May 17, 2005

Joint Custody

Really good article by Trish Wilson arguing that "presumptive joint custody" in divorce cases is almost never a good thing. If the two parents agree to split the kid, sure, great idea, but research shows that forcing them to do so can cause all sorts of havoc for the child. More here from Ampersand.

As a side note, intuitively I agree that custody laws should be based on what's best for the child, but I'm not always sure why I agree, exactly. Is it because children are little? Or because they'll get fucked up and hey, they didn't choose to get into the mess in the first place? Yeah, that's obviously it. (It's a weird thing to ask, I know, but why is there usually such a strong presumption in favor of children? Sometimes it's obvious, but not always. "Save the women and children first!" on a sinking ship seems noble and chivalrous, but not necessarily rational or moral.) But more importantly, and per my anti-judiciary post below, this is an instance where courts are all but certain to do a better job than legislatures.
-- Brad Plumer 4:00 AM || ||