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Voice: Many fathers deserve more consideration in custody matters

May 13, 2001

Why is it that the local courts still favor a woman when there is a custody dispute over the children from the failed marriage? Why is it when the father is willing and wants to continue being a part of their children's lives, do the judges still award primary custody to the mother?

In some cases the mothers are not fit, or they are simply very unstable people. They are still awarded primary custody. In cases where the woman wants to move away, (and I'm not talking about needing to move, but simply to move away for her own personal fulfillment) why are these children allowed to be taken away from their fathers?

My friend will be going before family court soon, and will this fate also be awarded to him and his children? His ex-wife wants to move out of the Valley and take the children with her. She currently has a good job here. She wants to give the father only two weekends per month. How would that be beneficial to the children? Currently they spend half of their time with the mother and the other half with the father.

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In the time where many fathers walk away from their children, he has continually been a part of their lives. He is involved in their school activities, sports and other extracurricular activities. He simply loves his children with tremendous love.

These children have their grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends here in the Valley, people who love them, who have been a part of their lives since birth. What good would it do the children to move them away from all this?

An article in the San Diego Union-Tribune the other day spoke about how moving is such a traumatic thing for children and teen-agers. Some of the students who have been the shooters at the school shootings have been teen-agers whose parents have recently moved. These children had a sense of not belonging. They feel lonely and isolated.

I ask family court judges to please take the time to review each case that comes before you. Please consider your judgments carefully. Consider the involvement of the fathers in their children's lives. Your decisions affect the lives of so many people. Consider especially the children who would be missing their father's time, which is precious. Thank you.

SONIA GONZALEZ

Imperial

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