can do at this point.