Frequently Asked Questions
Who Makes the Decisions?
“Let’s just let the judge decide”
The words, and the concept, seem simple enough. Two people are fighting and having a difficult time making decisions. Why not hand over the decision to a stranger – one who knows neither partner – and let that person decide such things as:
Why not let the judge decide? Family research experts, such as those whose work is sited on our homepage, have listed the following reasons:
- Dividing the assets and debts of the family fairly (although judges are not required to take into consideration all tax consequences of the division).
- Budgeting for the family and dividing up the household income to stretch for two households;
- The children’s schedule; what activities to be involved in; which parent should be responsible for the activities;
- When and how often the children should stay overnight with each parent;
- Medical and dental care for the family; including what plan and coverage type is right for the family’s needs;
The truth is that at least 95% of all divorce cases end up in agreement – it’s just that too many of them settle “on the courthouse steps”! By that time, both sides have already spent substantial amounts of money on attorneys fees and costs. The marriage partners reach agreement, but only after a great deal of unnecessary expense
and permanent damage to the parenting relationship.
- Few judges have special training to help them deal with the developmental needs of children, or families in crisis;
- The judicial system places a priority on “stability” for the children, which in real life often becomes a rigid and inappropriate solution, over time; what children really need is a cooperative relationship between their parents which can adapt to meet the children’s changing developmental and emotional needs as they arise;
- The adversarial conflict which precedes a judicial decision destroys the very foundation of cooperation which is needed to create a post-divorce parenting relationship.
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