I’m not sure what it was about the Facebook post that caught my eye, but Bristol Palin’s name and her child custody battle was front and center, and I began to read, not the article, but the comments posted by strangers.
To be up front, I know very little about Bristol Palin. I could have researched the internet, dug through tons of gossip, and tried to discern what I reckon to be the truth from layer upon layer of articles on the Palin family, but…why?
I live in a world most people think strange. I couldn’t care less about the Kardashians and don’t know one sister from the next. I couldn’t tell you what Beyonce or whoever the latest star is doing because, truthfully, I don’t know who the latest stars are.
My feeling is we each have enough to deal with in our own lives and should be more focused on ourselves when it comes to lifestyles and relationships and more focused on others only when it comes to giving and loving. It’s a twisted society when we post publicly about the minority child, the homeless Veteran, our stumbling country but give more time, money, and energy to what the celebrity elite dictates as worthy – mostly themselves.
But that’s a tangent to explore at another time.
It appears Bristol Palin is denying the fathers of her children access to their children. Again, I will stress that I have very little information about Bristol Palin, the fathers involved, or what is going on in this case.
I do however have some idea of child custody and what happens in court, and it’s not good.
No Fault Divorce
No fault divorce began in California and allowed anyone to divorce for any reason. No longer did requirements need to be met for a marriage to end. One partner could simply walk away leaving his or her spouse without a backward glance.
Marriage became the one contract that could be broken with the spoils going to the deceiving party. It no longer mattered that the marriage contract first needed government approval. That government now said in effect, “Yes, we gave you our word that this was a valid contract, but our word means nothing.”
Some say no fault divorce made Marriage contracts easier to break than cell phone or other similar contracts, but days off of work, repeated court visits, and mounting attorney fees show this is not an easy contract to break. It’s not the ease at which a Marriage can be dissolved that makes divorce, especially no fault divorce, so vile to society.
Beyond the fact that Marriage should be a covenant granted by The Father rather than a contract granted by the government or that receiving a government contract approving your bid to marry does not lessen the heart wrenching, soul searing pain of a desecrated covenant, what makes no fault divorce so vile is that the party responsible for breaking the contract is often the party that emerges as the “victor” – if there is a victor in divorce.
No fault divorce also defeated the idea of the permanence of Marriage, making courting couples mistakenly believe that their marriages will magically work out or they will be free to walk away.
They fail to realize no fault divorce does not free anyone
but provides different forms of bondage.
The Facebook post told of Bristol Palin’s fight to keep her babies’ fathers from taking custody. Again, most of us have more important things to do than to read about the lives of celebrities. People like Bristol Palin would be better served if, when we were tempted to read some gossipy article or were faced with tabloid headlines on grocery store lines, we said a quick prayer for them instead. Unfortunately, we live in a world where many have forgotten what it means to serve and few will even recognize the opportunities they’re given to do so, embracing the rush of the latest gossip over the quiet of prayer and servitude.
No fault divorce assumes assets are split fairly by allowing the monied spouse to remain the monied spouse paying only a fraction of his salary to the abandoned party. No fault divorce hurts women who gave up careers to care for family and home and are suddenly forced to find outside employment with outdated skills and ancient contacts, but that’s only the beginning.
The pain of no fault divorce
stretches far beyond the financial
to our most precious
Children are seen as simply another asset to be fairly divided. Euphemisms are doled out by lawyers, judges, and child advocates spouting phrases like, “What is best for the children,” while ignoring the fact that, even in most unhappy households (abusive homes not included in this statement!) what is best for the children is to live with two biological parents.
Child advocates, some of whom have no idea how to handle children, are assigned and visitation is enforced. It matters little how cruel a parent is to the injured spouse or even to his or her innocent children. Visitation is granted because it is judged as “fair” by people who are paid to know no details about what happens inside each home but to judge all situations the same.
The court system has become jaded in America. An emotionally and verbally abusive parent is shrugged off by a court system that has seen worse. Parents are held up to worst case scenarios and found passing rather than being held up to honorable men and women and shown who they could be.
Instead of asking parents to be more,
we tell them it’s okay to remain as they are
because they could be less.
Child custody is especially heartbreaking when it comes to our littlest children. How is it possible that a Man, a Good, kind, Loving father has zero rights to the child inside the womb? Our courts have made our Men powerless in defending the life of their unborn child. As a mother of five boys, this concerns me a great deal!
Before a Baby takes his first breath, his father can offer him no protection, but as soon as that cry is emitted, his Mother loses rights and may be required to turn that baby over to the very father who demanded she get an abortion. Joint custody can be court ordered right after birth and nothing can prevent it.
My husband had already been gone almost four months when our last little guy was born. I went to every prenatal appointment alone. A neighbor came in the middle of the night to drive me to the hospital. Another neighbor stayed with the older boys. I had that baby without his father wanting any part of it.
And yet, the courts wanted joint custody within a few weeks. It did not matter that I was breastfeeding. The courts claimed too many women use breastfeeding to keep babies from their fathers. I had breastfed all my boys. Was the court claiming I had planned this revenge-by-breastfeeding 12 years earlier when I’d nursed my first son? How many writing “fair” child custody agreements experienced the pain and exhaustion of learning to nurse under the best of circumstances never mind as a devastated single Mom?
I spent a lot of time and money holding on to that Baby for as long as I could before I had to give him up for overnight visits. I asked the courts to allow the baby’s father take him days. I pleaded to have come every day to build a bond with this little one rather than overnight. I was not trying to keep them from seeing each other but to build daily bonds, but the baby’s father had moved over an hour away and the courts thought it unfair to request frequent visits of him.
I wondered continuously how every other weekend was what is “best for the child?”
Eventually, I was unable to hold out anymore and was forced to hand over my infant to this man I did not recognize, but more to the point, who my baby did not recognize. They’d see each other for Wednesday dinner visits and every other weekend overnights. How does a baby bond with such a long time between visits?
In some ways the boys and I were fortunate that he’d limited his own influence for several years.
In other ways it was horrible.
Few things are as terrible as waving cheery goodbyes to your infant or toddler as he is taken away by someone he hasn’t seen in a week, an infant or toddler who knows nothing about biology or what is “fair” or why he is an asset to be divided equally.
Few things are as terrible in divorce as telling a child he’ll have a great time when you know he has separation anxiety and you watch him being carried away crying “Mama, mama, mama,” reaching for you with pudgy little hands, tears streamy down chubby little cheeks, held over the shoulder of the man who shows he is a good dad by exerting his parental rights but refuses to acknowledge the pain his rights cause or to take the time to bond with his child.
Do I know Bristol Palin or what kind of fathers these men are? Nope. I have no idea. Maybe Bristol’s whole existence is meant to shed light on a court system that really does not have the “best interest of the child” at heart because it has no heart. A court is not allowed to have a heart. I understand that yet, perhaps that is one of many mistakes.
I don’t know what is going on in the Palin family. I have enough to do and care for in my own home without gossiping about anyone else. What I do know though, is that there is something wrong in our court systems and that Good Men and Women, Good Husbands and Wives, Good Fathers and Mothers are always wronged in divorce.
I also know in divorce
children are wronged far worse.
You cannot perfect a God-given covenant with a government granted contract, and you cannot fix the wounds caused by the tearing apart of two flesh with what is deemed as “fair” in the government court system, especially when it comes to dividing children.
Divorce, Child Custody, The Court System, & You…
There is a reason the words “In God we Trust” hang above the judge’s head in many courtrooms. The only truly just court will come at life’s end. In the meantime, speak up about injustice and stand strong for what is right, even when standing alone, but don’t end there.
Do more. Swap tabloid headlines and self-righteous gossip for silent prayers in those grocery store lines, while scanning social media comments of strangers, and even during a conversations with friends. Strive for the unattainable, not congratulating ourselves for besting lowest denominators but setting the bar high patiently accepting faults but not succumbing to them. Be above reproach when it comes to providing examples for our children and others, truly can find Joy in all things (James 1), and act in Love even in the face of adversity.
Our court system is messed up. There needs to be a change. Let that change begin in you!
And, as always, thanks for commenting, liking, following, and sharing!
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