Monday, June 13, 2005

How To End Father-Absence When Divorce is Necessary

How To End Father-Absence When Divorce is Necessary

This article introduces a new concept for me: Time-Shift Shared Parenting. Because the article is rather lengthy, I am only going to publish info relative to Time-Shift Shared Parenting - please link to read the article entirely.


TSSP ends nearly all the problems listed above. It creates a presumed custody order affirming the parental rights of both parents and creates a landscape not fertile for predatory chessboard litigation. It meets the needs of children as closely as is possible in divorce, and removes perverse incentives so evident in existing policy, while allowing for proper handling of situations involving real child abuse or neglect.

TSSP involves relatively straightforward concepts, as follows:

When a divorce decree is issued, a primary custodian is named, with the traditional Siegenthaler ( or other reasonable parenting time plan) given to the other parent, with as many decision-making authorities granted to the other parent as possible.

An automatic custody reversal is built into the original order, naming a date certain on which the custody order will be reversed to the other parent. The date is calculated by finding the half-way point in time between the date of the hearing and the date of emancipation of the children. For most children, the custody reversal will take place in their early teen years.

Where children are close siblings, with age differential of four years difference or less, the dates of emancipation will be averaged such that the custody reversal for both children takes place simultaneously.

Divorcing couples may agree to more than one custody reversal, such as every four years, so long as it is by a consent decree, and equal custody time is ordered for both parents. In cases where parents cannot agree, or a case is litigated or heard, the default order will be for one custody reversal.

TSSP must be a mandatory policy and characterized in statute as a constitutionally-protected parental right, with only three exceptions: 1) Where a parent is found to be an unfit parent; 2) where a parent voluntarily (and without duress) requests to be a non-custodial parent. In this case, a sole custody order with maximum child support and alimony should be ordered; and 3) where both parties file for divorce with a consent decree disposing of all matters contained in the initial filing for dissolution.

Congress must require states to enact TSSP legislation, or face stiff penalties in funding for social services and child support collections entitlements. This is a wise and deeply profound shift in federal policy. The vast majority of child psychological and educational problems, child abuse, and child support collections problems exist because we have actually preferred aborting fathers and collecting child support. States that wish to continue irresponsible creation of father-absence must be held accountable for their actions and bear the costs for their actions.

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