Is joint custody (NOT) an option? / Je spolecna pece o dite vubec mozna?Is joint custody (NOT) an option? | Czechmatediary
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Is joint custody (NOT) an option? / Je spolecna pece o dite vubec mozna?

CUSTODY-BATTLE-TUGDivorce is always a sticky thing. But it cannot get any more difficult if there are children involved. My parents divorced when I was 7 years old (there was alcoholism involved) and from then on my brother and I stayed with my mom during the week and saw our dad every other weekend, sometimes during the week. It was hard, yet in our situation quite necessary.

Even till this day it is very common, even if both parents are stable, to give the main custody to the mother…father happens to be out of luck.

I recently came across an article which brought all of those childhood memories back.The Czech custody laws have been recently changing with the court system being more sympathetic to the father. There are cases where he was even given a joint custody!

‘The Czech Republic has one of the highest divorce rates in Europe with one in three marriages –and every second marriage in Prague – hitting the rocks.’  If this new trend of joint custody is going to stay, it will affect the majority of the future generation.

The Czech family and child therapist Petra Winette  does not seem to like the new trend:

it seems that all these decisions and procedures are made in favour of the parents –if you look at the child and consider child development issues we see a very different picture. It is common knowledge that a child needs to have a stable environment, a safe home, needs to have his or her needs met by those closest to him. The neurological development of a child’s brain requires a lot of stability and predictability and joint custody does not really provide that. So we are seeing kids who are having to cope with a situation which is not appropriate for them in terms of their development.” 

The US custody laws are very different from those in Czech. Mothers are not given an advantage before fathers; the custody usually ends up being a fair share. I can’t even imagine going through that as a child. I had my one home and one room, with all of my things. When I was staying with my dad, I would pack a backpack and sleep on a daybed in his kitchen (he had a studio) which worked pretty well. Of course, my dad was an animal lover like me, so he always had pets. So when it was time for me to go home it was clearly hard to leave those behind as well.

What do you thing? What should the law be? Equal custody for both parents or should one parent have the larger slice of caretaking? I personally thing that although both parents are very important, little children should spend more time with their mother because they are simply better care takers. Once the children are older then the custody could be split in half. Either way, I don’t think there is a win-win situation; those children will always walk through their life with an arrow in their hearts.


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3 comments… add one
  • Vonya June 21, 2014, 3:28 pm

    You make some interesting points. I was raised in a similar post-divorce situation. My parents divorced when I was very young (2) and I went to my father’s house every other weekend, alternate holidays, and 2 weeks every summer. It was the only point of reference that I had, so I didn’t necessarily desire a joint custody situation. However, I look back and realize that it would have been beneficial for me and for my dad to have more time bonding together. I didn’t see my father as an authority figure, and I believe that the parent in the diminished role for custody arrangement has less power and therefore less influence on the child. I suppose it depends on the dad. If a father (or mother) has issues such as alcoholism, then the other parent should be the primary caretaker. Ideally, both parents should be equally involved.

  • Marina July 14, 2014, 12:23 pm

    I think it is naive to assume that the US gives equal weight. Mothers get custody nearly 90% of the time and, Dads are simply wallets. In the US dads always seem to pay simply to see their kids part time. However, ALL research suggests fathers should spend a minimum of 50% of time with their children, especially girls, from birth (see Linda Neilsen for an overview but there are several articles on this). More time with Dad reduces drug use, teen pregnancy, mental illness and poverty in later life; less time reduces likelihood of finishing school and increases likelihood of jail time. I simply think the parent who is the most stable–moves the least, has the highest education, makes the most money and has the best and most regular job, should have custody. That would reduce child poverty and increase incentives to finish school and work for parents.

  • Tanja July 21, 2014, 9:18 pm

    I agree, dads are really important. Some sources argue that they are even more important than mothers! If a daughter does not have a good dad/any dad she is either promiscuous or she is afraid of men (2 extremes). If a son does not have a good dad/any dad, he has nobody to look up to and there is a high possibility that his mother will smother him with love and turns into a mamma’s boy.

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