The only way to start with a blank slate with children and child custody is to assume that the children should remain in the care and custody of both parents, and then let the evidence push the custody decision to one parent or the other, if (and only if) that’s where the evidence points. I am not saying we must rigidly and unthinkingly award everyone in all cases joint custody.
I am saying that those who suggest that children are “better off” with one of their two parents is like arguing that the pen is better off without the ink. A pen without ink is worthless. An unused ink bottle, likewise. How perverse to suggest that children shouldn’t be kept close to both parents where there is love and the will to be a close, involved parent. The goal is not necessarily equal time, but a desire to ensure that both parents can be involved to the fullest extent in their children’s lives after divorce. The goal is to ensure the courts and the lawyers don’t micromanage custody to the point that parent and children alike get burned by a paternalistic bunch of “legal professionals” who care neither for law nor professionalism.
If you think that courts and divorce lawyers think as articulated above, think again.
Our system of family law in Utah is not dominated by fairness and reason. Self-interest, pride, hypocrisy and apathy rule. ’Don’t believe me? Well then, good luck in your Utah divorce case; you will need it.