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Child Custody Essay

2545 words - 11 pages

Child Custody

Child custody is the care control and maintenance of a child which may be awarded by the court to one of the parents of the child (Jasper 2). Child custody issues affect our families in the United States every day. In family law, child custody is viewed as primary care of a minor (Goldstein 174). Child custody trends view one parent better than the opposing parent. Child custody is significant because of the trauma it can cause to families. Not only are parents and children affected by this but social problems bloom in later years with divorced families who go through typical child custody battles (Kalter 34). In fact, minors are affected the most when they have to choose ...view middle of the document...

In cases where the custodial parent is reasonable and understanding of the role the noncustodial parent plays in the children's lives, these limitations may not prove to be critical. However, in many other cases, noncustodial parents may find themselves at a terrible disadvantage. In fact, many noncustodial parents who find themselves at the mercy of an unreasonable and mean ex-spouse may find themselves basically cut out of their children's lives forever. This often means that the child is left without the gift of being raised in a healthy environment with both biological parents. In the most extreme cases, a noncustodial parent may never see their child again. Fathers in the United States are being faced with major custody trends such as this one every day.
“About ten percent of all children live in step family atmospheres” (Kalter 254). Of these children in stepfamilies, eighty-six percent live with their biological mother and stepfather; fourteen percent live with their biological father and stepmother (Knox 398). Children often suffer from a variety of issues when being raised in any other family other than their nuclear family. Nuclear families have been known to include a biological mother and a biological father in the same household. Often children are faced with the reality of having to adjust to their new families when put in new homes with new parents. In most cases step-siblings or step-parents are introduced and children must adapt to their new lifestyle. “The biggest source of problems for kids in stepfamilies is parental conflict left over from the first marriage” (Knox 32). The nuclear family is thought of as the "traditional family," with two parents and siblings. However, "traditional" does not mean "simple."
Often children are affected by the issues of separation. Evidently if divorce or separation occurs it is because of differences in a relationship. The last that children want to see is battles between both biological parents. Studies have been conducted and it is a proven fact that separation after a child is not what affects the children, it’s the battles that the children see and hear, that’s what can mentally harm them (Knox 33). The children are put in a position were they feel that they must choose one over the other, making it a very difficult decision for children. These children often find it hard to be open to their parents. “No one wins-the child feels bad for abandoning a loving parent, the parent who has been tossed aside feels deprived of the opportunity for a close parent-child relationship, and the custodial parent runs the risk that the children, as adults, may resent being prevented from developing or continuing a relationship with the other parent” (Knox 398). This is why indeed much pain and emotion is faced in custody battles.
Presently, the divorce rates are increasing at an astounding rate, and close to fifty percent of children are growing up in a single parent environment. Children need...

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