Children ignored in divorce cases

  • Letters
  • Saturday, 01 Feb 2003

LAW reform has seen it fit to eliminate the spectre of fault in divorce cases. Unfortunately, it has left the paramount issue for tussle – custody of the children.  

It is sad to see divorcing couples going hammer and tongs at each other in court over child custody. Is this necessary?  

It seems inappropriate that the innocent party, the children, should be bandied about in the tussle as this psychologically upsets them, making their transition into adolescence more difficult. 

Sometimes, expert witnesses like paediatricians who had not bothered to scrutinise the home life background of the children, are biased towards one party.  

At times model parents are sidelined to visitor status after the court decides on what it perceives to be in the best interest of the children. 

Sometimes political decisions are made instead of logical ones. Also, it is such a phenomenal waste to see couples frittering away all their life savings in court.  

The system of Family Law must be to assuage and alleviate the rigours of divorce, not aggravate them or cause increased ill-will and bitterness between the parties.  

The system must be overhauled to make it more humane and tolerable for all parties involved in the painful, artificial splitting of families. 

It is suggested that custody battles should be eliminated entirely and replaced by laws that stringently take cognisance of the best interest of the children to heart. 

It is appalling that anyone should take a child away from his or her biological parents and no court should have such power, unless it is for the protection of the child.  

Children are not mere pawns in the game and their rights must be protected. Given their natural tendencies, they would prefer both parents. 

Divorce should not come in their way. The law should guarantee a win-win situation of 50:50 custody if both parents demonstrate an ability and a willingness to love and care for the children.  




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